Trump publicly defends Trump Jr: ‘Most people would have taken that meeting’

Donald Trump has defended his son in public over his meeting with a Russian lawyer last year, telling a press conference in Paris “most people would have taken that meeting” and ignoring questions about whether offers of political assistance from potential agents of foreign governments should be reported to the FBI. Pre-empting the New York Times, which first reported the meeting, Trump Jr this week released emails in which he appeared eager to accept information from the Russian government that could have damaged Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. An intermediary had told Trump Jr the…

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CED Election Observation Report PS114

From Kamran Saqi Islamabad: This report is issued by Coalition for Elections and Democracy (CED) for observing the voting process at PS 114 – Karachi XXVI. A total number of polling stations set up in the constituency is 92 with 368 polling booths. The CED teams initiated observation of the voting process right from the opening of the polling stations. The observation at the approach of the polling station revealed that 60% polling stations had queues outside the premises. A large number of polling stations (83%) were not accessible for…

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Single father from Mexico who’d been in US 20 years deported after Ice ‘check-in’

Juan Carlos Fomperosa García planned to celebrate his son’s 17th birthday on Thursday. But first, he had to go in for a meeting around 9am with immigration officials in Phoenix for what he believed was to discuss his request for asylum. “He walked in. An hour later, they brought me a bag with his stuff and that was it,” said Yennifer Sanchez, Fomperosa García’s 23-year-old daughter.

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Donald Trump accuses Obama of ‘wire-tapping’ his office before election

Donald Trump has accused Barack Obama of “wire tapping” his offices in New York City before the presidential election in November last year, claiming the former president had overseen a “Nixon/Watergate”-style intervention. Launching a series of tweets at 5.35am eastern time on Saturday, the US president said: “Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!”

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Lewis Hamilton calls on F1’s new owner to modernise ‘outdated’ sport

Lewis Hamilton believes Formula One must update itself to ensure it remains entertaining, emphasising the need for the new owner, Liberty Media, to engage to a greater extent with fans. The three-times world champion, who will be at Silverstone on Thursday when Mercedes unveil their 2017 car, also expressed concern that new regulations this season will be unsuccessful and risked making overtaking more difficult. “F1 is a bit outdated in the sense that if you look at other sports they’re further ahead in the entertainment factor,” he told the BBC….

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Green campaigners welcome Coca-Cola U-turn on bottle and can recycling scheme

Coca-Cola has announced it supports testing a deposit return service for drinks cans and bottles, in a major coup for environment and anti-waste campaigners. Executives told an event in Edinburgh on Tuesday evening they agreed with campaigners who were pressing the Scottish government to set up a bottle-return pilot scheme to cut waste and pollution and boost recycling. They told the event, organised by Holyrood magazine, that the company had been examining the merits of a bottle and can deposit scheme, where consumers pay a small surcharge of about 10p…

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Typical Nintendo: there’s already a game too big for the Switch hard drive

It could probably only happen to Nintendo. While other console manufacturers have dutifully stuffed their consoles with ever more expansive hard drives, the Kyoto-based veteran has always been somewhat penurious with storage. Its next release, the delightfully eccentric Switch, contains only 32GB of internal memory, around 4GB of which is reserved for the operating system. Sure, this probably keeps the manufacturing costs down, but it presents a problem. This week, the official Japanese Switch page revealed a host of forthcoming titles, together with their file sizes. One, a double pack…

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Chancellor to announce measures to help small firms with business rate rises

The government will offer extra help for small firms affected by an imminent change to business rates, the communities secretary has announced, saying that more should be done “to level the playing field”. Following increasing concern from some businesses and Conservative MPs about the impact of the first business rate revaluation in seven years, Sajid Javid said the chancellor, Philip Hammond, would announce new measures in the budget on 8 March. This would form part of a wider and longer-term re-examination of the business rates system, he added. The announcement…

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Should I take vitamin D every day?

It’s not too late to top up on vitamin D if you ignored advice issued last year by Public Health England (PHE) to take supplements. But while the PHE recommended we all “consider” taking 10µg of vitamin D daily during autumn and winter, researchers are now suggesting that food be fortified with the vitamin so that we can take it continuously. The main source of vitamin D is sunlight in contact with the skin – and that is pretty much never between November and April, hence the PHE’s recommendation. Vitamin…

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Kevin Rudd accuses Netanyahu of ‘torpedoing’ Middle East peace plans

Former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd has lashed the Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu, accusing him of being a barrier to peace and sabotaging negotiations for a settlement of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Speaking as he became the first Israeli prime minister to visit Australia, Netanyahu criticised Rudd and his Labor predecessor Bob Hawke for saying that Australia should formally recognise a Palestinian state, as both Sweden and the Holy See have done. Netanyahu asked “what kind of state” the two former leaders were advocating. But Rudd, now president of the Asia…

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