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July 21, 2021

Trump associate charged with acting as agent of foreign government

Good morning Americans,

Tom Barrack, a longtime friend of former president Donald Trump’s who was chairman of his inauguration committee, was arrested on Tuesday on charges of conspiring to act as an unregistered foreign agent. Barrack and two other men allegedly attempted to influence foreign policy during Trump’s 2016 campaign and later during his presidency. Barrack was also charged with obstruction of justice and making multiple false statements to federal agents. Matthew Grimes, 27, of Colorado, and Rashid al Malik, 43, of the United Arab Emirates were charged in a seven-count indictment. Prosecutors said that not only did Barrack agree to promote UAE interests, but also provided the UAE government with sensitive information and developments within the Trump administration.

Another Hunter Biden email exchange has been made public, seemingly talking about plans to start a consultancy and law firm with his father. The 2014 email correspondence between Hunter and longtime family friend Jeff Cooper, and appears to outline plans or a firm to be led by the late Beau Biden. “In order to develop this as a platform for both JRB’s I think it is imperative we (the three of us) have full control come 2016 when JRB comes on board,” Hunter wrote in one email. The second ‘JRB’ mentioned presumably refers to now-President Joe Biden, and the first likely refers to Beau, who also had those initials. The leaked emails cast doubt on President Biden’s claim that he never discussed business dealings with Hunter.

Dr. Anthony Fauci and Senator Rand Paul had a heated exchange at a Tuesday Senate hearing. The pair exchanged accusations of “lying” about gain-of-function research. “Knowing that it is a crime to lie to Congress, do you wish to retract your statement of May 11, 2021? Do you still claim that NIH never funded gain-of-function research in Wuhan?” Senator Rand asked Fauci. “You are implying that what we did was responsible for the deaths of individual[s], I totally resent that and if anybody is lying here, senator, it is you,” Fauci responded. The purpose of the hearing was to examine “The Path Forward” out of the pandemic.

Who would’ve thought that a pop star was the key to bipartisanship. In the wake of the highly publicized Brittney Spears’ conservatorship legal battle, two House lawmakers proposed bipartisan legislation in the hopes of protecting those under legal guardianships and conservatorships from abuse and exploitation. Democratic Rep. Charlie Crist of Florida and Republican Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina unveiled their Freedom and Right to Emancipate from Exploitation Act (FREE Act). “Under the FREE Act, we would Free Britney along with the countless number of seniors and persons with disabilities being abused and exploited by the broken system,” Crist said in a statement.

Jeff Bezos and three others complete their trip to space and back in about 11 minutes. The flight included both the youngest and oldest individuals to travel to space: Wally Funk, 82, and Oliver Daemen, 18. Funk is famous for being a member of the Mercury 13– a group of female pilots who were part of a test to see if women were fit for space travel back in 1961. Though the group passed many tests, NASA never sent them to the cosmos. The launch marks the start of Blue Origin’s space tourism program. Those interested can contact the company regarding booking a spot on a future flight. Two additional flights are scheduled for 2021.

Lastly, the Delta variant of Covid-19 now accounts for 83% of all cases in the US, according to health officials. “This is a dramatic increase, up from 50% [in] the week of 4 July,” Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said. Covid fatalities have risen by nearly 48% over the past week. “Each death is tragic and even more heartbreaking when we know that the majority of these deaths could be prevented with a simple, safe available vaccine,” Walensky said.

Be well,

Fraser Dixon

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