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Donald Trump, Three Children, Organization Hit With Fraud Lawsuit

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Donald Trump and three of his children have been hit with a fraud lawsuit after a New York investigation into their family company – the Trump Organization.

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It alleges that they lied “by billions” about the value of real estate in order to get loans and pay less tax.

Prosecutors say the Trump Organization committed numerous acts of fraud between 2011-21.

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Mr Trump has dismissed the lawsuit as “another witch hunt”.

The former president’s eldest children, Donald Jr, Ivanka and Eric Trump, were also named as defendants alongside two executives at the Trump Organization, Allen Weisselberg and Jeffrey McConney.

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The lawsuit has been brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James, who is the state’s most senior lawyer, after a three-year civil investigation.

Her office does not have the power to file criminal charges, but is referring allegations of criminal wrongdoing to federal prosecutors and to the Internal Revenue Service.

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“With the help of his children and senior executives at the Trump Organization, Donald Trump falsely inflated his net worth by billions of dollars to unjustly enrich himself and cheat the system,” Ms James said in a statement.

She said Mr Trump’s own apartment in Trump Tower, which was valued at $327m (£288m), was among the properties whose values were allegedly misrepresented.

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“No apartment in New York City has ever sold for close to that amount,” Ms James added.

What’s in the lawsuit?

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Here’s a look at what the 222-page document alleges:

Donald Trump and three of his children lied about the value of his properties – hotels, golf courses and other assets – in order to secure better loans and lower tax rates

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Over the course of a decade, Trump and his family made more than 200 false or misleading valuations on financial statements

Each statement was personally certified as accurate by Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr, or former Trump Organization financial executive Allen Weisselberg

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The scheme enriched the Trump family by at least $250m (£220m) – the state wants to recover that money

“White collar financial crime is not a victimless crime,” the attorney general said.

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“When the well-connected break the law to take in more money than they are entitled to, it reduces resources available to working people, to regular people, to small businesses and to all tax payers.”

Ms James is asking a court to bar the former president and his children from serving as officers or directors in any New York business.

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She also wants the Trump Organization banned from engaging in real estate transactions there for five years.

The announcement comes after Ms James – a Democrat who is running for re-election in November – rejected at least one offer to settle the long-running civil investigation into the company’s business practices.

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Blasting the lawsuit on his Truth Social site, Mr Trump branded Ms James, who is black, a racist.

“Another Witch Hunt by a racist Attorney General, Letitia James, who failed in her run for Governor, getting almost zero support from the public,” he wrote.

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The Trumps have previously accused Ms James of pursuing a political vendetta, citing remarks she made before being elected as attorney general in 2018 in which she vowed to sue Mr Trump and branded him an “illegitimate president”.

Donald Trump Jr, Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump are named as defendants in the lawsuit
On Twitter, Donald Trump Jr accused Ms James of “weaponising her office to go after her political opponents”.

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While Mr Trump is not on the ballot in November’s midterm elections, he remains the dominant force in the Republican Party – and is stoking speculation about another run for the White House in 2024.

In August Mr Trump declined to answer questions during an interview at the attorney general’s office connected to this civil investigation. Ms James said he repeatedly invoked his Fifth Amendment right to not self-incriminate, confirming only his name.

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Ms James said that Eric Trump did the same more than 500 times in a 2020 deposition.

Tristan Snell, a lawyer and former prosecutor who worked on a separate case against Trump University, told the BBC that the lawsuit could take a year to go to trial.

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But the potential of such a trial could severely restrict Mr Trump’s ability to do business in New York and profit from his marquee real estate holdings in New York City. It could trigger a series of financial consequences that would make it harder for him to raise capital and maintain credit, Snell said.

“It definitely could be ruinous for him,” Snell said.

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Which properties were allegedly misrepresented?

The lawsuit lists some of the most well-known Trump properties:

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Prosecutors allege that the value of an apartment Trump had in Trump Tower in New York was listed at $327m after its “wildly overstated” size was tripled and given an “unreasonable” price per square foot. The record sale in the entire tower was $16.5m.

The Mar-a-Lago club in Florida was valued as high as $739m by the Trump Organization. The attorney general’s office alleges the real value was closer to $75m and that it generated less than $25m per year.

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Ms James’s announcement that she would pass the findings of her investigation to other law enforcement agencies was “an ominous signal” for Mr Trump, according to Miriam Baer, vice-dean at Brooklyn Law School.

“The New York attorney general went one step further today,” she told the BBC. “It announced that in addition to filing this civil complaint, it was also making a referral to federal law enforcement authorities for a criminal investigation.”

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The lawsuit is one of a number of legal issues the former president is facing.

On 8 August, the FBI conducted a search warrant at his home in Mar-a-Lago as part of an investigation into his handling of classified records. He is also being investigated in Georgia in relation to efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

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He has also denied any wrongdoing in those investigations.

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Foreign

Divorce: Court orders Woman to hand over her nude photos to ex-husband because he wanted to keep it for ‘memory’s sake’

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A woman from Utah, USA has revealed her shock at being ordered by a judge to hand over a photo album of her ‘boudoir style’ nude photos to her ex-husband, after he requested them as part of their divorce.

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The term ‘Boudoir’ is a French word that means either the bedroom or a lady’s private dressing room.

A Boudoir Photo Album is themed around this concept and contains sexually provocative photos of a lady taken by a professional photographer.

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The lady, Lindsay Marsh said that she commissioned the photos in the early years of her marriage, and wrote ‘loving’ and intimate messages to him inside the album.

But, when she filed for divorce in April 2021 after 25 years together, her ex-husband Chris Marsh said that he wanted to keep the album, for the memories of their time together.

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‘It’s violating and it’s incredibly embarrassing and humiliating.’ she said.

‘The only way I can hopefully protect someone else from going through the same situation is to tell my story and expose that these are the types of things that he thinks are OK.’

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Marsh said she was shocked when her ex requested the book of photos in court.

Judge orders woman to hand over her nude photos to her ex-husband in divorce proceedings because he wanted to keep it for

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But Judge Michael Edwards, sitting in the 2nd district court, supported her ex-husband’s claims.

As a gesture, the judge said Marsh should take the book back to the original photographer, and have a copy made, with her body edited out.

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Marsh went to the photographer, but the photographer refused, arguing that the images were art which should not be altered.

The judge then ruled, in August this year, that she must hand the album to a third party, who would themselves edit the images.

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‘That person is to do whatever it takes to modify the pages of the pictures so that any photographs of [Lindsay Marsh] in lingerie or that sort of thing or even without clothing are obscured and taken out,’ he wrote in a ruling according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

‘But the words are maintained for memory’s sake.’

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Marsh said the thought of handing the book over to a stranger was even more traumatic.

She said she had to call the judge’s clerk to ensure she hadn’t misunderstood the ruling.

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‘I just want to clarify,’ she recalled saying. ‘The judge has ordered me to give nude photos of my body to a third party that I don’t know without my consent?’

‘That’s even violating,’ said Marsh.

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‘Because these are things that were sensual and loving that I wrote to my husband that I loved. You’re my ex-husband now.’

Lindsay Marsh is legally required to keep the originals until December, in case her ex objects to any of the edits.

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She then plans to hold a burning party, and throw them into the fire.

‘It’s going to be amazing,’ she said.

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Her ex-husband, Chris Marsh told The Tribune the books were full of memories, inscriptions and photos, stressing they were not ‘inappropriate-type books.’

He said: ‘I cherish the loving memories we had for all those years as part of normal and appropriate exchanges between a husband and wife, and sought to preserve that in having the inscriptions.’

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‘As boudoir photography becomes a more common way for a couple to share intimacy, where is the line of appropriateness when they split up?’

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The Only Place Where Rent Hasn’t Increased in 500 Years

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For most people rent is the biggest expense they have to face each month and although the prices fluctuate, it seems to have a slight increase each year that is strongly felt for those with a lower income.

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The increase in rent rates is due to various reasons such as economical inflation, an increase in the housing market, and of course demand.

Many people around the world don’t own a home and the criteria for getting a mortgage are becoming more demanding, therefore in today’s economical situation, fewer people identify as homeowners.

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Our world is facing major inflation when it comes to renting, one that has not been seen in many years, and experts are only estimating that prices are going to keep rising.

Despite all this, there is one place on this capitalist earth where rent hasn’t been affected by anything for exactly 500 years.

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Inflation has been the main reason for the increase in all prices and this is because as time goes on, more people are strengthening their purchasing power.

1$ per year in Fuggerei
This place is located on the outskirts of Augsburg which happens to be the oldest city in Germany.

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In the small Bavarian village named Fuggerei, there is a social housing complex that hasn’t changed its rent since it has been built in 1521.

This small social housing complex is also considered to be the oldest in existence.

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The house has been built by Jakob Fugger the Rich as he was known in the local community during the early 16th century.

It was built specifically for citizens who were below the poverty line through no fault of their own.

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The criteria to apply for housing have also stayed the same. If someone wants to apply they need to show proof of their financial status and have no debt whatsoever.

The complex is made up of 67 houses that have been split up into 147 apartments.

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One of the houses hasn’t been refurbished as it is used to present what Bavarian medieval houses looked like in the 16th century. Most people that live in the complex today are seniors that have a small pension.

It is amazing to see how the price has been kept the same for so long despite the complex suffering many damages through this period of 500 years due to the various wars that had taken place.

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Destroyed and Rebuilt several times
In fact, the complex was destroyed more than three times, with the worst event taking place during the Second World War where 70% of the complex was bombed.

However, every time the complex would be demolished, it had been rebuilt accordingly to the same style and traditional architecture.
With time the apartments were renovated to stay up with the times, but the outside has been kept the same.

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If we look at the price of something very common from 500 years ago such as bread, a loaf would have cost you around 2 cents.

500 years ahead and applying inflation the average price for bread is around 1$. If you want to visit the complex you have to pay an entrance fee that sums up to five years of rent, so around 5$.

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Although many people have not heard about this place, it used to be quite popular in its contemporary era.

The most famous person that stayed here was actually Mozart’s great grandfather, making it special.

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What is really special is the community within the complex that helps one another and is very welcoming to the tourists who want to visit the complex as long as they respect the laws and rules.

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Breaking: Coup In China As Xi Jinping Is Under House Arrest

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Rumours of a coup against Chinese President Xi Jinping are going around on social media, but experts have highlighted that there is no concrete evidence of coup or any disturbance in China so far.

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The internet is abuzz with reports saying ‘something is up’ in China, with people’s guesses ranging from a political or military coup against President Xi Jinping to potential military activity in Western China.

The evidence cited for such guesses includes reports of cancelled passenger flights in parts of China, Xi not being seen in public for some time, and footage allegedly of military vehicles moving towards the capital Beijing.

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However, there is neither any official comment on these guesses nor any confirmed report on military movement towards the capital.

Here we share what’s being said on social media, particularly in India, and what are the facts that we know for sure.

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Is Xi Jinping facing a coup?

Twitter accounts with several thousands followers have shared that there has been a coup against Xi. Photographs of a successor have also appeared.

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However, none of these updates are from verified or credible accounts and most of these accounts are of anonymous users.

Videos of alleged military movement have also surfaced.

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“This video of military vehicles moving to Beijing comes immediately after the grounding of 59 per cent of the flights in the country and the jailings of senior officials.

There’s a lot of smoke, which means there is a fire somewhere inside the CCP. China is unstable,” said author Gordon G Chang.

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Defence affairs writer Saurav Jha shared on Twitter that there were no flights over Tibet Autonomous Region of Cihna earlier on Saturday.

“Of direct concern to us here in India. Many Flights to Lhasa Gonggar are also being cancelled. We have to see if there is an uptick in military air traffic over the Tibetan plateau or not,“ said Jha, hinting at possible military activity in Western China that borders China, where India and China are engaged in a military stand-off for over two years.

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What experts have said?
Most of the China experts have highlighted that there are no signs of the coup beyond commentary on social media, particularly in Indian circles.

China expert Aadil Brar noted that Xi is likely in quarantine after returning from the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit, which would explain his absence from public affairs at the moment.

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Brar also shared flight data showing there is no disruption of flights. He further shared visuals of public briefings by senior Chinese officials, suggesting that government is functioning normally.

Journalist Zakka Jacob higlighted that Xi has a powerful institutional hold over China which makes a coup unlikely.

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“Lots of rumours this morning about a military coup in China. Nothing credible so far. Military coups are unlikely in China because the People’s Liberation Army comes under the Central Military Commission.
Xi, as General Secretary of the Communist Party heads the CMC. The Army is that of the party, not government,” said Jacob in a tweet.

Journalist and author Ananth Krishnan also said there is no evidence so far of a coup.

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“While Chinese politics is the blackest of black boxes, I’ve come across zero evidence in Beijing today to substantiate any of the social media rumours,” said Krishnan on Twitter, noting that the rumours have surfaced in the run up to the crucial Chinese Communist Party in which Xi is expected to secure an unprecedented third term.

The Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post has not reported about any coup or political upheaval in China at all.

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It has posted dozens of tweets in the last 24 hours about various issues concerning China and the world, but not even a remote hint about the alleged development in Beijing.

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