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Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump Jr. subpoenaed in asset probe

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Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. have been subpoenaed by the New York attorney general as part of the state’s probe into whether former President Donald Trump’s real-estate business manipulated the value of key assets for tax and insurance purposes.

Donald Trump’s testimony was sought earlier by New York Attorney General Letitia James as part of the civil investigation, and all three Trumps are expected to file motions to quash the subpoenas in the coming weeks, according to a filing Monday in New York state court in Manhattan.

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Trump last month sued James in an effort to block the probe, accusing her of investigating his Manhattan-based real-estate company for political purposes. James, who suspended her run for governor of New York in December, had sought his testimony under oath by Jan. 7.

James began the probe in 2019 to determine if Trump’s company had been manipulating the value of key assets for tax and insurance purposes.

Trump’s former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen triggered the probe after he handed Congress a trove of Trump financial records and testified that his former boss “inflated his total assets when it served his purposes” and “deflated his assets to reduce his real estate taxes.”

Eric Trump, one of the former president’s sons and an executive vice president at the Trump Organization, was deposed by state investigators in October 2020 after fighting in court to delay the questioning.

Read more: US Capitol rioters’ tears, remorse don’t spare them from stiff jail sentences

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Stampede at Liberian church gathering kills 29

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A stampede has killed at least 29 people at a religious event in the suburbs of the Liberian capital Monrovia, police said on Thursday.

Those who died from the incident include 11 children and a pregnant woman.

The bodies have been taken to the morgue of Redemption Hospital, close to where the incident occurred in a beach area called New Kru Town.

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The stampede erupted when a gang of thugs armed with knives attacked some of the hundreds attending the ceremony at about 9 p.m. on Wednesday night, police spokesman Moses Carter told The Associated Press.

One person has been arrested, he said.

Local media said it was a Christian prayer gathering, known in Liberia as a “crusade,” held in a football field.

Witness Emmanuel Gray, 26, told AFP he heard “heavy noise” towards the end and saw several dead bodies.

Street gangs have become an increasing problem in Monrovia and other Liberian cities in recent years, according to residents.

President George Weah was expected to visit the scene Thursday, according to Liberian media reports.

Liberia, Africa’s oldest republic, is an impoverished country that is still recovering after back-to-back civil wars between 1989-2003, as well as the 2014-2016 West Africa Ebola epidemic.

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UN chief cites ‘demonstrable effort’ at peace in Ethiopia

Britain steps up Kenya investments with railway hub, eyes $1 bln deals

US sanctions Liberia’s ex-warlord and senator Prince Johnson

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US approves ballistic requests to ship US weapons to Ukraine

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The US has approved requests by Baltic nations to ship US-made weapons to Ukraine amid fears of a Russian invasion, officials said Thursday.

A State Department official in Berlin, where Secretary of State Antony Blinken was holding talks on Ukraine, said the US was “expediting authorized transfers of US-origin equipment from other allies.”

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“European allies have what they need to move forward on additional security assistance (to) Ukraine in the coming days and weeks,” the official said.

A source familiar with the authorisations said the approval was for urgent requests by Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to assist Ukraine, a fellow former Soviet republic.

The exact amounts and types of weapons were not specified, but the Baltic nations’ arsenals include Javelins, portable missiles capable of destroying tanks.

Tens of thousands of Russian troops, along with tanks and artillery, have been deployed near the Ukrainian border since late last year, rattling the three Baltic nations, which are members of NATO.

President Joe Biden’s administration since last year has approved $650 million in weapons to Ukraine, $200 million of it last month amid fears of war.

While the Biden administration boasts that the shipments are the most ever by the US, Ukraine has voiced hope for military supplies as quickly as possible, with shipments from nearby countries especially valuable.

Britain has also rushed to support Ukraine, announcing on Monday that it was sending anti-tank weapons.

Read more:

Explainer: What are US military options to help Ukraine if Russia invades

US senators work on bipartisan bill to aid Ukraine

Ukrainian president thanks US for help during ‘difficult time’

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Bomb blast in Pakistan’s Lahore kills two, injures 16

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At least two people were killed and 16 injured Thursday by a bomb blast in a busy shopping district of the Pakistani city of Lahore, police said.

“Initial investigations show that it was a time-controlled device on a motorbike which was the cause of the blast,” Rana Arif, spokesman for Lahore police, told AFP.

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