Dec 17, 2018

Flynn's ex-business associates charged with illegal Turkish lobbying

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Two of Michael Flynn's former business associates, Bijan Kian and Ekim Alptekin, were charged on Monday with illegally lobbying for the extradition of U.S.-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, who Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claims engineered a failed coup in 2016.

Why it matters: "The indictment is further evidence of a broad crackdown on unregistered foreign lobbying growing from the inquiry by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel who has investigated foreign flows of money from Ukraine, Turkey and other countries designed to manipulate decision-making in Washington," the New York Times reports.

Details: The two men were charged with a conspiracy to violate federal lobbying rules in a federal court in Alexandria, Va. Alptekin was also charged with lying to the FBI. Mueller had referred this case to Virginia prosecutors earlier this year.

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Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. ET: 1,595,350 — Total deaths: 95,455 — Total recoveries: 353,975Map.
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Federal court temporarily blocks coronavirus order against some abortions

Gov. Greg Abbott. Photo: Tom Fox-Pool/Getty Images

A federal judge ruled Thursday that clinics in Texas can immediately offer medication abortions — a pregnancy termination method administered by pill — and can also provide the procedure to patients nearing the state's time limits for abortions.

Driving the news: The decision comes after federal appeals court ruled 2-1 on Tuesday in favor of an executive order by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott that prohibits abortions during the coronavirus outbreak.

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Where things stand: Nearly every country on Earth is still seeing their caseload increase, and a recent uptick in Singapore shows that apparent victory over the virus can be fleeting. But several countries are providing reason for optimism.

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