Manafort deliberates as Trump lashes out again at Mueller/probe » The jury in the trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort deliberated for a third day Monday, pondering the 18-count indictment against him. Prosecutors says Manafort hid millions of dollars in foreign income and lied on bank loan applications.
The charges stem from the special counsel’s Russia probe, though the alleged crimes occurred years before Manafort’s brief stint with the Trump campaign in 2016.
Meantime, President Trump once again lashed out at the special counsel. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin has more.
KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: On his Twitter account Monday, the president said—quote—“Disgraced and discredited Bob Mueller and his whole group of Angry Democrat Thugs spent over 30 hours with the White House [counsel], only with my approval, for purposes of transparency. Anybody needing that much time when they know there is no Russian Collusion is just someone ‘looking for trouble.’” He also said Mueller’s team “enjoys ruining people’s lives.”
The president added—“They made up a phony crime called Collusion, and when there was no Collusion they say there was Obstruction (of a phony crime that never existed). If you FIGHT BACK or say anything bad about the Rigged Witch Hunt, they scream Obstruction!”
Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin.
Afghan forces free Taliban hostages » Afghan forces rescued 149 hostages from the Taliban on Monday.
That came just hours after militants attacked a convoy of three buses traveling through a northern Kunduz province in route to Kabul, taking at least 170 hostages.
An Interior Ministry spokesman said the militants still held 21 hostages as Afghan forces continued to engage them. At least 21 Taliban militants died in the fighting.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani extended a conditional cease-fire to the insurgents during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, beginning Tuesday.
Netanyahu-Bolton news conference on Iran » Just days after Iran’s supreme leader said his country will not negotiate with the United States on a new nuclear deal, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the U.S. did the right thing by pulling the plug on the 2015 agreement.
NETANYAHU: Israel applauds the Trump administration’s determination to reimpose tough sanctions on Iran and those doing business with Iran. I know that that view is shared by all our Arab neighbors or practically everyone in this region.
President Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton traveled to Israel Monday to meet with Netanyahu …
AUDIO: Glad to see you…glad to be here.
…where they discussed strategy on how to rein in Iran’s aggression in the region and how to ensure Iran never develops nuclear weapons. Bolton said that is a top priority for the Trump administration and it’s why President Trump withdrew from what he called the “wretched” Iran nuclear deal.
BOLTON: It’s why he is reimposing economic sanctions. It’s why we have worked with our friends in Europe to convince them of the need to take stronger steps against the Iranian nuclear weapons and ballistic missile program.
Many companies are pulling out of Iran after the White House reimposed those sanctions. French oil company Total reportedly abandoned a contract this week to develop a large natural gas field in the country.
But some European countries are defying the White House, vowing to continue trading with Iran.
Genoa bridge update » An Italian news magazine reported Monday that engineering experts knew the Morandi Bridge in Genoa had weakened but did nothing about it.
The report said engineers determined back in February that corrosion had degraded metal support cables, weakening the bridge by 20 percent. But they made no effort to limit traffic across the bridge.
L’Espresso reporter Fabrizio Gatti said a reduction of 20 percent strength normally would not be significant, but officials should have paid more attention to the Morandi Bridge because it was built in the 1960s and had known flaws in its design.
43 people died when a section of the bridge collapsed last week during a storm. Prosecutors are still investigating the cause of the collapse.
Pope on sex abuse scandal » Pope Francis spoke out on Monday about the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church, following last week’s grand jury report in Pennsylvania. WORLD Radio’s Paul Butler has that story.
PAUL BUTLER, REPORTER: In a letter to Catholics around the world, Pope Francis condemned the crime of priestly sexual abuse and its cover-up by church leaders. Scandal has once again embroiled the Roman Catholic Church following the grand jury report on widespread abuse in six Pennsylvania dioceses.
The pope called for change and accountability, stating that “With shame and repentance” we acknowledge “that we were not where we should have been, that we did not act in a timely manner, realizing the magnitude and the gravity of the damage done to so many lives.” Francis added, “We showed no care for the little ones; we abandoned them.”
The pope’s critics pointed out that the letter did not list specific ideas for punishing abusers and those known to have protected them. Several cardinals implicated in sex scandals around the world still serve on the pope’s cabinet of close advisers.
Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Paul Butler.
I’m Kent Covington. Up next, insights on last week’s grand jury report implicating hundreds of pedophile priests in Pennsylvania. And later, Cal Thomas on the passing of Aretha Franklin. This is The World and Everything in It.