On Friday, a variety of news outlets around the world published the Malta Files, a cache of 150,000 documents leaked "from a Malta-based provider of legal, financial and corporate services," revealing, among other things, that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was secretly given a $25M oil tanker (!) by Azeri billionaire Mübariz Mansimov, a "friend" of Trump's who was present at the inauguration.
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The questions posed by David Cay Johnston include some tough-to-avoid queries about Trump's involvement with the mafia, the regulatory findings against his company for unfair and unsafe employment practices, and times when Trump had admitted to shading the truth or lying outright about his affairs.
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Italian police spokesman Lt. Colonel Domenico Grimaldi says that Bilal Erdoğan was able to jump bail on money laundering charges because the Saudi embassy paid the mafia to help get him clear, assisting them with fraudulent diplomatic papers and a Saudi prince disguise.
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The Associated Press reports today that GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump asked a man who was once involved in a major Mafia-linked stock fraud scheme to be a senior business adviser to the Trump real-estate empire.
His name is Felix Sater. You can follow him on Twitter.
AP reports that Sater pleaded guilty in 1998 to one count of racketeering for his role in a $40 million stock fraud scheme involving the Genovese and Bonanno mafia families.
Five years before his financial crime conviction, Sater got a year in prison in 1993 for stabbing a man’s face with a broken margarita glass.
From the AP's report:
Portions of Trump's relationship with Felix Sater, a convicted felon and government informant, have been previously known. Trump worked with the company where Sater was an executive, Bayrock Group LLC, after it rented office space from the Trump Organization as early as 2003. Sater's criminal history was effectively unknown to the public at the time, because a judge kept the relevant court records secret and Sater altered his name. When Sater's criminal past and Mafia links came to light in 2007, Trump distanced himself from Sater.
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But less than three years later, Trump renewed his ties with Sater. Sater presented business cards describing himself as a senior adviser to Donald Trump, and he had an office on the same floor as Trump's own office in New York's Trump Tower, The Associated Press learned through interviews and court records.
Trump said during an AP interview on Wednesday that he recalled only bare details of Sater.
Games that pit players against their own ignorance and paranoia are exploding in popularity. Matt M. Casey finds our love of society and storytelling at the heart of the Social Deduction genre.
It's time again to play Digging for Hoffa! Today, the FBI will dig in a field north of Detroit based on a tip from alleged mobster Tony Zerilli. Apparently, Zerilli claims Jimmy Hoffa was buried in a shallow grave about 20 miles north of where he was last spotted 38 years ago. (via CNN) Read the rest
In Italy, openly gay and devoutly Catholic anti-corruption politician Rosario Crocetta was recently elected to govern conservative Sicily
: "I will demonstrate that this region can be the most liberal in Europe." The Mafia's tried to kill him three times, so far. [Reuters] Read the rest
Marvel Comics has offered comics retailers access to a limited-edition variant cover run of "Fear Itself #6," but only if the comic-shops destroy their No. 1 issue of DC Comics' Flashpoint
and send 50 covers to Marvel:
Make no mistake, this is perfectly legal. The comic-shop proprietors would be destroying their own property, and it is their right so to do. However, this seems little different than someone buying books to burn them.
Marvel Bribes Retailers to Destroy DC Comics Read the rest
They would destroy a work of literature with the express intention of preventing another person from reading it. Anyone who does this is engaging in censorship, and Marvel Comics is agent provocateur.
This is not the first time Marvel Comics has tried this, and, according to them, previous efforts have netted tens of thousands of covers.