from bad to worse
August 6, 2019

Anxiety over the U.S.-China trade war is continuing to heighten after the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Nasdaq Composite, and S&P 500 all had their worst day of 2019.

This market turmoil occurred on Monday after China devalued its currency and after President Trump announced new tariffs on Chinese imports. The Dow was down 767 points by the end of the day.

Investors, Axios reports, are starting to fear that the trade war "could do massive damage to the entire global economy." The report goes on to cite Jim Paulsen, The Leuthold Group chief investment strategist, who in a memo to clients on Monday wrote, "If the stimulus introduced about the globe in the last six to nine months does not trigger at least some bounce in the economic and earnings recovery, it won't be recession fears that will spike, it will be depression fears."

The Treasury Department later on Monday officially labeled China a currency manipulator in yet another escalation of the trade war. Amid Monday's market turmoil, Lawrence Summers, who served as National Economic Council director under former President Obama, warned that "we may well be at the most dangerous financial moment since the 2009 Financial Crisis." Brendan Morrow

April 9, 2019

Actress Lori Loughlin is now facing an additional charge over her role in the alleged nationwide college admissions cheating scandal.

Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, on Tuesday were indicted by a grand jury, which added on a new money laundering charge, per Variety. The Full House actress and her husband had previously been charged in a criminal complaint with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, The New York Times reports. Fourteen others were also indicted on Tuesday and hit with this new money laundering charge.

These charges come as part of an investigation into an alleged scam that involved parents paying bribes to get their children into prestigious colleges. Prosecutors say Loughlin and her husband paid $500,000 in order to get their daughters into the University of Southern California as rowing recruits, when in reality, neither of them row, per the Times. Loughlin allegedly paid Key Worldwide Foundation, which prosecutors have described as a fake charity that was used to launder these bribes.

Actress Felicity Huffman was among those on Monday who said they would plead guilty to the charges against them. Prosecutors are reportedly seeking jail time for the defendants. Brendan Morrow

December 12, 2018

The National Enquirer's publisher is cooperating with New York prosecutors, telling them that it paid one of the women alleging she had an affair with President Trump $150,000 and did so specifically to prevent her from influencing the election.

The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York said Wednesday that prosecutors reached a non-prosecution agreement with American Media, Inc., the Enquirer's publisher, and that as part of this agreement, AMI says it "made the $150,000 payment in concert with a candidate's presidential campaign, and in order to ensure that the woman did not publicize damaging allegations about the candidate before the 2016 presidential election," per NBC News.

Karen McDougal, a model, says she had an affair with Trump in 2006 and 2007, which Trump denies. Prosecutors also say AMI has admitted the "principal purpose" of paying McDougal was to "suppress" her story and "prevent it from influencing the election."

This news comes after Trump's ex-lawyer, Michael Cohen, was sentenced to three years in prison in part due to his role in violating campaign finance laws by paying McDougal in order to keep her silent about an alleged affair. Cohen did not pay McDougal directly but rather made arrangements for AMI to purchase the rights to her story but not publish it.

AMI's admission in court stands in contrast to its 2016 statement to The Wall Street Journal: "AMI has not paid people to kill damaging stories about Mr. Trump." Brendan Morrow

November 26, 2018

Two nooses were found hanging at the Mississippi State Capitol, and police are currently reviewing surveillance video as part of an investigation, WLBT reports.

In addition to the nooses, pictures of which have been published online, what WLBT describes as several "hate signs" were also found. It's not yet clear what might have been written on these signs, and police have provided no other details. WAPT reports that a total of six signs were found.

This comes one day ahead of Mississippi's Senate run-off election, during which incumbent Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) is fending off a challenge from Democrat Mike Espy. Normally, Hyde-Smith's victory would be considered a slam dunk, but her campaign has been engulfed in a number of controversies over the past few weeks, which began when she said of a supporter, "If he invited me to a public hanging, I'd be on the front row." Hyde-Smith later said this was simply an "exaggerated expression of regard," per The Washington Post, but the explanation didn't sit well with many, including Walmart, which pulled its support and asked for its donation back.

Democrats have jumped on Hyde-Smith's remarks in the final stretch of the election in hopes of driving turnout, especially among black voters. Espy, who if elected would be the first black Senator from the state since Reconstruction, said in a debate last week, "We can't afford a senator who embarrasses us and reinforces the stereotypes we've worked so hard to overcome." Trump is set to hold two rallies in support of Hyde-Smith on Monday. Brendan Morrow

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