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FBI raids Trump’s private lawyer Michael Cohen’s office

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Security outside offices of US President Donald Tump's lawyer Michael Cohen, New York, US. Reuters photo

WASHINGTON — FBI agents have raided the home and office of US President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen, seizing business records that reportedly include details of payments to porn star Stormy Daniels.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, claims to have had an affair with Trump a decade ago, and was paid $130,000 in the weeks before the 2016 election to keep quiet about it.

Asked about the payment and the reported non-disclosure agreement Daniels had signed (but Trump had not), the president said he had no knowledge of it.

Federal prosecutors in New York are investigating Cohen for possible bank fraud over the payment, according to The New York Times.

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The search warrants were executed by the office of the US Attorney for Southern District of New York but they were ‘in part’ related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

“The decision by the US Attorney’s Office in New York to conduct their investigation using search warrants is completely inappropriate and unnecessary,” Mr Mr Cohen’s lawyer Stephen Ryan said in a statement.

“It resulted in the unnecessary seizure of protected attorney-client communications between a lawyer and his clients.”

Mr Ryan did not elaborate further on the contents taken, but a source said the FBI seized emails, tax documents and business records, The New York Times reported.

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Maldives opposition legislator Ibrahim Mohamed Solih wins presidency

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MALE — Maldives opposition legislator Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has beaten incumbent Abdulla Yameen according to provisional results, the country’s Elections Commission says.

Results released by the Elections Commission showed Mr Solih securing 133,808 votes (58.3 percent) compared to the 95,526 for incumbent Abdulla Yameen. The voter turnout was over 88 per cent out of the 262,000-strong electorate.

The Maldives government has acknowledged the opposition’s victory after the vote on Sunday, a surprise defeat for President Abdulla Yameen who was widely expected to win.

There were no other candidates.

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Mr Solih had the backing of a united opposition trying to oust Mr Yameen, but struggled for visibility with the electorate, with local media fearful of falling afoul of heavy-handed decrees and reporting restrictions.

“I call on Yameen to respect the will of the people and bring about a peaceful, smooth transfer of power,” Solih said on television, shortly after interim results from the country’s election commission.

“We have won this election with a comfortable majority,” Solih said.

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