Republican candidate is master of his domains, even ones that bash him

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures while speaking healthcare, on Tuesday, in King of Prussia, Pa. (AP)
Updated 02 November 2016
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Republican candidate is master of his domains, even ones that bash him

WASHINGTON: Whoever owns donaldtrumpsucks.com must really hate Donald Trump, right? Wrong! It’s the Donald himself.
The same goes for no2trump.com, trumpmustgo.com and two dozen other web addresses that sound like they’re bashing the billionaire, his business interests or his political aspirations.
What would Trump want with such insulting domains? Easy. To make sure his critics and rivals can’t have them.
He and his Trump Organization own more than 3,600 web addresses, according to the research firm DomainIQ. The vast majority bear the names of his properties, products and progeny. There are 274 domains alone featuring the name of Trump’s daughter Ivanka.
And then there are the ones that seem better suited for the anti-Trump crowd: Eight domains ending in “scheme,” eight ending in “fraud” and eight ending in “sucks.”
It is common for businesses and celebrities to scoop up and sit on web addresses that could be used to mock or attack them.
“Domains are cheap,” branding expert Rebecca Lieb said. “Mopping up when somebody acquires a domain and does something malicious with it is expensive.”
Trump’s collection of web addresses good and bad is far more extensive than that of any candidate before. He and the Trump Organization own a few hundred more than Target Corp. or General Motors.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign owns 70, according to DomainIQ, though none appear to be the kind of derogatory names Trump has registered. Her family’s foundation owns 214 domains, including four ending in .xxx.
“Mr. Trump has built a globally recognized, highly successful brand, and it’s only natural he would attempt to protect his name and his brand in all respects,” Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks said in an e-mail Monday.
Web addresses cost just a few bucks to register. After that, you can sell them to the highest bidder — unless someone steps in and successfully claims that the domain involves a trademark.
That’s how Trump has gotten his hands on Trump-related addresses that other people registered before he could. His lawyers have sent cease-and-desist letters and gone to arbitration at least 40 times to force outsiders to hand over domains, including MelaniaTrump.com.
Trump and his team didn’t take any chances in 2009 when he created the Trump Network brand to sell vitamins, urine tests and other health products. They quietly scooped up 18 negative domain names, including DonaldTrumpPonziScheme.com and TrumpNetworkFraud.com.


France’s Nicolas Sarkozy loses bid to avoid influence peddling trial

Updated 19 June 2019
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France’s Nicolas Sarkozy loses bid to avoid influence peddling trial

  • Sarkozy is accused of offering to help a judge win promotion
  • Sarkozy’s lawyers have previously argued that magistrates investigating the alleged secret Libyan funding exceeded their powers

PARIS: Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy will stand trial for influence peddling after the country's highest court rejected his final bid to have the case thrown out, his lawyer said on Wednesday.
Sarkozy is accused of offering to help a judge win promotion in return for leaked information about a separate inquiry. He has consistently denied any wrongdoing.
The case came about after investigators used phone-taps to examine allegations that late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi funded Sarkozy’s successful campaign for the presidency in 2007.
As they eavesdropped on his calls, the investigators began to suspect the former president had offered the judge promotion in return for information on another investigation involving allegations Sarkozy accepted illicit payments from L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt for the same campaign.
Sarkozy’s lawyers have previously argued that magistrates investigating the alleged secret Libyan funding exceeded their powers and went on a “fishing expedition” by tapping his conversations between September 2013 and March 2014, breaching lawyer-client privilege.
He was cleared over the Bettencourt allegations.
On Wednesday, his defence team said the use in this case of wiretapped remarks gleaned in relation to a different investigation contravened a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights.
"These legal issues are still relevant," Sarkozy lawyer Jacqueline Laffont said. "It will be for the court to decide whether a French court can override a decision of the European Court of Human Rights."
Wednesday's ruling that the trial proceed came from the 'Cour de Cassation', which decides whether an earlier decision by an appeals court conforms with French law.