Trump claims ex-lawyer’s phone-taping is ‘perhaps illegal’

US President Donald Trump stands during a joint statement at the White House. (Reuters)
Updated 21 July 2018
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Trump claims ex-lawyer’s phone-taping is ‘perhaps illegal’

  • Attorney Michael Cohen made a secret recording about a potential payment for former Playboy model
  • "Your favorite President did nothing wrong!” Trump tweeted

BRIDGEWATER/ NEW JERSEY: President Donald Trump is asserting that his former personal lawyer’s taping of their private phone conversations is “totally unheard of & perhaps illegal.”
Trump is responding to the revelation that attorney Michael Cohen made a secret recording of their discussion about a potential payment for a former Playboy model’s account of having an affair with Trump. That conversation took place weeks before Trump’s November 2016 election.
Trump tweets: “The good news is that your favorite President did nothing wrong!” His lawyer has said the payment was never made.
The recording was part of the documents and electronic records seized by authorities from the longtime Trump fixer earlier this year.
Since then, Cohen has publicly distanced himself from the president and remains under investigation by the government.


Speed control on Taiwan train ‘malfunctioned’ before deadly accident

Updated 9 min 44 sec ago
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Speed control on Taiwan train ‘malfunctioned’ before deadly accident

  • The train came off the rails on a curve while moving at close to 140 kilometers per hour
  • Derailments are not uncommon in Taiwan, but deadly accidents are rare

YILAN, Taiwan: A speed control system was not functioning when a train in Taiwan crashed killing 18 people and injuring 187, in the island’s worst rail disaster in decades, a top investigator said on Tuesday.
It was not clear whether the system, called automatic train protection, had switched off by itself or had been manually disabled before the accident on Sunday, the head of a government-led investigation team, Wu Ze-cheng, said.
“If the train was above the speed limit, the system should automatically slow it down. It seems like the system had failed. Why? We need more investigation,” Wu said.
The train came off the rails on a curve while moving at close to 140 kilometers per hour, above the speed limit of 74 kph, Wu said.
More investigation was needed to determine the cause, he added.
The driver of the train, You Zhen-zhong, 48, was granted bail of T$500,000 ($16,167) on Tuesday after being detained for investigation, the Taiwan Railways Administration said.
You had been treated in hospital following the accident in Yilan county, in the island’s mountainous northeast.
The train data recorder, which tracks speed, among other things, had been sent to prosecutors to be examined.
The disaster was Taiwan’s deadliest rail accident since a 1981 collision that killed 30 people.
The head of the state railway administration, Lu Jie-shen, had offered to resign but that was not accepted by the transport minister, the railway authority said.
Premier William Lai apologized for the accident on behalf of the government.
“People expected the railway to be the safest,” Lai told parliament.
“I apologize to the people on behalf of the Executive Yuan,” he said, referring to the island’s cabinet.
Train derailments are not uncommon on the island, which has rough, mountainous terrain, but deadly accidents are rare.