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Michael Cohen Admits Making Illegal Payments To Porn Star ‘At Direction’ Of Trump

This is a developing story.

Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former longtime personal attorney, has pleaded guilty to eight counts in federal court.

Cohen pled guilty to evading personal income taxes, making an unlawful corporate campaign contribution, making a false statement to a financial institution and making an excessive campaign contribution in October 2016, the Washington Post reported. He could face a prison sentence of 46 to 63 months, the judge said.

Cohen was shaking head and appeared to be holding back emotions as the potential prison sentence was announced, according to the Post.

Cohen acknowledged the charges and said he was directed to violate campaign law at the direction of a candidate for federal office. Cohen said he paid $130,000 to somebody to keep them quiet, per the same candidate’s orders. It was later repaid by the candidate. He didn’t identify the candidate or silenced person, but the facts match Cohen’s payment to former porn star Stormy Daniels, who alleged that she and Trump had an affair, as well as Trump’s repayment of Cohen’s efforts.

Cohen also said that the purpose of the payments were to swing the results of the election, which Trump won.

Alyssa Fisher is a news writer at the Forward. Email her at fisher@forward.com, or follow her on Twitter at @alyssalfisher

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Larry Kudlow ‘Sorry’ For Inviting White Nationalist To House Party

Larry Kudlow, President Trump’s top economic adviser, has reportedly admitted inviting an old friend who is also a well-known white nationalist to his birthday party.

Kudlow said he didn’t know about Peter Brimelow’s well-konwn embrace of radical white nationalist views when he invited him to the shindig in Connecticut over the weekend.

“If I had known this, we would never have invited him,” Kudlow told the Washington Post. “I’m disappointed and saddened to hear about it.”

A White House speechwriter was fired on Monday over revelations that he had appeareda alongside Brimelow in 2016.

WhiBrimelow has long personally rejected the label of “white nationalist.” But he has acknnowledged publishing writers who “stand up for whites just as Zionists, black nationalists do for Jews, blacks, etc.”

News

Israel Bans Juul E-Cigarettes Over Health Concerns

JERUSALEM, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Israel on Tuesday outlawed the import and sale of e-cigarettes made by Silicon Valley start-up Juul Labs, citing public health concerns given their nicotine content.

A statement by Israel’s Health Ministry said the Juul device was banned because it contains nicotine at a concentration higher than 20 milligrams per milliliter and poses “a grave risk to public health.”

Since launching in 2015, the flash drive-sized vaping device has transformed the market in the United States, where it now accounts for nearly 70 percent of tracked e-cigarette sales.

In a statement Tuesday, Juul Labs Inc said it was “incredibly disappointed” with what it called a “misguided” decision by the government in Israel. The San Francisco company said it planned to appeal the ban, adding that its devices provide smokers “a true alternative to combustible cigarettes.”

The Israeli move was consistent with similar restrictions in Europe, the ministry’s statement said.

The ban, which goes into effect in 15 days, was signed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who also holds the health portfolio.

Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reported in May that Juul e-cigarettes were already available for purchase at 30 locations around the country.

Juul says it targets adult smokers, but it has faced scrutiny over the popularity of its products with teenagers.

In April the U.S. Food and Drug Administration launched a crackdown on the sale of e-cigarettes and tobacco products to minors, particularly those developed by Juul Labs.

Adelsons Give $25 Million To Keep Senate In GOP Control

Republican megadonors Sheldon and Miriam Adelson gave $25 million last month to the Senate Leadership Fund, the super PAC aiming to keep the Senate in Republican control, Politico reported.

Their $25 million contribution made up almost the entire haul of $26 million that the Senate Leadership Fund brought in last month and more than half of the $44 million it’s raised this year.

The super PAC had $45.2 million in cash on hand on July 31, according to the most recent filing.

The Adelsons also gave $25 million in May to the Congressional Leadership Fund, the main super PAC charged with helping House Republicans.

Contact Aisha Tahir at tahir@forward.com or on Twitter, @aishatahir

News

Synagogue Religious School Cancelled After Members Receive Threatening Letters

Police and the FBI are investigating after several members of a synagogue in Raleigh, North Carolina, received threatening letters over the weekend, The News & Observer reported Monday.

Members of Temple Beth Or’s board received a copy of the same letter that contained “threatening language” on Saturday, Robert Gleiberman, executive director of the synagogue, told The News & Observer.

Gleiberman did not specify what the letters said, but according to local station WRAL, he said it involved a “specific threat” and “hateful rhetoric.”

The Raleigh Police Department is investigating with help from the FBI.

Each letter was addressed to the respective member’s home, and there was no return address. Temple Beth Or canceled religious school the next day.

Otherwise, the synagogue’s program is proceeding as normal, Gleiberman said.

“It’s always disturbing when something like that happens,” he said. “If the authorities let us know there’s anything more to it we’ll take the appropriate action, but right now we’re just moving on.”

Alyssa Fisher is a news writer at the Forward. Email her at fisher@forward.com, or follow her on Twitter at @alyssalfisher

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