04:15 GMT +316 January 2019
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    The Critical Hour

    Friday News Roundup: Senate Defunds War in Yemen; Trump Advisors Sentenced

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    Wilmer Leon
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    On this episode of The Critical Hour, Dr. Wilmer Leon is joined by Colin Campbell, multimedia journalist for a number of national and international outlets; and Caleb Maupin, journalist and political analyst who focuses his coverage on US foreign policy.

    It's Friday: time for our news roundup as we look at this week's biggest stories! A fragile truce was secured after week-long negotiations in Sweden, making for the first Yemen peace talks since 2016. We'll also discuss the arrest of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei's CFO, Meng Wanzhou, which sent shock waves through the global markets. The US government alleges that Meng, who is the daughter of Huawei's founder, helped the company dodge sanctions on Iran by telling financial institutions such as HSBC that a Huawei subsidiary, Skycom, was a separate and unaffiliated company.

    Also, US District Judge William H. Pauley III sentenced President Donald Trump's former attorney Michael Cohen to three years in prison and ordered Cohen to pay nearly $2 million in penalties for financial crimes and lying to Congress. Cohen pleaded guilty in two separate cases. One was brought by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, who is investigating Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election, over Cohen's lies to Congress. The other was brought by federal prosecutors in New York over tax and bank fraud allegations and campaign finance violations.

    Lawyers for Michael T. Flynn, President Trump's first national security adviser, asked a federal judge late yesterday to spare him prison time for misleading investigators, and they suggested that the FBI agents who interviewed him last year at the White House had tricked him into lying. Mr. Flynn's lawyers said that his contrition, lengthy military service and willingness to aid the special counsel should warrant a sentence of only probation. "His cooperation was not grudging or delayed," Mr. Flynn's lawyers wrote in a sentencing memo that included letters from supporters vouching for his character. Even in accepting blame, Mr. Flynn portrayed himself as a victim of FBI tactics to trap him. His lawyers highlighted details from the interview that played into an unfounded theory that Mr. Flynn's demeanor during questioning was potential evidence that he did not lie to investigators. Their emphasis on the FBI's conduct during the interview aligns with Mr. Trump's dim view of federal law enforcement.

    The US Senate will take up a revised criminal justice bill this month, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor this week, reversing his previous resistance to acting on the measure. McConnell (R-KY) said on Tuesday that he will bring a bipartisan criminal justice bill up for a vote, marking a significant win for the legislation's supporters, including President Trump. "At the request of the president and following improvements to the legislation that have been secured by several members, the Senate will take up the recently revised criminal justice bill," McConnell said from the Senate floor.

    GUESTS:

    Colin Campbell — Multimedia journalist for a number of national and international outlets.

    Caleb Maupin — Journalist and political analyst who focuses his coverage on US foreign policy and the global system of monopoly capitalism and imperialism.

    We'd love to get your feedback at radio@sputniknews.com

    Tags:
    criminal justice, Trump administration, Robert Mueller, Yemen, Russia
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