Trump confirms his lawyer was reimbursed after payment to Stormy Daniels
President Donald Trump said on Thursday that his longtime lawyer Michael Cohen was reimbursed through a monthly retainer for a US$130,000 (S$170,000) payment made to porn actress Stormy Daniels in 2016 to stop what Trump called “false and extortionist accusations” about a decade-old affair.
In morning tweets, the President confirmed that Cohen entered into a nondisclosure agreement with Daniels, something Trump called “very common among celebrities and people of wealth.”
Trump stressed that no campaign money was used to reimburse Cohen, calling it a “private agreement.”
Trump’s explanation on Twitter came the morning after former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, a recent addition to Trump’s legal team, acknowledged for the first time that Trump had repaid Cohen – despite Trump’s assertion last month that he was unaware of the payment.
US says will be consequences for China’s South China Sea militarisation
The United States has raised concerns with China about its latest militarisation of the South China Sea and there will be near-term and long-term consequences, the White House said on Thursday.
US news network CNBC reported on Wednesday that China had installed anti-ship cruise missiles and surface-to-air missile systems on three outposts in the South China Sea. It cited sources with direct knowledge of US intelligence.
Asked about the report, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told a regular news briefing: “We’re well aware of China’s militarisation of the South China Sea. We’ve raised concerns directly with the Chinese about this and there will be near-term and long-term consequences.” Sanders did not say what the consequences might be.
Twitter says glitch exposed 'substantial' number of users' passwords
Twitter urged its more than 330 million users to change their passwords after a glitch caused some of them to be stored in plain text on its internal computer system.
The social network said it had fixed the glitch and that an internal investigation had found no indication passwords were stolen or misused by insiders, but it urged all users to consider changing their passwords "out of an abundance of caution."
The blog did not say how many passwords were affected. But a person familiar with the company's response said the number was "substantial" and that they were exposed for "several months".
Oscars academy expels actor Bill Cosby, director Roman Polanski
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said on Thursday that it has expelled actor Bill Cosby and film director Roman Polanski from its membership in light of the sexual assault cases against both men.
The Academy’s board of governors met on Tuesday night and voted to strip both men of membership “in accordance with the organisation’s Standards of Conduct”, said a statement from the body which hands out the Oscars.
“The Board continues to encourage ethical standards that require members to uphold the Academy’s values of respect for human dignity,” it added.
Football: Atletico beat Arsenal to reach Europa League final
Diego Costa killed Arsene Wenger’s last hope of a glorious Arsenal farewell as his goal sent Atletico Madrid through to the Europa League final on Thursday.
Wenger’s 250th European fixture with Arsenal also proved to be his last, decided by a typically ruthless finish from Costa, who delivered the sort of barnstorming display defenders must have nightmares about.
Arsenal’s defence, fragile and nervous throughout, were particularly susceptible and this 1-0 defeat, 2-1 on aggregate, means Wenger’s final season in charge will end with his team missing out on Champions League qualification for a second year in a row.