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Day 918

1/ Rudy Giuliani conceded that he made “false” and defamatory statements that two Georgia election workers had mishandled ballots while counting votes in Atlanta during the 2020 election. Although Giuliani is no longer contesting the accusations by Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss, he argued that his false claims were “constitutionally protected” speech and didn’t damage the women. In 2021, Freeman and Moss sued Giuliani, accusing him of defaming them when he falsely claimed they had engaged in fraud while counting ballots at State Farm Arena in Atlanta. The lawsuit also accused Giuliani of promoting a selectively edited video that purportedly showed the two women manipulating ballots, which made them the targets of a conspiracy theory spread by Trump and his allies. (Associated Press / NPR / CNN / Washington Post / New York Times / NBC News / Wall Street Journal)

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Just a little something from “down-under” Your Sec. of State Antony Blinken is currently in NZ, after visiting Tonga and his next stop is Aus. and catching up on the US vs Netherlands Game in the Womans Football World Cup (1 all draw) .

With New Zealand co-hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup, Mahuta said there was “nothing like a bit of sports diplomacy,” and offered Secretary Blinken a welcome to New Zealand.

Blinken spoke about the “incredible quality and depth” of conversations with Mahuta and Prime Minister Chris Hipkins on his first ever visit to New Zealand.

“Some things in life actually occasionally exceed even your highest expectations and I can safely say that’s already the case. It’s really wonderful to be here, the welcome ceremony that you honoured us with today is something I will never forget and I thank you for it.”

He also raised something he said was not on the agenda: “We are very closely monitoring the situation and developments in Niger. I spoke with President [Mohamed] Bazoum earlier this morning and made it clear that the United States resolutely supports him as the democratically elected president of Niger”.

“We call for his immediate release, we condemn any effort to seize power by force. We’re actively engaged with the Niger government but also with partners in the region, and around the world, we’ll continue to do so until the situation is resolved appropriately and peacefully.”

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