Trump scores a 'total victory' after federal judge dismisses Stormy Daniels' lawsuit and orders her to pay his legal fees

Stormy Daniels

  • President Donald Trump’s attorneys scored a victory in court when a federal judge dismissed adult film actress Stormy Daniels’ defamation lawsuit against Trump.
  • Daniels was also ordered to pay Trump’s legal fees.
  • Daniels, who said she had an affair with Trump in 2006, sued him in April after he called her claim that she had been threatened by a unidentified man in 2011 “a total con job.”
  • Daniels said the man warned her not to publicize her purported sexual affair with Trump.
  • Michael Avenatti, who represents Daniels, said he would appeal the decision.

President Donald Trump’s attorneys scored a victory in court when a federal judge dismissed adult film actress Stormy Daniels’ defamation lawsuit against Trump on First Amendment grounds and ordered her to pay Trump’s legal fees.

“No amount of spin or commentary by Stormy Daniels or her lawyer, [Michael] Avenatti, can truthfully characterize today’s ruling in any way other than total victory for President Trump and total defeat for Stormy Daniels,” Charles Harder, an attorney for Trump, said in a statement to Business Insider.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, sued Trump in April after he described her allegations of being threatened by a unidentified man in 2011 as “a total con job.” Daniels, who claimed she had a sexual affair with Trump in 2006, said the man accosted her in a parking lot and told her to “leave Trump alone.”

“Mr. Trump used his national and international audience of millions of people to make a false factual statement to denigrate and attack Ms. Clifford,” the federal court complaint said at the time.

Harder argued that Trump’s statement ought to be considered protected speech and that Daniels did not identify specific damages.

“The Court agrees with Mr. Trump’s argument because the tweet in question constitutes ‘rhetorical hyperbole’ normally associated with politics and public discourse in the United States,” US District Judge James Otero wrote in his opinion. “The First Amendment protects this type of rhetorical statement.”

Avenatti said in a statement that he would appeal the decision and that Daniels’ lawsuits against Trump and Michael Cohen, Trump’s former attorney, would “proceed unaffected.”

“Trump’s contrary claims are as deceptive as his claims about the inauguration attendance,” Avenatti said in a tweet on Monday. “We will appeal the dismissal of the defamation cause of action and are confident in a reversal.”

SEE ALSO: Michael Cohen’s lawyer made a bombshell admission about the $130,000 ‘hush agreement’ with Stormy Daniels

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A Church Is at the Center of Some Ritualistic Killings in This Criminal Minds Sneak Peek –

Ritualistic murders are the MO on this week’s Criminal Minds, and it seems as if a church is in the center of it. As seen in TV Guide’s exclusive clip of Wednesday’s new episode “Innocence,” Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) and Lewis (Aisha Tyler) are looking for answers about their latest victim at a church. Let’s just say the pastor doesn’t come off as the “God is love” type.

The victim was reportedly last seen at the church, but the church is denying she was there, saying that she stopped coming a month ago. Things get even more aggressive when the pastor alleges she “gave up God’s protection” when she decided to stop coming to church. Whoa, bro! Seriously?

It’s clear that Reid and Lewis think there’s something up with the church and their weirdly aggressive attitude. But being a bit extra and participating in ritualistic murders are two separate things. Nevertheless, this guy is at the top of our suspect list.

Discover your new favorite show: Watch This Now!

Criminal Minds airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on CBS.

(Full disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS.)

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High-profile lawyer Adam Magill among four charged with fraud and money laundering offences –

High-profile lawyer Adam Magill is among four men charged with fraud and money laundering offences following an 18-month investigation into his Queensland law firm.

The Brisbane men were arrested after Crime and Corruption Commission investigators allegedly uncovered fraud against Legal Aid Queensland valued about $340,000.

A failure to comply with a legal requirement to deposit more than $765,000 into a trust account was also allegedly discovered.

The CCC will also allege some of the men laundered the proceeds of serious criminal offences.

Adam Magill has been charged with fraud and money laundering offences.

Adam Magill has been charged with fraud and money laundering offences. (AAP)

Mr Magill, 47, was arrested at his Tarragindi home this morning and charged with two counts of aggravated fraud, fraudulent falsification of records and aggravated money laundering.

He was remanded in custody and is expected to appear in Brisbane Magistrates Court tomorrow.

Mitch Cunningham and Corey Cullen – criminal lawyers who worked at Mr Magill’s firm – were also arrested and charged with aggravated fraud. 

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Both men were bailed to appear in Brisbane Magistrates Court on November 19.

A 30-year-old Inala man was also charged with aggravated fraud and aggravated money laundering.

The man was also remanded in custody and is expected to appear in Pine Rivers Magistrates Court tomorrow.

Adam Magill (right) represented Karmichael Hunt when the rugby star was charged with drug offences.

Adam Magill (right) represented Karmichael Hunt when the rugby star was charged with drug offences. (AAP)

CCC Chairman Alan MacSporran QC said any fraud committed on Legal Aid Queensland was fraud against the state’s taxpayers and had the potential to interfere with the administration of justice.

"The fact some of these allegations relate to individuals involved in the legal profession is (also) concerning," he said in a statement today.

More arrests are expected in the coming days.

The probe into the legal fraternity has seen several high-profile lawyers fall from grace.

Tim Meehan, who defended Daniel Morcombe’s killer Brett Peter Cowan, was last year sentenced to five years in jail for fraud.

© Nine Digital Pty Ltd 2018

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This $500 device wants to make it easy for you to ditch your Google or Yahoo email account and run your own, private email server

Helm email server

  • Helm, a $500 device with a $99 yearly subscription plan, lets you operate an email server out of your own home. 
  • Your email and data is stored on the device in your home, and it’s encrypted before traveling through Helm’s servers. 
  • Helm claims to collect very little information from its users — just the necessary payment information and device diagnostics.
  • While no server is completely secure, this could provide peace of mind to people who don’t trust large tech companies to protect their data. 

It’s not hard to get the impression that big tech companies can’t effectively keep our data safe. 

Just in the past few weeks, Google disclosed a security bug that exposed hundreds of thousands of private accounts on the Google+ social network. Facebook admitted that 29 million users had private information stolen. It’s easy to decide to quit using social media sites, but nearly everyone needs or uses an email service. Email is the backbone of every internet account — you almost can’t get by in life these days without an email address. 

One solution is to run your own in-house email server, as plenty of companies and tech-savvy individuals do. 

This means that a private entity is in control of the email server and all of the information stored there. There’s no need to place your trust in a tech company that has proven itself to be vulnerable to security bugs or breaches. 

But if you’re not an IT pro, the idea of setting  up an email server can be pretty intimidating. That’s where Helm comes in.

Helm wants to make that a reality for the everyday email user — someone who probably wouldn’t know how to set up an email server from scratch. Helm’s $500 device is an in-home email server, meaning all of your data and emails are stored on the device right in your home. Helm doesn’t collect much information about its users besides the necessary details like payment information and device diagnostics, and any communication or data are encrypted when they leave the Helm device. 

With traditional email services like Gmail or Yahoo, your data and emails are stored on a server controlled by the email provider. You don’t have much control over what that company does with your data.

Helm stores your emails and data in your home, but that doesn’t mean it’s completely safe. Any server can be attacked, regardless of where it’s located. However, you’re paying for the control over your emails and the ability to be free from a tech company storing your data. Helm also says it hires hackers to try to locate vulnerabilities in the device or its software, and it plans to release improvements and boost security through future software updates. 

You can choose to store a backup of your emails on Helm’s servers, but those backups are encrypted and require your security key in order to be decrypted. 

Helm features a standard 120GB of storage, but that can be increased to up to 5TB with additional hardware. The device also comes with physical encryption keys for encrypting data locally on the machine and offline for a secure backup. The device costs $500, and has a $99 subscription fee for every year after the included one-year subscription. 

For more information, or to purchase a device, visit Helm’s website here

SEE ALSO: This clever $35 iPhone case has a scroll wheel with six built-in lenses — and it turns your phone camera into a Swiss-army knife for taking pictures

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Three Brisbane lawyers charged with fraud by Queensland anti-corruption watchdog – Courier Mail

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Courier Mail

Three Brisbane lawyers charged with fraud by Queensland anti-corruption watchdog
Courier Mail
HIGH profile Brisbane criminal lawyer Adam Magill has been charged with aggravated fraud, along with two solicitors who previously worked for his law firm. The Crime and Corruption Commission said the arrests were the result of Operation Stockade, …
High-profile lawyer Adam Magill among four charged with fraud and money laundering

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Apple CEO Tim Cook demands Bloomberg retract its report on Chinese chip hacking: 'There is no truth in their story' (AAPL)

Tim Cook

  • Bloomberg reported in early October that Chinese spies had infiltrated US companies, including Apple, by planting microchips on motherboards that ended up in their servers.
  • Apple released a statement denying the report’s findings, but CEO Tim Cook took it a step further and called on Bloomberg to retract the story in an interview with BuzzFeed News.
  • Cook’s comment was an unusually aggressive move by the CEO toward the news organization.

In an interview with BuzzFeed News published Friday, Apple CEO Tim Cook called on Bloomberg to retract a contentious investigative report that found that Chinese spies used microchips to infiltrate several major US tech companies.

Though Apple released a statement denying Bloomberg’s findings soon after it published the investigation, Cook’s comment to BuzzFeed News was the first time the CEO had spoken publicly about it, and it marks an unusually confrontational move by the head of the world’s most valuable tech company.

“There is no truth in their story about Apple,” Cook told BuzzFeed News. “They need to do that right thing and retract it.”

Bloomberg found that Chinese spies managed to implant tiny chips on computer motherboards made by Supermicro Computer and put in servers used by several of the largest US tech companies, including Amazon and Apple. The chips were designed to provide secret access to private data on the machines, the report said.

Since the report was published, a series of statements from government officials and information-security professionals — including some named in the stories — has cast doubt on its main findings.

Read more about the controversy over Bloomberg’s chip-hacking story »

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Criminal Minds Is Delivering Even More Romance In Season 14 – Cinema Blend

Criminal Minds generally isn’t the show many of us think of when it comes to television romance, and the show has always focused more on catching criminals than sending its characters into the dating pool. Well, one big romance already began blooming (or re-blooming, in this case) in Season 14, and now another is in the works. Emily Prentiss is getting a love interest, and he should be able to keep up with her.

The new love interest for Emily Prentiss will be a Supervisory Special Agent by the name of Andrew Mendoza. Stephen Bishop of Imposters fame landed the role. You don’t have to worry that Mendoza will be introduced in one episode and then solely exist as an off-screen love interest for Prentiss. TVLine reports that Bishop is on board to recur in Season 14, so we should see a decent amount of him.

You also don’t have to worry that Prentiss and Mendoza will bond over something mundane. They’ll come together in an exceedingly Criminal Minds kind of way. She’ll meet him in an unexpected way, and showrunner Erica Messer (who recently weighed in on how long she thinks Criminal Minds should last) states that “they are able to kind of hit it off even though” the circumstances aren’t ideal for building a romance.

What are these circumstances? Well, unsurprisingly, they will be bloody. The episode will center on a situation in which someone is being killed every 27 minutes in Washington. The murder weapon? A machete. Erica Messer also teased that the episode “almost plays in real-time,” so it should be an intense hour of television.

For this case, Pretiss will be working closely with the field office in Washington, and she’ll have to collaborate with Mendoza, whose position is more or less equal to hers in her own office. Unless Mendoza is transferred to the BAU we all know and love, these two won’t be direct coworkers as they work out their feelings for each. That’s probably good news for the rest of the BAU!

Honestly, good for Prentiss that she’s getting some love in Season 14, along with Rossi. Given that Season 14 could be the final for the long-running series, perhaps the introduction of Mendoza could lead to a happily-ever-after for Prentiss. Of course, that wouldn’t be riding off into the sunset for somebody like her, but she deserves to be happy.

Three episodes of the 15 that were ordered for Season 14 have already aired, and one of those was the 300-episode milestone. If Criminal Minds does wind up cancelled at the end of Season 14, nobody can claim that it wasn’t a successful series for CBS. Ending at Season 14 would mean it falls short of someday matching the season count of fellow CBS show NCIS or NBC’s juggernaut Law & Order: SVU. We’ll have to wait and see.

Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long to see Stephen Bishop in action as SSA Andrew Mendoza. New episodes of Criminal Minds air on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on CBS. For more viewing options now and in the not-too-distant future, swing by our fall TV premiere schedule.

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Lawyer Al Watkins apologizes for violating gag order in Greitens criminal case –

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Lawyer Al Watkins apologizes for violating gag order in Greitens criminal case
In the seven-minute hearing, Watkins acknowledged that he violated an order by St. Louis Circuit Judge Rex Burlison prohibiting prosecutors, Greitens and his lawyers, and witnesses and their lawyers from discussing the case. The intent of the order was

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Facebook is battling a tidal wave of fake news and misinformation on WhatsApp in Brazil (FB)

Jair Bolsonaro protest brazil

  • Facebook is battling a wave of fake news and disinformation in Brazil.
  • Business groups have been spreading hoaxes supporting the far-right candidate in the presidential election, and ones study found half of all political content being shared was false or misleading.
  • It shows how Facebook still struggles to police content on its platforms, and the seismic consequences this can have around the world.

Facebook is currently battling a deluge of digital misinformation and fake news ahead of a contentious election featuring a bombastic, far-right populist candidate. It’s like 2016 all over again — but this time, the misinformation is spreading on messaging app WhatsApp, which Facebook owns, and the election is in Brazil. 

Brazil is currently in the middle of its presidential election, which is pitting the far-right Jair Bolsonaro against left-wing Fernando Haddad. Bolsonaro, who came out in front in a first-round vote but failed to win outright, has espoused extreme, nationalistic views, including opposition to equal marriage, support for torture, and more lethal tactics by police

Unlike in the US, WhatsApp is extremely popular and widespread in Brazil as a standard communication app — but hoaxes and false information can spread like wildfire on the platform. Writing in The New York Times recently, researchers found that the majority of the most popular political content shared on the app in Brazil is either false or misleading.

There are coordinated efforts to spread falsehoods, too: Hundreds of entrepreneurs and business groups have been actively pushing pro-Bolsonaro misinformation via WhatsApp via an illegal campaign, according to a report from Brazilian newspaper Folha de São Paulo

There is no easy answer for Facebook. WhatsApp’s messages are end-to-end encrypted, meaning the company can’t view the content and proactively moderate like it might on Facebook’s newsfeed, or on Instagram or Messenger (which can encrypt messages, but doesn’t by default). 

But this chaos illustrates how — even as Facebook touts improvements in security and preparedness — it still faces struggles in policing unethical behaviour on its services, and the potentially seismic impact this can have on politics around the world.

Reached for comment, a WhatsApp spokesperson pointed towards a recent column by the app’s boss, Chris Daniels, and provided a statement: “WhatsApp has proactively banned hundreds of thousands of accounts during the Brazilian election period. We have best-in-class spam detection technology that spots accounts that engage in abnormal behavior so they can’t be used to spread spam or misinformation. We’re also taking immediate legal action to stop companies from sending bulk messages on WhatsApp and have already banned accounts associated with those companies.”

The spokesperson did not respond to Business Insider’s subsequent questions and requests to talk on the record about the steps WhatsApp is taking.

In Daniels’ column, he flags a “forwarding” label, new controls for group admins, and a public education campaign among the measures WhatsApp is taking to try and tackle the problem. 

Do you work at Facebook? Got a tip? Contact this reporter via Signal or WhatsApp at +1 (650) 636-6268 using a non-work phone, email at, WeChat at robaeprice, or Twitter DM at @robaeprice. (PR pitches by email only, please.) You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.

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Criminal Minds Love Interest to Be Played by Imposters' Stephen Bishop – TVLine

Can two people “meet cute” over bloody machetes…?

Criminal Minds will answer that question when Stephen Bishop (Imposters) begins a recurring run as Andrew Mendoza, an SSA who becomes a love interest for one Special Agent Emily Prentiss (played by Paget Brewster), TVLine has learned.

As Criminal Minds showrunner Erica Messer previously told TVLine, Prentiss “meets somebody in an unexpected way” in an episode written by Erica Meredith that “almost plays in real-time, when somebody’s getting killed in Washington every 27 minutes in a machete attack.”

“Prentiss is working hand-in-hand with the Washington field office and sort of her equal in that department,” the EP added, “and they are able to kind of hit it off even though, you know…,” yeah, people are being macheted to death every 27 minutes. Not a mood setter!

In addition to his run as FBI agent Patrick on Bravo’s Imposters, Bishop’s previous TV credits include Being Mary Jane, Royal Pains and Girlfriends.

Criminal Minds‘ 15-episode Season 14 airs Wednesdays at 10/9c.

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