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Trump, Giuliani sued in federal court over role in Capitol riot

A Democratic congressman accused Donald Trump in a federal lawsuit on Tuesday of inciting the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and of conspiring with his lawyer and extremist groups to try to prevent Congress from certifying the results of the presidential election he lost to Joe Biden.

The lawsuit filed on behalf of Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson by Joseph Sellers, a Washington lawyer, and the NAACP, is part of an expected wave of litigation over the Jan. 6 riot and is believed to be the first filed by a member of Congress. Thompson, the Democratic chair of the House’s homeland security committee, could be joined by other members of Congress, lawyers said.

The case also names as defendants the Republican former president’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and groups including the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, extremist organizations that had members charged by the Justice Department with taking part in the siege. The suit seeks unspecified punitive and compensatory damages.

A Trump adviser, Jason Miller, said in a statement Tuesday that Trump did not organize the rally that preceded the riot and “did not incite or conspire to incite any violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6th.” A lawyer for Giuliani did not immediately return an email seeking comment.

The suit, filed in federal court in Washington under a Reconstruction-era law known as the Ku Klux Klan Act, comes after Trump was acquitted on Feb. 13 in a Senate impeachment trial that centred on allegations that he incited the riot that saw five people in attendance die, including a Trump supporter who was fatally shot and a Capitol police officer who was killed in circumstances that are still unclear.

Trump’s acquittal is likely to open the door to fresh legal scrutiny over his actions before and during the siege.

WATCH | McConnell highly critical of Trump despite vote to acquit:

Mitch McConnell, the Senate’s top Republican, excoriated Donald Trump on Saturday for the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, but defended his vote to acquit him at the impeachment trial. 2:49

Even some Republicans who voted to acquit Trump on Saturday acknowledged that the more proper venue to deal with Trump was in the courts, especially now that he has left the White House and lost certain legal protections that shielded him as president.

“We have a criminal justice system in this country. We have civil litigation and former presidents are not immune from being accountable by either one,” Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said from the chamber floor after the Senate voted 57-43 to find Trump guilty of the impeachment charge, a result that didn’t meet the threshold of a two-thirds majority for a conviction.

Riot a ‘foreseeable culmination,’ suit alleges

The suit traces the drawn-out effort by Trump and Giuliani to cast doubt on the election results even though courts across the country, and state election officials, repeatedly rejected their baseless allegations of fraud.

Despite evidence to the contrary, the suit says, the men portrayed the election as stolen while Trump “endorsed rather than discouraged” threats of violence from his angry supporters in the weeks leading up to the assault on the Capitol.

“The carefully orchestrated series of events that unfolded at the Save America rally and the storming of the Capitol was no accident or coincidence,” the suit says. “It was the intended and foreseeable culmination of a carefully co-ordinated campaign to interfere with the legal process required to confirm the tally of votes cast in the Electoral College.”


Rudy Giuliani, former U.S. president Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, was at the pro-Trump rally in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, where he encouraged a ‘trial by combat’ in his speech. (Jim Bourg/Reuters)

Presidents are historically afforded broad immunity from lawsuits for actions they take in their role as commander-in-chief. But the lawsuit filed Tuesday was brought against Trump in his personal, not official, capacity and alleges that none of the behaviour at issue had to do with his responsibilities as president.

“Inciting a riot, or attempting to interfere with the congressional efforts to ratify the results of the election that are commended by the Constitution, could not conceivably be within the scope of ordinary responsibilities of the president,” Sellers said in an AP interview.

“In this respect, because of his conduct, he is just like any other private citizen,” Sellers said.

Though the impeachment case focused squarely on accusations of incitement, the lawsuit more broadly accuses Trump of conspiring to disrupt the constitutional activities of Congress — namely, the certification of election results establishing Biden as the rightful winner — through a months-long effort to discredit the outcome and to lean on individual states and his own vice-president to overturn the contest.

The case against Trump was brought under a provision of the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, which was passed in response to KKK violence and prohibits violence or intimidation meant to prevent Congress or other federal officials from carrying out their constitutional duties.

“Fortunately, this hasn’t been used very much,” Sellers said. “But what we see here is so unprecedented that it’s really reminiscent of what gave rise to the enactment of this legislation right after the Civil War.”

Defending use of ‘trial by combat’

The suit cites incendiary comments that Trump and Giuliani made in the weeks leading up to the riot and on the day of it that lawyers say were designed to mobilize supporters to work to overturn the election results and to prevent the Senate’s certification process. That process was temporarily interrupted when Trump loyalists broke into the Capitol.

Giuliani has said his exhortation to those in attendance for a “trial by combat” was a Game of Thrones reference to encourage investigations of voting systems used in the Nov. 3 vote.

Dominion Voting Systems, which has headquarters in Toronto, is one of two voting software companies to target Trump allies in lawsuits.

Trump told supporters at a rally preceding the riot to “fight like hell,” but lawyers for the former president adamantly denied during the impeachment trial that he had incited the riot. They pointed to a remark during his speech in which he told the crowd to behave “peacefully” that day.

Defence lawyers are likely to revisit those assertions in the lawsuit. They may also argue, as was done during the impeachment case, that Trump’s speech was protected by the First Amendment.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday that her chamber will move to establish an independent, Sept. 11-style commission to look into the insurrection. Pelosi said the commission will “investigate and report on the facts and causes” relating to the attack and “the interference with the peaceful transfer of power.”

At the White House on Tuesday, press secretary Jen Psaki said the president supports the formation of a commission. Biden “backs efforts to shed additional light on the facts to ensure something like that never happens again,” she said.

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CBC | World News

Nvidia Sued by Angry Investors for Misclassifying Crypto Revenue

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A group of investors has sued Nvidia, alleging that they deliberately misled the wider market regarding the demand for GeForce products back in the cryptocurrency boom of 2017 – 2018. Back then, if you recall, GPU prices blew straight through the roof and stayed high for months.

According to these investors, Nvidia chose to deliberately misclassify revenue as being gaming-related when it knew otherwise. Nvidia factually made a number of statements indicating it believed cryptocurrency was a relatively small percentage of sales, with the absolute value of those sales represented in its “Crypto SKU” reporting.

This situation has been percolating for a while. Back in February 2019, I covered a report by RBC analyst Mitch Stevens, who argued Nvidia had underestimated its exposure to the cryptocurrency market by ~$ 1.3B.

RBC-Price-Increase

The complaint alleges that Nvidia knew full well where its GPUs were going, and that it misled investors into thinking this revenue would continue into the future. The complaint details a series of reports supposedly detailing exactly how GPUs were being sold that were sent to CEO Jen-Hsun Huang on an ongoing basis.

If true, this would imply that Nvidia’s decision to dramatically raise prices with the Turing generation wasn’t an accident or a misread of the market, but a deliberate effort to upsell RTX as a permanent feature worth paying for.

The fact of the matter is, Nvidia hit the Turing launch with a lot of Pascal era cards on the market and had to clear them at the same time it was trying to launch its new card family. But part of what hurt it in the early days of Turing was its own decision to raise prices as part of the RTX debut.

That decision to raise prices has never made a ton of sense to me. Confining the cost increase to the RTX 2080 Ti would have worked just fine, but raising the RTX 2080 and 2070 prices to the degree Nvidia did effectively moved them up an entire price bracket. Gamers reacted by adopting Turing more slowly than Pascal. Nvidia later cut Turing prices when the AMD Radeon 5700 and 5700 XT launched, but there was always a question as to why they’d raised prices in the first place. If Nvidia misunderstood where its own revenue was coming from, it would make more sense for the company to have raised prices on its consumer GPUs.

Of course, there’s an alternative explanation: Nvidia may have known exactly where its revenue was coming from (as this complaint alleges), and have taken the opportunity to raise prices simply because it could. According to the complaint, data from GeForce Experience was used specifically to confirm how customers were using the GeForce cards they purchased. Supposedly, data gleaned from mining GFE showed that over 60 percent of GPU sales went to miners during the Class Period.

It seems unlikely that the crypto market wound down the way Jen-Hsun had expected — the glut of Pascal cards on the market at the end of 2018 and into 2019 were obviously a problem for Nvidia’s effort to raise Turing prices — but if the allegations in this complaint are true, Nvidia knew who it was selling GPUs to throughout the period.

Now Read:

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ExtremeTechGaming – ExtremeTech

Danny Masterson, Church of Scientology Sued By Sexual Assault Accusers for Alleged Stalking & Harassment

Danny Masterson, Church of Scientology Sued By Sexual Assault Accusers for Alleged Stalking & Harassment | Entertainment Tonight

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‘Too little, too late’: B.C. government sued over delay providing $750K drug

A 21-year-old man is suing the B.C. government for its delay in providing an expensive drug that he claims could have saved him from permanent disability.

Paul Chung of Langley, B.C., says the ministry of health provided him with Soliris, in 2017, only after an intense public lobbying campaign which led the province to cover the $ 750,000-a-year drug in specific cases.

The university student says he didn’t get the drug when he needed it most — immediately after his diagnosis with atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS) the previous summer.

Chung says his charter rights to “life, liberty and security of the person” have been violated by an “arbitrary” decision that left him on permanent kidney dialysis, unable to attend work or school.

“This decision was too little, too late… as Soliris must be administered promptly after diagnosis to be effective,” Chung’s notice of civil claim reads.

According to Chung’s lawsuit, he was admitted to Langley Memorial Hospital with acute renal failure in early August 2017.

AHUS is a rare condition that affects only one in a million people and fewer than 150 Canadians. The disease causes too many blood clots to form in the blood vessels, blocking regular blood flow to the kidneys.


Chung was rushed to hospital in 2017 after completing his first year of university. He was diagnosed with a rare disease that causes kidney failure. (Paul Chung/gofundme)

Chung says he was taken to St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, where staff asked  if he had private health insurance that might cover Soliris. He didn’t, and couldn’t afford Soliris on his own. 

“[Chung] was advised a disagreement existed between the medical community and [the province] over the issue of extending coverage for aHUS treatment,” the notice of claim reads. 

Like other patients with aHUS, Chung turned to online fundraising and lobbying.

“Paul’s mother has been worried sick and continues to lose sleep. Paul’s father has [taken] time off work to care for Paul. Paul’s brother dropped his university courses in order to support Paul,” his GoFundMe page reads.

“Please pray for Paul.” 

‘The kidney had already scarred’

According to Chung’s civil claim, a Canadian drug expert committee concluded that patients like Chung could benefit from Soliris in May 2015 and other provinces approved coverage of the drug while B.C. did not.

On Nov. 20, 2017, B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix announced that Soliris would be covered on a case-by-case basis.

He said the province made the decision after reviewing policies in Saskatchewan, Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario, where coverage is provided in exceptional cases.

Chung claims he was approved for three months’ worth of Soliris on Dec. 6, 2017.


B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix announced coverage for Soliris on a case-by-case basis in November 2017. (CBC)

But he says he was also told he would need to improve to the point of not needing dialysis to justify further coverage.

His coverage was discontinued in February 2018 “due to lack of improvement and [he] remains permanently on kidney dialysis.”

“His blood results have become stable, and Paul is no longer in a life-threatening position, but the miracle feature of the drug, the recovery of the kidney did not work as the kidney had already scarred,” his GoFundMe page reads.

Chung is suing for damages including cost of care and loss of income.

‘Arbitrary, irrational and unreasonable’

Chung also wants a declaration that the province infringed rights guaranteed to him by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

“[Chung] is now on permanent kidney dialysis and his life expectancy is compromised,” the notice of civil claim reads.

“The Soliris administration was medically necessary to prevent serious harm.”

Chung claims that the government provides “expensive treatment and drugs to many residents of British Columbia in a myriad of circumstances.”

He says that the decision not to give him the drug “violated basic standards of decency” and “was arbitrary, irrational and unreasonable as it will cost more to treat [Chung] on permanent dialysis than to have administered Soliris to him.”

According to Chung’s gofundme page, it may take six to seven years for him to get a kidney transplant — but he will still need Soliris to protect the new kidney “from getting affected by the disease.”

The province has not yet filed a response to the claim.

None of the claims has been proven in court.

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CBC | Health News

Soccer star Ronaldo sued, accused of rape by Nevada woman

Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo is being sued by a Nevada woman who said he raped her in the penthouse suite of a Las Vegas hotel in 2009 and then dispatched a team of "fixers" to obstruct the criminal investigation and trick her into keeping quiet for $ 375,000 US.

The suit says the woman asked police last month to reopen the criminal case; Las Vegas police confirmed to The Associated Press on Monday that they have reopened a sexual assault case from 2009 brought by the woman named in the lawsuit. The AP does not identify those who say they have been sexually assaulted.

Ronaldo's attorney, Christian Schertz, did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment. But after a report on the case in Der Spiegel last week, he threatened to sue the German magazine, saying: "It violates the personal rights of our client Cristiano Ronaldo in an exceptionally serious way."

In a smiling Instagram video posted hours after the suit was filed, Ronaldo appears to deny the allegations.

"Fake. Fake news," said the five-time world player of the year, who moved to Juventus from Real Madrid this summer. "You want to promote by my name. It's normal. They want to be famous, to say my name. But it is part of the job. I am a happy man and all good."

The woman's attorneys did not immediately respond to a telephone message seeking comment.

The lawsuit claims that the woman, who was then 24, went with a friend to the Rain nightclub at the Palms Hotel and Casino on the night of June 12, 2009, and met Ronaldo there. It says he invited a group of people up to his suite "to enjoy the view of the Las Vegas strip" and then into the hot tub; according to the suit, he then barged in on her as she was changing, exposed himself and asked her for oral sex.

Ongoing investigation

When she refused, the lawsuit claims, he raped her.

According to the lawsuit, and confirmed by police spokesman Aden OcampoGomez to the AP, the woman named in the suit reported the attack to police the same day. OcampoGomez said she also asked for a "sexual assault test," which was performed at the University Medical Center.

The woman refused to tell police where the assault took place or assist with identifying a suspect other than to say he was a European soccer player, the spokesman said. A Portuguese citizen, Ronaldo was transferred from Manchester United to Real Madrid in the summer of 2009 for a then-record sum of 94 million euros, or about $ 130 million.

"As of now this is an ongoing investigation and no further details are being released at this time," OcampoGomez said.

The lawsuit claims that the woman's family arranged for a lawyer "who only had several years of legal experience." Negotiations left her with "intrusive thoughts, an increased sense of extreme anxiety and fearfulness, complete helplessness and passivity," the lawsuit says.

"The psychological trauma of the sexual assault, the fear of public humiliation and retaliation and the reiteration of those fears by law enforcement and medical providers left plaintiff terrified and unable to act or advocate for herself," the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit also accuses Ronaldo or those working for him of battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, coercion and fraud, abuse of a vulnerable person, racketeering and civil conspiracy, defamation, abuse of process, breach of contract, and negligence for allowing details of the confidential settlement to leak out.

It asks for general damages, special damages, punitive damages and special relief, each in excess of $ 50,000, along with interest, attorney fees and court costs.

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EA May Get Sued Over FIFA Loot Crates in Belgium

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It has been almost a year since the insulting, expensive microtransactions in Star Wars: Battlefront 2 started a backlash against loot crates in games. Electronic Arts was behind the Star Wars loot crates, so it may not come as a surprise that it has been hesitant to remove loot crates from games in Belgium, which decided earlier this year that the randomized loot crate mechanics in games from EA and other publishers constituted illegal gambling. Now, that decision may be headed for court.

The Belgian gaming commission was quick to decry the loot crate mechanisms highlighted by the Battlefront 2 controversy. In April of this year, the country decided that loot boxes that return random rewards in exchange for money count as gambling, and are therefore illegal in Belgium. The Netherlands followed shortly thereafter. Game publishers like Blizzard and 2K pulled the offending microtransactions from their games in the country, but EA seems determined to test the ban.

The firestorm of criticism over loot crates in Battlefront 2 led EA to remove them from the game, but the publisher’s FIFA titles still use loot crates. The loot crates are live everywhere, even in Belgium and the Netherlands. In Belgium, the gaming commission has reportedly referred the EA matter to the country’s public prosecutor’s office, which is investigating if EA has broken the law by leaving loot boxes in FIFA.

EA’s FIFA games sell players card packs, and those packs contain players of various skill levels. EA recently decided to disclose the odds of getting the best cards in these packs, and it uses this as part of its argument for keeping loot box mechanics. EA CFO Andrew Wilson also asserted earlier this year that loot boxes aren’t gambling because it doesn’t offer players any way to sell or cash out their cards for real money. It sure does feel like gambling, though, with some players spending thousands of dollars in pursuit of the ultimate team.

A legal case in Belgium may be exactly what EA wants. If the public prosecutor decides to bring a case, EA will have the chance to go before a judge and argue that loot boxes are not gambling. A favorable ruling could help EA justify the use of microtransactions in future games.

While Belgium is leading the way in fighting loot crates, some other countries have gone in the opposite direction. The US and New Zealand decided loot crates don’t count as gambling, but some US states have started investigations. No legislation has come of it, though.

Now read: Disney May Have Pushed EA to Pull Battlefront II Pay-to-Win Loot System Last WeekMost Gamers Hate Buying Loot Boxes, So Why Are Games Using Them?, and EA Remains Committed to Microtransactions, and That’s Partially Our Fault

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Facebook, Cambridge Analytica sued in U.S. by users over data harvesting

Facebook Inc. and the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica have been sued in the United States for obtaining information belonging to 50 million of the social media company’s users without permission.

The proposed class-action complaint filed late Tuesday night by Lauren Price, a Maryland resident, is the first of what could be many lawsuits seeking damages over Facebook’s ability to protect user data, and Cambridge Analytica’s exploitation of that data to benefit President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.

“Every Facebook user has an interest in this lawsuit, and the enforcement of their privacy rights,” John Yanchunis, a lawyer for Price, said in a phone interview on Wednesday.

The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court in San Jose, California, several hours after Facebook was blamed in a shareholder lawsuit filed in nearby San Francisco for the drop in its stock price after the data harvesting was revealed. Nearly $ 50 billion US of market value was wiped out in two days.

Facebook and Cambridge Analytica did not immediately respond on Wednesday to requests for comment.

Price accused Facebook and London-based Cambridge Analytica of negligence and violating a California unfair competition law.

She said the harvesting contravened Facebook’s privacy policy, in which the Menlo Park, Calif.-based company said user trust was “important to us” and that it would not share information without permission and notice.

“Our client saw a tremendous uptick in political messaging during the campaign on her Facebook page, which she had never seen,” Yanchunis said. “She had a glimmer of understanding at the time, but now sees there was an attempt to influence her vote.”

The complaint seeks unspecified damages, including possible punitive damages.

Yanchunis, who has also been suing Verizon Communications Inc. over data breaches at its Yahoo Internet business affecting 3 billion accounts, said it should be a “fairly easy exercise” to identify potential Facebook class members.

He said cybersecurity experts can assist with the case, and that Facebook “leaves a footprint of what was taken that cannot be erased.”

The case is Price v Facebook Inc. et al, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 18-01732. The shareholder case is Yuan v Facebook Inc. et al in the same court, No. 18-01725.

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CBC | World News

Kim Kardashian Sued For $100 Million Over Selfie Light Phone Cases

Looks like Kim Kardashian West’s perfectly lit selfies are causing her some legal drama.

Kim’s company, Kimisaprincess Inc., was hit with a $ 100 million lawsuit on Monday from a man named Hooshmand Harooni, over the LuMee phone case the 36-year-old reality star endorses. In court papers obtained by ET, Harooni claims that LuMee stole his idea for an illuminated cell phone case.

“At issue, here in this action are ‘selfies’ (i.e., photographs that one has taken of oneself) and Ms. West’s endorsement of LuMee branded selfie cases,” court papers read. “Ms. West’s endorsement and her pecuniary gain have come at the expense of Plaintiffs – patent infringement. Mr. Hooshmand Harooni, the inventor of the ‘644 patent, is the true pioneer and innovator of illuminated selfie cases. … Ms. West’s infringing influence has unfairly deterred competition from Harooni’s licensee, Plaintiff Snaplight, which possesses exclusive rights to enforce the ‘644 patent.”

WATCH: Kim Kardashian Has a ‘Fashion Emergency’ When Makeup Gets on Her Tiny Bra Top

Harooni claims he patented an “Integrated Lighting Accessory and Case for a Mobile Phone Device” back in April 2013, but his profits have suffered due to Kim endorsing LuMee.

“Despite having superior, patented products, it has been extremely difficult for Snaplight to compete in the selfie case market against Ms. West’s product influence and Defendants’ ongoing infringement,” Harooni claims, who’s also suing Urban Outfitters for distributing LuMee. “Snaplight and Mr. Harooni have suffered financially as a result.”

Harooni is suing for $ 100 million in lost profits, and is asking that Kim stop promoting and using LuMee phone cases.

In a statement to ET, a rep for the Kardashians called the lawsuit “another attempted shakedown.”

“The patent lawsuit filed by Snaplight has no merit and is just another attempted shakedown,” the statement reads. “Kim has done absolutely nothing wrong.”

WATCH: Kim Kardashian Wears a Completely See-Through Dress to Dinner

Back in May 2015, Kim gave ET the tips to a perfect selfie, and proclaimed that “lighting is everything.”

“You have to really know your angle,” Kim shared. “The lighting is everything.”

Watch below:

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