• 24099 visits
  • 38 articles
  • 25 hearts

Robert Mueller just stepped over Donald Trump's red line. Now what? 16/03/2018

Trump and his lawyers have thrown down all sorts of gauntlets around Mueller's probe. They have argued for a tight deadline leading to its conclusion; negotiated for where, when and how the President might agree to an interview with investigators; and pointed to areas that they think are off limits.




It would appear that Mueller, with the full force of the law and subpoena power behind him, intends to proceed as he sees fit.

Mueller has already made it clear that he wouldn't hesitate to look at Trump's business transactions. Bloomberg News reported last July just a day after Trump conversed with the New YorkTimes about that red line that Mueller was expanding the scope of his investigation to Trump's commercial dealings.

Mueller's probe seems to be pursuing three primary questions.

The first is whether Trump or his campaign worked with the Kremlin to tilt the 2016 election in Trump's favour.

The second is whether Trump or his advisers obstructed justice to derail the federal investigation.

The third involves the possibility of financial quid pro quos that Trump and his family members (especially his son-in-law, Jared Kushner) may have sought in exchange for public policy favours, such as possibly lifting economic sanctions on Russia or shifting US-Ukraine policy.

The quid pro quo stuff is likely to be all about money ultimately, and that's why the Times' scoop on Thursday is significant.

Mueller is venturing into the Trump Organisation itself, the nexus of all of the President's business deals. He's collecting records from a company that's inseparable from the President himself. No major transactions have occurred at the Trump Organisation without Trump's blessing, and his unwillingness and failure to separate himself from his company since entering the White House make that reality even more apparent.

The President's intersection with Russian money is also a potential powder keg. The Times said that Mueller is examining a 2015 proposal by a Trump business partner, Felix Sater, to Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, to orchestrate a real estate deal in Moscow. Sater claimed that he could get Russia's President, Vladimir Putin, to buy into the transaction and that doing so could help the Trump win the election.

Sater is, as they say in the trade, a character Cohen's efforts to contact the Kremlin about that deal relied on using a publicly available email address in the Kremlin's press office. That's not exactly the work of sophisticates who have contacts in the highest reaches of Russia's government.

Cohen has handled some of Trump's most sensitive matters, including payoffs to a porn star Stormy Daniels in exchange for her silence about an alleged sexual encounter with Trump.

And Sater is a career criminal with organised crime ties. Trump and his children worked closely with him on the launch of the Trump SoHo Hotel and other real estate projects in the US long before he set himself on course for the White House.

Some of the murkiest financial dealings with possible Russian ties that Trump engaged in may have taken place in New York, not Moscow.

Trump has repeatedly called Mueller's investigation a "witch hunt," and his lawyers have said that the last decade of Trump's tax returns, which the President has declined to release would show that he had no income or loans from Russian sources.

Last year, Trump told NBC that he had no property or investments in Russia.

"I am not involved in Russia," he said.

But Trump's description of his dealings doesn't allow for the fact that national security problems and other quandaries might arise for the President over potentially compromising business transactions and relationships in the US, or because of funds that might have flowed into his wallet years ago.

Sater's company, the Bayrock Group, operated out of Trump Tower, just two floors beneath the Trump Organization's headquarters. A former partner of Sater at Bayrock claimed that the company was run as a money-laundering operation. Bayrock also allegedly got some of its funding from the former eastern Europe and from Iceland, and the company paid Trump to put his name on their projects.

Although Bayrock eventually went dormant, Sater never left the Trump team. He tried to engineer a diplomatic overture to Ukraine in early 2017, an effort he reportedly undertook with Cohen and which he tried to present to Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn. And, of course, there is the 2015 Moscow deal he pitched to Cohen that Mueller is now examining.

I have some history with Sater. Trump sued me in 2006, alleging that my biography, TrumpNation, had misrepresented his business record and his wealth. Trump lost the suit in 2011; my lawyers deposed of him and Sater during the litigation.

Sater's intersection with the Trump Organisation and the subpoena that landed on the company's doorstep probably should be reminders to the President, his family, and their lawyers that Mueller is content to draw his own lines in this investigation.

Comments disabled

Morning & Afternoon NewsletterDelivered MonFri.


All Black Charlene Gubb excited about Brumbies Super W debut against Queensland Reds 16/03/2018

"I'm looking forward to it. I haven't played since our national comp [in New Zealand] wrapped up last year," Gubb said.

"And I wasn't too sure if I was going to play when I came over, but I guess it's a good way to meet people and just get to know the area."

She said the competition was being keenly watched form across the ditch, with her New Zealand friends all interested about the new competition.

Gubb said the women's game was taking strides forward on both sides of the Tasman, with news announced this week the Kiwi women would get contracts of up to $42,000.

It follows the Wallaroos getting match payments since the start of the year.

The Olympic gold medal-winning Australian women's sevens team have also been given pay parity with the men.

"We're both progressing forward, but in different ways. A lot of the girls back home are asking, 'How's the Super W comp?' and I'm just explaining how that's happening here," Gubb said.

"But also the girls asking about what's happening back home and contracting [for the All Blacks women]. It's awesome that the Wallaroos can get match payments.

"It's progress, even if it's slow we're still going to take it and be happy with the progress that's been made."

There'll be a high-profile observer in the stands, with Wallabes and Brumbies legend Stephen Larkham looking forward to the game.

He watched the Brumbies women play at the Brisbane Tens last month and felt the 15-aside would better suit them - a sentiment Gubb shared.

"It's a really exciting time for rugby right now because there's so much talent in the women's game," Larkham said.

"One of the standout teams at the Tens was the Reds, but I know the Brumbies are going to be a better team in XVs

"I'm really looking forward to getting out there and watching them play. I know a couple of the players and they're really excited too, it should be a great night."



Saturday: ACT Brumbies v Queensland Reds at Canberra Stadium, 5pm. Tickets available from Ticketek.

Comments disabled

David Polkinghorne is a sports reporter at The Canberra Times.

Eamonn Tiernan is a sports reporter with The Canberra Times

Morning & Afternoon NewsletterDelivered MonFri.


Nofoaluma back after injury strikes Wests Tigers' round one hero 15/03/2018

David Nofoaluma will make a surprise return to first grade on Saturday, as a replacement for injured Tiger Tui Lolohea.

Lolohea was one of the heroes in Wests Tigers upset win over the Roosters, booting a sideline conversion to win the match. However, he picked up a niggling injury that will rule him out of the clash with Melbourne at AAMI Park.

Coach Ivan Cleary has been forced into a backline reshuffle that will result in another round one hero, Corey Thompson, shifting from the wing to fullback. Nofoaluma, a shock axing for the season opener, will come onto the wing after scoring two tries for the Magpies in reserve grade last week.

David Nofoaluma is back in first grade.

Photo: brendan espositonThompson has played predominantly on the wing throughout his career but is no stranger to the custodian role, having worn the No.1 jersey during the trials.

The former Bulldogs flanker has impressed Cleary since returning from the Super League and almost won the race to the fullback jersey ahead of Lolohea for the start of the regular season.


A thrilling experience - balloons skim Lake Burley Griffin near kayakers and stand-up boarders 15/03/2018

The final day of the Balloon Spectacular is Sunday and among the more spectacular sights of this beautiful festival has been balloons skimming the surface of Lake Burley Griffin, close to kayakers and stand-up paddleboarders.

One of the expert exponents of the balloon-skimming is Justin Galbraith who pilots the Capital Chemist balloon, owned by his sister, Amanda Galbraith, also a partner in the Capital Chemist group.

A beautiful shot by Paul Jurak of the Capital Chemist balloon skimming the lake, surrounded by kayaks and stand-up boarders.

Photo: Paul JurakThe Galbraith family have been ballooning for almost 40 years, led by father Danny.

"[Dad] learnt to fly forever ago, then I learnt as a teenager, and Justin as an adult. Add my mum, husband and sister-in-law, plus three grandkids, and it's a great way to enjoy Canberra together," Amanda said.

Sharon and Leeanne Chaffer in a kayak look on as the humming bird balloon skims Lake Burley Griffin.

Photo: Graham Tupper


What's on the menu at Perth's Night Noodle Markets 14/03/2018

Fare from the east coast is on its way withHoy Pinoy Filipino street barbeque serving up Lechon Rotisseries to Perth for the first time, and crowd favourite Gelato Messina will return to serve up "Japanese game-show inspired" desserts.

Perth Night Noodle Markets at Elizabeth Quay.

Photo: Matthew TompsettThere's also iconic Original Korean Twist Potato, the spicy flavours of Shallot Thai, Waffleland with its freshly baked waffles, the Malaysian food of Sambal Kampung, Japanese street food specialists Donburi Station, and one-of-a-kind Japanese noodles Teppanyaki Noodles.

That's the Night Noodle Markets at a glance - but here's a full break down of the deliciousness that's going to be on offer:

Gelato Messinas Japanese Game ShowAunty Tomsus Cheesecake Japanese cheesecake, strawberry and cherry blossom cream, strawberry meringue, strawberries and strawberry gelato.I Think Im Turning Sesame Black sesame gelato, condensed milk coffee jelly, miso crunch, banana miso bread, vanilla cream and coffee powder.Kamikaze Katsu A deep fried gelato katsu sandwich. Sudachi lime gelato coated in red velvet cake and panko crumbs sandwiched in fluffy white bread with yuzu sauce.O-No-Giri Green tea gelato and pistachio mousse dipped in rice bubbles and white chocolate.

The Modern EateryCone-nichiwa (Wagyu Dreamin Cheese) Lightly battered tempura nori cone with yakiniku beef, cheese, edamame, kimchi, and kitty ks garlic rice.Cone-nichiwa (Pork Kissed Yuzu) Lightly battered tempura nori cone with pork mince, grilled vegetables, yuzu kosho miso and kitty ks garlic rice.Cone-nichiwa (Tropical Mango Panic) Lightly battered tempura nori cone with mango, watermelon, blueberry, green tea soba, house dressing and sesame dressing.

Ahi PokeSalmon Poke Salmon, edamame, seaweed salad and more.Spicy Tuna Bowl Crab stick, spring onion, seaweed salad, edamame, pineapple, shichimi powder.Tofu Bowl Mango, spring onion, edamame, seaweed salad, cucumber.

Black Star Pastry/N2 GelatoStrawberry Watermelon Cake The original one and only almond cake, rose cream, watermelon strawberries, rose petals.Raspberry Lychee Cake Bright, fun and nostalgic. Built upon a rich chocolate biscuit foundation, the layers of raspberry marshmallow and rose cream create a delicious balance of texture and flavour, while the topping of lychees and raspberries brings a sweet, succulent freshness.Smores Parfait Oreos, melted marshmallows, smoky vanilla gelato, chocolate ganache.Halo Halo Caramelised banana, coconut jelly, shaved ice, ube gelato with jackfruit and topped with cornflakes.Strawberry Watermelon Soft Serve The cake in soft serve form in a waffle cone.

Bao WowBaos Maple Roasted Cauliflower Bao with slaw and sriracha yoghurt.Karaage Chicken Bao Iceberg lettuce and Bulldog sauce.Coca-Cola Pork Bao ginger carrot relish and coriander.Texas Beef Brisket Bao peach chutney and crispy onions.BBQ Chicken Bao (Channel 9 Bao) - BBQ Chicken Bao, applewood-fried chicken, jalapeos & nacho cheese sauce.Teriyaki Chicken - Bao Wow teriyaki chicken, Japanese rice & Asian slawPopcorn chicken - Szechuan salt & yuzu aioli

Hoy PinoyChicken Adobo Fries chips topped roasted chicken in a soy, pepper and vinegar glaze.Boneless Cebu Lechon Cebu style Lechon chopped and served on rice with atchara and spiced vinegar.Inihaw Na Baboy Pork belly skewers with banana ketchup glaze.Inihaw Na Manok Chicken skewers in traditional soy glaze.Kanin Steamed rice.

Bunga Raya SatayCharcoal Grill Satay Marinated skewer of beef, chicken and lamb chargrill served with peanut sauce.Murtabak Part bread with beef, chicken or vegetables.HSP (Hot Snack Pack) Lamb/chicken on bed of fries, cheese, BBQ, chilli, garlic sauce.Coconut Rice and Rendang Beef rendang/chilli tofu served with coconut rice.Coconut Rice and Chicken Curry Chicken curry/chilli tofu served with coconut rice.

Donburi StationFried Japanese Gyoza Dumplings; pork or vegetarian.Donburi (beef or chicken) Famous Japanese stews on rice.Osaka Noodles (chicken, pork, vegetarian) Japanese fried noodles.

PoklolChichi Fries A choice of bulgogi beef, chilli chicken or chilli pork served on top of super crunchy beer battered fries with cheese, kimchi, shallots topped with Japanese mayo and a sweet Korean bbq sauce.Trio of Korean BBQ Tacos A trio of bulgogi beef, chilli chicken and chilli pork tacos with pickled carrots, kimchi slaw, cucumbers, and shallots topped with a secret pokky sauce

PuffleKFC Cheese Puffle A Korean fried chicken stuffed inside our signature cheese puffle topped with Japanese mayo and shallots.Bulgogi Beef and Philly Cheese Steak Cheese Puffle Korean marinated bulgogi beef Philly cheese steak style stuffed inside our signature cheese puffle topped with Japanese mayo and shallots.

Sambal KampungSan Choy Bow two pieces.Pork and Prawn Dumpling eight pieces.Curry Chicken NoodleRoti Canai with curry chicken - Roti Canai with curry chicken

Shallot ThaiChicken Satay Roti Roll Chicken satay, mixed salad, peanut sauce wrap with Roti.Chicken Pad See Ew Stir fried rice noodles, chicken, egg, vegetables with sweet soy sauce.Crackling Pork Noodle Roasted pork belly in caramelised sauce with boiled egg noodles.Pad Thai Chicken Stir-fried rice noodle, chicken, egg, bean shoots with tamarind sauce.Vegetable Spring Rolls Thai vegetable rolls, with spicy herb filling.

WafflelandBlack Panda Fresh waffle with maple syrup and black sesame.Lucky Fortune Fresh waffle with caramel syrup, lychee and icing sugar.Bangkok Night Fresh waffle with warm Nutella and icing sugar.Dancing Dragon Fresh waffle with melted chocolate and icing sugar.Cheeky Monkey Fresh waffle stick with peanut butter, ice cream, fresh bananas, pretzels, wafer sticks and topped with caramel.

Ninja CuisineGyoza Japanese dumplings, vegetarian, pork, or prawn.Okonomiyaki Japanese pancake.Takoyaki Japanese octopus ball.Karaage Chicken deep fried chicken, Japanese style.

Gyoza JointJapanese Pan Fried Dumplings.Takoyaki. Japanese Octopus ball.

Bangkok Jump StreetKorat Pad Mie (Korat fried noodles) with Soft-Shell Crab Thai North-Eastern style stir-fry with thin rice vermicelli noodles and a unique blend of tamarind juice, dried roasted chilli jam and coconut sugar tossed with egg, tofu, shallots, bean sprouts and chives. Served with crispy marinated soft shell crab.Thai Style Crispy Savoury Turmeric Pancake Chef specials Thai style fried savoury turmeric pancake stuffing with chargrilled marinated pork or chicken, mung beans, tossed shredded coconut and shrimp, bean sprouts, spring onions, mints and served with Thai-style cucumber and shallots relish and fresh mixed salad leaves on the side.BJSs Spicy Pork Crackling Papaya Salad A traditional Thai spicy papaya salad mixed with long beans, carrots, cherry tomatoes and peanuts flavoured with palm sugar, fish sauce, lime juice and Thai chilli. Served with crispy roasted pork and dry garlic thin rice vermicelli noodles on the side.Jump Streets Caramelised Pork Belly and Roasted Pork Noodles Silky egg noodles served with house-made roasted pork and caramelised five spices pork belly, cooked bean sprouts and Chinese cabbage. Garnished with coriander and crispy egg wontons (dry noodles).

Miss ChowsMiss Chows Sliders Bao buns served with protein of choice, fresh salad, spicy mayo and a signature sauce.BBQ Pork Bun Buns filled with BBQ flavoured pork.Assorted Pan Fried Dumplings.Salt and Pepper Baby Squid.

Saigon EatsBanh Mi Vietnamese roll with grilled pork and salad.Roast Pork Noodles Crispy roast pork with fried rice noodles and Asian greens.Goi Cuon Fresh rice paper rolls with prawn/pork and noodle salad.Banh Bao Vietnamese steam bun with pork, egg, Chinese sausage, and mushroom.

Teppanyaki NoodlesTeriyaki Chicken Fantasticks Teriyaki chicken skewers.Yakisoba -stir-fried noodles with cabbage, carrot, onion and garlic.

Original Korean Twist PotatoOriginal Korean Twist Potato Fresh hand cut potato into tornado shape, twisted on a stick, deep-fried and finished with various seasonings.

Dancing NoodlesMacanese Style Portuguese Chicken Rice Cantonese and Portuguese influenced cuisine from Macau. A spiced chicken stew served on a bed of turmeric rice, topped with cheese, coconut cream and desiccated coconut.Chicken Mee Goreng A sweet and tangy egg noodle dish, cooked with lean chicken breast and served with a fresh salad on top.BBQ Pork Buns Steamed fluffy white buns, filled with delicious BBQ pork.Birds Nest Chicken Wing Basket Birds nest shaped noodle basket, topped with salad, house recipe spicy tangy sauce and chicken wings.

Banana LeafSisig Savory, smoky, spicy, tangy, crunchy, melt-in-the-mouth sizzled diced pork with red and green chilli peppers.(Inihaw Na Pusit) grilled squid Grilled squid with sweet and tangy marinade and paired with a special sauce.Pancit Bihon Guisado A delicious plate of rice noodles, meat, shrimp, and vegetables, a one-pot meal thats a guaranteed crowd pleaser.Mais Con Queso (grilled corn) served with butter and cheddar cheese.

The Urban BowlUrban Dried Egg Noodles Signature dried egg noodle with special chilli sauce and option of minced pork or beef, served with fresh bok choy and homemade spring roll.Urban Mini Baguette Mini sized baguette with the option of pork, chicken or tofu.The Urban Charcoal grilled chicken/BBQ beef finger/tofu, served with side pickles and prawn cracker.

Sesames KitchenVegan Tofu Puff Served with Vietnamese noodle salad, fresh chilli, mint and lime.Tempura Fish and Chips Served with Asian slaw, sesame seeds and wasabi tartare sauce.Salt and Pepper Squid Tossed in Sichuan pepper, ginger, garlic, fresh hot chilli, fresh lime, lotus chips and wasabi aioli.Lotus Root Chips Served with wasabi aioli.Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks Served with aromatic yellow basmati rice, roasted cashew nuts, tamarind coconut jus and minted yogurt.

Beer Its Beautiful, James Squire Night Terrace will share with market goers, the incredibly diverse range of styles from one of the best craft brands in the country on tap. And to celebrate St Patricks Day, Guinness will be available throughout the market bars on Saturday 17th March only!

Comments disabled

Morning & Afternoon NewsletterDelivered MonFri.