Trump knew about email hack, Cohen expected to tell Congress

Image copyright EPA US President Donald Trump's ex-lawyer Michael Cohen is expected to claim Mr Trump knew beforehand about a leak of hacked Democratic emails.
In congressional testimony, Cohen will also say Mr Trump directed plans for a Moscow skyscraper even during his White House campaign.
According to prepared testimony, Cohen will brand Mr Trump a „racist”, a „conman” and a „cheat”.
Mr Trump hit back: „He is lying in order to reduce his prison time.”
The US president took time out from preparing to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Hanoi, Vietnam, on Wednesday to lash out in a tweet at his former fixer.
Cohen, 52, will start a three-year prison term in May for the campaign finance violation of paying hush money to one of Mr Trump's alleged mistresses, tax evasion and lying to Congress.
Image Copyright @realDonaldTrump @realDonaldTrump Report Image Copyright @realDonaldTrump @realDonaldTrump Report What will Cohen say about the email leak?In prepared comments f..

Melissa McCarthy’s Oscars bunny dress criticised by top designer

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Melissa McCarthy and Brian Tyree Henry wore outfits apparently inspired by The Favourite A leading Hollywood designer has described the wacky outfits worn by Melissa McCarthy and Brian Tyree Henry to present the Oscar for best costume design as „tasteless and insulting”.
The actors wore spoof period costumes inspired by the film The Favourite.
They included a group of fake rabbits on the train of McCarthy's dress.
Arianne Phillips, who has been nominated for two Oscars for best costume design herself, said it made a „mockery” of her profession.
„I like to think I have a sense of humour. And I love Melissa McCarthy and Brian Tyree Henry,” she wrote on Facebook. „But… I honestly thought this was tasteless and insulting to costume design.”
'Major steps backwards'Phillips received her Academy Award nominations for designing outfits for Reese Witherspoon, among others, in Walk the Line in 2006; and for WE, directed by Madonna, in 2012…

Nicaragua releases dozens of prisoners ahead of talks

Image copyright EPA Image caption Among those released is marathon runner Alex Vanegas (in blue), who was arrested in November Dozens of Nicaraguans who were jailed for taking part in anti-government protests have been released, a human rights organisation says.
The number of those released is not yet clear but witnesses said minibuses with inmates had left a number of jails.
The move comes just hours before talks between the government and an umbrella opposition group are due to resume.
The talks had stalled in June amid a crackdown on anti-government protests during which more than 300 people died.
'Not enough'The protests started in April and lasted for months before fizzling out after more than 700 people were arrested. Human rights group say more than 600 of those remain locked up.
Read more about Nicaragua's crisis:
Why speaking out in Nicaragua is getting tough The people caught in the middle 'Ortega's Nicaragua crisis evokes memories of past'&#..

Selma Blair opens up about MS: ‘People with disabilities are invisible’

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Selma Blair attended the post-Oscars Vanity Fair party on Sunday US actress Selma Blair has spoken about her life with multiple sclerosis, four months after she was diagnosed.
„I really feel like people with disabilities are invisible to a lot of people,” she told Vanity Fair magazine.
But the star, who appeared with a cane at an Oscars party on Sunday, added: „There's no tragedy for me. I'm happy.
„I don't know if I believed in myself or had the ambition before my diagnosis. And oddly now I do, and I don't know if it's too late.”
MS is an incurable condition affecting the brain or spinal cord, causing vision, balance and muscle problems.
The actress is known for films including Cruel Intentions and Legally Blonde, and will star in Netflix's forthcoming sci-fi drama Another Life.
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Blair wants more stylish clothes for disabled people She said: „If I can help anyone be mor..

Ukraine pulls out of Eurovision Song Contest 2019

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Maruv was chosen as Ukraine's entry but withdrew from the competition Ukraine has pulled out of this year's Eurovision Song Contest after its selection process became embroiled in political tensions involving Russia.
Pop singer Maruv, who won Ukraine's public vote, withdrew from the contest on Tuesday, saying she refused to be used as a „political tool”.
Two other bands were then approached by the national broadcaster, but both declined to take part.
The broadcaster has now chosen not to attend the contest in Israel in May.
The row comes amid Ukraine's ongoing conflict with Russia, which centres around the annexation of Crimea by Russian forces in 2014.
Ukraine's Eurovision woes deepen Talent show winner chosen for Eurovision Stars call for Eurovision to be moved Maruv was asked to sign a contract saying she would not play concerts in Russia in the lead-up to Eurovision. The 27-year-old said she was willing to accept ..

India demands Pakistan release pilot as Kashmir crisis intensifies

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionFootage appears to show wreckage from a downed Indian jet India has demanded the release of a fighter pilot shot down by Pakistan warplanes in a major escalation between the two nuclear powers over Kashmir.
Video showing the pilot – blindfolded and with blood on his face – was shared by Pakistan's information ministry.
India described the images as a „vulgar display of an injured personnel”.
Wednesday's aerial attacks across the Line of Control (LoC) dividing Indian and Pakistani territory in Kashmir are the first since a war in 1971.
The incident, in which Pakistan said it had shot down two military jets, has escalated tensions between the two nations, both of whom claim all of Kashmir, but control only parts of it.
Airlines reroute to avoid Pakistan India and Pakistan in uncharted waters It comes a day after India struck what it said was a militant camp in Pakistan in retaliation for a suicide bombing that killed at..

After an Overhaul, U.S. Women Shift to Sweating the Small Stuff

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After an Overhaul, U.S. Women Shift to Sweating the Small StuffImageJulie Ertz, front, and Crystal Dunn during a victory against Spain in January.CreditCreditManuel Lorenzo/EPA, via ShutterstockBy Andrew Das
Feb. 27, 2019CHESTER, Pa. — Jill Ellis has had three years to tinker.
She knew better than anyone how quickly this summer’s Women’s World Cup would arrive, so Ellis, the United States women’s national team coach, got started remaking her squad almost as soon as it crashed out of the 2016 Rio Olympics.
She tinkered while her star forward signed a contract to play in France for half a season, and she tinkered when her captain signed a similar deal to join a club in England. She tinkered by bringing in new players and by dropping old ones. She tested new formations and tweaked more familiar ones, and engaged in experiments prompted by injuries, player availability and even curiosity.
But Ellis said Tuesday that she is done tinkering. The players — with at least one notabl..