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Gov. Cuomo apologizes for using 14-year-old pic to threaten COVID-19 synagogue shutdowns

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At a Monday press conference when discussing how it has been difficult to enforce Coronavirus rules in New York City Orthodox Jewish communities, who have been badly hit by the recent outbreaks in parts of the city, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) displayed a photo depicting a large synagogue gathering–except, the photo was taken 14 years ago.

Cuomo’s office has since apologized, saying that: “This was a staff error that was caught in real time at the presser. It was swapped out with this photo that was taken two weeks ago at the same location. The new slide was up during the last 10 minutes of the press conference.”

Cuomo’s office also responded to SaraACarter.com earlier saying, “it was a staffer mistake that was caught in real time and swapped out with the intended image.”

His office also stated “we regret the mistake.”

Nonetheless, this error received fierce backlash from anti-Semitism and Jewish advocate groups. Liora Rez of Stopantisemitism.org had some stern words for the Governor.

“By using a picture of Jews gathered at the funeral of Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum (Z”L) from 2014 during his COVID-19 press conference,” Rez said, this “shows how low him and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio are willing to go to fan the flames of antisemitism in a city where Jews make up over 50% of all hate crimes reported.”

Gov. Cuomo said at the same Monday press briefing that he will be meeting with leaders of New York’s Orthodox Jewish community on Tuesday.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Elections

BREAKING: Trump ordered to pay over $350M, barred from operating his business in NY in civil fraud case ruling

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Former President Donald Trump and his business empire faced a significant setback as a New York judge ruled against them in a civil fraud case brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James. The 92-page ruling, handed down by Judge Arthur Engoron, barred Trump from operating his business in New York for three years and imposed over $350 million in damages.

The case, which unfolded over months of trial proceedings, stemmed from allegations that Trump inflated his assets and engaged in fraudulent practices. Engoron’s ruling cited a litany of charges, including persistent fraud, falsifying records, issuing false financial statements, and conspiracy to commit fraud.

Moreover, the judge imposed restrictions on key figures within the Trump Organization, including Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, barring them from serving in certain corporate roles in New York for a specified period.

Engoron’s scathing assessment of Trump’s testimony during the trial further undermined the former president’s credibility. The judge criticized Trump for evasive responses and irrelevant digressions, highlighting the detrimental effect on his credibility.

In response to the ruling, Trump’s attorney, Christopher Kise, lambasted the court’s decision, alleging political bias and a disregard for established legal principles. Kise argued that the evidence presented during the trial failed to support the allegations of fraud and emphasized Trump’s substantial net worth.

Kise’s assertions were echoed by Alina Habba, another attorney representing Trump, who denounced the verdict as a “manifest injustice” resulting from a politically motivated witch hunt.

Throughout the proceedings, Trump consistently dismissed the trial as politically motivated, accusing both Engoron and James of partisan bias. His legal team also criticized the absence of a jury in the trial, questioning the fairness of the proceedings.

Attorney General Letitia James, who spearheaded the lawsuit against Trump and his organization, portrayed the ruling as a victory for accountability and transparency in business practices. The lawsuit alleged fraudulent conduct and sought substantial financial penalties, a portion of which would contribute to the state treasury.

The fallout from the case extends beyond Trump and his business interests, with implications for the broader business community and the rule of law. The contentious nature of the trial and its outcome underscored deep divisions and raised questions about the integrity of the legal system.

Trump vows to appeal the decision.

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