By Robert A. Vella

Although the order was temporarily stayed on appeal, a federal judge has ruled that President Trump must submit his tax returns as evidence in a New York state investigation of his hush money payments during the 2016 election campaign.  The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected taking up a series of cases, including a gerrymandering case in Ohio, giving further indication that it doesn’t want to get embroiled in politically partisan issues.  After much delay, the Trump administration is withdrawing troops from northern Syria which were providing a buffer between Kurdish forces allied with the U.S. and the hostile intentions of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey.

Trump’s taxes

From:  Trump Taxes: President Ordered to Turn Over Returns to Manhattan D.A.

A federal judge on Monday rejected a bold argument from President Trump that sitting presidents are immune from criminal investigations, allowing the Manhattan district attorney’s office to move forward with a subpoena seeking eight years of the president’s personal and corporate tax returns.

The ruling issued by Judge Victor Marrero of Manhattan federal court does not mean that the president’s tax returns will be turned over immediately. Mr. Trump’s lawyers quickly appealed the decision, and the appeals court agreed to temporarily block the order.

The judge’s decision came a little more than a month after the Manhattan district attorney subpoenaed Mr. Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA, for his personal and corporate returns dating to 2011. The demand touched off a legal showdown that raised new constitutional questions and drew in the Justice Department, which supported the president’s request to delay enforcement of the subpoena.

Related stories:

Attorneys for CIA Officer Behind Trump Complaint Say They Now Represent ‘Multiple Whistleblowers’

Profit, not politics: What some Trump allies did in Ukraine

Supreme Court news

From:  U.S. Supreme Court tosses challenge to Republican-drawn Ohio congressional maps

WASHINGTON, Oct 7 (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday threw out a challenge to Republican-drawn congressional districts in Ohio that Democrats said were drawn to unlawfully diminish their political clout, a move that follows a major ruling by the justices in June that foreclosed such lawsuits.

The court’s action in the case involving a practice known as partisan gerrymandering means that 16 U.S. House of Representatives districts will no longer be reconfigured, as a three-judge panel had ordered in May.

The Supreme Court had put the panel’s ruling on hold ahead of its rulings, issued the next month, in two major gerrymandering cases from Maryland and North Carolina.

U.S. Supreme Court rejects dispute over 2007 California wildfire payouts

U.S. Supreme Court rejects Domino’s bid to avoid disabilities suit

U.S. Supreme Court rejects insider trading appeal by Las Vegas gambler

California Bans Distributing “Deepfakes” Before Elections

Syria and other international stories

From:  U.S. Begins Pullback From Northern Syria, Clearing Way for Turkish Offensive

BEIRUT—Convoys of American military personnel began pulling back from the Syria-Turkey border, after President Trump ordered the Pentagon to clear the way for Ankara to launch an offensive against Kurdish fighters, in the latest sign of his desire for a diminished role in the Middle East.

Kurdish fighters, who spearheaded the U.S.-campaign against Islamic State, have warned of all-out war with Turkey in northeastern Syria, where more than 70,000 Islamic State fighters and their families are held.

As the Turkish military prepared to enter Syria and seize border areas from the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, the Kurdish-led group vowed to fight “at all costs.”

See also:

U.N. calls for protecting civilians in northeast Syria

Trump’s Syria withdrawal announcement draws GOP condemnation

From:  Thousands protest Ukraine leader’s peace plan

About 10,000 people including Ukraine’s former president Petro Poroshenko gathered in central Kiev on Sunday to protest a plan for broader autonomy for separatist territories ahead of a high-stakes summit with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

The protesters, who descended on Kiev’s Independence Square known locally as Maidan, chanted “No to surrender!”, with some holding placards critical of President Volodymyr Zelensky.

From:  Scottish court rejects legal challenge to no-deal Brexit

Anti-Brexit campaigners on Monday failed to secure a court ruling forcing Prime Minister Boris Johnson to seek an extension if no deal is reached about Britain’s departure from the European Union.

The case was brought to try to compel Johnson to comply with legislation requiring him to ask Brussels for more time if no agreement was reached before the end-of-month Brexit deadline.

But judge Lord Pentland told Scotland’s highest civil court, the Court of Session in Edinburgh, the government had already made “unequivocal assurances” it would abide by the law.

From:  Global climate ‘rebellion’ sees mass arrests and blocked roads

Climate protesters from Sydney to London blocked roads on Monday, sparking mass arrests at the start of two weeks of civil disobedience demanding immediate action to save the Earth from “extinction”.

Crowds chained themselves to vehicles and other structures and unrolled sleeping bags in the middle of streets in defiance of police across Europe and parts of Asia and Africa.

The year-old group Extinction Rebellion has energised a global movement demanding governments drastically cut the carbon emissions that scientists have shown to cause devastating climate change.

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