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Donald Trump has posted a $175m (£140m) bond in New York – preventing the state from seizing his assets.

The former US president had been given 10 days to make the payment after his lawyers successfully asked for the bond to be reduced from $454m (£362m).

However, Mr Trump will be liable to pay the full amount – plus daily interest – if he loses an appeal in the civil fraud case.

New York’s attorney general, Letitia James, had been prepared to start seizing the 77-year-old’s real estate unless the bond was posted.

In February, he was found guilty of scheming for years to deceive banks and insurers by inflating his wealth on financial statements used to secure loans and make deals.

Mr Trump, who has secured the Republican nomination for this year’s general election, has frequently claimed to be worth billions of dollars and last year said he had $400m in cash, in addition to properties and other investments.

He has repeatedly denied wrongdoing, and argued the statements actually underestimated his fortune.

Trump ordered to stop attacking judge’s family

There have also been developments in a separate trial that Mr Trump is facing, which relates to a hush money payment made to the porn star Stormy Daniels.

On Monday, he was ordered to stop verbal attacks on the family members of the judge in this upcoming case.

It comes after Judge Juan Merchan’s daughter was described as a “rabid Trump hater” in a social media post.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump listens as his lawyer Todd Blanche argues with Judge Juan Merchan (not seen) during a court hearing on charges of falsifying business records to cover up a hush money payment to a porn star before the 2016 election, at a court in New York, U.S., February 15, 2024 in this courtroom sketch.
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Courtroom sketch of Mr Trump during hush money payment trial. Pic: Reuters

Prosecutor Matthew Colangelo had warned: “Family members of trial participants must be strictly off-limits.

“Defendant’s insistence to the contrary bespeaks a dangerous sense of entitlement to instigate fear and even physical harm to the loved ones of those he sees in the courtroom.”

The order extends on one already in place that bars Mr Trump from publicly commenting about witnesses and court staff.

If Mr Trump violates the order, he could face jail time. But it does not stop him from criticising Mr Merchan or Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg, whose office brought the charges last year.

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The trial is due to start on 15 April in Manhattan. Mr Trump has pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of falsifying business records and denies an alleged sexual encounter with Ms Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.

Truth Social parent company losses

In a further blow for Mr Trump, his social media company has disclosed it lost nearly $58.2m (£46.2m) last year, a week after its stock market debut.

Trump Media and Technology Group – whose flagship product is social media platform Truth Social – mark a stark decline compared with the profit of $50.5m million that the former president’s company reported for 2022, according to a company filing with securities regulators.

FILE PHOTO: The Truth social network logo is seen displayed behind a woman holding a smartphone in this picture illustration taken February 21, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo
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Reuters file pic

Truth Social had been seen as a potential financial lifeline for Mr Trump during his ongoing legal and financial challenges.

However, early investors into the media company are taking a hit after stocks closed at $48.66 on Monday, which was below their initial offering price of $49.95 (£39).

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Tram crash at Universal Studios Hollywood injures 15

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Tram crash at Universal Studios Hollywood injures 15

A tram crash at Universal Studios Hollywood has left 15 people injured.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department was called to the theme park shortly after 9pm local time on Saturday.

It said 15 people were taken to hospitals with minor injuries.

The crash occurred when the final car of one of the trams collided with a metal guardrail, which caused it to “tilt and eject multiple passengers”, the California Highway Patrol said.

The Highway Patrol said some of the injuries were “moderate” but did not specify how many.

The trams are used to take park visitors on behind-the-scenes tours of the sets where some of Universal’s biggest movies and TV shows were filmed.

Sheriff’s Lieutenant Maria Abal suggested the four-car tram may have experienced an issue with its brakes.

Alcohol and drugs were not considered as a factor, said the Highway Patrol, which is leading the investigation.

A Universal Studios spokesperson told the Associated Press there were “multiple minor injuries” but did not provide details on the accident.

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The tram route, called the World-Famous Studio Tour, features sets from films such as 1975 classic Jaws and Jordan Peele’s recent hit Nope.

The crash came as Universal Studios Hollywood prepared to mark the 60th anniversary of the tour, with celebrations set to begin on Friday.

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Crucial $60.8bn Ukraine aid package approved by US House of Representatives after months of deadlock

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Crucial .8bn Ukraine aid package approved by US House of Representatives after months of deadlock

The US House of Representatives has approved sending $60.8bn (£49bn) in foreign aid to Ukraine.

Democrats and Republicans joined together after months of deadlock over renewed American support to help Ukraine fend off Russia’s invasion.

Representatives could be seen waving small Ukrainian flags as it became clear the package was going to pass.

Representatives wave Ukrainian flags
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Representatives wave Ukrainian flags

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy tweeted to say he was “grateful” for the decision, which he said “keeps history on the right track”.

He said: “Democracy and freedom will always have global significance and will never fail as long as America helps to protect it.

“The vital US aid bill passed today by the House will keep the war from expanding, save thousands and thousands of lives, and help both of our nations to become stronger.”

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‘Grateful’ Zelenskyy reacts to US aid

Representatives also approved bills to send foreign aid to Israel and provide humanitarian relief to Palestinians in Gaza, give security assistance to Taiwan and allies in the Indo-Pacific, and a measure containing several foreign policy proposals including a threat to ban Chinese-owned social media app TikTok.

The package will now go to the US Senate, where it is likely to be passed on Tuesday. President Joe Biden has then promised to sign it immediately.

“I urge the Senate to quickly send this package to my desk so that I can sign it into law and we can quickly send weapons and equipment to Ukraine to meet their urgent battlefield needs,” Mr Biden said.

What aid package means for Ukraine after profound impact of delay

The impact of this American blockage has been profound.

I have had multiple conversations with diplomats and military officials in Washington DC and all have said the same thing: the situation for Ukraine is depressing, Russia has the upper hand and prospects for Kyiv, without more weapons, are bleak.

The Ukrainians have been running low on all weapons types, even small arms – bullets for their soldiers’ rifles.

Before the House of Representatives approved the $60.8bn aid package on Saturday, it had been more than 480 days since Congress last passed a bill allowing for American weapons to be sent to Ukraine.

There was a White House budgetary fudge earlier this year which freed up some more cash from an existing bill and allowed for some more weapons to be sent. But it wasn’t enough.

Read more of Mark Stone’s analysis here.

Bill will ‘further ruin’ Ukraine, Russia warns

Moscow said the passage of the bill would “further ruin” Ukraine and result in more deaths.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the TASS news agency a provision allowing Washington to confiscate seized Russian assets and transfer them to Ukraine for reconstruction would tarnish the image of the US.

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Major Russian strike on Ukraine kills eight

‘Ukraine can and will win’

UK Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron said the funding was “a vital step forward”.

“If Putin ever doubted the West’s resolve to back Ukraine, this shows our collective will is undimmed,” he tweeted.

“With support, Ukraine can and will win.”

But Donald Trump ally Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Republican representative who has opposed helping Ukraine in its war against Russia, said “people have been too obsessed with voting for foreign wars and the war industry”.

Speaking after the vote passed, she said: “This is the sellout of America today. When we had members of Congress in there waving the Ukrainian flag on the United States House of Representatives floor, while we’re doing nothing to secure our border, I think every American is going to be furious.”

Mr Biden first requested the funding in October, as Ukraine’s military supplies began to dwindle.

In February, Mr Zelenskyy urged Congress to pass the funding, saying if it did not “it will leave me wondering what world we are living in”.

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TikTok could be banned in US after House of Representatives passes bill

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TikTok could be banned in US after House of Representatives passes bill

TikTok could be banned in the US if the social media app’s Chinese owner doesn’t sell its stake after the House of Representatives voted in support of the measure.

The TikTok legislation has been included in a US foreign policy package, which has already seen representatives approve sending $60.8bn (£49bn) in foreign aid to Ukraine, security assistance for Taiwan and allies in the Indo-Pacific, and will likely see the approval of foreign aid funding for Ukraine and Israel.

Once approved, the package will then go to the US Senate, where it is likely to be passed on Tuesday. President Joe Biden has said he would sign the TikTok legislation once it reaches his desk.

If the bill becomes law, the owner of the popular video-sharing app will have nine months to find a buyer, with a possible three-month extension while a sale is in progress, or face a ban.

A previous bill passed by the House last month would have given owner ByteDance only six months to sell.

The company will likely try to challenge the law in court, arguing it would deprive the app’s millions of users of their First Amendment rights, which protect freedom of speech.

Such court challenges could significantly delay the timeline set out by Congress or block the law from coming into effect.

TikTok’s chief executive has appealed to US users directly to campaign to stop the bill.

“We will not stop fighting and advocating for you,” Shou Zi Chew said in a video posted on the platform last month that was directed at the app’s users.

“We will continue to do all we can, including exercising our legal rights, to protect this amazing platform that we have built with you.”

The FBI has warned TikTok owner ByteDance could share user data, such as browsing history, location and biometric identifiers, with China’s authoritarian government.

TikTok has said it has never done that and would not do so if asked.

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In 2022, Mr Biden banned the use of TikTok by the federal government’s nearly four million employees on devices owned by its agencies, with limited exceptions for law enforcement, national security and security research purposes.

The approved bill including the TikTok legislation would also allow the US to seize frozen Russian central bank assets to help rebuild Ukraine and impose sanctions on Iran, Russia and China, as well as criminal organisations that traffic the drug fentanyl.

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