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Trump May Soon Have to Answer Rape Allegations Under Oath

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trump soon answer rape allegation under oath

During a December visit to New York City, writer E. Jean Carroll says she went shopping with a fashion consultant to find the “best outfit” for one of the most important days of her life – when she’ll sit face-to-face with the man she accuses of raping her decades ago, former President Donald Trump.

The author and journalist hopes that day will come this year. Her lawyers are seeking to depose Trump in a defamation lawsuit that Carroll filed against the former president in November 2019 after he denied her accusation that he raped her at a Manhattan department store in the mid-1990s. Trump said he never knew Carroll and accused her of lying to sell her new book, adding: “She’s not my type.”

She plans to be there if Trump is deposed.

“I am living for the moment to walk into that room to sit across the table from him,” Carroll told Reuters in an interview. “I think of it everyday.”

Carroll, 77, a former Elle magazine columnist, seeks unspecified damages in her lawsuit and a retraction of Trump’s statements. It is one of two defamation cases involving sexual misconduct allegations against Trump that could move forward faster now that he has left the presidency. While in office, Trump’s lawyers delayed the case in part by arguing that the pressing duties of his office made responding to civil lawsuits impossible.

“The only barrier to proceeding with the civil suits was that he’s the president,” said Jennifer Rodgers, a former federal prosecutor and now an adjunct professor of clinical law at the New York University School of Law.

“I think there will be a sense among the judges that it’s time to get a move on in these cases,” said Roberta Kaplan, Carroll’s attorney.

An attorney for Trump and another representative of the former president did not respond to requests for comment.

Trump faces a similar defamation lawsuit from Summer Zervos, a former contestant on his reality television show “The Apprentice.” In 2016, Zervos accused Trump of sexual misconduct, saying that he kissed her against her will at a 2007 meeting in New York and later groped her at a California hotel as the two met to discuss job opportunities.

Trump denied the allegations and called Zervos a liar, prompting her to sue him for defamation in 2017, seeking damages and a retraction. Trump tried unsuccessfully to have the case dismissed, arguing that, as president, he was immune from suits filed in state courts. His lawyers appealed to the New York Court of Appeals, which is still considering the case. Zervos filed a motion in early February asking the court to resume the case now that Trump’s no longer president.

Zervos and Carroll are among more than two dozen women who have publicly accused Trump of sexual misconduct that they say occurred in the years before he became president. Other accusers include a former model who claims Trump sexually assaulted her at the 1997 U.S. Open tennis tournament; a former Miss Universe pageant contestant who said Trump groped her in 2006; and a reporter who alleges Trump forcibly kissed her without her consent in 2005 at his Mar-a-Lago resort.

Trump has denied the allegations and called them politically motivated.

In September, after several unsuccessful attempts by Trump’s lawyers to get Carroll’s case dismissed or delayed, U.S. Justice Department officials under his administration took the unusual step of asking that the government be substituted for Trump as the defendant in the case. Justice Department lawyers argued that Trump, like any typical government employee, is entitled under federal law to immunity from civil lawsuits when performing his job. They argued that he was acting in his capacity as president when he said Carroll was lying.

Legal experts said it was unprecedented for the Justice Department to defend a president for conduct before he took office. When Judge Lewis Kaplan of the Federal District Court in Manhattan rejected that argument, the Justice Department appealed. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has yet to rule on it.

It’s yet to be seen whether Justice Department officials under President Joe Biden, who took office last month, will continue to defend the case on Trump’s behalf. The White House and the Justice Department declined to comment.

If the appeals court upholds Judge Kaplan’s decision, it would likely clear the way for Trump to be deposed by Carroll’s lawyers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE DNA

Carroll’s lawyers are also seeking a DNA sample from Trump. Carroll says she still has the dress she was wearing when Trump allegedly attacked her.

“I hung it in my closet,” she said.

Carroll said she randomly crossed paths with Trump in the Bergdorf Goodman’s store in the mid-1990s. Carroll, who hosted a TV talk show at the time, said Trump recognized her. The two chatted, she said. Trump asked her to pick out a gift for an unidentified woman, and they eventually ended up in the lingerie department. After asking her to try on a body suit, Trump closed the door in a dressing room, pinned her against a wall, unzipped his pants and sexually assaulted her, according to the complaint.

Carroll said she told two friends about the alleged attack shortly after it happened, but did not report Trump to police, fearing retribution from the wealthy and well-connected businessman. Decades later, Carroll went public with her story in a June 2019 New York magazine article, adapted from a new book, “What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal.”

She said she was inspired to recount the incident by the #MeToo movement, which emboldened women to share their experiences of sexual assault and harassment. In photos shot for that story, Kaplan, at the request of the magazine’s photography director, wore the same black Donna Karan dress that she said she had worn on the day that Trump allegedly assaulted her.

When Carroll filed her lawsuit later in 2019, her lawyer, Kaplan, had a guard escort her to retrieve the dress from her closet for forensic testing. An analysis concluded no semen was found on the dress, but the DNA of an unidentified male was detected on the shoulder and sleeves, according to the Jan. 8, 2020 lab report, which was reviewed by Reuters.

If the dress does contain traces of Trump’s DNA, it would not prove his guilt. But a match could be used as evidence that he had contact with the dress and to help disprove his claims that he never met Carroll, according to two forensic experts not involved in the case.

“How his DNA got on that dress would be the argument,” said Monte Miller, a biochemist who runs a DNA analysis consultancy and previously worked at the Texas Department of Public Safety’s State Crime Laboratory. “It’s for the attorneys and the courts and everybody else to argue about why it’s there and how it got there.”

Carroll said she’s confident the DNA on the dress belongs to Trump and wants her day in court. She said she now sleeps with a gun next to her bed because she has received death threats since publicly accusing Trump.

“This defamation suit is not about me,” said Carroll, who meets regularly with other women who have accused Trump of sexual misconduct. It’s about every woman “who can’t speak up.”

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Bharat Biotech completes phase 3 trial of Covaxin, reports 81% efficacy

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Bharat Biotech announced today that the Phase 3 trials of its COVID-19 vaccine known as Covaxin, India’s indigenous vaccine, demonstrated an almost 81% efficacy rate. The Phase 3 trials, made up of 25,800 subjects, were the largest ever clinical trials conducted in India in partnership with the Indian Council of Medical Research.

This comes after PM Modi kicked off Phase 2 of the COVID-19 vaccination drive by getting vaccinated himself with the Covaxin vaccine.

The data from the Phase 3 trials reveals that vaccines and placebos were given to the subjects in a 1:1 ratio and that the vaccine was well tolerated by the subjects receiving it, the company said. “Trials will continue to the final analysis of 130 confirmed cases in order to gather more data and evaluate the efficacy of the vaccine”, the company further added. 

“Today is an important milestone in vaccine discovery, for science and our fight against coronavirus. With today’s results from our Phase 3 clinical trials, we have now reported data on our COVID-19 vaccine from Phase 1, 2, and 3 trials involving around 27,000 participants,” Bharat Biotech head Krishna Ella said

The efficacy rate of the vaccine was determined through a first interim analysis of 43 cases of COVID-19. 36 of these cases belonged to the placebo group of the vaccine trial, meaning that out of the individuals given the vaccine, 7 contracted COVID-19, resulting in the estimate of 80.6% efficacy rate. Covaxin is one of the two vaccines approved by the Indian Government to be included in the Government vaccination drive, of which the first phase commenced on 16th January. However, Covaxin is India’s only indigenous COVID-19 vaccine.

A National Institute of Virology analysis claims that the Covaxin can potentially neutralize more effective and virulent strains of COVID-19 like the U.K. Strain. “Analysis from the National Institute of Virology indicates that vaccine-induced antibodies can neutralise the UK variant strains and other heterologous strains”, the company stated. 

“Bharat Biotech expects to share further details of the trial results as additional data become available. An additional interim analysis is planned for 87 cases, and the final analysis is planned for 130 cases. All data from the second interim and final analyses will be shared via pre-publication servers as well as submitted to a peer-reviewed journal for publication,” the company statement read.

Bharat Biotech expects to supply its Covaxin to other countries, with at least 40 countries expressing interest in it. Recently, Bharat Biotech confirmed that the company has signed an agreement with Brazil for the supply of 20 million doses of Covaxin.



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