‘Totally freezing’ Trump rails against ‘very, very unfair’ gag order

Image of the week: Trump’s gag order

It’s not quite the picture of Donald Trump behind bars that many people were hoping to see, but the former US president’s hush money trial at the Manhattan Criminal Court in New York does at least bring that prospect one step closer.

This week, during one of his many addresses to the media in the hallway outside the courtroom, Trump complained that it was “totally freezing” inside. So far, so relatable. He then railed against the “very, very unfair” gag order from the judge in the case that – in theory – restricts his ability to criticise witnesses and intimidate them.

“The gag order has to come off. I should be allowed to speak,” he complained. “They have taken away my constitutional right to speak.”

Fine-seeking prosecutors, meanwhile, pointed out that Trump has already violated the gag order several times over.

In numbers: Chocolate crime


“Kinder Buenos worth £134k stolen” read the headline over the story about the theft of a trailer full of the bars from an industrial estate in Lancashire. “Look at this and tell me inflation’s falling,” responded comedy electoral candidate Count Binface.


This isn’t the first time industrial-sized quantities of chocolate have been the subject of theft. Last year a man in Shropshire dubbed the “Easter bunny” made off with this number of Cadbury Creme Eggs, worth more than £30,000 (€35,000).

€7 million

Both UK chocolate crimes are snack-sized compared with the great Lindt chocolate heist of 2014, when mafiosi were accused of stealing vast quantities of the Swiss chocolate with a value of at least €7 million from a warehouse in Milan, prompting mass arrests.

Getting to know: Merle Meyers

Another week, another Boeing whistleblower. Merle Meyers (65), a quality manager at the aircraft manufacturer until last year, had a long career at Boeing, where his mother and members of his wife’s family also worked. But now, supported by hundreds of pages of emails and other documents, he is sharing his concerns about a shift by executives at the company to prioritise speed over quality.

“We love the company fiercely. That’s why you fight for it,” Meyers told the New York Times. His first stint at Boeing began in 1979, but like many other whistleblowers he believes it wasn’t until after Boeing’s 1997 merger with McDonnell Douglas that its engineering-first mentality and high standards began to slip. In order to keep production moving, he said, workers at its Everett factory in Washington state would take parts assigned to other planes, take newly delivered components before they could be inspected and tried to recover parts that had been scrapped.

The list: Potential TikTok buyers

ByteDance, the Beijing-based parent company of TikTok, has been given 270 days to sell the app’s US operations or face being blocked in the country, with that clock already ticking. But who might want to buy it?

1. Mnuchin consortium: Former US treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin said last month that he was putting together a consortium to buy TikTok’s US assets, which he called a “great business”.

2. Microsoft: The largest company in the world by market capitalisation – it is valued at about $3 trillion – explored a deal to buy the US operations in 2020. Could the second time prove the charm?

3. Oracle: The tech giant teamed up with retail behemoth Walmart on a potential bid four years ago, though its chairman and co-founder, Larry Ellison, might be too busy plotting a move to relocate Oracle from Austin to Nashville.

4. Meta and Google: While Facebook and Instagram owner Meta, in particular, would dearly love to get its hands on TikTok, the reality is that both it and Google would probably be barred from doing so on competition grounds.

5. Kevin O’Leary: The Canadian mogul and self-styled “Mr Wonderful” – a judge on Shark Tank, America’s answer to Dragons’ Den – fancies putting together a syndicate, which doesn’t bode well for investment-seeking contestants on the next series of Shark Tank.


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