Happening Today: Michael Flynn, Obamacare, Alfonso Ribeiro, Les Moonves - NBC New York

Happening Today: Michael Flynn, Obamacare, Alfonso Ribeiro, Les Moonves

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    What to Know

    • Michael Flynn may have given extraordinary cooperation to prosecutors, but the run-up to his sentencing hearing has exposed raw tensions

    • A federal judge's ruling would, if upheld, wipe away the entire Affordable Care Act, the health care overhaul championed by President Obama

    • A "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air" star is suing the makers of the popular battle royale video game "Fortnite" for allegedly stealing his dance

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    Run-Up to Michael Flynn Sentencing Tinged With Unexpected Drama

    Michael Flynn may have given extraordinary cooperation to prosecutors, but the run-up to his sentencing hearing has exposed raw tensions over an FBI interview in which the former national security adviser lied about his Russian contacts. Flynn's lawyers have suggested investigators discouraged him from having an attorney present during the January 2017 interview and never informed him it was a crime to lie. Prosecutors shot back, "He does not need to be warned it is a crime to lie to federal agents to know the importance of telling them the truth." The mere insinuation of underhanded tactics was startling given the seemingly productive relationship between the two sides, and it was especially striking since prosecutors with special counsel Robert Mueller's office have praised Flynn's cooperation and recommended against prison time. The defense arguments spurred speculation that Flynn may be trying to get sympathy from President Donald Trump or may be playing to a judge known for a zero-tolerance view of government misconduct.

    Senate Report: Russia Social Media Influence Efforts Ongoing

    Russia's sweeping political disinformation campaign on U.S. social media was more far-reaching than originally thought, with troll farms working to discourage black voters and "blur the lines between reality and fiction" to help elect Donald Trump in 2016, according to reports released by the Senate intelligence committee. And the campaign didn't end with Trump's ascent to the White House. Troll farms are still working to stoke racial and political passions in America at a time of high political discord. The two studies are the most comprehensive picture yet of the Russian interference campaigns on American social media. They add to the portrait investigators have been building since 2017 on Russia's influence — though Trump has equivocated on whether the interference actually happened. Facebook, Google and Twitter declined to comment on the specifics of the reports.

    After Judge's Ruling Against 'Obamacare,' What Happens Now?

    A federal judge's ruling would, if upheld, wipe away the entire Affordable Care Act, the health care overhaul championed by President Barack Obama and twice sustained by the Supreme Court. Judge Reed O'Connor's opinion was issued late Friday, and supporters of the law vowed to appeal and take other steps to preserve health benefits in the law sometimes called "Obamacare." There are still some questions and answers about O'Connor's ruling.

    'Fresh Prince' Star Sues 'Fortnite' Maker Over Dance Emote

    "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air" star Alfonso Ribeiro is suing the makers of the popular battle royale video game "Fortnite" for allegedly stealing the dance that made him famous. Attorneys for Ribeiro said Epic Games ripped off the dance his character Carlton Banks did in the hit NBC sitcom and used the moves in an animated dance -- also known as an emote -- that players could buy and download in the game under the moniker "Fresh." "Epic has earned record profits off of downloadable content in the game, including emotes like "Fresh.," attorney David Hecht said in a statement. "Yet Epic has failed to compensate or even ask permission from Mr. Ribeiro for the use of his likeness and iconic intellectual property." Hecht added that Ribeiro has also filed a similar suit against Take Two Interactive and Visual Concepts for adding a similar emote to the NBA 2K games. Ribeiro's copyright infringement suits seek unspecified damages.

    CBS Denies Former CEO Les Moonves $120 Million Severance

    CBS announced former CEO Les Moonves will not receive his $120 million severance package after the board of directors concluded he violated company policy and was uncooperative with an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations. The decision, which came after a five-month outside investigation, capped the downfall of one of television's most influential figures, the biggest entertainment powerbroker to see his career derailed amid the #MeToo movement against sexual misconduct. A lawyer for Moonves said the board's conclusion "are without merit" but did not say whether the former CEO would challenge it in arbitration. Moonves was ousted in September after allegations from women who said he subjected them to mistreatment including forced oral sex, groping and retaliation if they resisted.

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