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Man found with van carrying guns and explosives planned Joe Biden assassination, court records say

  • A 19-year-old man who was found in North Carolina in May with a van carrying five guns, explosives and a $500,000 in cash planned to assassinate Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, court records show.
  • Alexander Hillel Treisman traveled to within four miles of Biden's home in Delaware in May, around the suspect bought an AR-15 rifle, and wrote a checklist note ending with the word "execute," a federal magistrate judge said in a court order.
  • Treisman has been ordered held without bail in a federal case where he is accused of possessing and transmitting child pornography.

A 19-year-old man who was arrested in North Carolina in May, after police discovered his van carrying five guns, explosives and more than $500,000 in cash, was planning to assassinate Joe Biden, court records show.

Alexander Hillel Treisman traveled to within four miles of the Democratic presidential nominee's home in Delaware earlier in May, the records show.

That was within a month or so of Treisman buying an AR-15 rifle in New Hampshire, and writing a checklist note ending with the word "execute," a federal magistrate judge said in a court order justifying Treisman's detention without bail on child pornography charges.

"Should I kill joe biden?" Treisman posted on the meme-sharing platform iFunny on April 15, the court order said.

Triesman was indicted in late September in federal court in the Middle District of North Carolina on charges of possessing and transmitting child pornography.

His actions regarding Biden and other evidence against him were cited as reasons for his pretrial detention by the judge in an order signed Oct. 6.

"A timeline of internet searches conducted by Defendant between March and May 2020 seeking information about Joe Biden's home address, state gun laws, rifle parts, and night vision goggles, along with actions taken by Defendant, including posting the above mentioned meme about killing Joe Biden, purchasing an AR-15 in New Hampshire, traveling to a Wendy's within 4 miles of Joe Biden's home, and writing a checklist note ending with execute," the order said.

While Treisman has no prior criminal history, the judge concluded that "no combination of available release conditions would reasonably assure the safety of the community, and that a preponderance of evidence establishes that no conditions would ensure Defendant's presence in court."

A lawyer Treisman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The detention order cites testimony by an FBI agent explaining how Treisman came to be the subject of a criminal investigation that uncovered the information about Biden.

The agent said that on May 28, police in Kannapolis, North Carolina, responding to a report of an abandoned van in a bank parking lot, through the vehicle's window saw an AR-15 style rifle, a box for a .380-caliber handgun, a canister "of the explosive material Tannerite," and a box of 5.56-caliber ammunition, according to the order.

After the van was towed, a search of the vehicle found about "$509,000 in U.S. currency (believed to be [Treisman's] inheritance), books (about survival, bomb making, improvised weapons and Islam), drawings of swastikas and planes crashing into buildings," and a Sig Sauer AR Rifle, a 9 mm Luger, a Kel-Tec Sub-2000, a .22-caliber rifle, and a Russian Mosin Nagant M91/30 bolt-action rifle.

Treisman arrived at the bank later that day in a Honda Accord and asked about the towed van, according to court documents. Police went to the bank after employees contacted them and took Treisman into custody, the documents said.

A search of the Honda revealed two more handguns, a .380-caliber, and a 9 mm Luger "found concealed in a clothes hamper," the order said.

Treisman was carrying driver's licenses from three states, including one that bore the name Alexander S. Theiss, the order said.

Treisman was arrested for allegedly carrying a concealed weapon. In a recorded phone call with his mother from jail on May 29, a day after his arrest, his mother, Kimberly Treisman suggested that he "should 'jump bail,' " the order said.

During interviews with police and investigators from the Joint Terrorism Task Force, Treisman "disclosed he has an interest in terrorist incidents and mass shootings," and that he had been driving across the country buying firearms in different states, the order said.

A search of online aliases for Treisman showed him making references to pedophilia "and executing those he hates," the order said. One post by his alias expressed "a desire to perform a mass shooting," it said.

Searches of Treisman's cellphone and 15 other electronic devices seized form his vehicle turned up thousands of images an of child pornography and more than 1,200 child porn videos, the order said.

A note created on Oct. 15, 2019, on the phone described "a plan to perform a mass shooting at mall food court on Christmas or Black Friday," the order said.

An April 8, 2020, internet post by one of Treisman's aliases, "AlextheBodacious," said he "was going to do a columbine for a while, [but] I think it would be better to put it towards something more memorable."

A week later, he posted a meme on iFunny with the caption "should I kill Joe Biden," accordingv to the court documents.

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World News

Prominent New York hotel developer Chang's businesses received millions in PPP loans

  • At least eight businesses owned by Sam Chang received between $2.8 million and just over $7 million in federal small business loans.
  • Though Chang owns many New York hotels, he does not manage them and would not have applied for the loans himself.
  • A spokesman told CNBC in a statement that the loans were intended, in part, to help retain employees.

Companies controlled by one of New York's most prominent hotel developers received millions of dollars in loans from a government program intended to support small businesses as the coronavirus hammered the economy.

At least eight businesses owned by Sam Chang received between $2.8 million and just over $7 million in federal small business loans, according to a list of transactions made public this summer. The amount and the way in which the funds were distributed to Chang's businesses had yet to be reported.

More than 660,000 businesses were approved for the Paycheck Protection Program, which is run by the Treasury Department and the Small Business Administration. Loans went to companies both small and large while the coronavirus swept through the country. Congress and the Trump administration continue to negotiate over more stimulus funds. The Senate plans to vote on a separate GOP backed coronavirus bill on Wednesday.

Chang founded the McSam Hotel Group, which is known for buying and developing hotel properties that offer affordable accommodations. Some of those properties include hotels in and around Times Square, such as the Hampton Inn, Candlewood Suites and Holiday Inn.

Chang once said he was worth $200 million in cash, according to a New York Times report from 2006. The Wall Street Journal reported in 2019 that he was planning to retire.

Though Chang owns many New York hotels, he does not manage them and would not have applied for the loans himself. The commercial real estate and hotel industries suffered major losses after the pandemic hit the U.S.

McSam spokesman Sam Goldstein told CNBC in a statement that the loans were intended, in part, to help retain employees.

"The hospitality industry, as has been extensively documented, is among the hardest hit sectors of the economy due to the Covid-induced downturn, especially in New York City," he told CNBC in an email.  "A number of these sites provided accommodations for health care professionals and others working for Covid-related purposes. The PPP loans enabled the hotels to retain much of their workforces for a longer period of time and to continue operating despite extraordinary drops in guests and revenue."

Most of the loans went through obscure limited liability companies to single properties that Chang owns, records show. Meanwhile, McSam Hotel Group saw between $150,000 and $350,000, but the total went toward Chang's corporate office, according to McSam's spokesman.

The other federal loans went to seven other LLCs that do not bear his company name, such as the Grandsam Island LLC and the Brisam JFK LLC, the list shows. A company called Lopm 39 De LLC saw between $1 million and $2 million in federal loans. CNBC discovered that these LLCs are linked to Chang as searches on New York's business database showed that many list the same address as the McSam Hotel Group in Great Neck, N.Y.

LLCs named Grandsam Island, Brisam JFK, NDBPW 44, SCCQ Downtown, Lopm 39 De, LSCH and NYHK West 40, all of which received federal loans, are all Chang business entities that own single hotel properties in New York, according to the spokesman.

Grandsam owns the Radisson in Grand Island, N.Y. Brisam JFK owns the Holiday Inn hotel near John F. Kennedy Airport in Queens. NDBPW owns the TownePlace Suites by Marriott in Manhattan. NYHK West 40 owns a Manhattan Doubletree.

While Chang doesn't have direct ties to President Donald Trump, he did have a stake in Trump Entertainment Resorts years ago, according to The Real Deal. It was one of the president's previous companies that owned and managed properties such as the Trump Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, before the business went bankrupt.

Many real estate businesses, some linked to Trump, saw a boost from the federal loan program.

G.H. Palmer Associates, a real estate firm run by longtime Trump backer Geoffrey Palmer, was approved for a loan. 

Palmer has been close to Trump for years. He was one of many corporate leaders of Trump's coronavirus business advisory council and has combined to give at least $6 million to pro-Trump super PAC America First Action, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.  

Dezer Development, a real estate company founded by Michael Dezer, says on its website that it has the same address as Trump International Beach Resort in Miami, Florida. The Dezer website says that its "branded real estate portfolio includes six-Trump branded towers." Dezer got between $350,000 and $1 million from PPP

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India Will Tap Skill in Conducting Elections to Deliver Vaccine

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked his officials to prepare for a speedy delivery of Covid-19 vaccine to every citizen of the country by using the nation’s experience in successfully conducting the world’s biggest elections and disaster management programs.

The federal government has to collaborate with others, including states and civil society organizations, for distributing the vaccine, Modi said on Saturday according to a government statement, after assessing the pandemic situation in the country. The administration must plan for cold storage chains, monitoring mechanisms, and advance assessment, according to the statement.

India Has Potential to Boost Testing 10-Fold, Biocon Head Says

The South Asian nation’s experience in handling the complex task of holding elections in the world’s second-most populous country could help put in place a plan for distribution of the vaccine once it’s ready. The administration usually begins preparations for logistic and security arrangements for the federal election in the nation of 1.3 billion almost a year in advance.

The number of Covid-19 fatalities in India is 114,031, while 6.6 million have recovered from the disease. It has been about 37 weeks since the first case was reported in India.

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