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Yana Paskova/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Michael Cohen, the former longtime fixer and personal attorney for Donald Trump, appeared in federal court Tuesday afternoon, pleaded guilty to eight counts and said in open court that he made illegal campaign contributions "in coordination and at the direction of a candidate for federal office."

The campaign finance violations are associated with Cohen’s role in alleged hush money agreements with two women, Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, who claim to have had affairs with Trump.

The "candidate" Cohen referred to was not named in court but the criminal information identifies Cohen as the personal attorney "to Individual-1, who at that point had become the President of the United States."

The information states that Cohen made a contribution to "Individual-1" and "did so by making and causing to be made an expenditure, in cooperation, consultation, and concert with, and at the request and suggestion of one or more members of the campaign, to wit, COHEN made a $130,000 payment to Woman-2 to ensure that she not publicize damaging allegation before the 2016 presidential election and thereby influence that election."

“I participated in this conduct for the principal purpose” of influencing an election, Cohen said.

The president's current personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, was quick to react.

"There is no allegation of any wrongdoing against the President in the government's charges against Mr. Cohen. It is clear that, as the prosecutor noted, Mr. Cohen's actions reflect a pattern of lies and dishonesty over a significant period of time,” Giuliani said in a statement.

An attorney for Cohen, Lanny Davis, issued a statement as well.

"Michael Cohen took this step today so that his family can move on to the next chapter," he said.

"This is Michael fulfilling his promise made on July 2nd to put his family and country first and tell the truth about Donald Trump," Davis continued, referring to comments Cohen made in an interview with ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos.

"Today he stood up and testified under oath that Donald Trump directed him to commit a crime by making payments to two women for the principal purpose of influencing an election. If those payments were a crime for Michael Cohen, then why wouldn't they be a crime for Donald Trump?” Davis said.

Cohen had agreed to a deal with federal prosecutors in New York that required him to plead guilty to the violations of campaign finance law as well as several felony charges of bank fraud and tax evasion.

The tax charges stem from Cohen’s personal business dealings and investments in real estate and the taxi industry.

When the federal judge asked Cohen if he understood that he could get a maximum sentence of 65 years in prison if sentenced consecutively, Cohen said “yes.”

The government estimates Cohen would face some significant prison time under the deal, which will also require Cohen to make a substantial monetary forfeiture.

Though Cohen has been for weeks publicly signaling a willingness to consider a cooperation pact with authorities, it is unclear if there is a provision in the deal that requires Cohen to cooperate in ongoing federal investigations, either in New York or in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

There was no immediate indication of a cooperation agreement with the government -- but the absence of a cooperation deal - while it would be notable - would not completely eliminate the possibility that Cohen could subsequently provide information to investigators that might result in a more lenient sentence.

Given Cohen’s proximity to Trump during the past decade, including throughout his meteoric rise from mogul and reality television star to the White House, observers consider him one of most potent legal thorns to confront Trump’s presidency since he took office.

“The guy who knows where all the bodies are buried,” said Seth Hettena, an author and veteran journalist who has chronicled Trump’s business career.

The investigation into Cohen was referred to New York’s Southern District by special counsel Robert Mueller, and if Cohen agrees to cooperate, the information he provides could benefit the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. But it remains unclear if he has committed to cooperate.

Cohen’s relationship with Trump dates to the mid-2000’s after Cohen, who owned condominiums in multiple Trump buildings in New York, took Trump’s side in a legal dispute with the condo board at Trump World Tower on Manhattan’s East Side. Cohen eventually went to work for the Trump Organization, where he held the positions of executive vice president and special counsel to Donald J. Trump.

"Michael Cohen has great insight into the real estate market," Trump said of Cohen in a 2007 New York Post interview. "He has invested in my buildings because he likes to make money – and he does."

In addition to working inside the Trump Organization as a lawyer and problem solver, Cohen built a diverse portfolio of investments.

At one point that included running 260 yellow cabs with a Ukrainian-born partner – a partnership that ended in 2012. He also invested millions in real estate, often turning a tidy profit. For instance, a building he bought in 2011 on the Lower East Side of Manhattan for $2.1 million, sold three years later for $10 million in cash.

The FBI raid on Cohen’s home and office in April gave the most significant indication his business dealings could become a legal problem for him.

Then in May, Evgeny Friedman, 46, a Russian immigrant known as the “Taxi King,” struck a plea deal that included a commitment to assist federal prosecutors investigating Cohen’s business practices.

At the time, veteran defense attorney Michael Volkov, who is not tied to this case, told ABC News he thought that spelled trouble for Cohen’s legal prospects.

“The government now has a strong inside witness who can assist in explaining many of Cohen’s business activities and potential fraud schemes, especially when it came to valuing the medallions for loan purposes,” Volkov said at the time.

In a Tweet shortly after Friedman’s plea arrangement, Cohen sought to distance himself from Friedman.

“I am one of thousands of medallion owners who entrust management companies to operate my medallions according to the rules of the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission,” Cohen wrote. “Gene Freidman and I are not partners and have never been partners in this business or any other.” Hettena, author of the book Trump/Russia: A Definitive History, said Cohen’s legal trouble is not a surprise to anyone who closely studied his legal career.

“This is a pattern with him,” Hettena said. “This is a guy who is willing to cut corners. To bend rules. Whatever is going to help whatever interest he is serving.”

For more than a decade around the office in Trump Tower – and around New York – Cohen’s loyalty to Trump was unquestioned as he developed a reputation as Trump's "pit bull."

"It means that if somebody does something Mr. Trump doesn't like, I do everything in my power to resolve it to Mr. Trump's benefit," Cohen said in a 2011 interview with ABC News. "If you do something wrong, I'm going to come at you, grab you by the neck and I'm not going to let you go until I'm finished."

In 2010, Cohen was among the creators of a website,, that sought to encourage the New York real estate tycoon and reality television star to pursue a challenge to President Barrack Obama in the 2012 election.

"I think the world of [Trump]," Cohen told ABC News in the 2011 interview. "I respect him as a businessman, and I respect him as a boss."

Cohen’s dealings at the Trump family business covers a broad sweep of its global empire – including several projects that have caught the attention of federal investigators. Cohen played an integral role in early discussions about a possible Trump Tower in Moscow – negotiations that were going on during the early months of the 2016 presidential campaign.

That deal never reached fruition.

Cohen has confirmed he attended a lunch meeting with a Ukrainian politician one week after Trump took office, where the two men discussed the potential for Cohen to share a Ukraine peace proposal with his contacts at the White House.

“He could be extremely valuable,” said Matthew G. Olsen, a former federal prosecutor and ABC News contributor. “He was not just a personal lawyer but also was President Trump’s so-called fixer for a number of years. So he would have had access to lots of very personal information involving his business dealings.”

Cohen’s name appeared repeatedly in the now infamous dossier of unverified allegations, which included salacious claims about Trump, prepared by former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele.

The agent, who was hired by Fusion GPS, an opposition research firm that was paid initially by Republicans and later by Democrats, alleged in the dossier that Cohen was involved in attempting to covering up contacts between Russian operatives and members of Trump campaign, according to the document.

Cohen fiercely denied the claims.

In January, he tweeted “Enough is enough of the #fake #RussianDossier” before filing a lawsuit against Buzzfeed, the news outlet that first published the document – a suit he later withdrew.

In January - the Wall Street Journal first revealed Cohen’s role in negotiating a secret non-disclosure agreement with adult-film actress Stephanie Clifford, aka Stormy Daniels. The deal – which was executed less than two weeks prior to the November presidential election – paid Daniels $130,000 in exchange for her silence.

Government watchdog groups quickly filed complaints with the Federal Election Commission and the Department of Justice, asking the agencies to investigate for possible violations of campaign finance law.

Following the disclosure of the Daniels’ deal, Cohen insisted that he had acted on his own in the Daniels deal and that he had not been reimbursed by the campaign or the Trump Organization.

He told ABC News that the funds used to pay Daniels came from an existing home equity line of credit.

Two sources familiar with the search warrant that led to the raids on Cohen properties told ABC News in April that federal agents were hunting for records tied to Cohen’s personal business dealings and secret deals with Trump's alleged mistresses, media organizations during the 2016 presidential campaign.

On April 5, four days before the authorities raided Cohen’s properties in New York, President Trump told reporters on Air Force One that he didn’t know why Cohen had paid Daniels or where he had gotten the money to pay her. The president later acknowledged, in a financial disclosure form filed last month with the Office of Government Ethics, that he had reimbursed Cohen.

Then there is Karen McDougal, who in August 2016 signed a $150,000 deal with American Media Inc., the publisher of the National Enquirer, that transferred to the company the rights to her story of an alleged ten-month romantic affair with Trump in 2006. The magazine never published her story. McDougal alleged in a lawsuit filed earlier this year that Cohen had allegedly conspired with her former attorney to bury the story. McDougal settled her lawsuit.

President Trump, through his representatives, has denied the allegations of McDougal and Daniels.

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ABC/Paula Lobo(LOS ANGELES) -- Tiffany Haddish is adding a Netflix stand-up special to her resume.

The actress will be debuting an original hour-long stand-up comedy special on the streaming site later next year. The special will tape in early 2019.

“Tiffany Haddish is a force,” Lisa Nishimura, Netflix’s VP of Original Documentary and Comedy, says in a statement. “Hilariously funny, brash and self-effacing, she’s an incredible artist who is winning over audiences while breaking barriers, and we are tremendously proud that she will showcase her formidable talent on Netflix.”

Haddish has a busy rest of the year with three movies lined up for release: Night School, The Oath and Nobody’s Fool. She’ll also voice the character Tuca in the upcoming Netflix adult animated series Tuca & Bertie.

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Poweshiek County Sheriff's Office(BROOKLYN, Iowa) -- A first-degree murder charge was filed on Tuesday against a young man in the case of missing Iowa jogger Mollie Tibbetts, state officials said Tuesday.

The suspect, 24-year-old Cristhian Rivera, is an undocumented immigrant who lives in the rural area where the college student vanished one month ago, according to Rick Rahn of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.

A body recovered Tuesday morning in a farm field is believed to be Tibbetts, Rahn said, but the identity has not yet been confirmed.

Tibbetts, a 20-year-old rising sophomore at the University of Iowa, disappeared the evening of July 18 while jogging in the rural farming town of Brooklyn, a close-knit community of about 1,500 residents.

A critical break in the case was finding a local person with security cameras showing Tibbetts jogging, Rahn said.

"Through that we were able to identify a vehicle that we believed belonged to Mr. Rivera," Rahn said. "From that we were able to track his patterns and the routes that he took. We were also able to find Mollie running on this video and we were able to determine that he was one of the last ones to have seen Mollie running."

In an interview, Rivera told authorities he saw Tibbetts running, got out of his car and ran alongside of her, Rahn said.

Rivera claimed Tibbetts grabbed her phone and said, "I'm gonna call the police," according to an arrest affidavit.

Rivera told authorities he then panicked, got mad and "blocked" his "memory," and didn't remember anything after that until he reached an intersection, according to the affidavit.

Rivera claimed he then drove to a field entrance and into a cornfield driveway, before realizing he had Tibbetts in the trunk, the affidavit said.

Rivera said he went to get the 20-year-old out of the trunk and saw blood on the side of her head, according to the affidavit.

Rivera then said he dragged the college student from his car to a secluded part of a cornfield and left her in corn leaves, face-up, the arrest affidavit stated.

Rivera led authorities to Tibbetts' body, according to Rahn.

"I can't really speak about the motive," Rahn said. "I can just tell you that he followed her and seemed to be drawn to her on that particular day. For whatever reason he chose to abduct her."

Rivera was first approached on Monday, Rahn said, and "he was willing to talk with us."

Laura Calderwood, Tibbetts' mother, told ABC News last month there are "no words to describe how you feel when you don't know where or how your child is," calling it "excruciating."

One of Tibbetts' brothers, Scott Tibbetts, told ABC News last month he believed his sister was "fighting her best to get back home."

"I think the best thing, personally, to hang onto hope is ... she's a better fighter than anyone I know," he said. "So whatever situation she's in, it's not like she's going to sit there and give up."

"We are all suffering over the death of Mollie, knowing that it could have been our own daughter, sister or friend," Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said in a statement Tuesday.

“I spoke with Mollie’s family and passed on the heartfelt condolences of a grieving state," she said. “Over the past month, thousands of Iowans searched and prayed for Mollie’s safe return. Now, we are called to come together once again to lift up a grieving family."

“We are angry that a broken immigration system allowed a predator like this to live in our community, and we will do all we can bring justice to Mollie’s killer," Reynolds said.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Al-Qaeda's chief bomb maker is assessed to have been killed in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen, according to a U.S. official.

Ibrahim al-Asiri, a 36-year-old Saudi national, was considered one of the top terrorist bomb makers in the world by U.S. and western counterterrorism officials and was believed to be responsible for the foiled plot to take down an airliner over Detroit on Christmas Day in 2009.

Reports of al-Asiri's death began circulating last week after a United Nations report, citing "some member states," said al-Asiri "may have been killed during the second half of 2017."

"Given al-Asiri's past role in plots against aviation, this would represent a serious blow to operational capability," the report read.

The Associated Press also reported al-Asiri's death last week, citing Yemeni officials, a tribal leader, and an al-Qaeda-linked source. The tribal leader told the AP that al-Asiri was killed, along with two of his four associates, as he stood beside his vehicle.

"Al-Asiri was a proficient and highly innovative terrorist bomb maker," said John Cohen, a former counterterrorism coordinator for the Department of Homeland Security and an ABC News contributor. "His death will be welcomed by counterterrorism officials in the U.S. and the West, but there is still cause for concern in that there are reports that al-Asiri trained others in his particular brand of bomb-making."

"It's highly likely that those he trained are still out there," Cohen added.

Al-Asiri, who was particularly focused on attacks against aviation, specialized in hiding bombs inside of printer cartridges, laptops, and other types of electronic devices.

He was believed to have built the "underwear bomb" worn by a Nigerian man on a Northwest Airlines flight from the Netherlands to Detroit on Christmas Day in 2009. That bomb failed to detonate properly, and the bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, was sentenced to life in prison without parole in 2012.

Still, al-Asiri's efforts led U.S. officials to more tightly manage the way security is handled at airports across the country, especially in regards to electronic devices.

"What made him such a concern of intelligence and counterterrorism authorities was that he carefully studied security measures used by the United States and western countries in airports and around government buildings and other high-value targets, and then he designed bombs that were specifically intended to circumvent those security measures," Cohen told ABC News.

Former acting and deputy director of the CIA, Mike Morell, called al-Asiri's death "the most significant removal of a terrorist from the battlefield since the killing of bin Ladin."

"We are safer because of this US operation," he tweeted on Monday.

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Costa Mesa Police Department(LOS ANGELES) -- Multiple suspects are in custody after allegedly robbing a string of Apple stores in California, ABC-owned station KABC-TV reported.

A group of customers helped stop one alleged robbery at a Thousand Oaks Apple store Sunday by holding down two suspects as they attempted to flee, KABC reported. The suspects had allegedly entered the store wearing hooded sweatshirts and grabbed $18,000 in Apple products, according to KABC-TV.

Police then stopped a car in Simi Valley that was traveling at a high rate of speed and discovered Apple merchandise they say was stolen from the Thousand Oaks store and another Apple store, KABC-TV reported. The driver and two passengers were arrested, according to KABC-TV.

On July 7, four people allegedly stole more than $27,000 in Apple products from the Fashion Fair Mall in Fresno, ABC-owned station KFSN-TV reported.

Authorities are now investigating whether the robberies are related, KFSN-TV reported.

"They're actually targeting these Apple stores because of what they have there and there's a network in place to sell these on the secondary market," Capt. Garo Kuredjian of the Ventura County Sheriff's Department told KFSN-TV.

An Apple spokesperson said the company does not comment on security matters.

Ventura County Sheriff's Department did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment.

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iStock/ThinkstockBY  DR. RICHA KALRA

(NEW  YORK) -- Desk partitions are commonly seen as giving employees increased privacy but a new study shows that people may be better off without them.

Researchers from the University of Arizona looked at 231 office workers in four different office sites in the state. Employees worked in three different styles of office settings: “open bench configuration,” which had no partitions or very low ones, cubicles with high-walled partitions that workers can’t see over while seated and private walled offices.

Participants wore heart sensors and physical activity monitors, which captured the intensity of movement in any type of activity, for three consecutive work days and two nights. During working hours, they also answered questions every hour on their smartphones to gauge their mood. Finally, they all filled in a survey to measure their overall stress levels.

What did the researchers find?

Workers in open plan offices with open bench configurations had more physical activity at work -- and also outside of work -- than either workers in cubicles (20 percent more) or in private offices (32 percent more). Also, those with higher levels of physical activity at the office, meaning those who work in open configurations, at the office had 14 percent lower stress levels outside the office.

“This show us that design state matters,” said Casey Lindberg, co-author and research associate at the University of Arizona (UA) Institute on Place, Wellbeing and Performance, in an interview with ABC News.

He said that he hopes this study will influence office design in the future, making designers mindful that some little known processes may contribute to employee health and wellness.

Recent years have seen a rise in open-plan seating, away from the more traditional cubicle-style offices. These collaborative, open concept spaces have received mixed reviews from workers and researchers, according to Cornell University. However, authors of the study urge people to look at it from both sides of the desktop.

Dr. Esther Sternberg, M.D., lead author, director of University of Arizona (UA) Institute on Place, Wellbeing and Performance and research director at UA Center for Integrative Medicine, told ABC News that an "open office design" isn't as bad as it may seem to some employees.

“I think people should be aware that an open office design is not all bad," Sternberg said. "There is a perception out there, that open offices are terrible because they can be noisy and distracting, but they do have an upside to health benefits."

She went on to add that when designing an office, companies should think about ways to make it most beneficial for workers.

“It is important to consider the balance between the various designs to really implement ways to reduce the negative and increase the positive benefits of them all," she noted.

So, what exactly about open concept offices led to increased physical activity?

Authors of the study are still uncertain of the specific causes and say that learning the specific mechanisms leading to increased physical activity will be a goal of research in the future. They speculate that people working in a dynamic space can walk to a collaborative space, or retreat to more secluded spaces for private conversations.

Aside from these findings, the study suggests that an open concept may involve positive social effects, including more impromptu conversations, better communication and increased awareness of co-workers.

“Overall, this is an important aspect to pay attention to if we want to optimize our health," Sternberg said.

Richa Kalra, M.D., is a resident physician specializing in psychiatry and working in the ABC News Medical Unit.

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ESPN(NEW YORK) -- The 71st annual Little League World Series is underway in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, but one player in particular has been getting a ton of shine online and off for his catchy introduction.

Before the players hit the field, they introduce themselves. The introductions show a bit of creativity, humor and personality, and it was Alfred Delia's introduction that stole the show this year when it aired on ESPN on Aug. 10.

"Hi, my name is Alfred Delia. At home, they call me 'Big Al.' And I hit dingers," said Alfred, 12, of Middletown, New Jersey.

Unfortunately, his team was knocked out of the tournament, but Alfred was already a star.

His video introduction went viral thanks to ESPN and the Little League, and even captured the attention of "Jimmy Kimmel Live."

The rising seventh-grader, who plays third base, pitcher and left field, told Kimmel recently that he did not think the introduction would go viral.

"I woke up one day, the next day after we lost, and I was like, 'Hey, I'm viral,'" he said.

Alfred told Kimmel that he'd made up the line on his own -- with the help of his teammates -- and that he didn't run it by anyone beforehand.

During a SportsCenter interview, he said he was busy meeting people and even signing a few autographs and taking pictures.

"I'm just always getting like noticed by everybody... people come up, I'm eating my sandwich and they're like, 'Yo, Big Al. What's up?'" he said.

Alfred, who said he'd gotten the nickname from his father and grandfather, shared some helpful advice to other future Little Leaguers hoping to hit dingers.

"Keep your front shoulder in. Try your best and just keep your eye on the ball," he said.

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