Trump's criminal trial in New York is receiving media attention in the United States

WASHINGTON, April 20 – The beginning of Donald Trump's criminal trial, the first in the history of a former US president, has captured media attention in the week that ends today with jury selection in a New York court.

The 12 jurors and six alternates who will determine the innocence or guilt of the former president (2017-2021), which all media outlets are watching live here, concluded the day before after four days in which the citizens of this country saw how it would ultimately turn out. The Republican presidential candidate spent more time in court than he did on the campaign trail.

On Thursday, the 12 members of the main committee and an alternate member were sworn in, and the appointment of the remaining five members was reserved for Friday.

Some reports indicated that it was a relatively quick process and that the opening arguments for the trial will begin next Monday.

Trump is charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records with the aim of concealing in 2016 (during his first presidential campaign) a bribe payment to pornographic actress Stormy Daniels, with whom he had an affair in 2006.

Prosecutors said Trump participated in a plan designed with his former lawyer Michael Cohen and others to influence that election by falsifying records to leave compromising payments under the table, including $130,000 to silence Daniels.

In addition, a hearing was held on Friday in which prosecutors confirmed that if Trump takes the stand in this criminal trial, they will also ask him about his other legal battles, including two high-profile civil rulings: for defamation and business fraud. For which he was also convicted in New York.

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Outside the courtroom, another event sparked the media: A man, later identified by police as Maxwell Azzarello of St. Augustine, Florida, set himself on fire in the designated protest area. At an afternoon press conference, it was reported that he was in critical condition in the burns unit.

Also making headlines was the US House of Representatives' bipartisan vote in favor of a major foreign aid package, an important step toward sending aid to Ukraine and Israel.

House Speaker Mike Johnson intends to present to the plenary session a vote next Saturday on three separate aid packages for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. In one of them, he will abandon an initiative to try to force the sale of the Chinese social media network TikTok.

On March 13, the House easily approved by 352 votes to 65 a bill that could ban the platform, one of the most popular in the United States.

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