Politics & Government

Politics, elections, law, military and veteran's affairs

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Bill Browder On The Magnitsky Act

Aug 7, 2018

Bill Browder was a lead campaigner behind the Magnitsky Act, which was allegedly the reason for a meeting between Trump campaign staffers and a Kremlin-connected attorney last year.

Or so we thought.

The president tweeted this weekend that the meeting was, in fact, about potential damaging information about Hillary Clinton.

Despite a dip in shootings and murders for the year, Chicago suffered one of its bloodiest weekends in recent history last weekend. Police say 33 shootings occurred between Friday and Sunday nights, fueled mostly by gang violence. The incidents left a dozen people dead and dozens wounded. Now, the city's mayor and police superintendent say the city's residents who live in troubled areas of the city should do more to help stop the bloodshed.

The violence occurred between 6 p.m. Friday and 11:59 p.m. Sunday night. Nearly 70 people including several children were wounded.

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The mayor of Charlottesville, Va., Nikuyah Walker, has no problem talking openly about racial disparities in her city, even if that makes some people uncomfortable.

Morning News Brief

Aug 7, 2018

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The star witness in the trial of onetime Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort will take the stand again today.

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Updated at 8:23 p.m. ET

Paul Manafort's former business partner Rick Gates underwent hours of brutal cross-examination on Tuesday in a vicious courtroom battle over his credibility.

Gates is the marquee witness in the government's case against Manafort, who stands charged with bank and tax fraud.

After Gates described the intricate financial web he says he and Manafort spun to commit financial fraud together, defense attorneys battered Gates with questions about an extramarital affair and asked why anyone should put any stock in what he says now.

There are about 2 million people who work in the federal government. Despite being in charge of the executive branch, the president is limited in the people he can fire.

But could that be about to change?

In Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump has nominated someone to the Supreme Court who believes, as he does, in an expansive view of presidential power.

Could the president hire and fire civil servants at will, for example? That question is at the heart of a concept that likely will come up often at Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings this fall.

A critical House special election on Tuesday could provide some of the biggest clues yet about how much trouble Republicans could be in this November.

In Ohio, the last Republican vs. Democrat matchup before November has become the latest proxy fight for whether Democrats can harness the energy, activism and overperformance in past special elections to pull off an upset in a GOP-held district.

Updated at 9:30 p.m. ET

A widely used loophole for funneling secret "dark money" into political ads closed quietly last weekend, as a federal judge concluded it thwarted Congress' intent to have broad disclosure of political money.

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Now that the Trump administration has pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal, it is reimposing sanctions that had been lifted under the deal starting at midnight. NPR's Michele Kelemen reports.

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Michigan Democrats are itching to take back the governor's seat that Republicans have held for eight years. But first, they have to choose their candidate in Tuesday's primary. In a state that went narrowly for President Trump in 2016, for the Democrats, it's all about showing your progressive bona fides.

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Updated at 6:23 p.m. ET

Paul Manafort's former business partner Rick Gates took the witness stand on Monday for the most highly anticipated — and likely crucial — testimony in Manafort's trial on bank and tax fraud charges.

Gates worked as Manafort's right-hand man over the past decade, and prosecutors say he helped Manafort evade taxes and lie to banks to qualify for loans.

YouTube, Apple and Facebook have removed main outlets for conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his Infowars website, citing repeated violations of policies against hate speech and glorifying violence. Infowars responded by accusing the companies of censorship.

The streaming service Spotify also expanded a ban imposed last week on some of Jones' content, saying Monday that "The Alex Jones Show has lost access to the Spotify platform."

On Sunday, Apple and iTunes deleted five podcasts related to Infowars and Jones. The other bans then piled up in quick succession.

The Battle for the Beach

Aug 6, 2018

The world is running out of sand. And it’s a problem.

Here’s how Vincent Beiser, writing for Wired, puts it.

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Updated at 12:24 p.m. ET

One of the nation's most vocal promoters of unsubstantiated voter fraud claims hopes to eliminate his own party's sitting governor in Tuesday's primary.

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