Biden Administration

DHS Warns Against Planned Florida To Cuba Flotilla

Mediaite reports: The Department of Homeland Security reminded Floridians ahead of a flotilla scheduled to travel near Cuba on Thursday that it was “illegal” to travel to the island nation without permission from the federal government. “It is illegal for boaters to depart with the intent to travel to Cuba for any purpose without a permit,” the department said in …

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DOJ Bans Seizure Of Reporters’ Records In Leak Probes

The Washington Post reports: Attorney General Merrick Garland on Monday formally prohibited federal prosecutors from seizing the records of journalists in leak investigations, with limited exceptions, reversing years of department policy. The new policy largely codifies the commitment Garland made in June, when he said the Justice Department would abandon the practice of seizing reporters’ records in leak investigations. It …

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White House Blames China For Microsoft Email Hack

The Associated Press reports: The Biden administration on Monday blamed China for a hack of Microsoft Exchange email server software that compromised tens of thousands of computers around the world earlier this year. The administration and allied nations also disclosed a broad range of other cyberthreats from Beijing, including ransomware attacks from government-affiliated hackers that have targeted companies with demands …

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Facebook And White House Continue To Trade Barbs

The New York Times reports: Facebook and the Biden administration engaged in an increasingly rancorous back and forth over the weekend after the administration denounced the social media giant for spreading misinformation about the Covid-19 vaccines. On Sunday, the surgeon general, Vivek Murthy, reiterated warnings that false stories about the vaccines had become a dangerous health hazard. “These platforms have …

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US Warns Companies Of New Risks In Hong Kong

Via press release from the State Department: On July 16, the U.S. Department of State, along with the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, issued a business advisory to caution U.S. businesses about emerging risks to their operations and activities in Hong Kong. Many of these risks stem from …

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US Calls For Prosecutions In Fatal Attack On Tbilisi Pride

Reuters reports: The State Department on Tuesday called for calm in the republic of Georgia after the death of a cameraman beaten up during violence against LGBT activists and said those who attacked peaceful protesters and journalists should be prosecuted. State Department spokesman Ned Price told a regular news briefing that Washington was following the situation in Georgia and was …

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Biden Taps Ex-Sen. Jeff Flake As Ambassador To Turkey

CNBC reports: President Joe Biden is nominating former Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona as his ambassador to Turkey, whose alliance with the U.S. has in recent years been marked by major disagreements on key foreign policy issues. “I am honored and humbled by the trust President Biden has placed in me with this ambassadorial nomination,” Flake wrote in a …

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DOE Axes $55M In Student Debt From Scam Schools

Via press release from the Department of Education: The U.S. Department of Education (Department) announced today the approval of over 1,800 borrower defense to repayment (borrower defense) claims for borrowers who attended three institutions: Westwood College, Marinello Schools of Beauty and the Court Reporting Institute. This is the first time the Department has announced approved borrower defense claims for students …

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DOJ To Spend $6M On Massive Capitol Riot Database

Politico reports: The Justice Department has agreed to pay $6.1 million to a technology contractor to create a massive database of videos, photographs, documents and social media posts related to the Capitol riot as part of the process of turning relevant evidence over to defense attorneys for the more than 500 people facing criminal charges in the Jan. 6 events, …

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WH Launches Delta Variant “Surge Response” Teams

The Washington Post reports: The Biden administration on Thursday announced the formation of “surge response” teams intended to combat the fast-moving delta variant of the coronavirus by deploying additional expertise and supplies to hot spots. “These are dedicated teams working with communities at higher risk for, or already experiencing, outbreaks due to the spread of the delta variant and their …

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Garland Orders Temporary Halt To Federal Executions

NBC News reports: Attorney General Merrick Garland ordered a temporary stop Thursday to scheduling further federal executions. In a memo to senior officials, he said serious concerns have arisen about the arbitrariness of capital punishment, its disparate impact on people of color, and “the troubling number of exonerations” in death penalty cases. “The Department of Justice must ensure that everyone …

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DOJ Task Force To Go After Threats To Election Workers

Democracy Docket reports: On Friday, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that the Department of Justice (DOJ) will form a criminal task force to investigate threats made against election workers across the country. The task force will put the resources of multiple DOJ divisions, including the Criminal Division, Civil Rights Division and the FBI, behind efforts to protect the workers who …

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DOJ To Sue Georgia Over GOP Voter Suppression Law

The Washington Post reports: The Justice Department will file a federal lawsuit Friday against the state of Georgia for its efforts to enact new voting restrictions that federal authorities allege discriminate against Black Americans, according to people familiar with the matter. The legal challenge takes aim at Georgia’s Election Integrity Act, which was passed in March by the Republican-led state …

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Biden Appoints Special Envoy On LGBTQ Rights

The Hill reports: President Biden on Friday named Jessica Stern as the State Department’s U.S. special envoy to advance the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons, an announcement that coincides with the White House’s celebration of Pride month. The position was left vacant under the administration of former President Trump. Biden will introduce Stern during remarks in the East Room Friday afternoon …

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DOJ Marks 500th Riot Arrest, 100th For Assaulting Cop

Via press release from Attorney General Merrick Garland: The Department of Justice reached several benchmarks in our investigation into the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol. We have now crossed the threshold of 500 arrests, including the 100th arrest of a defendant on charges of assaulting a federal law enforcement officer. This morning, we arrested our first defendant on …

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US Extends Travel Restrictions With Mexico, Canada

CNN reports: The United States has extended Covid-19 restrictions on non-essential travel at land and ferry crossings with Canada and Mexico until July 21, according to a tweet from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Sunday. “To reduce the spread of #COVID19, the United States is extending restrictions on non-essential travel at our land and ferry crossings with Canada …

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DOJ Joins ACLU Suits Against Anti-Transgender Laws

Law & Crime reports: The U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday filed court documents to support two separate lawsuits filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) which argue that recently passed anti-transgender laws in West Virginia and Arkansas violate the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The filing aligned with a memo put out by the DOJ’s Division …

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Missouri GOP Battles Biden Admin On Gun Laws: We’re Defending Our People From “Federal Govt Overreach”

Fox News reports: Missouri Gov. Mike Parson and and state Attorney General (AG) Eric Schmitt fired back on Thursday after the Justice Department (DOJ) sent a warning to the state over Parson’s recent bill he said protects residents’ Second Amendment rights. In a letter sent Wednesday night, Justice officials said the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause outweighs the measure that Parson …

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DOJ To “Strengthen Rules” After Trump Spying Scandal

The Washington Post reports: Attorney General Merrick Garland said Monday that the Justice Department would beef up its policies for obtaining lawmakers’ records and vowed “strict accountability” for officials who let politics affect their work, issuing a lengthy statement amid a metastasizing controversy over department efforts during the Trump administration to obtain the data of congressmen, journalists and even the …

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Garland: DOJ To Double Staff Working On Voting Rights

NBC News reports: Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Friday that he plans to double the number of staff within the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division dedicated to protecting voting rights. “There are plenty of things up for debate in America, but the right of all eligible Americans to vote is not one of them,” Garland said. The staffing surge would …

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