Politics

US Embassy Staff To Leave Iraq Over “Iranian Threats”

CNBC reports: Washington ordered the departure of non-emergency government employees from Iraq on Wednesday, after repeated U.S. expressions of concern about threats from Iranian-backed forces. The U.S. State Department has ordered the pullout of the employees from both the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and its consulate in Erbil, the embassy said in a statement. On Tuesday, the U.S. military reaffirmed …

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Madonna Defends Upcoming Performance In Israel

“I’ll never stop playing music to suit someone’s political agenda nor will I stop speaking out against violations of human rights wherever in the world they may be. My heart breaks every time I hear about the innocent lives that are lost in this region and the violence that is so often perpetuated to suit the political goals of people …

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Justice Neil Gorsuch Replaces Joe Biden As Honorary Chairman Of Group On “Civics And Civility In Politics”

The Associated Press reports: Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch is taking on a new role as the honorary chairman of a nonpartisan group devoted to education about the Constitution, replacing former Vice President Joe Biden. The National Constitution Center in Philadelphia said Tuesday that Gorsuch, named to the high court by President Donald Trump, will serve as a spokesman for …

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New Zealand PM: I Don’t Understand The US On Guns

CNN reports: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she does “not understand” why the United States has not passed stronger gun laws in the aftermath of mass shooting events. Ahead of a summit on online extremism, Ardern was responding to a question by CNN’s Christiane Amanpour asking whether countries can learn from New Zealand. The Prime Minister said guns …

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WISCONSIN: State GOP Maxed Out Credit Card And Missed Insurer Payments In Failed Bid To Save Walker

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports: The state Republican Party fell so far behind financially in recent months that it missed payments to insurers and racked up nearly $600 a month in interest on a maxed-out credit card, according to a draft of an internal report. The review, commissioned by U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson and other top Wisconsin Republicans in the …

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Surgery For Jimmy Carter After Breaking Hip In Fall

Via press release from the Carter Center: While leaving to go turkey hunting this morning, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter fell at his home in Plains, Georgia. He is recovering comfortably from surgery to repair a broken hip at Phoebe Sumter Medical Center in Americus, Georgia. His surgeon stated that the surgery was successful. His wife, Rosalynn, is with him. …

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SCOTUS Rules 5-4 Against Apple In App Store Case

USA Today reports: The Supreme Court opened the door Monday for iPhone users to sue Apple over excessive prices on its exclusive App Store. Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote the 5-4 opinion and was joined by the court’s four liberal justices. The other four conservatives dissented. The question before the justices was whether consumers’ beef over prices is with Apple …

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Sweden Reopens Rape Case Against Julian Assange

The BBC reports: Swedish prosecutors have reopened an investigation into a rape allegation made against Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange in 2010. The inquiry has been revived at the request of the alleged victim’s lawyer. Assange, who denies the charges, has avoided extradition to Sweden for seven years after seeking refuge at the Ecuadorean embassy in London in 2012. The 47-year-old …

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Leaked Financial Docs Reveal Deepening NRA Woes

The Week reports: The rift between the National Rifle Association’s Chief Executive Wayne LaPierre and the organization’s ex-board president Oliver North is continuing to grow. Anonymous documents posted online show that the NRA has accrued massive legal bills over the past year, while the organization’s chief executive, Wayne LaPierre, spent lavishly on clothing and travel, billing the organization’s ad agency …

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Court: Florida Must Provide Spanish-Language Ballots

NBC News reports: Advocates for Spanish-speaking voters in Florida are celebrating a significant win Friday after District Judge Mark Walker issued an order requiring 32 of the state’s 67 counties to provide election materials and assistance to Spanish-speaking voters before the 2020 presidential primary. Walker’s decision comes after several civic engagement groups and individuals sued the state secretary of state …

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Chelsea Manning Released From Jail After 62 Days

The New York Times reports: Chelsea Manning, the former Army intelligence analyst who provided secret military documents to WikiLeaks in 2010, was released from jail Thursday after being held for two months for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating the online leak-publishing organization. Ms. Manning’s release came on the day that the term of the grand jury that …

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No Bailout: Three Mile Island To Finally Shut Down

The Associated Press reports: Three Mile Island, site of the United States’ worst nuclear power accident, will begin a planned shutdown starting June 1 now that it is clear that it will not get a financial rescue from Pennsylvania, its owner said Wednesday. Exelon Corp.’s statement comes two years after the Chicago-based energy giant threatened to close the money-losing plant …

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AOC/Bernie Bill Would Cap Credit Card Interest At 15%

Axios reports: 2020 candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) — both self-declared Democratic-socialists — will introduce a bill on Thursday to prevent credit card interest rates from rising above 15% and capping consumer loans. Credit cards are one of the most insidious forms of indebtedness. By bundling a loan with a very convenient payments device, banks …

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Denver Votes To Decriminalize Psychedelic Mushrooms

The Denver Post reports: Denver is poised to become the first city in the nation to effectively decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms. After trailing in results postings Tuesday night and early Wednesday, final unofficial results showed a reversal of fortune — with Initiative 301 set to pass narrowly with 50.6 percent of the vote. The total stands at 89,320 votes in favor …

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Pompeo Makes Surprise Iraq Visit Amid Iran Tensions

The Associated Press reports: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a lightning visit to Baghdad on Tuesday to show U.S. support for the Iraqi government as Washington steps up warnings to Iran against any action against American interests in the Middle East. The unannounced trip began and ended after nightfall and under heavy security. Pompeo’s visit came as the …

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NEW YORK: State Senate Poised To Approve Bill That Will Allow Congress To See Trump’s State Tax Returns

The New York Times reports: As the standoff over President Trump’s federal tax returns deepens in Washington, New York State lawmakers say they intend to advance a bill on Wednesday to allow congressional committees to see Mr. Trump’s New York State returns. State Senator Brad Hoylman, a Manhattan Democrat, confirmed on Tuesday that the State Senate has enough votes to …

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Mueller Sets Tentative Date To Testify Before House

The Huffington Post reports: Special counsel Robert Mueller has agreed to the “tentative date” of May 15 to testify before the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), a member of the panel, told “Fox News Sunday.” “We hope the special counsel will appear,” Cicilline said. “We think the American people have a right to hear directly from him.” There’s …

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Bernie Pushes Back On Biden Over Progressive Record

ABC News reports: Sen. Bernie Sanders pushed back against former Vice President Joe Biden’s claim that he has “the most progressive record” of any candidate in the Democratic presidential field, citing Biden’s votes as a member of the U.S. Senate as evidence that his views were not always in line with the nation’s liberals. “I think if you look at …

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OHIO: ACLU Wins US House Gerrymandering Case

The Associated Press reports: A federal court has ruled Ohio’s congressional map is unconstitutional and has ordered a new one be drawn for the 2020 elections. A three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court in Cincinnati ruled unanimously Friday that district boundaries were manipulated for partisan gain by Republican mapmakers and violate voters’ rights to democratically select their representatives. The …

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Cohen Due To Report To “Cushy” Prison On Monday

The Associated Press reports: “The Situation” and the Fyre Festival fraudster are already there. President Donald Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, is up next. It’s not reality TV. It’s a federal prison 70 miles (113 kilometers) from New York City where white-collar and D-list scoundrels can do time while playing bocce ball and noshing on rugelach. Otisville is …

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