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Full Senate Narrowly Approves Trump’s Intel Nominee

The New York Times reports: A divided Senate voted on Thursday to confirm Representative John Ratcliffe of Texas, a fierce conservative ally of President Trump’s with relatively little intelligence experience, to become the next director of the nation’s spy agencies. Democrats opposed the nomination en masse, but they agreed to dispense with the normal rules and accelerate Mr. Ratcliffe’s confirmation …

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Hobby Lobby Sues Auction House Over Stolen Relic

The Christian Post reports: Arts-and-craft retailer Hobby Lobby, led by billionaire evangelical Steve Green, has filed a lawsuit against renowned British auction house Christie’s for deceiving the company about the legality of the sale of a rare cuneiform tablet it acquired for display in the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. The rare cuneiform tablet, which bears a portion …

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Chinese National Busted In $20M COVID Relief Scam

Via press release from the Justice Department: Muge Ma, a/k/a “Hummer Mars,” a Chinese national residing in Manhattan, has been arrested for a fraudulent scheme to obtain over $20 million in Government-guaranteed loans designed to provide relief to small businesses during the novel coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. In connection with loan applications for relief available from the Paycheck Protection Program and the …

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Trump Again Lies He Was “Michigan Man Of The Year”

The indefatigable Daniel Dale reports for CNN: President Donald Trump has a favorite way to illustrate what he says is the strength of his relationship with the critical swing state he is visiting on Thursday. He tells a story about how he was once named Michigan’s “Man of the Year,” though there is no evidence this ever happened. It’s worth …

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FEMA To States: Hand Over COVID Data To Thiel Firm

The Daily Beast reports: The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency urged health officials in “all states and territories” to provide “daily” updates on ventilator availability for the novel coronavirus directly to the data mining giant Palantir, according to emails shared with The Daily Beast and confirmed by FEMA. Palantir, co-founded by key Trump ally Peter Thiel, signed government …

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Iraqi Leaders Call For Expelling Diplomats Over Rainbow Flag Flown By Embassies On Day Against Homophobia

UK-based Muslim news outlet 5 Pillars reports: The Iraqi Foreign Ministry has said homosexuality goes against “the noble morals of all divine religions” and that all missions in Iraq had to “adhere to the laws of the country,” after foreign embassies flew the rainbow LGBT flag in honour of the International Day Against Homophobia. The European Union, the World Bank …

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Orchestrated Bot Campaign Is Behind “Reopen” Push

Carnegie Mellon University reports: Carnegie Mellon University researchers have discovered that much of the discussion around the pandemic and stay-at-home orders is being fueled by misinformation campaigns that use convincing bots. To analyze bot activity around the pandemic, CMU researchers since January have collected more than 200 million tweets discussing coronavirus or COVID-19. Of the top 50 influential retweeters, 82% …

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TX Mayor: The Bible Says Women Can’t Deliver Prayers

Fort Worth’s CBS News affiliate reports: The email exchange began Thursday when a Councilmember and Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Forrester asked Mayor Hogue if a local missionary group could “come to our next meeting and lead us in prayer before the meeting.” Mayor Hogue agrees saying with one stipulation: “…that those leading the public prayer be young men.” In the …

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Illinois Rep Booted From Chamber Over Mask Refusal

Chicago’s NBC News affiliate reports: Illinois Rep. Darren Bailey was removed from the state legislature Wednesday after refusing to comply with a rule requiring all lawmakers to wear masks during the special session. After the State House voted overwhelmingly to adopt the rule, Democratic Rep. Chris Welch made a motion to remove Bailey from the House proceedings. After Bailey refused …

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Actress Lori Loughlin Takes Deal, Will Get Two Months

ABC News reports: Lori Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, have agreed to a plea deal in connection with their involvement in the so-called “Varsity Blues” college admissions scandal. The “Full House” actress will serve two months in prison, pay a $150,000 fine and have two years of supervised release with 100 hours of community service, while her husband, a …

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