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Saturday, Nov 18th

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EPA, Pruitt may face lawsuits over advisory board changes

Pruitt, EPA may face lawsuits over advisory biard changes

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt may face legal challenges over his decision to block grant recipients from serving on advisory committees.

Environmentalists, Democrats and scientific societies have slammed Pruitt over the new policy, saying it unnecessarily blocks the best experts in their fields from giving the agency advice, while allowing industry officials to continue to have influence through the panels.

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Syria to sign Paris climate pact, leaving only U.S. opposed

Syria signs climage change pact.  Only US stays out.Syria announced Tuesday it would sign the Paris climate agreement, leaving the United States as the only country to oppose it.

A Syrian delegate announced the decision -- just a month after Nicaragua signed the deal -- during U.N. climate talks.

"This is the very last country that actually announced," Safa Al Jayoussi, the executive director of IndyAct, said. "So everyone has joined and the U.S. is now so isolated."

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US sets end for temporary residency program for Nicaraguans

Temporary protection actA temporary residency permit program has aided 5,000 citizens from Nicaragua who have lived in the United States for almost two decades. Now the Trump administration is planning to end that program in January 2019.

A decision about how to deal with a similar program for 86,000 residents from Honduras is expected in July.

The acting homeland security secretary, Elaine Duke, said Monday that the program, known as Temporary Protected Status, is no longer necessary for Nicaraguans in the U.S. Duke said temporary residents living under that permit would have 12 months to allow for an orderly transition for their return and for their Central American homeland.

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Air Force admits fault in reporting Texas shooter's past crimes

Air Force omitted gunman's status from dataThe gunman who killed 26 people at a small-town Texas church had a history of domestic violence that spanned years before the attack, and was able buy weapons because the Air Force did not submit his criminal history to the FBI as required by military rules.

If the past offenses by Devin Patrick Kelley — who fired at least 450 rounds at helpless worshippers on Sunday morning — had been properly shared, they would have prevented him from buying a gun, the Air Force acknowledged Monday.

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CNN poll: Trump approval hits new low

Trump at all time low

President Trump’s approval rating is at its lowest point yet following indictments against some of his former campaign associates, according to a CNN poll released Monday.

Thirty-six percent approve of the way Trump is handling his job, down 1 point from his previous low. Meanwhile, 58 percent disapprove of his performance. The new numbers come nearly a year after his 2016 election victory.

There is also growing concern about the ongoing investigations into Russia's election interference, the poll shows.

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Trump coal backer wins big under Perry's power plan

Trump coal backer wins big

A proposal by Energy Secretary Rick Perry to alter the nation's electricity markets would provide a windfall for a small group of companies — most strikingly one owned by coal magnate Bob Murray, a prominent backer of President Donald Trump.

Perry's plan would force consumers to subsidize ailing coal-fired and nuclear power plants with billions of dollars, in what he calls an effort to ensure that the nation’s power network can withstand threats like terrorist attacks or severe weather. But his narrowly written proposal would mostly affect plants in a stretch of the Midwest and Northeast where Murray's mining company, Murray Energy, is the predominant supplier, according to a POLITICO analysis of Energy Department data.

TVNL Comment:  Pay to play is alive and well.  drain the swamp?  Yeah, right.

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Sexism on America’s Front Lines: Six top national security pros sound off

Sexism in Wh National Secuirty CouncilWomen in national security face one of most male-dominated professions there is, which is why we brought together Rosenberger, Shulman, Eoyang and several other veterans of high-ranking jobs in the White House National Security Council, Pentagon, State Department and Capitol Hill last week for a frank, thoughtful and at times deeply disturbing conversation.

Each has played a role in many of the key foreign policy debates of the past decade, from helping steer U.S. policy toward Russia or North Korea to overseeing the Pentagon’s strategic plans. These women have got the nuclear triad down cold, and they have taught me a lot over the years about what really goes on in the NSC or the Pentagon when a crisis hits.

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Rand Paul suffered 5 fractured ribs in assault

Rand paul suffered 5 fractured ribs

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) sustained five fractured ribs after he was assaulted by a neighbor at his Bowling Green home on Friday, a top adviser said Sunday — and it’s unclear when the senator will be able to return to Washington for work.

“Senator Paul has five rib fractures including three displaced fractures,” his chief political strategist, Doug Stafford, said in a statement Sunday. “This type of injury is caused by high velocity severe force. It is not clear exactly how soon he will return to work, as the pain is considerable as is the difficulty in getting around, including flying.”

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After a Tax Crackdown, Apple Found a New Shelter for Its Profits

Apple found new island to shelter its billionsIt was May 2013, and Mr. Cook, the chief executive of Apple, appeared before a United States Senate investigative subcommittee. After a lengthy inquiry, it found that the company had avoided tens of billions of dollars in taxes by shifting profits into Irish subsidiaries that the panel’s chairman called “ghost companies.”

“We pay all the taxes we owe, every single dollar,” Mr. Cook declared at the hearing. “We don’t depend on tax gimmicks,” he went on. “We don’t stash money on some Caribbean island.”

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