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Saturday, Aug 19th

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Hunt for Trump dossier author inflames Russia probe

Christopher Steele, Trump dossier authorTwo Republican House Intelligence Committee staffers traveled to London earlier this summer to track down the former British intelligence operative who compiled a controversial dossier on President Donald Trump and Russia, according to three people familiar with the matter.

The previously unreported trip underscores the importance of the 35-page dossier Christopher Steele wrote last year to congressional probes into possible collusion between Moscow and the 2016 Trump campaign.

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Extreme heat warnings issued in Europe as temperatures pass 40C

Extreme heat in 11 European countriesEleven southern and central European countries have issued extreme heat warnings amid a brutal heatwave nicknamed Lucifer, with residents and tourists urged to take precautions and scientists warning worse could be still to come.

Authorities in countries including Italy, Switzerland, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia are on red alert, the European forecasters’ network Meteoalarm said, and swaths of southern Spain and France are on amber.

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Martin Shkreli Found Guilty On Several Counts Of Fraud

Shkrelli convicted on fraud chargesAfter five days of deliberations, jurors have found Martin Shkreli guilty on three charges of fraud and not guilty on five charges.

Shkreli faces jail time, though legal experts say he’ll likely receive far less than the maximum 20-year sentence he would have faced had he been found guilty of all eight counts of securities fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. He will be sentenced at a later date.

Shkreli spoke after receiving the verdict from the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, saying, “We have some work to do” on the three guilty verdicts.

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DOJ warns the media could be targeted in crackdown on leaks

DOJ warns media about leaksAttorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday announced a government-wide crackdown on leakers, which will include a review of the Justice Department’s policies on subpoenas for media outlets that publish sensitive information.



At a press conference with Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, Sessions announced that the Justice Department, FBI and government intelligence agencies will direct more resources into the investigations of government leaks and would prioritize prosecuting those that pass sensitive information along to the press or foreign officials.

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Three more RNC staffers set to exit

RNC staffers leaveLess than a year into the midterm campaign season, the Republican National Committee is experiencing a wave of staff-level departures.

Over the next several weeks, three RNC aides — deputy chief data officer Liam O’Rourke, director of political data support Ashley Burns, and director of business intelligence Patrick Stewart — are expected to leave. The exits, confirmed by three RNC officials, have surprised the tight-knit world of Republican operatives and signaled a broader upheaval within the committee’s data department.

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U.S. court tosses murder conviction of ex-Blackwater guard

Nicholas Slatten conviction overturnedA federal appeals court on Friday threw out the murder conviction of an ex-Blackwater security guard and ordered three of his former colleagues to be re-sentenced in the high-profile prosecution stemming from the massacre of 14 unarmed Iraqi civilians at a Baghdad traffic circle in 2007.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ordered a new trial after tossing out the murder conviction of former security contractor Nicholas Slatten.

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After six months, Pence has now turned over all state-related AOL emails, his attorney says

Pence emails turned in: lawyerIt took nearly six months after he left the governor's office, but Vice President Pence and his legal team say they have now provided Indiana officials with all emails from his personal AOL account involving state business.

Pence attorney Karoline Jackson said in a recent email to the state's legal counsel that  “a complete electronic production of state records" from Pence's time as governor had been delivered to the state as of June 23.

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Shattered faith: Nearly 100 sex abuse suits against Catholic priests rock island of Guam

Sex abuse rampant on GuamIt started off innocently: a 15-year-old boy helping out at San Miguel, a local church named for Archangel Michael, the leader of all angels.

There was yardwork and cleaning, followed by invitations to the rectory to eat and watch TV. Soon, there were offers to drink sacramental wine and watch X-rated movies. Then sexual assault.  

More than 50 times over three years.  By the parish priest.

Those jarring allegations come from a recent lawsuit claiming assault from 1985 to 1988. It is one of nearly 100 lawsuits that describe rampant child sexual abuse by some of Guam’s most revered men: the Catholic clergy.

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Investigators probing source of black sludge near Niagara Falls

Niagara River sludge bwing probedNew York officials are investigating whether an oily sludge discharged into the Niagara River -- that tinted water near the base of Niagara Falls black -- was the result of mechanical or human error.

The leak occurred on the U.S. side of the falls last weekend and images of the smelly scene quickly gained exposure online. Photos and video footage showed a large blob of inky-looking, black liquid pooling near the dock of the Maid of the Mist tour boat, which ferries visitors to the base of the cataracts. Water could be seen streaming into the river from a nearby pipe.

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