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US House Speaker Paul Ryan to quit in blow to Republicans

Ryan to resignUS House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan will not run for re-election this year, in a big blow to Republicans with mid-term elections looming.

Congress' most powerful lawmaker said he would not stand for another term in his Wisconsin district this November. Republicans already face a tough challenge from Democrats to keep control of the lower chamber.

Mr Ryan joins nearly 30 House Republicans who have announced this year they are retiring outright. Democrats need 23 seats to take over the House.


Trump vows to 'fight back' against Mueller probe

Trump to fight back againsst Mueller

President Donald Trump on Wednesday pledged that he will continue to “fight back” against special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe and insisted that reports of chaos inside the White House are “fake news.”

Trump has ratcheted up his public attacks on Mueller’s probe and related investigations since a Monday FBI raid on his longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen, stoking fears that the president could move to oust Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversees the Mueller probe.

“I (we) are doing things that nobody thought possible, despite the never ending and corrupt Russia Investigation, which takes tremendous time and focus. No Collusion or Obstruction (other than I fight back), so now they do the Unthinkable, and RAID a lawyers office for information! BAD!”

TVNL Comment:  What does the Clown in Chief have to hide?  If he were innocent of any wrongdoing, would this war against the Special Counsel be waged so desperately? Trump is scared. Very scared.  Why?



Marines suspend general who called allegations of sexual harassment 'fake news'

Brig. Gen Kurt Stein suspendedThe Marine Corps on Tuesday suspended a general who publicly ridiculed as “fake news” allegations of sexual harassment at his command and also joked about a chaplain recently fired for having sex in public, USA TODAY has learned.

Brig. Gen. Kurt Stein, director of Marine and Family Programs, made the remarks April 6 before an audience estimated at hundreds of civilian employees and Marines at their base in Quantico, Va., according to three people who attended the all-hands meeting last week. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they said they feared retaliation.


Trump warns missiles "will be coming" to Syria, tells Russia to "get ready"

Trump warns Russians about imminent Syrian strikePresident Trump has issued another stern warning to Russia for its alleged role in a suspected chemical attack in Syria over the weekend. As the administration prepares a counter response to the latest attack, which appeared to target civilians and young children, Mr. Trump warned in a tweet Wednesday morning that some sort of missile strike was forthcoming.

"Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and "smart!", he threatened.

Russian lawmakers have warned the United States that Moscow would view an airstrike on Syria as a war crime, saying it could trigger a direct military clash.


Algeria state TV: 257 killed in Boufarik military plane crash

Algerian military plane down; 257 dead

At least 257 people have been killed after a military plane crashed near the Boufarik airbase outside the Algerian capital, Algiers, according to Algerian state television.

The plane, an Ilyushin Il-76, mostly carried soldiers when it went down shortly after takeoff on Wednesday morning, state TV reported.

Algeria's defence ministry was quoted as saying that 247 passengers and 10 crew members were among the dead following the crash.



FBI Has Questions About Michael Cohen’s Shady Taxicab Business

Michael Cohen's cab company probed by FBI

The FBI raid on lawyer Michael Cohen was reportedly prompted by a business entanglement that could sink his career ― but investigators are also seeking information about Cohen’s involvement in the New York City taxi business where he got his start, sources told CNN.

Since President Donald Trump’s personal attorney first entered the taxi business in the mid-1990s, his modest fleet has linked him to some of the most notorious owners in the industry. According to one recent estimate that Cohen himself disputes, he owns 34 medallions. Most are operated by Evgeny Freidman ― the “taxi king” of New York City until last spring, when the city stripped Friedman of his ability to hold a license. Freidman was arrested in June for an unpaid state tax bill totaling $5 million.


Trump reportedly demanded in December that Mueller be fired

Trump wanted to fire last DecemberRobert Mueller be fired and the former FBI director's investigation shut down, The New York Times reported on Tuesday.

At that time, the president was angry over reports that Mueller's latest subpoenas were related to Trump's business interactions with Deutsche Bank, the newspaper said, citing interviews with White House officials.

The Deutsche Bank reports were inaccurate, the special counsel's office told Trump's team, and the president did not act on his desires — but it was the second time that Trump is known to have considered firing Mueller, according to the Times.


Chuck McCann, Who Was 'Cuckoo For Cocoa Puffs!,' Dies At 83

Chuck McCan dies at 83

Chuck McCann, one of New York television’s quintessential personalities, died Sunday at 83 in a Los Angeles hospital. The cause was congestive heart failure, said his publicist, Edward Lozzi.

A prolific voice-over artist and an actor in numerous series and films, he remains best known as a beloved host of children’s TV programs, including “The Puppet Hotel” on WNTA/13 (now WNET) in 1959 and 1960, and “Laurel & Hardy & Chuck,” “Let’s Have Fun!” and “The Chuck McCann Show” on WPIX/11, his home from 1960 to 1965.

That year he moved his namesake show to WNEW/5 (now WNYW), where he added “The Great Bombo’s Magic Cartoon Circus Lunchtime Show” and “Chuck McCann’s Laurel and Hardy Show.”


EPA removes staffer who OK’d report on Pruitt’s security

EPA reoves staffer EPA removed a career staffer Tuesday who approved an internal report that undermined Administrator Scott Pruitt's claims that he needed around-the-clock bodyguards and other expensive security protection, according to two former agency employees familiar with the situation.

Mario Caraballo was the deputy associate administrator of EPA's Office of Homeland Security, which in February concluded that an earlier assessment failed to identify credible direct threats against the administrator that would justify his heavy security spending.


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