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Tuesday, Aug 22nd

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How the CIA Came to Doubt the Official Story of JFK’s Murder

JFk assasination questionedAfter the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in November 1963, the CIA appeared eager, even desperate, to embrace the version of events being offered by the FBI, the Secret Service and other parts of the government.

The official story: that a delusional misfit and self-proclaimed Marxist named Lee Harvey Oswald killed the president in Dallas with his $21 mail-order rifle and there was no evidence of a conspiracy, foreign or domestic. Certainly, the CIA’s leaders told the Warren Commission, the independent panel that investigated the murder, there was no evidence of a conspiracy that the spy agency could have foiled.

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McMaster Fires Controversial Staffer From National Security Council Post

McMaster fires Ezra Cohen-WarwickNational Security Adviser H.R. McMaster has removed an ally of his predecessor from the National Security Council, the White House said Wednesday.

Ezra Cohen-Watnick, 31, senior director for intelligence programs at the NSC, was hired by Michael Flynn, Trump’s first national security adviser. Flynn was fired in February after it was revealed he discussed Russia sanctions with that country’s ambassador to the U.S. prior to President Donald Trump’s inauguration, then lied about it.

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Donald Trump proposes law to cut legal immigration numbers by half in 10 years

Trump to cut legal immigration in halfDonald Trump announced plans for new immigration laws on Wednesday that would cut the total number of immigrants admitted to the US by half over a decade and prioritize those who can speak English or are well-educated.

The proposed legislation, unveiled at the White House, would also cap the number of refugees admitted to the US every year at 50,000, and eliminate the diversity visa lottery, which currently allocates 50,000 visas a year to residents of countries that do not currently send significant numbers of migrants to the US.

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New Fears For Public Service Loan Forgiveness

Student Loan forgiveness in dangerA legal motion the Department of Education filed yesterday could have big ramifications for half a million teachers, social workers, police officers and other public servants. The motion asserts that there has been no final decision on whether these people will have their student debt forgiven, as they had believed.

The Obama Administration created Public Service Loan Forgiveness a decade ago. A 2016 blog post, which still appears on the official ed.gov website, describes it as a "broad, employment-based forgiveness program for federal student loans." Anyone who works for the government or a nonprofit can have their loans erased after 10 years of on-time monthly payments, the post explains.

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Top EPA official resigns over direction of agency under Trump

Elizabeth Southerland, EPA, resignsA top Environmental Protection Agency official resigned Tuesday in protest of the direction the EPA has taken under President Trump.

Elizabeth "Betsy" Southerland ended her 30-year run at the agency with a scathing exit letter in which she claimed that “the environmental field is suffering from the temporary triumph of myth over truth.” She last worked as the director of science and technology in the Office of Water.

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Mexican president denies calling Trump to praise border work

Mexican President Pena NietoMexican President Enrique Pena Nieto is calling into question President Trump's most recent claims that the leader called him to praise his administration's work on the U.S.-Mexico border.  

As Mr. Trump welcomed his new Chief of Staff John Kelly to the Cabinet table on Monday, Mr. Trump took time to applaud the work Kelly had done during his time leading the Department of Homeland Security.

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Poll: Trump hits new low at 33 percent approval

Trump hits new pollPresident Trump's approval rating hit a new low on Wednesday, according to a new poll.

A Quinnipiac University poll finds 61 percent of voters disapprove of the job Trump is doing in office, compared to just 33 percent who approve of Trump's performance.

This marks the president's lowest approval rating since he was inaugurated, according to the university.

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Tillerson spurns $80 million to counter ISIS, Russian propaganda

Tillerson spurns $80m to counter Isis, russian propagandaSecretary of State Rex Tillerson is resisting the pleas of State Department officials to spend nearly $80 million allocated by Congress for fighting terrorist propaganda and Russian disinformation.

It is highly unusual for a Cabinet secretary to turn down money for his department. But more than five months into his tenure, Tillerson has not issued a simple request for the money earmarked for the State Department’s Global Engagement Center, $60 million of which is now parked at the Pentagon. Another $19.8 million sits untouched at the State Department as Tillerson’s aides reject calls from career diplomats and members of Congress to put the money to work against America’s adversaries.

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U.S. scientists fix disease genes in human embryos for 1st time

US scientists fix disease genes in human embryosFor the first time, scientists working in a U.S. lab have used gene editing to correct a disease-causing mutation in viable human embryos, according to scientific paper published Wednesday.

The work, reported in Nature, could be a step toward genetically modified babies. But the altered embryos created in the study were quickly destroyed and never intended to be implanted in a woman — a step that would be illegal under current regulations in the United States and many other countries.

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