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Billy Graham, evangelist pastor and counselor to presidents, dead at age 99

Billy Graham dead at 99In a tweet, President Donald Trump called the reverend the "GREAT Billy Graham" and wrote, "There was nobody like him! He will be missed by Christians and all religions. A very special man."

Graham died just before 8 a.m. at his home in Montreat, North Carolina, surrounded by family, according to a spokesman for Samaritan's Purse, the nondenominational evangelical Christian organization headed by Graham's son Franklin.

The longtime evangelist appeared on Gallup’s list of most admired men and women 60 times since 1955 — every year the research company asked the question.


Trump-Russia inquiry: lawyer who worked with Manafort pleads guilty to lying to FBI

Trump-Russia inquiry: Lawyer pleads guilty of lying to federal investigatorsProsecutors investigating possible collusion between the Trump election campaign and the Kremlin scored another victory on Tuesday after a lawyer who previously worked with Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, was charged with lying to the FBI.

Alex van der Zwaan, who is reportedly married to the daughter of a Russian-Ukrainian oligarch, was charged with making false statements in connection to work he did in Ukraine. According to court documents filed in Washington and made public on Tuesday, Van der Zwaan failed to produce a 2014 email exchange with an unidentified person – referred to as Person A – to the special counsel investigating the Trump campaign and its ties to Russia. He pleaded guilty in federal court in Washington on Tuesday afternoon.


Florida legislators won't hear assault rifle ban bill, want officers in school

Tallahassee state houseA Florida Senate committee has endorsed a proposal to put law enforcement officers in every school in the state.

Only slightly more than half of Florida's more than 4,000 public schools have the resource officers. They are sworn law-enforcement officers and allowed to carry a weapon on a school campus.

The Senate Education Committee voted Tuesday to include the requirement in a sweeping education bill that is now moving through the legislature.



Donald Trump Directs Justice Department To Take Steps To Ban Bump Stocks

Bump stocks directive by TrumpPresident Donald Trump announced he has ordered Attorney General Jeff Sessions to take steps to ban bump stocks, the type of gun modification that Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock used to kill 58 people in October.

“Just a few moments ago, I signed a memorandum directing the attorney general to propose regulations to ban all devices that turn legal weapons into machine guns,” Trump said Tuesday while speaking at a medal of valor ceremony at the White House. “I expect that these critical regulations will be finalized ... very soon.”


Trump denies accusations of forcibly kissing woman in 2006

Trump denies accusations of forcibly kissing woman in 2006President Trump on Tuesday denied claims made by a woman who says he forcibly kissed her in Trump Tower a decade ago.

In a tweet, the president rejected accusations from Rachel Crooks, a then-22-year-old secretary in a neighboring office building, who told The Washington Post that Trump grabbed her and began forcibly kissing her upon meeting him in 2006.

"A woman I don’t know and, to the best of my knowledge, never met, is on the FRONT PAGE of the Fake News Washington Post saying I kissed her (for two minutes yet) in the lobby of Trump Tower 12 years ago," the president wrote on Twitter.

"Never happened!" he added.


New Pennsylvania map gives Democrats big boost in midterms

Pensylvania leans blue after SCOTUS rejects gerrymandered map

Democrats’ hopes of winning the House this fall got a boost Monday with the release of a new congressional-district map in Pennsylvania that could help the party pick up several seats in the battleground state.

Under the previous map, drawn by a Republican Legislature in 2011 and approved by the then-Republican governor, Republicans won 13 of the state's 18 congressional districts in 2016, when President Donald Trump carried 12 of the 18 districts.


Trump’s rebuke of McMaster was months in the making

Trump's rebuke of McMasters was months in the making

For a few weeks in late November, as speculation over whether President Donald Trump would fire his secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, reached a fever pitch, Trump and his chief of staff, John Kelly, also considered pushing out another top national security official: H.R. McMaster.

McMaster, the national security adviser who succeeded Michael Flynn — Trump’s first choice for the job, who resigned amid controversy within a month of taking office — has never quite clicked with the president, according to six senior White House officials. He is disciplined and focused, and has frequently clashed with Trump, who loves small talk and meanders from one subject to another.


U.S. Navy sends two missile-guided Destroyers to Black Sea

US Navy sends destroyers to Black Sea The U.S. Navy announced last week that it will increase its presence in the Black Sea with two guided-missile Destroyers to conduct maritime security operations.

The Navy now has the USS Carney and the USS Ross in the Black Sea, which is located between several countries, including Russia, Ukraine and Turkey.

"Our decision to have two ships simultaneously operate in the Black Sea is proactive, not reactive," said Vice Adm. Christopher Grady, commander, U.S. 6th Fleet, in a statement. "We operate at the tempo and timing of our choosing in this strategically important region. By nature, ships are flexible, mobile forces, and the Navy is uniquely capable of providing credible and capable forces to defend our nation's interests throughout the world."



Mueller Charges Ex-Skadden Lawyer With Lying in Russia Inquiry

Staten Island lawyer charged with lying yo Mueller team

An attorney who worked for a prominent law firm was charged with making false statements to federal authorities as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian collusion in the 2016 presidential election.

Alex Van Der Zwaan was charged Feb. 16 with lying to the FBI and Mueller’s office about conversations related to his work on a report prepared by his law firm on the legitimacy of the criminal prosecution of a former Ukrainian prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko.

An attorney who worked for a prominent law firm was charged with making false statements to federal authorities as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian collusion in the 2016 presidential election.


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