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Thursday, Feb 21st

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White House refuses to meet Senate deadline on Khashoggi killing

WH refuses Senate deadline on Khashoggi killingPresident Donald Trump has missed a deadline imposed by a bipartisan group of senators to identify the killers of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi and to determine if the U.S. should impose sanctions on them.

"Consistent with the previous Administration’s position and the constitutional separation of powers, the President maintains his discretion to decline to act on congressional committee requests when appropriate," a senior administration official said Friday.

The group of lawmakers, led by Sens. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and former Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn), last October in a letter ordered the president to identify the people behind Khashoggi's death within 120 days and decide whether to impose sanctions on the killers.

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Trump picks golf club, Mar-a-Lago members as ambassadors

Mar a LagoWhen President Donald Trump needed an ambassador to represent the United States in Romania, he enlisted a real estate lawyer who was a member of one of his private golf clubs.

For South Africa and the Dominican Republic, he tapped longtime members of his private Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida. To represent the U.S. government in Hungary, he chose a man from another Florida club operated by the president’s private companies.

Ambassadorships long have been among Washington’s choicest political prizes, and presidents frequently award them to friends, political allies and campaign donors.

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At fiery hearing, Whitaker testifies that he has not talked about Mueller to Trump

Whittaker hearingActing Attorney General Matt Whitaker told lawmakers on Friday he has not spoken to President Donald Trump about special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation as he squared off with Democrats over his tenure atop the Justice Department during a contentious congressional hearing.

Whitaker testified on Friday following a lengthy fight with House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler over the prospect that he would be subpoenaed for not answering questions.
Whitaker and Nadler, a New York Democrat, sparred over whether he could answer questions about his conversations with the White House and the President, but the acting attorney general made an exception to say he did not discuss the Mueller probe.
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John Dingell had a hand in passing Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare — and still strived for more

John Dingle dies at 92

No member of Congress saw more history than John Dingell, the longest-serving United States Representative in history, who died Thursday at age 92.

On health care especially, something of an ancestral calling for the Michigan Congress member, he oversaw remarkable progress.

First elected in 1955, Dingell wielded the gavel in 1965 when Congress passed Medicare into law, guaranteeing health insurance as a right to every American citizen over age 65. He voted for Medicaid and later the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

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Ocasio-Cortez, Democrats propose 'Green New Deal' to counter climate change

Ocasio-CortezWhat's being called a "Green New Deal," a wide-ranging effort to tackle climate change, with overtones of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's sweeping 1933 New Deal to counter the Great Depression, was unveiled by Democrats Sen. Ed Markey and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Thursday on Capitol Hill.

Ocasio-Cortez called it a "first step" in defining the problem and the "scope of the solution."

"Today is the day that we truly embark on a comprehensive agenda of economic, social and racial justice in the United States of America,” Ocasio-Cortez said at a news conference.

“That’s what this agenda is all about. Because climate change – climate change and our environmental changes are one of the biggest existential threats to our way of life – not just as a nation but as a world.”

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Mueller says Manafort continued Ukraine work after 2017 indictment

Manafort still contacted Russian oligarch after 2017

A transcript from Paul Manafort's Monday hearing with prosecutors reveals that special counsel Robert Mueller has evidence Manafort continued doing work related to Ukraine in 2018, despite being indicted in October 2017 for charges that include failing to register as a foreign agent.

Details: During the 4-hour hearing, which was convened to discuss whether Manafort breached his plea deal by lying, a prosecutor called attention to Manafort's meetings with business associate Konstantin Kilimnik, who is suspected of having ties to Russian intelligence. He alleges Manafort lied about how many times he discussed a redacted topic with Kilimnik — believed to be a Ukrainian peace plan — and that the two men discussed the matter as late as winter 2018.

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Saudis 'seriously undermined' Turkey's Khashoggi inquiry, says UN expert

UN expert condemn saudi arabia over Khashoggi murderThe Saudi regime “seriously curtailed and undermined” the Turkish investigation into the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, according to a UN human rights expert looking into the case.

Agnes Callamard, a UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, said the Saudi dissident and Washington Post columnist was the victim of a “brutal, premeditated killing planned and perpetrated by officials of the state of Saudi Arabia”.

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Amazon's Jeff Bezos Accuses National Enquirer Publisher of Blackmail

Jeff Bezos acceses nat'l enquirer of blackmailChief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos accused the National Enquirer and its owner David Pecker of extortion and blackmail.

The magazine published an expose of Bezos’s relationship with TV personality Lauren Sanchez, and Bezos has hired investigators to find out if the story was politically motivated. He owns the Washington Post, which has written critical stories about President Donald Trump, who counts Pecker as a close ally.

On Thursday, Bezos said that the National Enquirer threatened to publish more details and revealing photos if the executive didn’t stop the probe. A spokesman for American Media Inc., publisher of the National Enquirer, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. The magazine investigated Bezos because his wealth and position made him a newsworthy subject, according an email from a lawyer for AMI that Bezos published on Thursday.

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Frank Robinson, Baseball Legend, Dead at 83

Frank Robinson, baseball legend, dead at 83

Frank Robinson was royalty, a legend in the world of baseball. Despite his tremendous accomplishments on and off the field, it was as if his monumental role in baseball history had been forgotten.

Maybe now, people will pay attention and realize that Frank Robinson was one of the most impactful figures in baseball history.

Robinson, a first-ballot Hall of Fame player who became the first African-American manager in baseball, died Thursday at the age of 83, according to Major League Baseball.

Robinson, who had been in hospice in Southern California for several months, was able to say farewell to many of his friends and family before his death.

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