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Judge orders Pentagon to stop work on JEDI cloud contract

Judge orders Pentagon to stop work on Jedi contract

The Pentagon must stop work on its major cloud computing contract that Microsoft won last year, a court ruled on Thursday in a major win for former bidder Amazon.

Amazon, which asked for the delay, argues it lost the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI, contract to Microsoft because of President Donald Trump’s remarks disparaging the company and its founder, Jeff Bezos.

Amazon is suing the Pentagon in the Court of Federal Claims, and filed the request for an injunction on Jan. 22, saying in a statement that “it is common practice to stay contract performance while a protest is pending and it’s important that the numerous evaluation errors and blatant political interference that impacted the JEDI award decision be reviewed.”

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Attorney General William Barr says Trump’s tweets ‘make it impossible for me to do my job’

AG: Trump's tweet make it impossible to do my job

Attorney General William Barr said Thursday that President Donald Trump should stop tweeting about the Department of Justice, complaining that the president’s tweets “make it impossible for me to do my job.”

Barr made the comments in an ABC News interview that aired Thursday afternoon.

“I think it’s time to stop the tweeting about Department of Justice criminal cases,” Barr told ABC News Chief Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas.

“I’m not going to be bullied or influenced by anybody ... whether it’s Congress, a newspaper editorial board, or the president,” Barr said. “I’m gonna do what I think is right. And you know … I cannot do my job here at the department with a constant background commentary that undercuts me.”

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New Horizons images of Arrokoth show building blocks for planets

Arrokoth is about 1 billion miles beyond Pluto

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft zoomed past a city-sized object just over a year ago. The most distant object ever explored, since named Arrokoth, was a “planetesimal” lurking quietly in the outer solar system a billion miles past Pluto. The spacecraft beamed back images of what looked like two lumpy, reddish snowballs, one larger than the other, gently pressed together to form an extraterrestrial snowperson.

On Thursday the New Horizons scientists published their full analysis and high-resolution images of Arrokoth in three voluminous reports in the journal Science. They contend this quirky object provides compelling evidence for how planets in our solar system, including Earth, formed four and a half billion years ago from a primordial cloud of dust. The reports suggest planet formation is not as violent and chaotic a process as once assumed.

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'War on the poor': Las Vegas's homelessness crackdown takes effect

War on the homeless in las Vegas

Outside a Taco Bell in south-east Las Vegas, Skateboard Mike crossed an empty parking lot and pointed at the tent encampment that had built up on the ledges of a storm drain.

Skateboard Mike, whose real name is Michael Brinkman, lives nearby, spending his nights in a hole he dug in a dirt lot. The space is filled with couch cushions, and Brinkman, 42, usually tops the hole with cardboard and tumbleweed to avoid being exposed.

“It’s not that we’re here. It’s that they see us,” Brinkman said.

Las Vegas recently began cracking down on people living outdoors. In November, the city council approved a law that made sitting, resting or “lodging” on sidewalks a misdemeanor punishable with up to six months in jail or fines of up to $1,000 in most neighborhoods.

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House Votes To Revive Equal Rights Amendment, Removing Ratification Deadline

ERA revived in House of Representaatives

The U.S. House has voted to remove the deadline on ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment in an attempt to revive the amendment. The 232-183 vote fell largely along party lines with five Republicans supporting the measure and zero Democrats opposing it.

Changing the deadline is a key part of one route that some ERA proponents believe would lead to the amendment becoming a part of the Constitution, but the path forward is uncertain.

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MIT researchers find vulnerabilities in voting app used in multiple states

MIT finds vulnerabilities in voting appsA  voting app used in multiple states during the 2018 midterms elections to allow for more accessible voting has cyber vulnerabilities that could allow for votes to be changed or exposed, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) found.

In a paper published Thursday, three MIT researchers found that Voatz had vulnerabilities that “allow different kinds of adversaries to alter, stop, or expose a user’s vote” and that the app also had several privacy issues due to the use of third-party services to ensure the app functioned.

The researchers found that if an individual were able to gain remote access to the device used to vote on the Voatz app, vulnerabilities could have allowed that person to discover and change the votes cast.

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Pentagon to shift $3.8B for fighter planes, ships toward border wall

Pentagon to shift almost $4B from weapons to wall

The Trump administration plans to sap money intended to build fighter jets, ships, vehicles and National Guard equipment in order to fund barriers on the U.S.-Mexico border, the Pentagon told Congress on Thursday, a move certain to agitate Democrats headed into a new budget and spending cycle.

The surprise reprogramming of another $3.8 billion, transmitted to Congress and provided to POLITICO, means the Pentagon will have forked over nearly $10 billion since last year to help pay for President Donald Trump's border wall.

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Republicans threaten reprisals as House Democratic chairman gets subpoena power

Chairman Raúl Grijalva has subpoena powers

Democrats on the House Natural Resources Committee gave Chairman Raúl Grijalva unilateral power Wednesday to subpoena documents from the Interior Department and other agencies — prompting Republicans to vow payback.

Grijalva told reporters he plans to begin issuing document demands next week, following what Democrats call a long pattern of the Trump administration's refusal to comply with congressional oversight.

“After more than a year of stonewalling and smokescreens, I would be failing my responsibility as chair if I did not seek this authority,” the Arizona Democrat said before the resolution passed on a party-line vote of 21 to 15. “I do not intend to surprise nor harass anybody. I intend for this committee to do its job.”

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Jessie Liu, ex-U.S. attorney who oversaw Roger Stone case, resigns from Trump administration

Jessie Liu

The former U.S. attorney whose office oversaw the Roger Stone prosecution resigned from the Trump administration Wednesday, two days after President Donald Trump abruptly withdrew her nomination for a top job at the Treasury Department.

Jessie Liu had headed the U.S. attorney's office in Washington, D.C., which oversaw several cases that originated with former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, including prosecutions of longtime Trump associate Stone and former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Liu was moved from the U.S. attorney's office after Trump nominated her to serve as the Treasury Department's undersecretary for terrorism and financial crimes, a top position overseeing economic sanctions.

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