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Saturday, Feb 17th

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The Doomsday Clock Just Moved Forward 30 Seconds

Doomsday clock moved thiry seconds closerThe Bulletin of Atomic Scientists advanced its Doomsday Clock by 30 seconds, following a “grim assessment” of today’s geopolitical climate. “As of today, it is two minutes to midnight,” Bulletin President Rachel Bronson said—midnight denoting the time of symbolic global annihilation.

Due to the failure of President Trump and other global leaders to deal with nuclear threats and climate change, the clock is now as “close to midnight today as it was in 1953, when Cold War fears perhaps reached their highest levels.”

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Taliban claims Kabul Intercontinental hotel siege

Taliban cliams Kabul Intercontinental Hotel siege

A marathon deadly siege on a major hotel in Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, has ended with the killing of all gunmen who fought off security forces for 16 hours.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack on the heavily-guarded Intercontinental Hotel in the Bagh-e Bala which left at least 18 civilians dead and 22 wounded.

Dressed in army uniforms and armed with automatic weapons, the attackers stormed the building on Saturday evening.

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Trump says he'll take a 'strong look' at libel laws in response to book

Trump reviews libel laws because of Wolff bookPresident Donald Trump reasserted his desire to strengthen libel laws Wednesday, days after the publication of a book that gave an unflattering, behind-the-scenes look at the Trump White House.

"We're going to take a strong look at our country's libel laws," the president told reporters during a meeting of his Cabinet at the White House. He went on to call current U.S. libel laws "a sham and a disgrace and do not represent American values or American fairness, so we’re going to take a strong look at that."

Trump did not elaborate on how he might undertake the effort, but said simply, "We're going to take a very, very strong look at it."

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Wolff says Trump gave him White House access

Wolff says Trump gave him access to WH

Author Michael Wolff said Sunday that President Donald Trump personally granted him access to the White House for his explosive book "Fire and Fury," countering the president's claims that he turned him away.

In an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press," Wolff recounted how he got access to the West Wing, saying Trump personally, if reluctantly, allowed him to roam. According to Wolff, the president went as far as to praise his work in front of others. Wolff said the president's blessing was a critical tool that got him access to White House staff.

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Security flaws put virtually all phones, computers at risk

Security risk for all devicesSecurity researchers on Wednesday disclosed a set of security flaws that they said could let hackers steal sensitive information from nearly every modern computing device containing chips from Intel Corp, Advanced Micro Devices Inc and ARM Holdings.

One of the bugs is specific to Intel but another affects laptops, desktop computers, smartphones, tablets and internet servers alike. Intel and ARM insisted that the issue was not a design flaw, but it will require users to download a patch and update their operating system to fix.

“Phones, PCs, everything are going to have some impact, but it’ll vary from product to product,” Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said in an interview with CNBC Wednesday afternoon.

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Obstruction Inquiry Shows Trump’s Struggle to Keep Grip on Russia Investigation

Trump tried to get Sessions not to recuse himselfPresident Trump gave firm instructions in March to the White House’s top lawyer: stop the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, from recusing himself in the Justice Department’s investigation into whether Mr. Trump’s associates had helped a Russian campaign to disrupt the 2016 election.

Public pressure was building for Mr. Sessions, who had been a senior member of the Trump campaign, to step aside. But the White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, carried out the president’s orders and lobbied Mr. Sessions to remain in charge of the inquiry, according to two people with knowledge of the episode.

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After questioning Spicer, Democrats want to depose Priebus about election night activities

Dems want to depose Priebus

Fresh from interviewing former White House press secretary Sean Spicer over what he was doing on the fifth floor of Trump Tower on election night, Democrats now want to interview former Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus.

Spicer’s presence that night has caused some unease among Republicans because the expiration of a 35-year-old settlement, or consent decree, barring the RNC from engaging in ballot security operations may depend on it. The fifth floor, POLITICO has reported, was the nerve center of then-candidate Donald Trump’s poll-watching operations.

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