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Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Pentagon is investigating whether Michael Flynn broke the law by receiving money from a foreign source after retiring from the service, according to a letter written by the Department of Defense's acting inspector general to House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz.

News of the letter, which was released by House Oversight ranking member Elijah Cummings Thursday, comes as Chaffetz is asking the Pentagon to consider making Flynn forfeit hundreds of thousands of dollars to make up for payments from entities linked to the governments of Russia and Turkey. read more


Freedom Caucus endorses Obamacare repeal compromise

President Donald Trump inched closer to his elusive goal of transforming the health care system Wednesday as hard-line House conservatives -- once the chief opponents of the GOP plan -- embraced a new proposal to replace Obamacare.

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Perhaps the biggest unanswered question facing Republicans is how they can work with Trump on a tax plan that is expected to pay for itself with massive economic growth. Independent analysts worry about the administration's math. And adding to the deficit presents a politically perilous choice for many Republicans as well as significant legislative complications.

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Robert M. Pirsig, whose Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, a dense and discursive novel of ideas, became an unlikely publishing phenomenon in the mid-1970s and a touchstone in the waning days of the counterculture, died on Monday at his home in South Berwick, Me. He was 88. ... Pirsig was a college writing instructor and freelance technical writer when the novel -- its full title was "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values" -- was published in 1974 to critical acclaim and explosive popularity, selling a million copies in its first year and several million more since. read more


President Donald Trump signaled he may be willing to wait a little longer to secure federal funding for his controversial border wall, a shift that could make it possible for Congress to finish work on spending legislation in time to avoid a government shutdown. Trump told a group of conservative journalists gathered at the White House Monday that he could put off until September asking Congress to include the money in the federal budget. That could remove, at least for now, one of the biggest deal-breakers he's inserted into talks to pass a bill this week that would finance the government through September, the end of the fiscal year. read more


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Mass. cities hail ruling blocking sanctuary city retaliation

Mayor Martin J. Walsh, who previously pledged to shelter immigrants in Boston City Hall if necessary to fight Trump's hard-line immigration policies, praised Orrick's order in a statement.

"Today's injunction shows that Boston, along with other cities and towns from across the nation, will not be intimidated by threats to federal funding because we have the Constitution on our side," Walsh said.

"In Boston, there is no dollar amount that would ever change our essential character of inclusiveness of all people. We will continue to stand up for the values that make us who we are as a City."

The Boston-based Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice, which represents Lawrence and Chelsea in a related federal lawsuit in Massachusetts, also praised Orrick's ruling on Tuesday.

"As the Federal Court for the Northern District of California recognized this afternoon, sanctuary policies reflect the local judgment that communities are more safe when local police are not entangled in federal immigration enforcement," the Lawyers's Committee said in a statement.

"Through its sanctuary cities Executive Order, the Trump Administration has threatened to destabilize and harm these communities by stripping them of all federal funding. That's why the federal court issued emergency relief in the form of a nation-wide injunction that prevents the federal government from bullying and sabotaging sanctuary communities."

www.bostonglobe.com

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