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Thursday, May 23, 2019

Shortly after Donald Trump's 2016 election, his onetime campaign chief Paul Manafort wrote to Jared Kushner to ask the incoming administration to consider giving a "major appointment'' to Manafort's banker. "On it!" Kushner replied to Manafort on Nov. 30, 2016. That email exchange, which was admitted as evidence during Manafort's tax-fraud trial last year, gained new significance Thursday with the unsealing of a federal indictment in New York. The new filing accused the banker, Stephen Calk, of extending loans to Manafort as part of an effort to bribe his way into a plum administration job. The indictment refers to a second transition official who also took up Calk's cause, a further indication that people inside Trump's circle may face pressure from prosecutors in New York.


Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Mayor Pete wanted to tell his side of the story. Right-wing media still told it for him. On Sunday evening, South Bend, Indiana, mayor Pete Buttigieg became the third 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful to headline a Fox News town hall, sitting for an hourlong conversation with moderator Chris Wallace before a mostly friendly New Hampshire studio audience. read more


President Trump abruptly blew up a scheduled meeting with Democratic congressional leaders on Wednesday, lashing out at Speaker Nancy Pelosi for accusing him of a cover-up and declaring that he could not work with them until they stopped investigating him. read more


U.S. Customs and Border Protection has put up just 1.7 miles of fencing with the $1.57 billion that Congress appropriated last year for President Donald Trump's wall along the Mexican border, a federal judge was told. "The administration recently provided updated information to Congress on the status of its efforts as of April 30, 2019," the attorney, Douglas Letter, said in a court filing. "Based on that updated information, it appears that CBP has now constructed 1.7 miles of fencing with its fiscal year 2018 funding." That was 3/4 of a mile more than the administration reported at the end of February, Letter said.


Tuesday, May 21, 2019

In 2018, scientists in the EU produced about 25% of the global share of peer-reviewed science and engineering papers -- more than either China (21%) or the United States (17%). The United States remains the most popular country for junior scientists, particularly those from Asia, in which to seek experience. But the pull of the United States has somewhat waned, owing partly to travel restrictions for students and scholars from several Muslim-majority countries, including Yemen. Applications for specialist visas, which most foreign scientists need to work in the United States, have fallen by 19% since 2016. Conversely, the flow of talent to Europe is on the rise.


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