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Friday, December 15, 2017

PolitiFact: A mountain of evidence points to a single fact: Russia meddled in the U.S. presidential election of 2016. In both classified and public reports, U.S. intelligence agencies have said Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered actions to interfere with the election. Those actions included the cyber-theft of private data, the placement of propaganda against particular candidates, and an overall effort to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process. See related rulings Members of Congress, both Democrats and Republicans, have held open and closed door hearings to probe Russia's actions. The congressional investigations are ongoing. Facebook, Google and Twitter have investigated their own networks, and their executives have concluded -- in some cases after initial foot-dragging -- that Russia used the online platforms in attempts to influence the election. After all this, one man keeps saying it didn't even happen. read more


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Pentagon is allowing transgender people to enlist in the military beginning Jan. 1, despite President Donald Trump's opposition. The new policy reflects growing legal pressure on the issue, and the difficult hurdles the federal government would have to cross to enforce Trump's demand to ban transgender individuals from the military. Two federal courts already have ruled against the ban. Potential transgender recruits will have to overcome a lengthy and strict set of physical, medical and mental conditions that make it possible, though difficult, for them to join the armed services. The requirements make it challenging for a transgender recruit to pass. But they mirror concerns President Barack Obama's administration laid out when the Pentagon initially lifted its ban on transgender service last year. read more


Thursday, December 07, 2017

Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) announced Thursday that he would resign from office as of Jan. 31, 2018, after discussing surrogacy issues with female staffers. "I have recently learned that the Ethics Committee is reviewing an inquiry regarding my discussion of surrogacy with two previous female subordinates, making each feel uncomfortable," he said in a statement. ... In a statement, Speaker Paul Ryan's office said Thursday that the speaker learned of "credible claims of misconduct" against Franks in the middle of last week. "The next day, the speaker presented Rep. Franks with the allegations, which he did not deny," according to Ryan's office. "The speaker told Rep. Franks that he intended to refer the allegations directly to the House Ethics Committee and told him that he should resign from Congress. read more


Monday, November 06, 2017

Wilbur Ross, the commerce secretary in the Trump administration, shares business interests with Vladimir Putin's immediate family, and he failed to clearly disclose those interests when he was being confirmed for his cabinet position. Ross -- a billionaire industrialist -- retains an interest in a shipping company, Navigator Holdings, that was partially owned by his former investment company. One of Navigator's most important business relationships is with a Russian energy firm controlled, in turn, by Putin's son-in-law and other members of the Russian president's inner circle. read more


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