Harvard historian and New Yorker writer Jill Lepore's latest book, These Truths: a History of the United States, is an epic, sweeping and often disquieting look at the nation's past. The 800-page opus, starting in the 1500s and moving along briskly to Donald Trump, also serves as a liberal cri de coeur -- an answer to conservative claims on the stewardship of our history, our founding principles and especially the Constitution.
Routine food inspections aren't getting done because of the partial government shutdown, but checks of the riskiest foods are expected to resume next week, the Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday. The agency said it's working to bring back about 150 employees to inspect riskier foods such as cheese, infant formula and produce. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the agency can't make the case that "a routine inspection of a Nabisco cracker facility" is necessary during the shutdown, however. read more
The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to consider protecting politically gerrymandered voting districts from legal challenges in a case that could bolster Republican candidates and mark a show of force from the court's new conservative majority. read more
Astronomers have revealed details of mysterious signals emanating from a distant galaxy, picked up by a telescope in Canada. The precise nature and origin of the blasts of radio waves is unknown. read more
An Arkansas sheriff's deputy was fired after shooting a barking chihuahua in the head Friday, an incident officials labeled "disheartening." Faulkner County Sheriff Tim Ryals said in a statement Saturday that deputy Keenan Wallace had been terminated after it was determined there were "numerous opportunities to de-escalate the incident." Cellphone video of the encounter shows Wallace opening fire on the dog -- named Reese's -- within feet of its owner, Doug Canady. Police say the incident began following a call for service for an "aggressive" dog at Canady's home.
The U.S. Navy, without fanfare or notice, tested a new weapon last summer that could revolutionize surface warfare. The hyper velocity projectile (HVP) is a Mach 3 shell fired from existing guns on cruisers and destroyers. A guided projectile, HVP can drop high explosives on enemies on the ground up to three times as far as conventional ship gun ammo with a high rate of precision. It can also intercept incoming anti-ship missiles, providing an economical alternative to increasingly expensive anti-missile interceptors. read more
Manafort's Lawyers submitted a filing in federal court responding to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's assertion that Manafort had lied to Mueller's office and so violated his plea agreement. Manafort's lawyers pushed back on that claim by saying that he had extensively cooperated with Mueller, meeting with the government lawyers and investigators a dozen times and twice testifying before a grand jury. But Manafort's team screwed up. They tried to redact four different passages in their filing, but failed to do so properly, leaving the redacted text in plain sight. For instance, Manafort's lawyers responded to Mueller's allegation that Manafort lied to the government about his interactions with a man named Konstantin Kilimnik, who was Manafort's right-hand man during his time as a powerful political consultant in Ukraine. What's more noteworthy is that Kilimnik has alleged connections to Russian intelligence.
President Donald Trump walked out of discussions to end a partial government shutdown, now in its third week, calling the talks with congressional Democrats "a total waste of time." read more
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, whose office manages the Russia investigation, is planning to leave the Justice Department shortly after William Barr, the President's nominee for attorney general, is confirmed, a source familiar with his thinking said. read more
A Texas woman is speaking out after she said her teenage sons and nephews, who are black, were racially profiled by a Kroger store manager who called the police on them, reasoning "they looked like they could be shoplifters," she said. The woman, Ukiah Swain, said four of her family members -- ages 15, 16, 19 and 20 -- went to the store in Mesquite to buy snacks Thursday night when, after purchasing their items, they were stopped and accused of theft. read more
The response by Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer has slightly larger preliminary numbers than the president's address. President Trump's televised Oval Office address on immigration Tuesday drew a big audience. The response from Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer drew a slightly bigger audience, at least according to preliminary figures. The quarter hour (9-9:15 p.m. ET) containing the president's speech drew a combined 28.1 household rating in metered markets on ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, CNN, Fox News and NBC. The following 15 minutes, including analysis and the Pelosi-Schumer rebuttal, averaged 29.3 across those same networks, a bump of about 4 percent.
AT&T is preparing for yet another significant round of layoffs according to internal documents obtained by Motherboard. The staff reductions come despite billions in tax breaks and regulatory favors AT&T promised would dramatically boost both investment and job creation.
Donald Trump says he has ordered the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to stop sending money to the State of California to help the state deal with deadly forest fires "unless they get their act together". Mr Trump claimed in a tweet that California's mismanagement of forests has led to dangerous situations in which wild fires can quickly build into massive and unwieldy blazes, in an apparently reference to last year's deadly Camp Fire in the state. "Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forrest fires that, with proper Forrest Management, would never happen", Mr Trump wrote in a tweet that was later replaced with one spelling "forest" correctly. He continued: "Unless they get their act together, which is unlikely, I have ordered FEMA to send no more money. It is a disgraceful situation in lives & money!"
Many news outlets examined the claims Trump made during his nationally televised speech Tuesday night. The points of contradiction most of the fact checkers agree upon include: there is no evidence that Mexico would indirectly pay for Trump's "big, beautiful" wall; there is no justification to call immigration a "security crisis" as border apprehensions are down; and a wall would not stop the flow of illegal drugs as most come through the border's legal points of entry. Some agreed Trump is correct that there is a humanitarian crisis because of his administration's new policies on detaining immigrants creating overcrowded detention centers. read more
The Mexican government announced that it will, for the first time, put guards at some 370 illegal crossing points along the country's southern border with Guatemala to finally accomplish the task of securing the porous border.