Back Politics Wednesday, February 19, 2020
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53m Top Pentagon official for policy expected to depart administration
The Pentagon's top policy official is expected to depart his post soon, according to two sources familiar with the matter. John Rood, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy at the Pentagon, lost support among senior national security leadership and has been asked for his resignation, one of the sources said.
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1h 3m Updated Immigration: No visas for low-skilled workers, government says
Ministers urge firms to stop relying on "cheap labour", but critics warn of damage to the economy.
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1h 7m Updated HS2: Stephenson given new rail link role
The PM has promised to "restore discipline" to the multi-billion-pound rail project.
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1h 10m Green MP Caroline Lucas investigated over Commons tour fundraiser
The offer of a Commons tour in exchange for a donation was part of a Green Party crowdfunding drive.
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1h 19m Analysis: Donald Trump and his pardon triangle
President Donald Trump on Tuesday picked a handful of corrupt former officials and corrupt wealthy influence peddlers and granted them clemency, just days after his administration's latest controversy: accusations that he was tipping the scales of justice in favor of his friend Roger Stone (which he keeps saying he has every right to do, but denies doing).
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1h 30m On Politics: Can Bloomberg Take the Heat?
The billionaire faces a test as his moderate rivals scramble. This is your morning tip sheet.
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2h Updated Bloomberg would sell his company if elected president, adviser says
Michael Bloomberg would sell his financial information and media company if he's elected president in an effort to be "180 degrees away from where Donald Trump is on these issues," an adviser to his campaign said Tuesday.
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Cruise Giant Carnival Works to Manage Deepening Coronavirus Crisis3h Updated Cruise Giant Carnival Works to Manage Deepening Coronavirus Crisis
Carnival could be hurt financially after passengers on two of its ships were found to be infected.
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New immigration system: Would you qualify?3h New immigration system: Would you qualify?
The government has unveiled details of its new immigration system, which will come into force on 1 January next year.
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8h Updated The Point: Why Bloomberg may turn unstoppable soon
In the next week, there will be two presidential debates: one Wednesday night in Las Vegas and the other a week from today in Charleston, South Carolina.
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A Complete List of Trump’s Pardons and Commutations8h A Complete List of Trump’s Pardons and Commutations
The president granted full pardons to seven people and commutations to four others on Tuesday. Here’s who they are.
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Trump Grants Clemency to Blagojevich, Milken and Kerik8h Updated Trump Grants Clemency to Blagojevich, Milken and Kerik
The president also pardoned or commuted the sentences of eight others on Tuesday, including Edward DeBartolo, a former owner of the San Francisco 49ers.
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Michael Bloomberg Has to Debate Without a Net8h Updated Michael Bloomberg Has to Debate Without a Net
Candidates are not permitted to haul field organizers or canapés or record-reframing ad campaigns onstage with them. So the former mayor will stand on his own.
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A Complete List of Trump’s Pardons and Commutations Today9h Updated A Complete List of Trump’s Pardons and Commutations Today
The president granted full pardons to seven people and commutations to four others on Tuesday. Here’s who they are.
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As Trump Claims to Be Law of the Land, Barr’s Irritation Builds9h As Trump Claims to Be Law of the Land, Barr’s Irritation Builds
The president broadly asserted his authority of the criminal justice system, attacking law enforcement officials and issuing pardons.
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9h Buttigieg recalls time he tried to use three languages to help a family at a protest
Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg on Tuesday recalled the time he tried to use his foreign language skills to help a family caught up in the middle of a protest.
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11h Democrats Joe Kennedy and Ed Markey spar over how to best counter Trump in Massachusetts Senate debate
Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey and challenger Rep. Joe Kennedy III faced off in their first debate of a so-far contentious Democratic primary for one of the Bay State's Senate seats.
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How Elizabeth Warren’s Camp Is Seeking to Regain the Spotlight11h Updated How Elizabeth Warren’s Camp Is Seeking to Regain the Spotlight
Ms. Warren’s campaign and her allies, convinced her message is being ignored, see a path forward — and they say writing her off would be a mistake.
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11h Buttigieg maintains narrow lead over Sanders in Iowa after recanvass
The recanvass of more than 100 Iowa caucus precincts has ended, the state's Democratic Party said on Tuesday, resulting in former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg's lead over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders tightening to a fraction of a standard delegate equivalent.
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Fact-Checking Pete Buttigieg Before the Nevada Caucuses12h Updated Fact-Checking Pete Buttigieg Before the Nevada Caucuses
The former mayor of South Bend, Ind., has cherry-picked his record on minority poverty and arrests, overstated his consistency on health policy and used a questionable rationale to attack a rival.
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13h Kansas federal judge resigns after sexual misconduct allegations
A federal district court judge in Kansas who was publicly admonished last fall for sexual misconduct and having an extramarital affair resigned on Tuesday.
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13h Watchdog Says Buttigieg Campaign Exploited Super PAC Loophole
Campaigns and super PACs aren’t supposed to work together, but social media is blurring the lines.
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14h Updated Analysis: Why Bernie Sanders is the current favorite for the Democratic nomination
The Democratic presidential race is about to enter hyper speed -- and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is currently in the driver's seat.
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Ex-C.I.A. Asset, Now a Libyan Strongman, Faces Torture Accusations14h Ex-C.I.A. Asset, Now a Libyan Strongman, Faces Torture Accusations
Khalifa Hifter’s Virginia properties could make him vulnerable to a new lawsuit filed under a 1991 anti-torture law.
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Low-skilled workers to be denied visas under immigration shake-up14h Low-skilled workers to be denied visas under immigration shake-up
The UK's post-Brexit immigration system will deny visas to low-skilled workers, the government has said.
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Trump Contradicts Advisers on China Technology Fears14h Updated Trump Contradicts Advisers on China Technology Fears
The president, in a series of tweets, said the U.S. would not restrict sales to the country, a sharp shift in administration policy.
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14h Updated Analysis: Nevada is trying very hard to not pull an Iowa
How hard can this whole democracy thing be?
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Michael Bloomberg Surges in Polls and Qualifies for 2 Democratic Debates14h Michael Bloomberg Surges in Polls and Qualifies for 2 Democratic Debates
After garnering 19 percent support in a national poll, the billionaire will be on the debate stage, where he is certain to be a target of onstage criticism.
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14h Updated Trump pardons former New York police commissioner Bernie Kerik
President Donald Trump has pardoned former New York police commissioner Bernie Kerik, he announced at Joint Base Andrews on Tuesday.
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Clayton Williams, Oilman Whose Gaffes Cost an Election, Dies at 8814h Clayton Williams, Oilman Whose Gaffes Cost an Election, Dies at 88
Leading Ann Richards in 1990, he was undone by a spate of blunders. He was the last Republican to date to lose a race for governor of Texas.
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Michael Bloomberg Leans Left With Plan to Rein In Wall St.15h Michael Bloomberg Leans Left With Plan to Rein In Wall St.
Some of the billionaire’s proposals wouldn’t be out of place for his more progressive presidential rivals.
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15h Justice Department puts Brooklyn prosecutor atop Ukraine probes
The Justice Department has assigned the top prosecutor in Brooklyn to coordinate Ukraine-related investigations, according to a memo released Tuesday to Congress, bringing a new layer of Washington supervision to an area of interest that has become a political minefield.
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Michael Bloomberg Surges in Poll and Qualifies for Democratic Debate in Las Vegas15h Updated Michael Bloomberg Surges in Poll and Qualifies for Democratic Debate in Las Vegas
After garnering 19 percent support in a national poll, the billionaire will be on the debate stage, where he is certain to be a target of onstage criticism.
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15h Michelle Obama and other celebrities are sharing their prom dress photos to encourage voting
Former first lady Michelle Obama went to her prom in a polka-dotted dress. We know that because she shared the photo Tuesday as part of a challenge to encourage students to vote.
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Reality Winner, Imprisoned for Leaking Russian Hacking Report, Seeks Clemency15h Reality Winner, Imprisoned for Leaking Russian Hacking Report, Seeks Clemency
The Air Force veteran is serving more than five years in prison for sending a classified report to a news website while she was working as a National Security Agency contractor.
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Trump Grants Clemency to Rod Blagojevich, Bernard Kerik and Michael Milken16h Updated Trump Grants Clemency to Rod Blagojevich, Bernard Kerik and Michael Milken
The president also pardoned or commuted the sentences of eight others on Tuesday, including Edward DeBartolo, a former owner of the San Francisco 49ers.
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16h Greater Idaho: Rural conservatives in Oregon look to join Idaho
Some residents in Oregon are fed up with living under Democratic control of their state government and have launched a ballot initiative campaign to join Republican-led Idaho.
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U.S. Imposes Sanctions on Russian Oil Company Supporting Venezuela’s Leader16h Updated U.S. Imposes Sanctions on Russian Oil Company Supporting Venezuela’s Leader
The penalties seek to pressure President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela to give up power, nearly two years after he was re-elected in a widely disputed vote.
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16h Updated Trump commutes sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich
President Donald Trump is once again weighing commuting former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's prison sentence, according to a person familiar with the matter.
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16h North Carolina appeals court blocks voter ID law
North Carolina's Court of Appeals on Tuesday blocked the state's new voter ID law from taking effect, a move that will likely prevent it from being in place in time for the 2020 elections.
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17h Trump makes empty slams on Obama economy
His reelection bid accelerating, President Donald Trump has again seized credit for an economic turnaround, claimed record job creation and accused his predecessor of a "con job" on the subject.
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17h Democratic senator: Zelensky has no plans to meet with Giuliani
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told US senators last week he has no plans to meet with President Donald Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, according to one of the senators who sat down with Zelensky.
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17h Updated Obama and Trump face off over claims of strong economy
President Donald Trump is lashing out after former President Barack Obama marked the 11th anniversary on Monday of signing a nearly $800 billion stimulus package designed to reverse the effects of the Great Recession.
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17h Updated Intel lawyer who initially blocked Ukraine whistleblower complaint from Congress set to resign
The top intelligence community lawyer whose initial decision to block the Ukraine whistleblower complaint from reaching Congress helped set off the House impeachment inquiry, will resign from his post, a spokesperson for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence confirms to CNN.
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As Democrats Swarm Las Vegas, Trump’s Hotel Guests Wait for Their Headliner17h As Democrats Swarm Las Vegas, Trump’s Hotel Guests Wait for Their Headliner
The president will stay in Las Vegas this week as Democratic candidates debate down the Strip. His namesake hotel is abuzz with Secret Service agents, supporters and the simply curious.
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Row over Elgin Marbles as EU demands return of stolen cultural objects18h Row over Elgin Marbles as EU demands return of stolen cultural objects
A demand for the return of "unlawfully removed cultural objects" has been included in the EU's negotiating mandate for trade talks with the UK - prompting claims Britain will be held to ransom over the Elgin Marbles.
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18h Updated Massachusetts lawmaker arrested on corruption charges involving misuse of campaign funds
A Massachusetts state lawmaker was arrested by federal agents early Tuesday on dozens of corruption charges, some of which involve an alleged misuse of campaign funds, the Boston division of the FBI announced.
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Comedy Returns to the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Will Trump?18h Updated Comedy Returns to the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Will Trump?
Kenan Thompson of “Saturday Night Live” and Hasan Minhaj of “Patriot Act” are set to perform at the April 25 event.
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Trump Commutes Corruption Sentence of Governor Rod Blagojevich of Illinois18h Updated Trump Commutes Corruption Sentence of Governor Rod Blagojevich of Illinois
The president also pardoned Bernard Kerik, the former New York City police commissioner, and Edward DeBartolo, a former owner of the San Francisco 49ers.
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19h Roger Stone to be sentenced Thursday despite controversy, judge says
Judge Amy Berman Jackson will hear Tuesday from Roger Stone's defense team and the Justice Department after a tumultuous week that saw President Donald Trump suggest she is biased and several prosecutors quit his case after Justice Department leadership rescinded their initial recommended sentence of up to nine years in prison.
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Trump Pardons Former 49ers Owner Edward DeBartolo Jr.19h Trump Pardons Former 49ers Owner Edward DeBartolo Jr.
Mr. DeBartolo pleaded guilty to a felony in 1998 for not reporting an extortion scheme by a Louisiana politician and later surrendered control of his National Football League team.
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19h Updated Trump pardons former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday granting clemency to Eddie DeBartolo Jr., White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley announced at the White House.
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Trump Continues Attack on Federal Case Against Friend20h Updated Trump Continues Attack on Federal Case Against Friend
President Trump threatened to sue “everyone all over the place” involved in the special counsel inquiry and continued public attacks on the case against his associate Roger J. Stone Jr.
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Michael Bloomberg Leans Left With Plan to Rein In Wall Street20h Updated Michael Bloomberg Leans Left With Plan to Rein In Wall Street
Some of the billionaire’s proposals wouldn’t be out of place for his more progressive presidential rivals.
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21h Trump grants clemency to Eddie DeBartolo Jr.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday granting clemency to Eddie DeBartolo Jr., White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley announced at the White House.
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21h Updated Roger Stone judge to discuss case in court amid sentencing chaos
Judge Amy Berman Jackson will hear Tuesday from Roger Stone's defense team and the Justice Department after a tumultuous week that saw President Donald Trump suggest she is biased and several prosecutors quit his case after Justice Department leadership rescinded their initial recommended sentence of up to nine years in prison.
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21h Analysis: Latinos will make their voices heard in Democratic race over the next four weeks
The Latino impact on the Democratic presidential race will be felt very soon.
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22h Updated Bloomberg proposes broad changes to criminal justice system amid scrutiny of his past comments on race and policing
Michael Bloomberg unveiled a suite of proposals on Tuesday aimed at addressing racial disparities in the criminal justice system, reducing the prison population and investing in reintegration initiatives.
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22h Updated Andrew Sabisky: No 10 urged to examine vetting after aide quits
A minister calls past remarks by Andrew Sabisky "racist", but he accuses the media of "selective quoting".
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Elizabeth Warren’s Allies Claim ‘Erasure’ as They Seek to Reignite Campaign23h Updated Elizabeth Warren’s Allies Claim ‘Erasure’ as They Seek to Reignite Campaign
Ms. Warren’s backers, convinced her message is being ignored, see a path forward — and they say writing her off would be a mistake.
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23h Updated Latinos will make their voices heard in Democratic race over the next four weeks
The Latino impact on the Democratic presidential race will be felt very soon.
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24h Updated Bolton jabs Trump but avoids Ukraine as book battle rages on
President Donald Trump's former national security adviser John Bolton on Monday needled his former boss over foreign policy but -- remarkably -- largely avoided the Ukraine scandal in favor of issuing a plea that the White House allows his book to be released as-is.
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25h Plaid Cymru fined £29,000 over undeclared public funds
The party failed to report cash from taxpayers' funds worth nearly £500,000.
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25h Storm Dennis: Woman rescued by Virginia Crosbie MP
Siobhan Davies said she didn't realise who her saviour was until she was in the car.
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Senator Tom Cotton Repeats Fringe Theory of Coronavirus Origins25h Updated Senator Tom Cotton Repeats Fringe Theory of Coronavirus Origins
Scientists have dismissed suggestions that the Chinese government was behind the outbreak, but it’s the kind of tale that gains traction among those who see China as a threat.
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PM and estranged wife reach financial agreement26h PM and estranged wife reach financial agreement
Boris Johnson and his estranged wife Marina Wheeler have reached a financial agreement, a family court judge has been told.
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27h UK Budget date kept at 11 March
Chancellor Rishi Sunak promises to "crack on" with delivering the government's election promises.
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27h Kwarteng: We should prevent racists coming into No 10
Minister Kwasi Kwarteng tells the BBC the government should look at "processes" that led to the hiring of Andrew Sabisky as an adviser.
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Budget to remain on 11 March, new chancellor confirms27h Budget to remain on 11 March, new chancellor confirms
New Chancellor Rishi Sunak has confirmed the budget will be delivered on 11 March.
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27h Updated Coronavirus: Foreign Office in bid to rescue Britons stranded on cruise ship
Two British passengers on the quarantined ship say they have now tested positive for coronavirus.
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28h Updated Andrew Sabisky: No 10 adviser resigns over alleged race comments
Andrew Sabisky said that he wanted to help the government, "not be a distraction".
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28h Cummings leaves for work after Andrew Sabisky row
Dominic Cummings has left for work following the sacking of adviser Andrew Sabisky.
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