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State Department Reportedly Revokes Visa Of Magnitsky Act Campaigner

(NPR) The State Department has reportedly revoked a visa for British citizen Bill Browder, a hedge-fund manager-turned human-rights activist responsible for the Magnitsky Act. The 2012 U.S. law is aimed at punishing Russian officials believed responsible for the death in a Moscow prison of Sergei Magnitsky, who was allegedly beaten and denied medical care.

The cancelling of Browder's visa came on the same day that the Kremlin issued yet another international arrest warrant for him via Interpol.

The Magnitsky Act, which freezes the assets and bans visas for certain Russians, including those close to Vladimir Putin "touched off a nasty confrontation with the Kremlin, and the two sides have been trying ever since to undermine the credibility of the other. Recently, however, Russian prosecutors have taken that effort to a remarkable new level, claiming that Mr. Magnitsky was actually murdered by Mr. Browder," according to The New York Times.


Senators Stunned to Discover We Have 1,000 Troops in Niger

(Daily Beast) The death of four U.S. Special Operations Forces troops in Niger has generated a raucous conversation about how presidents should comfort bereft Gold Star families.

But, quietly, it’s fueling a more difficult debate than whether a phone call or a letter suffices in the aftermath of tragedy; mainly, why were U.S. troops in the country in the first place, and does Congress need to exert more authority when it comes such deployments?

Many lawmakers assiduously duck these questions. But on the Sunday shows, several were forced to address them in the aftermath of four soldiers dying under still-mysterious circumstances near the small town of Tongo Tongo. In the process, two powerful Senators tacitly admitted that they hadn’t even known the extent of U.S. involvement in Niger in the first place.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), one of the chamber’s most hawkish members, told host Chuck Todd on Meet the Press that he didn’t know until recently that a thousand U.S. troops are stationed in Niger.


John McCain Slams Wealthy Draft Dodgers In Apparent Swipe At Trump

(HuffPost) Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) appeared to heap more criticism on President Donald Trump during an interview on Sunday, saying it was “wrong” for high-income Americans to dodge the draft during the Vietnam War.

“One aspect of the conflict, by the way, that I will never ever countenance is that we drafted the lowest income level of America and the highest income level found a doctor that would say that they had a bone spur,” McCain said during a segment on the draft that aired on C-SPAN 3 on Sunday. “That is wrong. That is wrong. If we’re going to ask every American to serve, every American should serve.”

While the senator’s comments didn’t directly reference Trump, the president is widely known to have received five deferments from the draft during the Vietnam War, four for education and one for bone spurs in his heels.


Cub Scout kicked out of group after grilling Colorado Republican on guns

(Guardian) A Cub Scout was kicked out of his group after he questioned a Colorado Republican lawmaker about gun control and contentious comments she made about African Americans.

At a group meeting in Broomfield, Colorado, earlier this month, Cub Scouts were told to come prepared to talk to state senator Vicki Marble about issues important to them. Lori Mayfield, the mother of 11-year-old Ames Mayfield, posted footage of ensuing exchanges online.

Reading from a printed sheet, her son asked Marble about “commonsense gun control”. “I was shocked that you co-sponsored a bill to allow domestic violence offenders to continue to own a gun,” he said. “… Why on earth would you want someone who beats their wife to have access to a gun?”


E.P.A. Cancels Talk on Climate Change by Agency Scientists

(NYT) Scientists involved in the program said that much of the discussion at the event centers on climate change. Many said they were surprised by the E.P.A.’s last-minute cancellation, particularly since the agency helps to fund the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program, which is hosting the conference. The scientists who have been barred from speaking contributed substantial material to a 400-page report to be issued on Monday.

The move highlights widespread concern that the E.P.A. will silence government scientists from speaking publicly or conducting work on climate change. Scott Pruitt, the agency administrator, has said that he does not believe human-caused greenhouse gas emissions are primarily responsible for the warming of the planet.


House GOP Fears Wave in 2018 as Money Woes Grow

(National Journal) House Republicans are growing increasingly alarmed that some of their most vulnerable members aren’t doing the necessary legwork to protect themselves from an emerging Democratic tidal wave. In some of the biggest media markets, where blockbuster fundraising is a prerequisite for political survival—most notably in New York City, Los Angeles, and Houston—Republican lawmakers aren’t raising enough money to run aggressive campaigns against up-and-coming Democrats.

Of the 53 House Republicans facing competitive races, according to Cook Political Report ratings, a whopping 21 have been outraised by at least one Democratic opponent in the just-completed fundraising quarter. That’s a stunningly high number this early in the cycle, one that illustrates just how favorable the political environment is for House Democrats.


Trump Campaign Staffers Pushed Tweets From Russian Trolls

(Daily Beast) Some of the Trump campaign’s most prominent names and supporters, including Trump’s campaign manager, digital director and son, pushed tweets from professional trolls paid by the Russian government in the heat of the 2016 election campaign. The Twitter account @Ten_GOP, which called itself the “Unofficial Twitter account of Tennessee Republicans,” was operated from the Kremlin-backed “Russian troll farm,” or Internet Research Agency, a source familiar with the account confirmed with The Daily Beast.

The account’s origins in the Internet Research Agency were originally reported by the independent Russian news outlet RBC. @Ten_GOP was created on November 19, 2015, and accumulated over 100 thousand followers before Twitter shut it down. The Daily Beast independently confirmed the reasons for @Ten_GOP's account termination. The discovery of the now-unavailable tweets presents the first evidence that several members of the Trump campaign pushed covert Russian propaganda on social media in the run-up to the 2016 election.


Obama rally with Northam set for Thursday night at Greater Richmond Convention Center

(Richmond Times-Dispatch) Former President Barack Obama’s rally on Thursday evening with Ralph Northam, the Democratic nominee for governor, is set for the Richmond Convention Center. ... The campaign said Thursday’s rally will be free and open to the public.

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