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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Justice Department Won't Defend Mo Brooks In Capitol Riot Lawsuit

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The Justice Department in a court filing on Tuesday declined to defend Republican congressman Mo Brooks (R-AL) in a lawsuit that alleges he conspired to instigate the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. Brooks had asked the Justice Department to consider him covered by the Westfall Act, which protects federal employees from being sued for actions taken as part of their jobs, concerning the lawsuit brought by Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA). The Justice Department's filing could indicate it may not defend former President Donald Trump, who has also been sued by Swalwell for a...

Republicans Abandon Capitol Riot Panel After Pelosi Rejects Jordan, Banks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The top Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday withdrew his five nominees to serve on the special committee probing the deadly January 6 attack on the Capitol after Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected two of them. Pelosi had earlier rejected Representatives Jim Jordan and Jim Banks, staunch defenders of former President Donald Trump, from serving on the panel investigating the Trump supporters who assaulted Congress in an attempt to stop it from certifying President Joe Biden's election. "With respect for the integrity of the investigation, w...

Biden Promises To Appeal DACA Ruling, Urges 'Path To Citizenship'

By David Morgan WASHINGTON (Reuters) -President Joe Biden on Saturday vowed to preserve a program that protects from deportation hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought to the United States as children, promising to appeal a judge's "deeply disappointing" ruling invalidating it and urging Congress to provide them a path to citizenship. U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen on Friday ruled in favor of a group of states led by Republican-governed Texas that sued to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Hanen concluded that Democratic former President Barack Obama exceeded...

Biden Fires Trump's Social Security Commissioner (Who Refused To Resign)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Joe Biden on Friday fired Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul, a holdover from the Trump administration, but Saul told the Washington Post that he plans to be at work on Monday morning because his term isn't over. "Andrew Saul refused to resign as requested, and he was notified his employment as Commissioner was terminated immediately," said a White House official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The official said Saul had taken "actions that run contrary to the mission of the agency and the President's policy agenda." Saul, who in 2019 was sworn...

Biden Celebrates New Citizens As U.S. Launches Naturalization Campaign

By Trevor Hunnicutt WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Joe Biden celebrated new U.S. citizens at an event at the White House on Friday, the same day his administration rolled out a government-wide strategy to encourage more immigrants to become citizens. "It's dreams of immigrants like you that built America and continued to inject new energy, new vitality, new strength," Biden said in the East Room, thanking the 21 naturalized Americans for choosing the United States as their home. "We've seen that most clearly during this pandemic, with immigrants as frontline workers and as scientists and res...

Confronting Wildfires, Biden Increases Firefighter Pay And Climate Spending

By Jarrett Renshaw and Steve Holland (Reuters) - President Joe Biden announced pay raises for federal firefighters on Wednesday and said the United States was behind in its preparations for a potential record number of forest fires this year because of drought and high temperatures. Biden's remarks at a virtual meeting with governors of western states sought to show the White House is treating wildfires - which have grown by at least 100 incidents each year since 2015 - are no less a national emergency than hurricanes. As climate change makes regions like the U.S. western states more arid,...

Republican Senate Negotiator Now Ready To 'Move Forward' On Infrastructure Bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A lead Republican negotiator on an infrastructure deal on Sunday welcomed President Joe Biden's withdrawal of his threat to veto a $1.2 trillion bipartisan bill unless a separate Democratic spending plan also passes Congress. Ohio Senator Rob Portman said he and his fellow negotiators were "blindsided" by Biden's comments on Thursday after he and senators announced a rare bipartisan compromise on a measure to fix the nation's roads, bridges and ports. "I was very glad to see the president clarify his remarks because it was inconsistent with everything that we had been told al...

Biden Reiterates Support For 'Two-Track' Infrastructure Deal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- President Joe Biden spoke with Arizona Democratic Senator Krysten Sinema on the bipartisan infrastructure agreement, the White House said Friday, and reiterated his support for a "two-track" legislation process that includes a second reconciliation bill. "The President reiterated strong support for both the bipartisan Infrastructure bill and a reconciliation bill containing the American Families Plan moving forward on a two-track system, as he said yesterday when meeting the press with the bipartisan group of ten Senators," the White House said in a statement. After House of...

FBI Warning: QAnon Cultists May Commit 'Real-World Violence'

By Mark Hosenball WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The FBI has warned that followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory could again engage in violence against political opponents out of frustration that the theory's predictions have not come true. Believers in the conspiracy theory - which casts former President Donald Trump as a savior figure and elite Democrats as a cabal of Satanist pedophiles and cannibals - played a prominent role in the deadly January 6 assault on the Capitol. In a June 4 bulletin distributed to members of Congress and seen by Reuters, the FBI said its experts believe that some believers...

Trump Administration Subpoenaed Apple For Lawmakers' Personal Data

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Justice Department under former President Donald Trump subpoenaed Apple Inc for data from the accounts of at least two Democrats on the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee in an attempt to find out who was behind leaks of classified information, the New York Times reported on Thursday. The records of at least a dozen people tied to the committee were seized in 2017 and early 2018, including those of Representative Adam Schiff, then the panel's top Democrat and now its chairman, the Times said. The paper cited unnamed committee officials and two other...

U.S. Will Donate 500 Million Pfizer Vaccine Doses To Poorer Countries

By Trevor Hunnicutt and Carl O'Donnell WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The Biden administration plans to donate 500 million Pfizer coronavirus vaccine doses to nearly 100 countries over the next two years, three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday. The United States is likely to distribute 200 million shots this year and another 300 million in the first half of next year to 92 lower-income countries and the African Union, they said. The donations will go through the COVAX vaccine program that distributes COVID-19 shots to low- and middle-income countries. The program is led by the...

G7 Nations Near Historic Deal To  Stop Multinational Tax Evasion

By David Milliken LONDON (Reuters) - Group of Seven rich nations will seek to overcome long-standing differences on Saturday and strike a landmark deal to close the net on large companies that they say do not pay enough tax. The proposed accord, which could form the basis of a global pact next month, is aimed at ending a decades-long "race to the bottom" in which countries have competed to attract corporate giants with ultra-low tax rates and exemptions. That has in turn cost their public coffers hundreds of billions of dollars - a shortfall they now need to recoup all the more urgently to pay...

Biden Delivers Memorial Day Speech Warning Democracy Is 'In Peril'

By Andrea Shalal ARLINGTON, Va. (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden used his Memorial Day speech on Monday to defend America's "imperfect" democracy, calling for more work to deliver the promise of what he said remained "the greatest experiment" in world history. In a speech at Arlington National Cemetery touching on voting rights, freedom of speech and efforts to rectify persistent economic and racial disparities, Biden warned that democracy was "in peril" in the United States and around the world in the face of autocratic forces he did not identify. "Democracy is more than a form of governm...

Gaza Truce Between Israel And Hamas Begins, Mediated By Egypt

By Nidal al-Mughrabi and Dan Williams GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) - A truce between Israel and Hamas began on Friday at the hour set by Egyptian mediators, and U.S. President Joe Biden pledged to salve the devastation of the worst fighting in years with humanitarian aid for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. In the countdown to the 2 a.m. (2300 GMT Thursday) cease-fire, whose timing Hamas had confirmed but Israel did not, Palestinian rocket salvoes continued and Israel carried out at least one air strike. Each side said it stood ready to retaliate for any truce violations by the other. Cairo said it...

Attorney General: New York's Probe Of Trump Organization Is Now Criminal

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The New York state attorney general's office said on Tuesday it has told the Trump Organization its investigation of the company run by former President Donald Trump is now a criminal probe, not purely civil. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, a Democrat, has been investigating Trump’s pre-presidency business dealings for more than two years. "We have informed the Trump Organization that our investigation into the organization is no longer purely civil in nature," spokesman Fabien Levy said in a statement. "We are now actively investigating the Trump Organization in ...

China Says Long March Rocket Debris Fell Into Indian Ocean

BEIJING (Reuters) - Remnants of China's biggest rocket landed in the Indian Ocean on Sunday, with the bulk of its components destroyed upon re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere, according to Chinese state media. Parts of the Long March 5B rocket re-entered the atmosphere at 10:24 a.m. Beijing time [10:24 p.m. Saturday Eastern time] and landed at a location with the coordinates at longitude 72.47 degrees east and latitude 2.65 degrees north, Chinese state media cited the China Manned Space Engineering Office as saying. The coordinates put the point of impact in the ocean somewhere southwest of India and Sri Lanka. Mos...