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Thursday, Apr 27th

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Bribe cases, secret Jared Kushner partner, potential conflicts

jared KushnerIt was the summer of 2012, and Jared Kushner was headed downtown.

His family’s real estate firm, the Kushner Cos., would spend about $190 million during the next few months on dozens of apartment buildings in tony Lower Manhattan neighborhoods including the East Village, the West Village and SoHo.

For much of the roughly $50 million in down payments, Kushner turned to an undisclosed overseas partner. Public records and shell companies shield the investor’s identity. But, it turns out, the money came from a member of Israel’s Steinmetz family, which built a fortune as one of the world’s leading diamond traders.

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Trump executive order could rescind national monuments

Trump executive order to rescind national monumentsPresident Trump signed an executive order Wednesday calling into question the future of more than two dozen national monuments proclaimed by the last three presidents to set aside millions of acres from development.

In asking Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke for an unprecedented review of national monuments, Trump may force a question never before tested in the 111-year history of the Antiquities Act: Whether one president can nullify a previous president's proclamation establishing a national monument.

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US commander not confident North Korea will refrain from nuclear assault

Admiral Harry HarrisThe US admiral in charge of a potential conflict with North Korea has said his goal is to bring Kim Jong-un “to his senses, not to his knees”.

Tensions between the US and North Korea are white-hot ahead of an anticipated sixth nuclear test from Pyongyang and its accelerating long-range missile development. Donald Trump has invited the entire US Senate to the White House on Wednesday afternoon for a classified briefing on the situation.

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Mnuchin: Trump has 'no intention' to release tax returns

MnuchinTreasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Wednesday said that President Trump has "no intention" to release his tax returns.

When asked during a press conference if Trump will release his tax returns, Mnuchin replied that Trump already released "plenty of information" about his taxes.

"The president has no intention — the president has released plenty of information and I think has given more financial disclosure than anybody else," Mnuchin said. "I think the American population has plenty of information."

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FCC head unveils plan to roll back net neutrality

FCC Chairman PaiFederal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai revealed Wednesday his plans for rolling back net neutrality, one of the most controversial items up for consideration at the agency.

During a speech at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., Pai said he plans hand regulatory jurisdiction of broadband providers back to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), an agency that critics argue is less prepared to handle them than Pai’s is.

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Freedom Caucus endorses Obamacare repeal compromise

Freedom CaucusThe House Freedom Caucus — the conservative group that sunk House Republicans’ Obamacare replacement last month — has officially endorsed a new compromise on the bill, delivering a fresh burst of momentum to the GOP's efforts to do away with the Democratic health care law.

The group of three-dozen lawmakers said in a statement that an agreement negotiated by caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and centrist Tuesday Group co-Chairman Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.) assuaged their previous concerns about the bill. The White House has been pressing Republicans to broker a compromise.

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Trump team rolls out massive tax cut package

tRUMP TAX PACKAGEThe Trump administration pitched a tax reform plan Wednesday that calls for big corporate rate cuts, a simpler tax code, and big increases in standard deductions, a pricey package that could face an uphill climb in Congress.

"This is quite an historic day for us," said Gary Cohn, director of President Trump's National Economic Council. "Tax reform is long overdue."

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said the goal is to "make U.S. businesses the most competitive in the world," and he described the plan as the biggest tax cut and reform in U.S. history.

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France offers evidence Syria was behind nerve gas attack

France proves that Syria was behind Serin attackThe French government has proof indicating the Syrian air force dropped bombs containing the nerve gas Sarin on a civilian population, it said Wednesday.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said samples taken from the April 4 attack on rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun bear the same chemical signature of Sarin made by the Syrian government, and match samples from a prior chemical attack.

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Turkey detains more than 1,000 for 'links to US based cleric"'

Turkey detains 1,000Turkish authorities have detained more than a thousand people suspected of having links to US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen.

The overnight crackdown was one of the largest operations in months against the network, which Turkey blames for orchestrating a failed coup in July.  Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said 1,009 people had been detained so far.

The operation was launched in all of Turkey's 81 provinces and targeted the network's structure in the police force.

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