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Horowitz pushes back at Barr over basis for Trump-Russia probe

Horowitz pushes back at Barr

The Justice Department’s top watchdog on Wednesday reaffirmed that the FBI’s investigation into Russian influence on Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign was adequately justified, despite Attorney General William Barr’s comments expressing doubts about that conclusion.

“We stand by our finding,” Inspector General Michael Horowitz said during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing focusing on the long-awaited report Horowitz released Monday about key aspects of the counterintelligence investigation.

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FAA Approved 737 MAX After Its Own Analysis Showed Risk of Crashes

FAA approved 737 MAX after finding flawsThe Federal Aviation Administration’s own analysis reportedly showed Boeing 737 MAX jets could have one fatal crash every two or three years—but it decided to allow the planes to fly anyway.

The Wall Street Journal reports that U.S. regulators carried out an analysis showing the MAX could become one of the most accident-prone airliners in decades if its design wasn’t changed. The analysis came in November 2018—after the Lion Air crash in Indonesia, but before the Ethiopia Airlines crash.

It predicted as many as 15 similar catastrophic accidents globally over the life of the MAX fleet, which was expected to span between 30 to 45 years, unless fixes were made to an automated flight-control system.

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Europe launches 'Green Deal' as Thunberg denounces climate inaction

Green deal EuropeEurope sought to bolster the world’s faltering battle against climate change on Wednesday with its “Green Deal” to slash fossil fuel dependence, while teen activist Greta Thunberg rebuked global leaders for dragging their feet.

With fires, floods and droughts ruining millions of lives around the world, the European Union’s new executive cast the plan as the bloc’s “man on the moon moment,” kindling hopes among campaigners that other big emitters may follow suit.

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North Korea calls Trump ‘thoughtless and sneaky old man' over tweets

Kim calls Trimp 'thoughtless old man'North Korea insulted President Donald Trump again Monday, calling him a “thoughtless and sneaky old man” after he tweeted that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un wouldn’t want to abandon a special relationship between the two leaders and affect the American presidential election by resuming hostile acts.

Former nuclear negotiator Kim Yong Chol said in a statement that North Korea wouldn’t cave in to U.S. pressure because it has nothing to lose, and he accused the Trump administration of attempting to buy time before an end-of-year deadline set by Kim Jong Un for Washington to salvage nuclear talks.

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Swastika, Confederate flags on display near Iowa elementary school 'sickens' school officials

Iowa house diaplays swastika and confederate flag.The resident of a house directly adjacent to a Des Moines elementary school displayed a painting of a swastika Tuesday, sparking outrage on social media and action from Des Moines Public Schools.

William Stark displayed six wooden pallets painted as various flags in front of his home. One was a “German war flag” with the swastika on it. Others included Confederate flags, a “back the blue” flag supporting law enforcement officers, an American flag and a combination U.S.-Confederate flag.

Stark wore a hat with Confederate flags on it Tuesday when he said he hadn’t painted the flags out of prejudice. He’s not racist or a white supremacist, he said, adding that he would paint any flag if asked.

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Greta Thunberg is Time's 2019 Person of the Year

Greta Thunberg

Greta Thunberg, the soft-spoken Swedish teenager who became a global conscience for climate change and environmental activism, has been named Time’s Magazine’s Person of the Year for 2019.

The magazine announced 16-year old Thunberg as its choice Wednesday exclusively on "TODAY."

"She became the biggest voice on the biggest issue facing the planet this year, coming from essentially nowhere to lead a worldwide movement," Time editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal told "TODAY," adding that Thunberg is the magazine's youngest choice ever to be named Person of the Year.

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Federal judge in Texas blocks Trump from using military funds for border wall

Federal judge in Texas blacks using funds for wall

A federal judge on Wednesday blocked President Trump from using Defense Department funds for the construction of his border wall.

Judge David Briones of the US District Court for the Western District of Texas ruled in favor of El Paso County, Texas, and Border Network for Human Rights, which had argued Trump’s national emergency declaration using billions in Pentagon funds for the wall was an overreach.

The plaintiffs also accused the White House of using the funds for a situation that did not meet the bar for an “emergency” under the National Emergencies Act.

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Prosecutors OK With Probation for Ex-Trump Aide Rick Gates

US asks no prison time for Rick Gates

The Justice Department said Tuesday it is not opposing a sentence of probation for a former Trump campaign official who provided “extraordinary assistance" in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

Prosecutors said in a sentencing memorandum that Rick Gates met with investigators more than 50 times, testified in three criminal trials, admitted to his participation in crimes about which the government was not previously aware, and has agreed to continue testifying even after he's sentenced.

“In short, under exceedingly difficult circumstances and under intense public scrutiny, Gates has worked earnestly to provide the government with everything it has asked of him and has fulfilled all obligations under his plea agreement," prosecutors wrote in agreeing not to challenge his request to avoid prison.

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Trump lashes out at FBI director in wake of Justice Department inspector general’s report

Christopher Wray

President Trump lashed out Tuesday morning at FBI Director Christopher A. Wray, saying that “he will never be able to fix the FBI” based on his reaction to a Justice Department inspector general’s report examining the bureau’s investigation of Trump’s 2016 campaign.

“I don’t know what report current Director of the FBI Christopher Wray was reading, but it sure wasn’t the one given to me,” Trump tweeted. “With that kind of attitude, he will never be able to fix the FBI, which is badly broken despite having some of the greatest men & women working there!”

The 434-page report rebutted conservatives’ accusations that top FBI officials were driven by political bias to illegally spy on Trump advisers as part of the investigation of election interference by Russia, but it also found broad and “serious performance failures” requiring major changes.

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