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White House rejects Dem request for documents on Trump-Putin communications

WH refuses to release Trump-Putin communicationsThe White House is rejecting a sweeping request from House Democrats for documents and interviews related to President Trump’s communications with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In a letter obtained by The Hill, White House counsel Pat Cipollone asserts that the president’s diplomatic communications are confidential and protected by executive privilege and describes the requests as beyond Congress’s legitimate realm of inquiry.

Cipollone also argues that such a disclosure could have a detrimental impact on the ability of Trump or future presidents to conduct foreign relations.

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James Comey: What I Want From the Mueller Report

James Comey Op Ed in NYT

The country is eagerly awaiting the special counsel Robert Mueller’s report. Many people know what they want it to say — what they feel it simply must say — namely, that Donald Trump is a criminal who should be removed from office. Or that he is completely innocent of all wrongdoing.

But not everyone knows what it “must” say. Even though I believe Mr. Trump is morally unfit to be president of the United States, I’m not rooting for Mr. Mueller to demonstrate that he is a criminal. I’m also not rooting for Mr. Mueller to “clear” the president. I’m not rooting for anything at all, except that the special counsel be permitted to finish his work, charge whatever cases warrant charging and report on his work.

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McCain Institute punches back at Trump broadsides

McCain InstituteWith the late Sen. John McCain unable to defend himself against President Donald Trump’s escalating attacks, the McCain Institute is hitting back on his behalf.

The leadership institute on Wednesday released a fact sheet about the former GOP presidential nominee that reads as a point-by-point rebuttal of the president’s criticisms in recent days.

While the fact sheet makes no mention of Trump, it opens with a section detailing McCain’s military service. The institute wrote that though McCain graduated fifth from the bottom of his class at the U.S. Naval Academy — Trump taunted McCain over the weekend for being “last in class” — he “was known as a fierce fighter, a loyal friend and a leader among his peers.”

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Cummings demands docs on Kushner's alleged use of encrypted app for official business

Cummings demands doc on use of private email by jaredHouse Democrats are raising new concerns about what they say is recently revealed information from Jared Kushner’s attorney indicating that the senior White House aide has been relying on encrypted messaging service WhatsApp and his personal email account to conduct official business.

The revelation came in a Dec. 19 meeting — made public by the House Oversight and Reform Committee for the first time on Thursday — between Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), Rep. Trey Gowdy, the former chairman of the oversight panel, and Kushner’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell.

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Trump breaks with US policy to recognize Golan Heights as Israeli territory

Trump recognizes Golan Heights as israeli territory

Donald Trump has announced that the US will recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, captured from Syria in 1967, in a dramatic move likely to bolster Benjamin Netanyahu’s hopes to win re-election, but which will also provoke international opposition.

Previous US administrations have treated Golan Heights as occupied Syrian territory, in line with UN security council resolutions. Trump declared his break with that policy, in a tweet on Thursday.

He said: “After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability!”

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Vietnam Veteran Ex-Senator Tells Donald Trump How To Silence Bone Spur Doubters

Former and Vietnam Vet, Bob Kerry

Former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-Neb.) demanded that President Donald Trump present the nation with X-rays of his feet to prove once and for all the bone spurs in his heels he claimed for a medical exemption from the Vietnam War draft.

Kerrey, a former Navy SEAL who lost part of his right leg during the war, said on Wednesday’s broadcast of CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360°” that “you don’t grow out of bone spurs.” If Trump had them in the 1960s, Kerrey said, he’d still have them now (unless he underwent surgery, which Trump has never mentioned).

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New drug combo shows promise against pancreatic cancer

New drug combo shows promis against pancreatic cancerA combination therapy that uses two drugs could help in the fight pancreatic cancer, a new study says.

The first drug blocks the process called lysosome, which enables cancer cells to reuse key nutrients for survival, and the second drug shut down the pathway used to fix up DNA, according to research published Wednesday in PNAS.

The researchers combined chloroquine, which is used to treat malaria, with more than 500 different inhibitors to see if it could create a response to fight off the disease. They discovered a complementary inhibitor known as a replication stress response inhibitor that then took the next step.

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Boeing to Stop Charging Extra to Install 737 Max Safety Feature After Deadly Crashes

Boeing charged airlines for safety featureThe doomed Boeing jets in Ethiopia and Indonesia lacked some safety features in their cockpits because the company charged extra to install them. But now, after the crashes and 737 Max jets being grounded around the world, Boeing says one of those features will come as standard on new models.

Boeing’s optional safety features could have helped the pilots detect erroneous readings that experts believe may have been involved in the planes’ failures, The New York Times reports.

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Facebook reportedly exposed millions of account user passwords in plain text

Facebook exposed millions of passwords

When it comes to Facebook and security it seems there is one potentially damaging lapse after another.

The latest comes via an exclusive report from the KrebsOnSecurity security news site, flagging that hundreds of millions of Facebook users have had their account passwords stored in plain text that could be searched by more than 20,000 Facebook employees – in some cases dating back to 2012.

The author of the report, Brian Krebs, says Facebook told him that none of the employees, to the company’s knowledge, abused the data.

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