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Friday, Mar 24th

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EPA Chief Scott Pruitt: Carbon Dioxide Not a ‘Primary Contributor’ to Global Warming

Pruitt the Idiot: CO2 not a contributor to global warmingEnvironmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said Thursday he does not believe carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to global warming.

"I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do and there's tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact, so no, I would not agree that it's a primary contributor to the global warming that we see ," he told CNBC's "Squawk Box."

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Senate panel approves Trump's Israel envoy despite Dem opposition

Senate panel approves Israel envoyThe Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday approved David Friedman to serve as the U.S. ambassador to Israel despite opposition from Democrats.

The committee voted to clear Friedman's nomination in a 12-9 vote.

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) was the only Democratic senator to support Friedman's nomination, according to multiple reports.  Democrats had voiced concerns over Friedman's previous comments backing Israel settlements and opposing a two-state solution.

TVNL Comment:  Friedman is an advocate of extreme right wing polkicies in Israel. This is a terrible choice.

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1M without power in Mich., N.Y., Ohio after windstorms

windstormsHundreds of thousands of people were without power Thursday after windstorms struck cities around Lake Erie.

The weather across the area Wednesday was sunny but winds of more than 60 mph caused damage across Michigan. Around 1 million people in the state lost power, at least temporarily. Three thousand power lines fell in southeastern Michigan, where a thus-far mild winter has created softer ground, leading to the uprooting of trees. More than 875,000 electricity customers statewide were without power Thursday morning.

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UN: Up to 450,000 IDPs expected in cramped Mosul camps

450,000 displaced in Mosul campsThere may not be enough space in camps to accommodate the tens of thousands of internally displaced people (IDP) currently fleeing their homes in western Mosul amid intense fighting in the city, a United Nations official has said.

At least 50,000 people have made their way to the camps on the eastern side of the Tigris River, but the UN warns that if the number rapidly increases, they will be hard pressed to find a place for the new arrivals.

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Jon Huntsman, Trump’s pick for Russia ambassador, is a baffling choice

Jon HuntsmanFormer Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. has been tapped to be President Donald Trump’s ambassador to Russia. And that is very, very strange.

Huntsman isn’t a Russia expert, or anything close. President Barack Obama appointed Huntsman, a Republican, to serve as ambassador to China in his first term because Huntsman speaks Mandarin and had lived in Taiwan. But he doesn’t speak Russian and he’s never spent any time living in Russia. He’s never held a position where he had to deal with Russian officials regularly or really ever had much to say about the US-Russia relationship at all.

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AARP, American Medical Association oppose GOP health care bill, citing loss of coverage

AARP, AMA oppose GOP health planTwo major interest groups with sway among Capitol Hill lawmakers have come out forcefully against the GOP's newly released health care plan, saying the bill could lower the quality of health care or even put it out of reach for many low-income Americans.

On Tuesday night, the AARP came out against the bill, saying it will increase costs to Americans aged 50 and older by thousands of dollars per year.

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Authorities looked into Manafort protégé

Manafort protege being investigatedU.S. and Ukrainian authorities have expressed interest in the activities of a Kiev-based operative with suspected ties to Russian intelligence who consulted regularly with Paul Manafort last year while Manafort was running Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

The operative, Konstantin Kilimnik, came under scrutiny from officials at the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the State Department partly because of at least two trips he took to the U.S. during the presidential campaign, according to three international political operatives familiar with the agencies’ interest in Kilimnik.

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NSC staff allowed back into the Oval Office for Trump's foreign calls

McCallisterNational security adviser H.R. McMaster has invited top National Security Council staff back into the Oval Office for calls between President Donald Trump and foreign leaders, reversing a decision by his predecessor Michael Flynn to exile senior directors to the Situation Room during state calls.

For the first time since Trump took office, senior directors and country directors were present on Monday and Tuesday in the Oval alongside deputy national security adviser K.T. McFarland for calls with leaders from Israel, Japan, South Korea and Kenya.

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Jeff Sessions Likely Met Russian Ambassador A Third Time

Jeff SessionsThe Center for the National Interest, the conservative foreign policy organization that hosted Trump’s speech at the Mayflower, invited Kislyak to the reception. An April 2016 story in Politico noted that Sessions also attended the event and was in the Senate Room of the Mayflower, along with “ambassadors.”

On Wednesday, the center issued a statement that acknowledged that Kislyak and Sessions both attended the reception but added that it was “not aware of any conversation” between the two.

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