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Sunday, Feb 25th

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FEMA contractor did not deliver millions of Puerto Rico meals: lawmakers

FEMA delivered only 50,000 out of contracted 30 million meals The U.S. agency responsible for disaster response hired a contractor that failed to deliver millions of emergency meals in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico last year, U.S. Democratic lawmakers said on Tuesday.

Democrats on the House Oversight Committee cited records that showed the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) awarded a nearly $156 million contract to a one-person company that delivered just 50,000 of the expected 30 million meals.

The lawmakers said documents showed the company, Atlanta-based Tribute Contracting, had a history of problems handling smaller government contracts worth less than $100,000 and had been barred from government work until 2019.

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Kellyanne Conway’s 'opioid cabinet' sidelines drug czar’s experts

Kellyan Conway sidelining opioid experts

President Donald Trump’s war on opioids is beginning to look more like a war on his drug policy office.

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway has taken control of the opioids agenda, quietly freezing out drug policy professionals and relying instead on political staff to address a lethal crisis claiming about 175 lives a day. The main response so far has been to call for a border wall and to promise a "just say no” campaign.

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Alabama sues OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma over opioid epidemic

Alabama sues opioid manufacturerAlabama on Tuesday became the latest state to file a lawsuit accusing OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP of fueling the opioid epidemic by deceptively marketing prescription painkillers to generate billions of dollars in sales.

The lawsuit said that as Purdue reaped significant profits, Alabama suffered significant costs as a result of a public health crisis that had led to hundreds of deaths in the state each year due to opioid overdoses.

“It will take years to undo the damage but an important first step we must take is to hold the parties responsible for this epidemic legally liable for the destruction they have unleashed upon our citizens,” Marshall said in a statement.

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U.S. soldier found dead near German train station

US soldier found dead near German rreain station

United States and German authorities are investigating the death of an American soldier whose body was found near a train station in Bavaria, the U.S. Army said Tuesday.

1st Sgt. Nicholas S. Amsberry, 34, was serving in a nine-month deployment to Europe as part of Atlantic Resolve, a mission that supports U.S. allies in Eastern Europe in the wake of Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula.

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Hotel collapses in Taiwan after major earthquake

Taiwan earthquake 2018A magnitude 6.4 earthquake has hit the coast off eastern Taiwan and the government says a hotel has collapsed.

The US Geological Survey reported the quake was shallow at a depth of 10km and struck at 15:50GMT about 20km off the east coast.

Note: This is breaking news.  Check back for updates.

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Trump's Lawyers Want Him to Refuse an Interview in Russia Inquiry

Trump lawyer advises not to allow interview under oathLawyers for President Trump have advised him against sitting down for a wide-ranging interview with the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, according to four people briefed on the matter, raising the specter of a monthslong court battle over whether the president must answer questions under oath.
His lawyers are concerned that the president, who has a history of making false statements and contradicting himself, could be charged with lying to investigators. Their stance puts them at odds with Mr. Trump, who has said publicly and privately that he is eager to speak with Mr. Mueller as part of the investigation into possible ties between his associates and Russia’s election interference, and whether he obstructed justice.
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House Intelligence panel votes to release Democrats' rebuttal of Nunes memo

Nunes memo rebuttal approved by intel committeeThe House Intelligence Committee voted Monday night to release Democrats' rebuttal to a controversial Republican memo alleging that the FBI and Department of Justice abused their power to conduct surveillance of former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

Democrats have been anxious to formally refute the four-page GOP memo, which was written by the committee's Republican staff at the direction of Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., and released Friday after President Trump signed off on it. Democrats want to release their own 10-page memo to dispute the GOP document.

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Newsweek’s Top Editor And Staffers Suddenly Fired

Newswweek firings

Newsweek Media Group on Monday fired multiple staffers from the publications it oversees.

Those fired include Newsweek Editor-in-Chief Bob Roe, executive editor Ken Li and reporter Celeste Katz, multiple sources told HuffPost.

Roe confirmed his firing to CNN. Li hinted at the upheaval in a tweet, writing, “What a day to leave my charger at home.”

Sources told the New York Daily News that Josh Saul, a reporter for Newsweek, and Josh Keefe, a reporter for sister site the International Business Times, were also fired. HuffPost was not able to independently confirm this.

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U.S. Stocks Plummet, Erasing Gains for the Year

US stocks plummetU.S. stocks plunged, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average down almost 1,600 points, as major averages erased gains for the year. Treasuries rallied and gold rose on haven demand.

Equity selling accelerated shortly after 3 p.m. in New York, with the Dow sinking more than 800 points in a matter of 10 minutes only to snap back 10 minutes later. The index remained lower by 4 percent, or 1,000 points -- its steepest drop since Aug. 24, 2015. The S&P 500 Index traced a similar trajectory, though its decline stood at 3 percent. Both are now lower for the year. The Cboe Volatility Index more than doubled to its highest level in 2 1/2 years.

TVNL Comment:  This was the biggest single day loss ever.  Trump took credit for the rise, so let's all thank him for the loss.  Or, we can wait for him to blame Hillary....

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