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Saturday, Dec 16th

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Rep. John Conyers stepping down from top Judiciary Committee post as ethics probe continues

Conyers steps down from Judiciary postRep. John Conyers is stepping down from his top spot on the House Judiciary Committee as a congressional ethics panel probes sexual harassment allegations against the Michigan Democrat.

Conyers again denied the harassment allegations in a statement released Sunday but said he has requested to step down as the Judiciary Committee's ranking member.

"To be clear, I would like very much to remain as ranking member," he said in a statement. "There is still much work to be done on core concerns like securing civil rights, enacting meaningful criminal justice reforms, and protecting access to the ballot box. ... But I have come to believe that my presence as ranking member on the committee would not serve these efforts while the ethics committee investigation is pending."

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Ash Fills The Sky As Bali's Mount Agung Erupts

Ash fills the sky as Bali's Mt. Agung erupts

Clouds of ash filled the air around Bali's Mount Agung after the volcano erupted on Saturday and multiple times on Sunday.

Indonesia's National Disaster Management Authority said dark gray clouds reached heights of more than 13,000 feet in the air around the volcano, located in the east of the Indonesian island.

"Bali is safe just keep away from disaster prone areas," the agency wrote on Twitter.

The government agency warned people within about 4 miles of the volcano to leave. It said ash as thick as half a centimeter was reported in several nearby villages, The Associated Press says, while soldiers and police handed out masks.

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Trump Is Quietly Making It Even Harder To Report Sexual Harassment And Discrimination

Trump makes it harder to report sexual harassment and discrimination

To the droves of women speaking up about sexual harassment and discrimination, the Trump administration’s message is clear: Shut up.

Behind the scenes, and mostly through executive orders, the White House is making it harder for women to report sexual harassment and fight sex discrimination.

The clearest example came in March. It received little coverage at the time. President Donald Trump reversed an Obama-era order that forbid federal contractors from keeping secret sexual harassment and discrimination cases. The 2014 rule prohibited these companies, which employ about 26 million people, from forcing workers to resolve complaints through arbitration, an increasingly common method businesses use to settle disputes out of the public eye.

US officials not told Russia tried to target personal emails

FBI headquartersThe FBI failed to notify scores of U.S. officials that Russian hackers were trying to break into their personal Gmail accounts despite having evidence for at least a year that the targets were in the Kremlin's crosshairs, The Associated Press has found.

Nearly 80 interviews with Americans targeted by Fancy Bear, a Russian government-aligned cyberespionage group, turned up only two cases in which the FBI had provided a heads-up. Even senior policymakers discovered they were targets only when the AP told them, a situation some described as bizarre and dispiriting.

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CNN fires back at Trump: It's your job to represent the US to the world

Trump attacks CNN

CNN fired back at President Trump after he attacked the network in a tweet Saturday for representing the U.S. “very poorly” to the world.

“It's not CNN's job to represent the U.S to the world,” the network’s public relations team tweeted. “That's yours. Our job is to report the news. #FactsFirst.

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Tillerson refused to meet with State Dept security chief: report

Tillerson refused to talk to state dept deputy

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson previously turned down multiple meetings with the department's chief of security, forcing the chief to invoke the law's requirement that he is allowed to meet with the top U.S. diplomat, according to The New York Times.

The chief, Bill Miller, has since resigned from his position.

Former senior officials at the Bureau of Diplomatic Security told the Times that for nine months Tillerson turned down multiple briefing requests, including urgent requests, from Miller.

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Time Magazine: Trump’s Person of the Year Boast Is ‘Total BS’

Trump's claim about TIME cover is BSTime Magazine has disputed President Trump’s Twitter boasts claiming he turned down an interview after being told he’d “probably” be named the magazine’s Person of the Year. In a statement late Friday, the magazine said Trump was “incorrect about how we choose Person of the Year.”

“TIME does not comment on our choice until publication, which is December 6,” the magazine tweeted. Alan Murray, the magazine’s chief content officer, called Trump’s claims “total BS,” saying there was “not a speck of truth” to his comments. Trump had claimed he “took a pass” on doing an interview and photo shoot with the magazine because being told he would “probably” be Person of the Year was not good enough."

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Trump asserts legal power in fight over consumer bureau

Mick MulvvaneyPresident Donald Trump has the power he needs to put his top budget aide in charge of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), federal officials said on Saturday, weighing in on a battle for control over the powerful agency.

The leadership of the independent regulatory agency was thrown into question on Friday when its outgoing director Richard Cordray, a Democrat, named his deputy as his acting replacement until the U.S. Senate confirms a new director.

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The Sea Level Threat To Cities Depends On Where The Ice Melts — Not Just How Fast

Sea level threat to cities depends on how far and how fast the ice is melting

The world's oceans are rising. Over the past century, they're up an average of about eight inches. But the seas are rising more in some places than others. And scientists are now finding that how much sea level rises in, say, New York City, has a lot to do with exactly where the ice is melting.

A warming climate is melting a lot of glaciers and ice sheets on land. That means more water rolling down into the oceans.

But the oceans are not like a bathtub. The water doesn't rise uniformly.

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