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Wednesday, Nov 21st

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Treasury employee charged with leaks to BuzzFeed about Trump advisers

Treasury employee charged with leaking material

A senior Treasury Department employee has been arrested on suspicion of leaking a large volume of confidential financial reports, including information related to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into dealings between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign.

Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards, who is a senior adviser at Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network or FinCEN, was arrested in Virginia on Friday and charged with unauthorized disclosure of suspicious-activity reports filed by banks and other financial institutions.

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Massive Twitter data release sheds light on Russia’s Trump strategy

Massive twitter release shows Russsian strategy in 2016 election

Twitter on Wednesday released a trove of 10 million tweets it says represents the full scope of foreign influence operations on the platform dating back nearly a decade — including Russia's consistent efforts to disparage Hillary Clinton and an initially erratic approach to Donald Trump that eventually settled on a concerted pro-Trump message during the 2016 campaign.

The huge data cache consists of tweets from some 3,400 accounts tied to the Kremlin troll farm known as the Internet Research Agency and 770 others linked to Iran. It also includes some two million gifs, videos and other pieces of visual content. Twitter said it's making the information available to "enable independent academic research and investigation," according to a company blog post.

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Mueller Ready to Deliver Key Findings in His Trump Probe, Sources Say

Mueller ready to deliver key findings

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is expected to issue findings on core aspects of his Russia probe soon after the November midterm elections as he faces intensifying pressure to produce more indictments or shut down his investigation, according to two U.S. officials.

Specifically, Mueller is close to rendering judgment on two of the most explosive aspects of his inquiry: whether there were clear incidents of collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, and whether the president took any actions that constitute obstruction of justice, according to one of the officials, who asked not to be identified speaking about the investigation.

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Student Gunman Reportedly Kills 17 at Crimea University

Gunman kills 17 in CrimeaAt least 17 people have been killed and 40 wounded after a student gunman attacked a university in Crimea, Russian officials say. The story is the latest in a series of shifting explanations for the deaths Wednesday in the city of Kerch:

Officials at first reported a gas explosion, then said an explosive device ripped through the college canteen in a suspected terror attack. Sergei Aksyonov, the regional leader in Crimea, now says a local student acting alone fired a rifle at students before killing himself.

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Canada now world's largest legal marijuana marketplace

Canada now legal for recreational potCanada is now the largest country with a legal national marijuana marketplace as sales began early Wednesday in Newfoundland.

And there was more good news for pot aficionados: Hours before a handful of retail outlets opened in the country's easternmost province a federal official told The Associated Press that Canada will pardon all those with convictions for possessing up to 30 grams of marijuana, the now-legal threshold.

A formal announcement was planned for later Wednesday. The official, who was not authorized to speak public ahead of the announcement, said those who want to take advantage of the pardons will have to apply.

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Saudi mystery drives wedge between Trump, GOP

Jamal KhashoggiThe mysterious disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Turkey is driving a wedge between President Trump and Republican members of Congress, who are pressing for an aggressive U.S. response if Saudi Arabia is found responsible for the suspected killing.

Trump on Tuesday said Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman had denied any knowledge of Khashoggi’s fate, a statement that for the second day in a row sent the signal that the president is comfortable with the Saudi government’s explanations so far.

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Trump’s Attacks on the Press Are Illegal. We’re Suing.

Trump sued for illegal attacks on the press.President Donald J. Trump’s frequent threats and hostile acts directed toward journalists and the media are not only offensive and unbecoming of a democratic leader; they are also illegal.

In the Trump era, nasty rhetoric, insults and even threats of violence have become an occupational hazard for political reporters and commentators. To be sure, a good portion of President Trump’s verbal attacks on journalists and news organizations might be considered fair game in this bare-knuckled political moment.

The president has free-speech rights just like the rest of us, and deeming the news media “the enemy of the American people” and dismissing accurate reports as “fake news” are permissible under the First Amendment.

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Court win for student loan protections a setback for DeVos

Court wion for student loan protection

A federal court on Tuesday cleared the way for Obama-era student loan borrower protections to take effect, handing a defeat to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos after she fought for more than a year to stop the rules.

The rules make it easier for defrauded students to get their federal loans forgiven and they also prohibit colleges from forcing students to resolve complaints through arbitration, rather than going to court.

U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss rejected a request by a group representing for-profit colleges to halt the regulations. Consumer groups that have defended the Obama-era rules celebrated the ruling, saying it was an important step forward especially for those who borrowed to attend for-profit schools.

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The national debt and the federal deficit are skyrocketing. How it affects you

US debt and deficit are risingThe national debt is $21 trillion and counting.

The federal deficit soared last year to $779 billion and is projected to approach $1 trillion in 2019.

For most Americans, it’s difficult to comprehend a dollar figure that has that many digits. ($1 trillion, when written out in long form, is $1,000,000,000,000. Yes, that’s 12 zeroes.) The numbers are so huge that they almost seem surreal.

But the impact of the rising national debt and federal deficit is very real, even for average Americans, financial experts warn.

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