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Wednesday, May 24th

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Arctic stronghold of world’s seeds flooded after permafrost melts

Doomsday seed vaultIt was designed as an impregnable deep-freeze to protect the world’s most precious seeds from any global disaster and ensure humanity’s food supply forever. But the Global Seed Vault, buried in a mountain deep inside the Arctic circle, has been breached after global warming produced extraordinary temperatures over the winter, sending meltwater gushing into the entrance tunnel.

The vault is on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen and contains almost a million packets of seeds, each a variety of an important food crop. When it was opened in 2008, the deep permafrost through which the vault was sunk was expected to provide “failsafe” protection against “the challenge of natural or man-made disasters”.

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Trump to Russian diplomats: Firing 'nut job' James Comey took 'great pressure' off me

Trump told Russians that Comey was a nut jobPresident Donald Trump told Russian diplomats in an Oval Office meeting last week that his firing of "nut job" FBI Director James Comey had taken "great pressure" off of him, The New York Times reported Friday.

The comments were read to the Times by an American official and were from a White House document summarizing the meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak. White House press secretary Sean Spicer did not dispute the comments to the Times.

"I just fired the head of the FBI," Trump said. "He was crazy, a real nut job. I faced great pressure because of Russia. That's taken off."

"I'm not under investigation," he added.

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Fox News Fires Bob Beckel Over Alleged Racist Remark

Bob Beckel fired by FOX Fox News announced on Friday it has terminated Bob Beckel, co-host of “The Five.”

The network released this statement to Variety: “Bob Beckel was terminated today for making an insensitive remark to an African-American employee.”

A black IT worker who came to work on Beckel’s computer reported the comment on Tuesday, according to attorneys Douglas H. Wigdor and Jeanne Christensen, who are currently representing the IT employee and other current and former staff ― including anchorman Kelly Wright ― in a class action suit alleging rampant racial discrimination at Fox News.

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Rosenstein to Congress: My Memo Didn’t Tell Trump To Fire Comey

Rod RodneyDeputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein delivered a stunning rebuke of fired FBI Director James Comey to members of Congress this week—arguing he undermined public confidence in the FBI and damaged the Justice Department.

“In one of my first meetings with then-Senator Jeff Sessions last winter, we discussed the need for new leadership at the FBI,” Rosenstein said, according to prepared remarks released by the Justice Department. “Among the concerns that I recall were to restore the credibility of the FBI, respect the established authority of the Department of Justice, limit public statements and eliminate leaks.”

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Anthony Weiner to plead guilty to sexting with minor

Anthony Weiner to plead guiltyFormer Congressman Anthony Weiner, who resigned in 2011 over an earlier sexting scandal, will plead guilty Friday to charges of transferring obscene material to a minor, according to multiple media reports.

The 52-year-old Democratic congressman from New York, who is separated from top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, will appear in a federal courtroom in Manhattan to enter a guilty plea under an agreement with federal prosecutors, The New York Times,The Washington Post and other outlets reported.

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FCC moves forward with plan to scrap net neutrality protections

FCC mlans to upset net neutrality regulationsThe Federal Communications Commission has voted to move forward with Chairman Ajit Pai's plan to weaken net neutrality protections by ending "utility-style regulation" of the Internet.

In 2015, the FCC under President Barack Obama supported the Open Internet Order, which reclassified broadband Internet as a telecommunications service instead of an information service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act -- meaning the FCC had the power to regulate the Internet.

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Sweden drops Julian Assange rape investigation

Jullian AssangeSwedish prosecutors on Friday dropped a rape investigation into Julian Assange, the founder of anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, bringing to an end a seven-year legal stand-off.

Yet, British police said he would still be arrested if he left the Ecuadorean embassy in the UK capital, London, where he has been holed up since 2012.

Assange, 45, took refuge there to avoid extradition to Sweden amid fears that he would have been handed over to the US to face prosecution over the publication of classified military and diplomatic documents by WikiLeaks.

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Comey is said to have become unsettled by interactions with Trump

Comey is said to to have been unsettled by Trump's behaviorPresident Donald Trump called the FBI director, James B. Comey, weeks after he took office and asked him when federal authorities were going to put out word that Trump was not personally under investigation, according to two people briefed on the call.

Comey told the president that if he wanted to know details about the bureau's investigations, he should not contact him directly but instead follow the proper procedures and have the White House counsel send any inquires to the Justice Department, according to those people.

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Trump campaign had at least 18 undisclosed contacts with Russians

Flynn had 18 contacts with RussiansMichael Flynn and other advisers to Donald Trump’s campaign were in contact with Russian officials and others with Kremlin ties in at least 18 calls and emails during the last seven months of the 2016 presidential race, current and former U.S. officials familiar with the exchanges told Reuters.

The previously undisclosed interactions form part of the record now being reviewed by FBI and congressional investigators probing Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election and contacts between Trump’s campaign and Russia.

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