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Saturday, Mar 23rd

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DeVos Illegally Delayed Special Education Rule, Judge Says

Betsy DeVos illegaly delayed special ed ruleA federal judge has ruled that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos illegally delayed an Obama-era rule that required states to address racial disparities in special education programs.

In a decision on Thursday, Judge Tanya S. Chutkan of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia called the Education Department’s delay of the special education rule “arbitrary and capricious.” The rule, drafted under the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, would require states to identify districts with “significant disproportionality” in the number of minority students channeled into special education services, segregated in restrictive classroom settings or disciplined.

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Trump Seeks Huge Premium From Allies Hosting U.S. Troops

John Bolton

For years, President Donald Trump has complained that countries hosting American troops aren’t paying enough. Now he wants to get even, and then some.

Under White House direction, the administration is drawing up demands that Germany, Japan and eventually any other country hosting U.S. troops pay the full price of American soldiers deployed on their soil -- plus 50 percent or more for the privilege of hosting them, according to a dozen administration officials and people briefed on the matter.

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Mueller Would Err by Not Putting Trump Under Oath, Schiff Says

Adam Schiff

It would be a mistake for Special Counsel Robert Mueller not to subpoena President Donald Trump to appear before a grand jury in the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, said House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff.

Mueller is constrained by time pressure to conclude his work and also faces a White House that would likely fight a subpoena, Schiff said. Even so, he shouldn’t rely just on written answers from Trump because lawyers help craft them and there’s no chance for follow-up questions, the California Democratic lawmaker said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

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The Mueller report no one’s talking about

Bob Mueller

Most people don’t know it, but there’s another Mueller report coming.

Around the same time the special counsel sends his Russia investigation findings to the Justice Department, Attorney General William Barr must give Congress an account of every instance where Robert Mueller’s supervisors told him “no” during the course of his work.

The reporting requirement is tucked into the department regulations that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein used when he appointed Mueller. No matter what the memo says, it’s expected to be one of the few items on a fast track for being made public that will be closely scrutinized for insights into the inner workings of the special counsel’s tight-lipped investigation.

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Mumps, other outbreaks force U.S. detention centers to quarantine over 2,000 migrants

Mumps outbreak Christian Mejia thought he had a shot at getting out of immigration detention in rural Louisiana after he found a lawyer to help him seek asylum.

Then he was quarantined.

In early January, a mumps outbreak at the privately run Pine Prairie U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Processing Center put Mejia and hundreds of other detainees on lockdown. “When there is just one person who is sick, everybody pays,” Mejia, 19, said in a phone interview from the Pine Prairie center describing weeks without visits and access to the library and dining hall.

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Trump Expected to Seek $8.6B for Border Wall in New Budget

Trump wants $8.6B for border wall

President Donald Trump will seek $8.6 billion in his new budget to build the U.S.-Mexico border wall, an administration said Sunday, setting up another showdown with Congress, which has resisted giving him more money for his signature campaign promise.

The request would more than double the $8.1 billion already available to the president after he declared a national emergency at the border in order to circumvent Congress after lawmakers refused his funding demands. That standoff led to a 35-day partial government shutdown, the longest in U.S. history.

The official confirmed that the request was part of Trump's spending blueprint for the 2020 budget year. The official was not authorized to publicly discuss budget details before Monday's release of the plan and spoke on condition of anonymity.

TVNL Comment:  Yeah, Donald... Nancy will just roll over and give you more money for your wall.  Dream on.

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Ethiopian airline crash leaves 8 Americans dead in second disaster with brand-new Boeing aircraft

Ethiopian airlines crashAn Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed shortly after takeoff from Ethiopia’s capital Sunday morning, killing all 157 on board including eight Americans, authorities said, as grieving families rushed to airports in Addis Ababa and the destination, Nairobi.

The passengers were from 35 nations, the airline said.

It was not immediately clear what caused the crash of the Boeing 737-8 MAX plane, which was new and had been delivered to the airline in November. The pilot sent out a distress call and was given clearance to return, the airline’s CEO told reporters.

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Trump’s private talks with Putin may contain clues to his Russia romance

Trump's talks with Putin

Since Donald Trump was sworn in as president he has met his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, five times. The details of their conversations remain unknown to the public, and in most cases even to senior administration officials.

Democrats in Congress are now demanding more details of communications between the two leaders. Secrecy around such meetings, they say, raises fresh questions about the nature of Trump’s relationship with Putin at a time when his ties to Russia are the subject of several investigations.

The meetings with Putin are not the only subject of such Democratic demands. House leaders left little room for doubt this week that they will utilize their newly minted majority to cast a wide net around the president, his family and their businesses.

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Judge expands pool of separated families who may require reunification

Families separated at the borderA federal judge on Friday expanded the pool of migrant families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border who may require reunification under an existing court order.

The decision could pose considerable difficulty for the administration in locating and reconnecting children and parents split apart before and after the launch of President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” border strategy.

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