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Wednesday, Feb 22nd

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Climate Change Is A Far Bigger Threat To Wildlife Than We Thought, Study Says

Wildlife in dangerFor the analysis, a team of researchers from Australia, Italy and Britain combed through all relevant studies published from 1990 to 2015 that documented a species that was affected or not by changes in climate. For each of those more than 2,000 species, the authors categorized the effect as negative, positive, unchanged or mixed.

Of the 873 mammal species looked at, 414 were hurt by climate change, with elephants, primates and marsupials among the most vulnerable. For threatened birds, 298 of 1,272 species are experiencing negative effects, with waterfowl and birds who live at high altitudes being among the hardest hit, according to the findings.

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Ethics office: Conway committed 'clear violation' with Ivanka plug

Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Conway, a senior adviser to Donald Trump committed a “clear violation” of ethics rules when she hawked Ivanka Trump’s clothing line on Fox & Friends last week, the federal government’s ethics watchdog said in a letter released Tuesday.

“I recommend that the White House investigate Ms. Conway’s actions and consider taking disciplinary action against her,” Office of Government Ethics director Walter Shaub wrote in the letter, which is dated Feb. 13 and was posted online by Democrats on the House oversight committee.

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U.S. lawmakers seek deeper probe into Russia ties after Trump aide quits

Congress wants investigationsU.S. lawmakers, including some leading Republicans, called on Tuesday for a deeper inquiry into White House ties to Russia, after national security adviser Michael Flynn resigned in President Donald Trump's biggest staff upheaval so far.

Flynn quit on Monday after only three weeks in the job amid revelations that he had discussed U.S. sanctions on Russia with Moscow's ambassador to the United States before Trump took office, in a potentially illegal action, and had later misled Vice President Mike Pence about the conversations.

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U.S. Secret Service director stepping down

Joseph ClancyU.S. Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy plans to step down next month, the agency said on Tuesday, two years after he took charge of the agency following high-profile security lapses by the service responsible for protecting the president.

"Congratulations Dir Clancy on your retirement! The men & women of the @SecretService are grateful for your 29 years of service & leadership," the Secret Service said on Twitter.

Clancy will leave on March 4, an agency spokesman said.

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U.S. believes Russia deployed new missile in treaty violation: NYT

Russian cruise missileRussia has deployed a new cruise missile despite complaints by U.S. officials that it violates an arms control treaty banning ground-based U.S. and Russian intermediate-range missiles, the New York Times reported on Tuesday, citing unidentified officials.

The newspaper said Russia had secretly deployed the ground-launched SSC-8 cruise missile that Moscow has been developing and testing for several years, despite U.S. complaints that it violated sections of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty.

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Mnuchin, Shulkin confirmed by Senate as treasury, VA chiefs

Cabinet confirmationsTwo of President Donald Trump's Cabinet appointees received full Senate confirmation late Monday -- one in a landslide, and the other by two votes.

The Senate narrowly confirmedSteven T. Mnuchin as the 77th U.S. treasury chief with a vote of 53-47. Vice President Mike Pence gave him the oath of office Monday night.

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Flynn, fired once by a president, now resigns to another

Flynn resignsFired by one American commander in chief for insubordination, Michael Flynn has now delivered his resignation to another.  President Donald Trump had been weighing the fate of his national security adviser, a hard-charging, feather-ruffling retired lieutenant general who just three weeks into the new administration had put himself in the center of a controversy.

Flynn resigned late Monday.

At issue was Flynn's contact with Moscow's ambassador to the United States. Flynn and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak appear to have discussed U.S. sanctions late last year, raising questions about whether he was freelancing on foreign policy while President Barack Obama was still in office and whether he misled Trump officials about the calls.

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Justice Department warned White House that Flynn could be vulnerable to Russian blackmail

Mike FlynnThe acting attorney general informed the Trump White House late last month that she believed Michael Flynn had misled senior administration officials about the nature of his communications with the Russian ambassador to the United States, and warned that the national security adviser was potentially vulnerable to Russian blackmail, current and former U.S. officials said.

The message, delivered by Sally Q. Yates and a senior career national security official to the White House counsel, was prompted by concerns that ­Flynn, when asked about his calls and texts with the Russian diplomat, had told Vice ­President-elect Mike Pence and others that he had not discussed the Obama administration sanctions on Russia for its interference in the 2016 election, the officials said. It is unclear what the White House counsel, Donald McGahn, did with the information.

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US officer in charge of Trump's nuclear football 'poses for photo with Mar-a-Lago guest'

Nuclear football photo taken at Mira LargoA member of Donald Trump’s private Florida club has posted an image of himself posing with a man he claimed carries the president’s nuclear football.

Reports from Mr Trump’s meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe over the weekend, said the two leaders had been briefed about a missile launch in North Korea, while they were eating. CNN said that the two leaders began to discuss how to respond in full public view, and images of the two men and their staffs were snapped by club members.

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