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Wednesday, Feb 22nd

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FBI backs CIA report on Russian interference: report

FBi backs CIA on Russia hackingThe FBI supports a CIA assessment that Russia deliberately attempted to intervene in the election to help President-elect Donald Trump win, The Washington Post reported on Friday.

Both FBI Director James Comey and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper stand by the CIA assessment, the report said.

“Earlier this week, I met separately with (Director) FBI James Comey and DNI Jim Clapper, and there is strong consensus among us on the scope, nature, and intent of Russian interference in our presidential election,” CIA Director John Brennan wrote in a message to staff, according to the report.

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Amid outcry, N.C. GOP passes plan to curb Democratic governor’s power

Roy CooperIt's an open question what the courts will make of these changes, said UNC law professor Michael Gerhardt. It's notable, he said, that McCrory never said over the last four years: “I think I'm too powerful and you should look for ways to weaken my office.”

The last time GOP lawmakers called a high-profile special session, in March, they ended up ramming through one of the state's most controversial laws in recent memory: a bill limiting what public bathrooms transgender people can use and municipalities' ability to pass anti-discrimination laws for LGBT people.

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Sheriff Joe Arpaio renews birther claims about Obama's birth certificate

Arpaio renews birther issueIt was a presentation hyped by a tauntingly brief media notification more than 24 hours earlier: On Thursday afternoon, it said, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio would present the newest revelations on an investigation into President Obama’s birth certificate.

At 4 p.m. sharp, Arpaio and a member of his Sheriff's Office's Cold Case Posse had a big message for the 40-odd journalists in attendance: You were wrong.

Arpaio and his aides announced that a five-year investigation had "proved" that Obama’s birth certificate from Hawaii in 1961 was a fake. An accompanying presentation highlighted what they called “9 points of forgery” on the document, which focused on the angles of date stamps, typed letters and words.

TVNL Comment:  Of course, he's a friend of the Donald's.  Will someone please get him a jacket that ties up the back.  The man is certifiable.  Geez!

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Judge blocks new Texas rule forcing the burial or cremation of fetal remains from abortions or miscarriages

A federal judge on Thursday blocked until at least next month hotly debated Texas rules mandating burial or cremation of fetal remains that were set to go into effect within days.

The ruling by Austin-based U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks begins the latest legal battle for a state whose tough anti-abortion laws were largely struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court this summer.

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Gov.-elect Cooper threatens to sue over N.C. GOP 'power grab'

Roy CooperNorth Carolina Gov.-elect Roy Cooper, a Democrat, on Thursday threatened to sue North Carolina's GOP-dominated state Legislature over the Republicans' push to sharply limit gubernatorial powers before Cooper takes office.

"If I believe these measures are unconstitutional, they will see me in court and they don't have a good track record there," Cooper, currently the state attorney general, said at a news conference. Cooper said the Legislature was pushing to pass major changes to the state's laws "in the dark of night with little debate." The new bills are being considered as part of a special session originally convened to consider disaster relief.

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Massachusetts Tiptoes Into Marijuana Legalization

Ppot leglization in MassachusettsMassachusetts on Thursday became the first state in the densely populated U.S. Northeast to legalize marijuana for recreational use, a step that advocates say could help spread the drug’s acceptance across the United States.

The state is one of three where ballot measures legalizing recreational use of the drug passed on Nov. 8, along with California and Nevada, while voters in Arizona rejected it and a Maine ballot is still being recounted.

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Ex-Milwaukee officer charged in fatal shooting of black man

Dominique Heagan-BrownA prosecutor has charged a former Milwaukee police officer in a fatal shooting of a black man that sparked two nights of riots.

District Attorney John Chisholm charged Dominique Heaggan-Brown with first-degree reckless homicide. Chisholm didn't announce the charge, but it appeared in online court records that also showed Heaggan-Brown made an initial court appearance Thursday.

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