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Tuesday, Apr 24th

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Supreme Court to consider Texas redistricting

Supreme Court to consider Teas redistricting case

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Tuesday on whether Texas’s legislature discriminated against Hispanic and black citizens when drawing two congressional districts and a host of legislative ones.

If the court decides against Texas, it could force a redrawing of the map that could have ramifications for the 35th District, now held by Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D), and the 27th District, which was formerly represented by Rep. Blake Farenthold (R).

It’s possible some of the House districts surrounding those two could also be affected.

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Trump-Macron: Red carpet treatment belies differences on Iran, Syria

Trump-Macron: Red carpet meetingPresident Donald Trump is deploying the full trappings of formal state entertaining for the first time on Monday in the hopes an elaborate display of diplomacy can lead to a deeper bond with French President Emmanuel Macron.

But beneath the pomp and circumstance the state visit will bring -- streets lined with fluttering French and American flags, an elaborate military welcome and a meticulously planned state dinner -- the two leaders are expected to tackle a slew of pressing foreign policy issues, from the Iran deal to the Syrian civil war, counterterrorism and Russian aggression.
The daylight between the men on some of those issues will become apparent.

Flight records show Trump spent night in Russia, contradicting what he told Comey

Comey spent night in Moscow, contrary to what he told ComeyPresident Trump spent the night in Moscow the night before the Miss Universe contest in November 2013, contradicting what he told former FBI Director James Comey.

Flight records of Trump’s trip to Russia obtained by Bloomberg confirm Trump’s overnight stay at the Ritz-Carlton in Moscow.

In the memos from Comey released last week, which the former FBI director kept during his time in office to document his interactions with the president, Comey writes that Trump twice told him that hadn't stayed the night in Russia during the trip.

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U.S. eases sanctions on aluminum firm tied to Russian oligarch

US eases sanctions against aluminum company connected to Russian oligarc

The Treasury Department Monday eased sanctions on Russian aluminum producer Rusal and said it would consider lifting them altogether if the company severs ties with Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch with close ties to President Vladimir Putin.

Rusal was sanctioned earlier this month by Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control because of Deripaska's stake in the company. The Russian billionaire is alleged to have conducted a range of illegal activities, including money laundering, extortion and ordering the murder of a businessman, according to Treasury.

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Bolton brings on new deputy national security adviser

Bolton brings on new deputy national security adviser

National security adviser John Bolton has tapped a senior Commerce Department official as his deputy.

The White House announced on Friday that Mira Ricardel, the undersecretary of commerce for export administration, had been chosen to replace Nadia Schadlow, who resigned earlier this month days after Bolton took office.

Ricardel is one of Bolton's first senior-level hires since taking office. A slew of senior National Security Council staffers have stepped down since the ouster of H.R. McMaster, the previous national security adviser.

TVNL Comment: Oh, goodie....another war monger.

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JFK documents could show the truth about a diplomat's death 47 years ago

JFK docements could show truth about diplomat's deathCharles Thomas was a rising star at the state department in the early 1960s, a career diplomat who had served across Latin America and Africa. His colleagues were convinced he would earn the rank of ambassador. They agreed that the tall, jut-jawed, preppy, handsome Thomas – described by colleagues as “the diplomat from central casting” – adored his wife Cynthia and two young daughters.

But then something went horribly wrong. In 1971, at the age of 48, Thomas killed himself.

The death certificate showed that on Monday 12 April, at about 4pm and in the second-floor bathroom of his family’s rented home on the banks of the Potomac river in Washington, Thomas lifted a gun to his head. Cynthia, downstairs, thought the boiler had exploded.

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CIA Discrimination Against Disabled Officers Is Hurting the U.S.

CIA discriminates against disabled officers

I grinned as the taxi raced through the busy streets of a bustling Middle Eastern city in the middle of the night with my 200-lb. electric wheelchair strapped to the back with bungee cords. There were moments like this throughout my 10-year career as a CIA officer that reminded me how incredible it was that I had made it to the agency as a woman with a disability.

I had always wanted to work for the CIA, having been long intrigued by its mission to accomplish what others cannot accomplish and to go where others cannot go. I learned quickly, however, that that creative, can-do spirit of the agency did not extend to employees with disabilities.

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