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Wednesday, Sep 20th

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Trump stacks administration with climate change skeptics

Trump stacks gov't with climate skeptics

President Trump has stacked his administration with officials who doubt the scientific consensus behind man-made climate change, underscoring a growing divide within the Republican party.

Even as leading scientists, environmentalists and most Democrats accept research that shows climate change accelerating — and as some see it contributing to the two mammoth hurricanes that have threatened the United States this year — some in Trump’s administration have openly raised doubts.

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Legal defense fund could be set up for WH staffers in Mueller probe: report

Fund for legal defense of WH staff

A legal defense fund for White House staffers being questioned by special counsel Robert Mueller could be in the works, according to The Daily Beast.

Sources familiar with the matter told the website that efforts are underway to help staff members pay for lawyers representing them in the ongoing investigation into ties between President Trump’s campaign and Russia.

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Mueller seeks interviews with WH staff over Trump Tower meeting statement

Robert Mueller to question WH staff over Trump letterSpecial Counsel Robert Mueller's team has approached the White House about interviewing staffers who were aboard Air Force One when the initial misleading statement about Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower was crafted, three sources familiar with the conversations said.

The special counsel's discussions with the White House are the latest indication that Mueller's investigators are interested in the response to the Trump Tower meeting. Mueller wants to know how the statement aboard Air Force One was put together, whether information was intentionally left out and who was involved, two of the sources said.
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Interior Dept. faulted for subsidy to firm once tied to David Bernhardt, now the deputy secretary

David Berhardt, DOI

An Interior Department agency responsible for managing water in the western United States improperly provided millions of dollars in subsidies to contractors in California, according to an inspector general's report, including to a major water district once represented by a lobbyist who is now Interior’s second highest-ranking official.

The Bureau of Reclamation, the Interior Department's top watchdog concluded, didn't fully disclose to Congress and others the $84 million cost of its Bay Delta Conservation Plan in California. It also said the bureau couldn't provide paperwork for why the water contractors didn't have to pay back $50 million in federal funding.

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U.S. Appeals Court Rules Against Trump’s Effort To Broadly Enforce Travel Ban

US Appeals Court Rules against Trump againA U.S. appeals court on Thursday ruled against President Donald Trump’s effort to broadly enforce a temporary travel and refugee ban on people from certain Muslim-majority countries that the Republican president said was necessary for national security.

A three-judge 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel said that the government did not persuasively explain why the travel ban should be enforced against grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins from the six countries.

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DeVos sparks backlash with bid to rewrite Obama campus sex assault rules

DeVos to undo Obama sex assault protections on campusesEducation Secretary Betsy DeVos ignited a backlash after announcing plans to revamp an Obama-era guidance for colleges and universities on how to handle sexual assaults on campuses to better protect students who are accused.

DeVos announced the policy change while speaking at George Mason University’s Arlington campus Thursday. She said the Obama administration helped elevate the issue of sexual assault in American public life and issued guidance in 2011 with good intentions, but good intentions alone are not enough.

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Donald Trump Gives Nancy Pelosi Both His Twitter Feed and His Support for the DREAM Act

Trump gives Pelosi his twitter feedPresident Donald Trump is prepared to sign legislation that would grant legal protections to qualified, young undocumented immigrants, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday.

Speaking to reporters the morning after she and fellow congressional leaders struck a deal with Trump on budget and debt ceiling matters, Pelosi revealed that a compromise on immigration reform may be closer than anticipated, too.

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