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Monday, Mar 02nd

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Potential Indictments in George Washington Bridge Probe May Be Handed Down in January: Sources

GW bridgeMultiple sources familiar with the investigation into last year's traffic jams near the George Washington Bridge tell NBC 4 New York at least half a dozen potential federal indictments in connection with the scandal may be handed down as early as January.

Those facing potential indictment include former staffers to Gov. Christie and current and former Port Authority officials, the sources said. Possible charges may be related to what sources familiar with the probe describe to NBC 4 New York as an apparent conspiracy to cover up what they refer to as a politically motivated plot.

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Obama nominates Ashton Carter for Secretary of Defense

Ashton CarterShaking up his Pentagon leadership, President Barack Obama tapped policy wonk Ashton Carter to oversee the sprawling Defense Department Friday, heralding his new nominee as one of the nation's "foremost national security leaders."

Obama announced Carter's nomination during a ceremony at the White House. A Pentagon veteran who is seen as a centrist, Carter is expected to be easily confirmed by the Senate, putting him at the helm of a department moving back into military conflict in the Middle East even as it grapples with budget cuts.

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The coming wave of anti-abortion laws

Pro choiceThe big Republican gains in the November elections strengthened and enlarged the anti-abortion forces in the House and the Senate. But it’s the GOP victories in the statehouses and governor’s mansions that are priming the ground for another round of legal restrictions on abortion.

Arkansas, for instance, already has strict anti-abortion laws. But with a Republican governor succeeding a Democrat who had vetoed two measures that would have banned most abortions beyond a certain stage of pregnancy, lawmakers plan to seek more restrictions — such as barring doctors from administering abortion drugs through telemedicine.

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Keystone pipeline approval bills advance in Congress

LandrieuLegislation to approve the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline began racing through the U.S. Congress on Wednesday as Democrats and Republicans appeared to be coming together in a challenge of President Barack Obama's oversight of the project.

In a series of rapid developments that unfolded just hours after Congress returned from a seven-week recess, there were indications the measure could pass and be sent to Obama sometime next week.

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US election: Big win for conservative big money

Conservative big moneyEstablishment Republican money finally got what it paid for — an electoral wave.

After two cycles during which conservative megadonors’ record spending was plagued by flawed candidates and internecine squabbling, their side’s big money operatives got to do some gloating on election night.

Conservatives tweaked their playbook to spend bigger and earlier to crush tea party insurgents and define Democratic candidates. And Republicans won most of the Senate races in which they prosecuted that plan — including Iowa, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia.

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Republican ISIL fear-mongering amplifies extremists' message, experts say

ISIS and the GOPIn one frame of the video, a masked fighter for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) brandishes a knife, with a beheaded American journalist just beyond view. In another, the Mosque of the Prophet Jonah disappears into a cloud of dust. A crowd of masked gunmen hold Kalashnikovs aloft. Dramatic music plays in the background.

But this isn’t a recruitment video for ISIL. It’s a campaign ad for Allen Weh, who is running against Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., in the Nov. 4 midterm elections.

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Bogus Congressman Said to Get Backstage at Obama Event

WH Press sec'yAn unidentified man posing as a member of Congress made it into a secure area backstage at President Barack Obama’s appearance at a Congressional Black Caucus Foundation awards dinner in Washington Sept. 27, according to a White House official.

The man entered the backstage area during or just after Obama’s speech at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center as members of Congress gathered there to have their pictures taken with the president, said the official, who asked for anonymity to discuss the incident, which has not previously been made public.

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