Sessions spoke twice with Russian ambassador during Trump’s presidential campaign, Justice officials say

Then-Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) spoke twice last year with Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Justice Department officials said, encounters he did not disclose when asked about possible contacts between members of President Trump’s campaign and representatives of Moscow during Sessions’s confirmation hearing to become attorney general.

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Opinion | Michael Flynn is gone and everything is fine, just fine, great

To call this past weekend in the Trump administration a garbage fire would be a disservice to garbage fires, which at least shed light and get rid of garbage. The Trump administration is doing exactly what I do when I try to assemble Ikea furniture, in the sense that it has clearly not consulted any instructions and now before it has finished its cabinet a big piece has fallen off.

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National security adviser Flynn discussed sanctions with Russian envoy before Trump took office, despite denials, officials say

National security adviser Michael Flynn privately discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with that country’s ambassador to the United States during the month before President Trump took office, contrary to public assertions by Trump officials, current and former U.S. officials said. Flynn’s communications with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak were interpreted by some senior U.S.

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Trump names his inauguration day a ‘National Day of Patriotic Devotion’

President Trump has officially declared the day of his inauguration a national day of patriotism. Trump’s inaugural address on Friday frequently referred to patriotism as the salve that would heal the country’s divisions. “When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice,” Trump said from the steps of the Capitol after being sworn in as president.

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You’ve probably never heard of this creepy genealogy site. But it’s heard all about you.

Early Tuesday morning, Anna Brittain got a text from her sister: Did she know about Familytreenow.com? The relatively unknown site, which presents itself as a free genealogy resource, seemed to know an awful lot about her. “The site listed my 3- and 5-year-olds as ‘possible associates,’ ” Brittain, a 30-year-old young-adult fiction writer in Birmingham, Ala., told The Washington Post on Tuesday.

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Justice Department Inspector General to investigate pre-election actions by department and FBI

The Department of Justice Inspector General will review broad allegations of misconduct involving the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email practices and the bureau’s controversial decision shortly before the election to announce the probe had resumed, the Inspector General announced Thursday.

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Six maps that show the anatomy of America’s vast infrastructure

President-elect Donald Trump’s plan to invest about $550 billion in new infrastructure projects across the country was a central theme in his campaign. “We’re going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none. And we will put millions of our people to work as we rebuild it,” Trump said.

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This researcher programmed bots to fight racism on Twitter. It worked.

Despite rising concern among the public, social-media companies have had little success stemming the wave of online harassment. As part of research recently published in the journal Political Behavior , I conducted an experiment on Twitter to find out the best tactics people can use to discourage other users from using harassing language.

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Facebook fake-news writer: ‘I think Donald Trump is in the White House because of me’

What do the Amish lobby, gay wedding vans and the ban of the national anthem have in common? For starters, they’re all make-believe – and invented by the same man. Paul Horner, the 38-year-old impresario of a Facebook fake-news empire, has made his living off viral news hoaxes for several years.

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How Bannon flattered and coaxed Trump on policies key to the ‘alt-right’

Soon after terrorist attacks killed 130 people in Paris last year, Donald Trump faced sharp criticism for saying the United States could have “no choice” but to close down some mosques. Two days later, Trump called in to a radio show run by a friendly political operative who offered a suggestion.

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Trump used $258,000 from his charity to settle legal problems

Donald Trump spent more than a quarter-million dollars from his charitable foundation to settle lawsuits that involved the billionaire’s for-profit businesses, according to interviews and a review of legal documents. Those cases, which together used $258,000 from Trump’s charity, were among four newly documented expenditures in which Trump may have violated laws against “self-dealing” – which prohibit nonprofit leaders from using charity money to benefit themselves or their businesses.

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Assault with a deadly weapon: Florida man charged with throwing alligator into Wendy’s

Authorities in Florida have arrested a man accused of throwing a live alligator through a restaurant’s drive-through window. Investigators identified Joshua James, of Jupiter, Fla., as the man who tossed the 3½-foot reptile into a Wendy’s last fall, according to a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission incident report.

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The ‘smoking gun’ proving North Carolina Republicans tried to disenfranchise black voters

Today, a federal court struck down North Carolina’s voter ID law, one of the strictest in the nation. In addition to requiring residents to show identification before they can cast a ballot, the law also eliminated same-day voter registration, eliminated seven days of early voting and put an end to out-of-precinct voting.

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Trump’s courtship of black voters hampered by decades of race controversies

Donald Trump’s campaign has tried to use this week’s Republican National Convention to court African Americans by arguing that President Obama has failed them on jobs and crime. But when the GOP presidential nominee delivers his acceptance speech here Thursday, he will address an estimated 18 blacks out of 2,472 delegates.

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Rep. Steve King wonders what ‘sub-groups’ besides whites made contributions to civilization

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) offered an unusual defense of the racial homogeneity of his party during a panel on MSNBC Monday evening. The group, led by Chris Hayes, was discussing the first day of the Republican national convention, and Donald Trump’s history of racially-loaded comments and behavior.

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The stunning truth that explains the rise of the far-right in Britain and elsewhere

Never have so many risked so much for so little. I’m talking, of course, about Britain’s upcoming vote on whether to leave the European Union. So-called “Brexit” – get it, as in British exit? – would be the economic equivalent of quitting your job because you think you can get it back minus all the parts you don’t like.

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This is what it’s like to grow up in the age of likes, lols and longing

“I don’t feel like a child anymore,” Katherine says. “I’m not doing anything childish. At the end of 6th grade” – when all her friends got phones, and downloaded Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter – “I just stopped doing everything I normally did. Playing games at recess, playing with toys, all of it, done.”

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Donald Trump masqueraded as publicist to brag about himself

The voice is instantly familiar; the tone, confident, even cocky; the cadence, distinctly Trumpian. The man on the phone vigorously defending Donald Trump says he’s a media spokesman named John Miller, but then he says, “I’m sort of new here,” and “I’m somebody that he knows and I think somebody that he trusts and likes” and even “I’m going to do this a little, part-time, and then, yeah, go on with my life.”

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Why I refuse to send people to jail for failure to pay fines

Melissa J. showed up in my court last year with four kids in tow. Her children quietly watched from a nearby table while I spoke with her. The charges against her – driving with an invalid license, driving without insurance, not wearing a seat belt, failure to use a child safety seat properly and four failures to appear – were nothing unusual for municipal court.

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Surprise! NSA data will soon routinely be used for domestic policing that has nothing to do with terrorism

A while back, we noted a report showing that the “sneak-and-peek” provision of the Patriot Act that was alleged to be used only in national security and terrorism investigations has overwhelmingly been used in narcotics cases. Now the New York Times reports that National Security Agency data will be shared with other intelligence agencies like the FBI without first applying any screens for privacy.

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Trump protester sucker-punched at North Carolina rally, videos show

Multiple videos appear to show a protester at a Donald Trump rally in North Carolina being sucker-punched by a Trump supporter. The videos, which appeared on social media early Thursday, are shot from different perspectives, and appear to show an African American man with long hair wearing a white T-shirt leaving the Trump rally as the audience boos.

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A Texan who called Obama a gay prostitute may soon control what goes in children’s textbooks

Mary Lou Bruner stood before the Texas State Board of Education in 2010 to talk about textbooks. She was concerned, she said during her testimony, that the state’s curriculum was being controlled by outside forces. Her statements were introduced by board member Lawrence Allen (D): “You believe …

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Can a 3-year old represent herself in immigration court? This judge thinks so.

A senior Justice Department official is arguing that 3- and 4-year-olds can learn immigration law well enough to represent themselves in court, staking out an unconventional position in a growing debate over whether immigrant children facing deportation are entitled to taxpayer-funded attorneys. Jack H.

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Anne Frank and her family were also denied entry as refugees to the U.S.

Many have noted the historical parallels between the current debate over Syrians seeking refuge in the United States and the plight of European Jews fleeing German-occupied territories on the eve of World War II. Among the many who tried – and failed – to escape Nazi persecution: Otto Frank and his family, which included wife, Edith, and his daughters, Margot and Anne.

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Law enforcement took more stuff from people than burglars did last year

Here’s an interesting factoid about contemporary policing: In 2014, for the first time ever, law enforcement officers took more property from American citizens than burglars did. Martin Armstrong pointed this out at his blog, Armstrong Economics, last week. Officers can take cash and property from people without convicting or even charging them with a crime – yes, really!

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Ben Carson’s campaign made a U.S. map and put a bunch of states in the wrong place

Happy Geography Awareness Week! Recognizing that “too many young Americans are unable to make effective decisions, understand geo-spatial issues, or even recognize their impacts as global citizens,” National Geographic created this annual observance to “raise awareness to this dangerous deficiency in American education.”

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President Obama addresses sentencing reform, lack of policing data and the Black Lives Matter movement

With Congress considering legislation that would be its first major criminal justice reform measures in a decade, President Obama launched what will be a multi-state speaking tour in support of broad criminal justice reform Thursday, calling for changes to make criminal sentencing, prisons and policing more fair.

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No, Bernie Sanders is not going to bankrupt America to the tune of $18 trillion

The big policy headline today comes from the Wall Street Journal, which delivers this alarming message: Price Tag of Bernie Sanders’ Proposals: $18 Trillion Holy cow! He must be advocating for some crazy stuff that will bankrupt America! But is that really an accurate picture of what Sanders is proposing?

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Blackboard loses high-profile clients as its rivals school it in innovation

District-based Blackboard helped launch the education-technology industry in the mid-1990s. By the early 2000s, its software connected students and professors with textbooks, course materials and each other at nearly every college in the country. Its stock peaked in 2007, at $49, more than triple its opening price on the Nasdaq in 2005.

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