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Merkel Wins Fourth Term as Germanys SPD Backs Coalition

Germany’s Social Democrats voted to join Chancellor Angela Merkel’s next government, clearing the last hurdle to her fourth term and restoring a sense of political stability in Europe’s biggest economy. SPD members approved the coalition pact by a wider-than-expected margin, which may make it easier for the party to effectively govern with Merkel’s Christian Democrat-led bloc. The result, unsealed on Sunday morning, was 66 percent in favor to 34 percent against. Before the vote, SPD leaders had said they hoped for 60 percent support. The chancellor can expect to be…

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Gates Guilty Plea Strengthens Muellers Hand Against Manafort

As the newest cooperator for Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Rick Gates gives prosecutors a powerful weapon in pursuing former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and possible election collusion with Russia. Gates, who pleaded guilty Friday in Washington, was Manafort’s right-hand man and worked with him for a decade in his political consulting firm lobbying on behalf of Ukraine before joining him on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016. Gates also remained on the Trump campaign after Manafort resigned in August 2016, and he helped plan Trump’s inauguration. In a victory…

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Senator Calls Trumps Denial of Shithole Comment Not True

A key Democratic senator who was at the Oval Office meeting on immigration said President Donald Trump’s denial that he called Haiti and African nations “shithole countries” is “not true” and that Trump made the “vile and racist” comments. “He said things which were hate-filled, vile and racist,” Senator Dick Durbin, of Illinois, who was at the meeting, told reporters Friday morning. “I cannot believe that in the history of the White House, in that oval office, any president has ever spoken the words that I personally heard our president…

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Flake: Someone in GOP Will Challenge Trump in Primary, If Not Me

President Donald Trump is likely to face a challenge from an independent candidate, and possibly a fellow Republican, if he runs for a second term, as voters thirst for a more centrist alternative, said Senator Jeff Flake. “If the president is running for re-election, if he continues on the path that he’s on, that’s gonna leave a huge swath of voters looking for something else,” said the Arizona Republican, who plans to leave the Senate at the end of 2018. Flake, who’s emerged as one of the president’s most vocal…

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Senate Passes Major Business, Individual Cuts: Tax Debate Update

The Senate tax bill is in the midst of a marathon vote session that stretched into early Saturday morning with the goal of holding a final vote in the next several hours. Here are the latest developments, updated throughout the day: Senate Passes Major Business, Individual Cuts (1:51 a.m.) Senate Republicans narrowly approved the most sweeping rewrite of the U.S. tax code in three decades, slashing the corporate tax rate and providing temporary tax-rate cuts for most Americans. The 51-49 vote — achieved only after closed-door deal-making with dissident senators…

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Facebook to Show Users Which Russian Propaganda They Followed

request from Congress to address manipulation and meddling during the 2016 presidential election. The tool will appear by the end of the year in Facebook’s online support center, the company said in a blog post Wednesday. It will answer the user question, “How can I see if I’ve liked or followed a Facebook page or Instagram account created by the Internet Research Agency?” That’s the Russian firm that created thousands of incendiary posts from fake accounts posing as U.S. citizens. People will see a list of the accounts they followed,…

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Mnuchin Says Its Very Hard Not to Give Tax Cuts to the Wealthy

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in an interview published Wednesday that the Republican tax plan will include breaks for the wealthy, a rhetorical reversal that contradicts President told CNBC that Trump wanted “no absolute tax cut for the upper class,” which prompted Democrats to label that promise the “Mnuchin Rule.” In the ensuing months, Mnuchin softened that promise in public remarks — in June, he

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Trump Hands Democrats an Opportunity on Immigration

President Donald Trump’s renewed demands for a border wall and dramatic changes to immigration laws in exchange for deportation protections for young undocumented immigrants may help Democrats by keeping the issue alive in the 2018 election year. Polls show voters side with Democrats on shielding the immigrants, known as Dreamers. By adopting a hard line, Trump is setting the stage for a prolonged fight in Congress that could help Democrats gain seats in the House and Senate. The White House on Sunday demanded “complete construction” of a U.S.-Mexico border wall…

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Bossert Defends Trumps Wait to Waive Jones Act for Puerto Rico

President Why Puerto Rico Pushed Trump to Waive This Law: QuickTake Q&A “Finally, the White House is beginning to wake up, taking temporary action on the Jones Act and upping the military presence," Illinois Representative Luis Gutiérrez, a Democrat, said in a statement. "But it took a while and more is needed right now.” There is dispute about the importance of waiving the Jones Act. The top Republican and Democrat on the House Transportation Maritime subcommittee said they’re against it. "The concerns about the situation in Puerto Rico are real. But…

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