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Multiple Russian military aircraft came close to a U.S. Navy destroyer in the Black Sea on Feb. 10, incidents considered "unsafe and unprofessional," a U.S. official said on Tuesday.
There were three separate incidents involving Russian aircraft and the USS Porter, Captain Danny Hernandez, a spokesman for U.S. European Command, said. One involved two Russian Su-24 jets, another a separate Su-24, and the third involved a larger IL-38.
"USS Porter queried all aircraft and received no response," Hernandez said.
"Such incidents are concerning because they can result in accident or miscalculation," he added.
Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-russia-military-idUSKBN15T2MU?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=Social
Source: The Hill
Its "likely" that former national security adviser Michael Flynn will be pulled before lawmakers to answer questions about his talks with Moscow, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said Tuesday.
"I think it's likely General Flynn will be at some point asked to come and talk to the committee about both post-election activities and any other activities he may be aware of," Blunt told reporters.
Flynn stepped down Monday night amid reports that he misled White House officials over his conversations with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. during the transition period.
The Washington Post reported Monday night that the White House counsel had been warned that Flynn misled top figures when he said he didnt speak with the Russian envoy about President Obamas sanctions against Moscow in late December.
Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/319505-gop-senator-flynn-will-likely-be-asked-to-testify
Source: The Hill
Two top House Democrats on Tuesday repeated information from a fake Twitter account purporting to belong to President Trumps former national security adviser, Michael Flynn.
Something is wrong here, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said during a press conference in Washington, D.C.
Madam Leader, just this morning Flynn tweeted and this is a quote here scapegoat, end of quote, added Cummings, the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee. "Scapegoat. He basically describes himself as a scapegoat.
I believe we need to hold a public hearing with Flynn to get to the bottom of this. If there was any emergency at this moment in the history of this country, this is the moment.
Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/house/319502-top-dems-fall-for-fake-flynn-twitter-account
Source: The Hill
A meeting between congressional Hispanic Democrats and the Trump administration's top immigration enforcement officer was cancelled abruptly Tuesday in the wake of national immigration raids that have roiled Latino leaders.
Thomas Homan, the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) told members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) Tuesday that he would not be attending the meeting, according to CHC aides.
Homan's office said it had received too many requests to meet with members of Congress and proposed rescheduling the meeting with a larger, bipartisan group later this week.
CHC staff said a larger meeting was not a reasonable replacement for the cancelled sit-down, because it would shield Homan from directly facing members who represent the constituency most affected by ICE raids.
Read more: http://thehill.com/latino/319496-ice-head-cancels-meeting-with-hispanic-dems
Health insurance companies Aetna and Humana have called off their planned merger, citing a federal court ruling last month that blocked the deal.
"While we continue to believe that a combined company would create greater value for health care consumers through improved affordability and quality, the current environment makes it too challenging to continue pursuing the transaction," Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini said in a statement.
Aetna announced it would pay Humana a $1 billion fee for backing out of the agreement. Humana announced about $370 million of that would be paid as taxes.
In January, a federal judge ruled against Aetna's proposed acquisition of Humana in a victory for former President Obama's Justice Department, which sued Aetna last year.
Read more: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/02/14/515167491/aetna-and-humana-call-off-merger-after-court-decision
Source: Associated Press
The Senate has confirmed former wrestling entertainment executive Linda McMahon to lead the Small Business Administration.
The vote was 81-19 on Tuesday.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky says McMahon will "prioritize growing jobs over growing government bureaucracy" and calls that a welcome change from Washington.
McMahon served as the chief executive officer at World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. before stepping down to run twice for the Senate in Connecticut. She lost both races despite spending some $100 million.
Read more: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/politics/ct-linda-mcmahon-small-business-administration-20170214-story.html
Source: The Hill
Tom Brady calls visiting the White House a great experience, but he is encouraging his fellow New England Patriots to make their own choice about a meet-and-greet with President Trump.
Everybody has their own choice, Brady told PFT Live on Tuesday, when asked about advice he would give to teammates who were undecided about joining the trip to the White House.
Putting politics aside, it never was a political thing, the quarterback and five-time Super Bowl champion said of his multiple trips to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. At least, it never was to me. It was something that was a privilege to do. It meant you won a championship and you got to experience something cool with your team, with your teammates.
Last week, defensive lineman Alan Branch became the sixth Patriot to announce hell be skipping the traditional visit to Trumps White House. While Branch didnt specifically cite Trump in his decision not to attend, other teammates have said their choice to back out of the trip was a form of protest against the commander in chief.
Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/in-the-know/in-the-know/319430-brady-patriots-must-make-their-own-choice-on-white-house-visit
Source: The Hill
Senate Democrats want to delay a vote on President Trumps Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) nominee due to a pending court case regarding email records.
Democrats on the Environment and Public Works Committee, led by Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), said that emails that Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitts office is likely to release publicly soon may be important in considering his nomination.
Granting this request to schedule consideration of Mr. Pruitts nomination at a time that permits Senators to receive and review the information we previously requested is compelled, in our view, by the Senates obligation to provide advice and consent on Mr. Pruitts nomination, the Democrats wrote in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). These records are needed for the Senate to evaluate Mr. Pruitts suitability to serve in the position for which he has been nominated.
McConnell on Monday teed up a vote in the full Senate on Pruitts nomination. That vote will likely happen sometime this week.
Read more: http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/319433-senate-dems-want-pruitt-vote-delayed-over-emails
SHARK RIVER - At the bottom of the Everglades along the mouth of the Shark River, a towering mangrove forest stands in a place few people outside anglers and researchers ever see: at the edge of a vast shallow bay where the salty sea and freshwater marshes conspired to erect a cathedral of trees.
In the current fight over restoration, this isolated region often gets overlooked. While Lake Okeechobee pollution to the north grabs headlines and gets the attention of Florida lawmakers, its actually here where damage may be most profound.
For the last 16 years, nearly 80 scientists and their students from 29 organizations including all the states major universities, the National Park Service and the South Florida Water Management District have embarked on one of the longest and largest studies ever conducted on South Floridas coastal Everglades. They now fear the system may be at what lead investigator Evelyn Gaiser calls a tipping point, where change is happening faster than scientists expected and spinning into a self-perpetuating cycle of decline.
The mangroves ringing the coast are moving inland, overtaking vital freshwater marshes. Growing swathes of peat, the rich mucky soil that formed over a few thousand years, are collapsing. And periphyton, the spongy brown mats of native algae that form the foundation of the food chain, is shrinking.
Source: The Hill
A Democratic congressional candidate filed paperwork with the the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to create the Impeach Trump Leadership PAC.
Boyd Roberts, a California Democrat, submitted paperwork to the FEC that was received on Monday to establish the leadership PAC, a political action committee meant to raise money that will be donated to help other candidates and lawmakers.
Roberts also filed paperwork with the FEC to run against Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) in the 2018 midterm elections. Rohrabacher has served his southern California district since 1989. The domain robertsforcongress2018.com exists, but nothing is there.
Roberts has previously run for Congress, unsuccessfully running for Rep. Ken Calverts (R-Calif.) seat in 2014 and dropping out before the filing deadline.
Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/319424-congressional-candidate-forms-impeach-trump-leadership-pac
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