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Senate Republicans invoke 'nuclear option' to clear way for Gorsuch confirmation

Former Democratic Senator Harry Reid went nuclear when he was Majority Leader on the vote threshold for cabinet nominees in order to help former President Barack Obama's cabinet pass be confirmed in 2013. His administration has also faced questions about any role his associates may have played in Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election to help Trump.

National

Crude prices spike in Asia as United States launches missiles at Syria

Crude futures settled higher for a third straight day, despite renewed concerns that a ramp up in USA crude production would dampened OPEC's efforts to reduce supply, after US crude inventories swelled to a record high on Wednesday. "Syria is not a big oil producer but it does potentially increase the risk of escalation in the whole region", said Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney.

National

Democrats block Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee

Gorsuch, a conservative appellate judge from Colorado chosen by President Donald Trump, is expected to be confirmed Friday after another round of debate. Merkley, who launched an all-night protest on the Senate floor Tuesday in opposition to Gorsuch's nomination, said in tweets that "the dark deed is done".

National

Russia Detains 6 Terror Suspects in St. Petersburg After Bombing

The death toll from Monday's blast on the St Petersburg subway has risen to 14, Russia's health minister has said. St. Petersburg was already on high alert after an explosion between two subway stations Monday killed 14 people and injured dozens others.

National

North Korea's latest Missile Test amidst US-China talks

Kim Hong-kyun (L), South Korea's chief envoy on North Korea issues, poses for a photo with his United States and Japanese counterparts, Joseph Yun (C) and Kenji Kanasugi (R), during a meeting in Washington on February 27, 2017. North Korea is now a "strategic liability for China" and could disrupt the stability in the region, the White House has said after Pyongyang fired a ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan.

National

Republicans ram through Supreme Court pick

Actually, it was an acknowledgement that they didn't need it at that point. Republicans on Thursday overcame a ferocious Democratic effort to prevent a vote by resorting to a Senate rule change known as the "nuclear option". "With this vote, Angus King has proven he sides with the extreme liberals in the Democratic Party and against common sense governing", LePage wrote on his Facebook page.

National

Senate GOP goes 'nuclear' to advance Gorsuch vote

The move triggered Republicans to impose a historic rules change to get Gorsuch to America's highest court. "When history weighs what happened, the responsibility for changing the rules will fall on the Republicans and Leader McConnell's shoulders", he said .

National

Alabama governor vows to stay in office despite scandal

Montgomery insiders, including Henry and GOP Rep. Corey Harbison, have speculated that Bentley might resign rather than go down as the only Alabama governor to be impeached. According to AL.com, Mason moved from the governor's office to Bentley's reelection campaign in 2013, working through her private consulting firm, RCM Communications.

National

Athens area escapes much of Southeast's severe weather

Authorities in Johnston, South Carolina, a town of 2,300 that calls itself The Peach Capital of The World, reported a possible tornado there damaged about a dozen buildings. Patrons leave the course at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia as inclement weather canceled the traditional Par-3 Contest kicking off The Masters golf tournament.

National

White House talks progress on reviving long-shot health bill

But the party seems adrift and divided for now over how to reshape it to attract enough votes to muscle it through the chamber. A White House official said progress is being made and all sides are talking, but offered no timetable for a handshake that would allow stalled Republican legislation to advance.

National

What's next for Governor Robert Bentley?

Marsh says the governor is unable to lead on important issues in the state such as education and prison legislation. Byrne said the RGA reimbursed the governor's campaign account and the governor wrote a check the next day to the state.

National

Tillerson calls for China to use influence over N. Korea

The Chinese economy is growing more slowly than before, and Xinhua pointed out the strong economic ties between the world's two biggest economies, as a reminder perhaps that the United States has a lot to lose in any trade war between the two.

National

Gay rights organizations hail court ruling as 'game changer'

He used the Civil Rights Act as a basis for his case and believes the new ruling could have impact in Pennsylvania, where there's no law banning LGBT discrimination at work or in housing. This is a historic ruling, given that the full court reviewed the case, Hively v. Ivy Tech, en banc . "Today's ruling is a monumental victory for fairness in the workplace, and for the dignity of lesbian, gay and bisexual Americans who may live in fear of losing their job based on whom they love".

National

Macon's Russell Henley one under par, tied for fourth at Masters

Spieth's big number was far from the only one in Thursday's hard conditions, with the wind sending ripples through Rae's Creek - and the leaderboard. "But it was nice to make a 3 there and then capture (a birdie) 4 at the next". Australian world number three Jason Day is also among the top contenders for the title along with 2015 Masters champion Jordan Spieth. "I would have slid all the way down", Johnson said.

National

Filings show Ivanka Trump, husband Jared benefitting from business empire

Meanwhile, Ivanka Trump has a stake in Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. that's worth between $5 million and $25 million. According to Mr Kushner's financial disclosures , Ms Trump earned between $1m and $5m from the hotel between January 2016 and March 2017.

National

Senate Advances Gorsuch After Invoking 'Nuclear Option'

Toomey added: "I joined with Republican colleagues and we voted to change the rules, and now the rules require a simple majority and tomorrow we will vote to confirm Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court". Any minute now, though, Republicans in the Senate are expected to change the rules and lower that threshold. This issue is a favorite of conservatives and Gorsuch's beliefs align with those of Scalia and Justice Clarence Thomas .

National

Russian Federation 'tried to hijack U.S. election': USA senator

A Primer in Russian Active Measures and Influence Campaigns , consisted of two panels to provide a foundational understanding of Russian active measures and information operations campaigns. Russian Federation tried to hijack the U.S. democratic process, says a senator investigating alleged interference in the USA election. Burr, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has stated emphatically that his committee is focused on fully pursuing the matter of Russian medding in the ...

National

Defense rests in Aaron Hernandez's double-murder trial

Defense attorney Jose Baez enters one last piece of evidence before resting his case during former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez's double murder trial in Suffolk Superior Court in Boston, We. He said that about two hours after he and Hernandez left the club that night, he was driving when Hernandez saw Furtado and de Abreu stopped at a red light.

National

Gorsuch heads for confirmation as Senate tears up own rules

All 52 Republicans voted to change the rules, with all 48 Democrats voting against it. Gorsuch is expected to win confirmation Friday and be sworn in soon after to hear the final cases of the term. Cloture - the procedural motion to end a filibuster - was attempted for the first time on a nominee in 1968 after President Lyndon Johnson tapped Abe Fortas as chief justice of the US, according to the Congressional Research Service.

National

Russia sets out agenda for Tillerson as Moscow visit announced

McMaster, referring to Moscow's apparent inability to prevent the Syrian government from using chemical weapons earlier this week despite a 2013 agreement to remove them from the country. It was unclear how fast the president planned to decide and implement a response, according to the official, who insisted on anonymity in order to discuss the sensitive planning.

National

Federal Judge Denies DOJ Request to Pause Review on Baltimore Consent Decree

The Baltimore consent decree was hammered out between city officials and the Justice Department in the final days of the administration of former President Barack Obama after a federal investigation found widespread constitutional violations, particularly in the way that police treated minorities.

National

'Luv Guv' says he won't resign as Alabama lawmakers move toward impeachment

If the state House voted in favor of impeachment, Bentley would face a trial in the state Senate. On Wednesday, April 5, a state ethics commission said Bentley, whom local media has christened the "Luv Guv", may have violated campaign finance laws.

National

Senate Republicans Go Nuclear to Advance Gorsuch

MARTIN: What is happening at this moment? The optimist would hope that this is the last nuclear trigger that's pulled and that the 60-vote threshold on legislation is safe. "It's to steer back to the middle, and get a more mainstream candidate". "In a post-nuclear world", said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY, "there's no incentive to even speak to the Senate minority".

National

California Gas Tax 2017: Governor Jerry Brown Expected To Sign SB1 Bill

According to California data, the state has not increased the gas tax in 23 years, and since then the state's population has added eight million new residents, which translates into more vehicles on the roads. " SB 1 updates an obsolete revenue system that fell behind the spiraling maintenance demands of more than 357,000 lane miles of state, city, and county roads".

National

Ethics panel refers Ala. governor case to district attorney

After a call to order, opening prayer, and a brief discussion of old and new business, the commission entered executive session. If she is a lobbyist, she has violated the law by failing to register and file reports. But the rumored sex scandal, which came to light near the start of Bentley's second term, has evaporated much of his goodwill with voters. The commission found probable cause that Bentley used public resources, including "subordinate personnel, equipment and time all under his ...

National

Judge denies USA request to delay Baltimore police reform hearing

Baltimore Solicitor David Ralph said Thursday that the plan was created to help police fight crime while also protecting residents' rights and repairing trust between the community and the department. According to the report, Baltimore Police Commissioner on Tuesday called the DOJ's move as unnecessary and "without a whole lot of justification". "We believe there are reforms needed".

National

Seattle Times: Mayor Murray sued for sexual assault of teen in 80s

Documents in the lawsuit were not yet available via the King County Superior Court's online record system as of Thursday afternoon. He alleged in his interview with the Times that Murray continued to pay him for the next four to five years, at least 50 times .

National

House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes To Step Aside From Russia Probe

Thursday morning's big news story was House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes' decision to temporarily step down from his committee's probe of alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Questions were raised about Nunes' relationship with the Trump Administration last month after he went to the White House to review documents he says showed that communication between members of Trump's transition team had been picked up in surveillance.

National

Johnson withdraws from Masters after fall down staircase

No one else has managed to go lower than 1-under par . Augusta National chairman Billy Payne addressed the massive gallery, telling them it was a morning of unbearable sadness. The conditions made the course so tough on Thursday that Spieth had plenty of time to recover. He birdied eight of the next 12 holes, including four in a row beginning at the 14th.

National

Men in Texas could be fined $132 every time they masturbate

A bill that would see Texas men fined $100 (£82) for masturbating has taken a step closer to becoming law after it received its first reading in the state's House of Representatives. Another provision in the bill would create an informational packet called "A Man's Right to Know", similar to a current proposal requiring doctors provide women seeking abortions with a pamphlet called "A Woman's Right To Know".

National

Judge denies U.S. request to delay Baltimore police reform hearing

But he told U.S. District Judge Kevin K. Bredar - who denied his request earlier this week to postpone Thursday's hearing for three months - that his office still wants to reevaluate the consent agreement. "I think we were heading to a fatality", Manship said. "It'll make us better, it'll make the city better, it'll make our relationships with the community better".

National

ICE arrests 82 in five-day sweep in Virginia, Maryland and DC

ICE says most of those arrested in the latest sweep now have either pending deportations or will be deported once their charges have run the course through local or federal court systems. Blumenthal's Protecting Sensitive Locations Act would restrict immigration agents from making arrests at sensitive locations unless ICE agents have prior approval from a supervisor or it is a case involving terrorism, an imminent risk of violence, or the arrest of a risky felon .

National

Trump Officials Tried To Stop Sally Yates From Testifying On Russia Ties

The statement came after The Washington Post reported that the Trump administration sought to block Yates' testimony before Congress, citing a Justice Department letter to Yates' attorney that said Yates' communications with the White House counsel "are likely covered by the presidential communications privilege ".

National

No sign probes into Russia, Trump campaign will die down

The newspaper said that when Trump was asked if Rice had committed a crime, he replied: "Do I think?" "I think it's going to be the biggest story". Susan Rice, former President Barack Obama's national security adviser, is the latest target for Trump and his embattled defenders.

National

Steve Bannon dropped from NSC principals

John Bellinger, who served as a legal adviser to the NSC in the second Bush administration, told The Washington Post: "If the thrust of all of these changes is that Steve Bannon has been removed from the NSC and the principals committee .that may show you that the White House is heading in a slightly different direction in terms of decision-making".


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