Intelligence Chief Defends Finding Russia Meddled in Election – By SHANE HARRIS and PAUL SONNE Updated Jan. 6, 2017 12:13 a.m. ET


Rejects Trump’s suggestions that the agencies’ conclusions could be faulty or false; report due out next week

 Top U.S. intelligence officials said they are confident Russia was behind a “multifaceted” cyber campaign targeting the 2016 election, but how America addresses cyberattacks is up for debate. WSJ's Shelby Holliday reports. Photo:


Top U.S. intelligence officials said they are confident Russia was behind a “multifaceted” cyber campaign targeting the 2016 election, but how America addresses cyberattacks is up for debate. WSJ’s Shelby Holliday reports. Photo:

Top U.S. intelligence officials said they are confident Russia was behind a “multifaceted” cyber campaign targeting the 2016 election, but how America addresses cyberattacks is up for debate. WSJ’s Shelby Holliday reports. Photo:

WASHINGTON—Top American intelligence officials reaffirmed and broadened their accusations of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election at a Senate hearing Thursday, rejecting President-elect Donald Trump’s suggestions that their conclusions on the matter could be faulty or false.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, speaking at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on foreign cyberthreats, described a multifaceted Russian campaign that went beyond leaking hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman to include classic propaganda, disinformation and fake news.

“I don’t think we’ve ever encountered a more aggressive or direct campaign to interfere in our election process,” he said.

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Gambia’s Opposition Unites – By Jeffrey Smith November 2016


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On December 1, Gambians will vote in their country’s most consequential election since it gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1965. For the first time, a unified political coalition will challenge Yahya Jammeh, Gambia’s longtime dictator, only months after the most vigorous protest movement in the country’s recent history.

The upcoming election could usher in a new period in Gambia’s political development, which so far has been marked by two distinct phases. The first period began in 1965 with Gambian independence and ended in 1994 with the overthrow of Dawda Jawara, the country’s first popularly elected president. Over those three decades, Gambia’s economy performed relatively well compared to its counterparts in West Africa, ranking third overall in GDP per capita in 1994; the country also became a popular tourist destination, earning the moniker the “Smiling Coast of Africa.” Jawara was widely applauded for advancing human rights and for his bold attempts to improve Gambia’s economy. Thanks in part to his government’s record, in 1989, the newly created African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) chose to establish its secretariat in Banjul, Gambia’s capital.

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What Will Women’s Health Care Look Like Now? Susan Rinkunas November 9, 2016 12:54 p.m.


Photo: Angela Wyant/Getty Images

Many of us are still processing the results of the election, but it’s worth looking to the future to see what women’s health care would look like in a Trump administration. The short answer: It’s not going to be good.

Donald Trump, president-elect, says he wants to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, which says insurers cannot deny coverage if you have a preexisting condition, that young adults can stay on their parent’s insurance until 26, and annual well-woman gyno visits and birth control must be covered without a copay. Even if Trumpcare does include these preventive services, as medical experts recommend, about 22 million people could lose their health insurance after a two-year, post-repeal transition period. These would mostly be people who have insurance through Medicaid or the insurance exchanges — in other words, low-income people.

Trump has also said that while Planned Parenthood helps “millions and millions of women” when it comes to breast and cervical cancers, he would still defund it“because of the abortion factor.” Of course, Planned Parenthood also does loads of STD screening and treatment, something our country still desperately needs if record STD rates are any indication. He’s also insisted that he would nominate pro-life judges who would overturn Roe v. Wade, a statement that was echoed by his running mate, Mike Pence, who himself has a horrific record on women’s health and reproductive rights. (Pence’s war on Planned Parenthood closed the only clinic in rural Scott County, Indiana, which was also the county’s only HIV testing center. Pence had to declare a public-health emergency after an HIV outbreak thought to be caused mostly by intravenous drug use.)

What if Roe is “consigned to the ash heap of history,” as Pence put it? Trump said during the final debate that the question of abortion legality would “go back to the individual states.” It’s scary to think about what that might look like, given the targeted restrictions on abortion providers, a.k.a. TRAP laws, that states like Texas and Mississippi have passed. Though the Supreme Court ruled in July that such regulations are unconstitutional, it would be a whole different ballgame if Roe were overturned.

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Justice movement urges black voters to oust bad prosecutors on election day – Tom Dart ERIC NIILER. 11.03.16 8:00 AM


theguardian.com

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DC Pittman reckons he has knocked on more than 1,000 doors in the past two weeks. Perhaps as many as 1,500. “Let’s get these people to go vote,” he said with obvious relish before heading off to Houston’s Third Ward.

The 24-year-old works as a canvasser for the Texas Organizing Project, a not-for-profit advocacy group aiming to boost turnout among minorities.

Though recent polls depicted Texas as a battleground state, it is still very likely to favour Trump over his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, on 8 November. But Pittman and others are trying to generate enthusiasm in African American communities with a pitch that is not necessarily focused on the race for the White House.

In Harris County – which, with about 4.4 million residents, is more populous than 24 US states – a Democrat may be about to oust a Republican in a highly influential position: the county prosecutor.

A University of Houston poll last month gave Kim Ogg a lead of seven percentage points over the incumbent district attorney, Devon Anderson. She was appointed by former Texas governor Rick Perry in 2013 to succeed her husband, Mike, who died of cancer, and beat Ogg in an election the following year.

But Anderson’s office has been beset by controversies including the jailing of a rape victim to ensure she would testify against her attacker, accusations that Anderson stoked racial tensions after a white sheriff’s deputy was shot dead by a mentally ill black man, and complaints that she has not introduced truly transformative reforms to a system that critics say treats low-income, low-level offenders unfairly.

“I explain to them how important it is to not just vote presidential but to vote for your locals as well,” said Tarasha Hollis, who oversees a team of 12 canvassers paid $12.50 an hour. Hollis and Pittman said that one of the key issues for potential black voters is criminal justice; specifically, crime rates and police brutality.

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Michelle Obama becomes Clinton’s most powerful weapon – By Niall Stanage – 10/13/16 05:18 PM EDT


Getty Images

Michelle Obama proved her effectiveness as a surrogate for Hillary Clinton in the most dramatic fashion yet on Thursday.

The first lady eviscerated Donald Trump in a speech in Manchester, N.H., hammering him for his rhetoric and behavior toward women.

“This is not normal. This is not politics as usual,” Obama said at one point. “This is disgraceful. It is intolerable.”

Though she did not name Trump in her address, she did refer to the 2005 tape of the GOP presidential nominee boasting to TV anchor Billy Bush about being able to grab women by the genitals without permission because he was famous.

“This was not just a lewd conversation, that wasn’t just locker room banter,” the first lady said. “This was a powerful individual speaking freely and openly about sexually predatory behavior and actually bragging about kissing and groping women — using language so obscene that many of us were worried about children hearing it when we turn on the TV.”

The speech caught fire on social media and elsewhere even as Obama was still at the lectern, with left-leaning pundits and others heaping praise upon her.

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Think Hillary Clinton Will Win in a Landslide? Don’t Bet on It – By JEREMY W. PETERS and GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO AUG. 23, 2016


Donald J. Trump at an event on Tuesday in Austin, Tex. The third-party candidates are approaching 15 percent of the vote. Damon Winter/The New York Times 

Donald J. Trump, after weeks of self-inflicted damage, has seen support for his candidacy in national polls dip into the 30s — Barry Goldwater and Walter F. Mondale territory — while Hillary Clinton has extended her lead to double digits in several crucial swing states.

Time to declare a landslide, right? Not so fast.

The vote may be more favorable to Mr. Trump than the worst-case-scenario prognosticators suggest for a very simple reason: Landslides do not really happen in presidential elections anymore.

It has been 32 years since a president won the popular vote by a double-digit percentage. That was when Mr. Mondale suffered an 18-point defeat to Ronald Reagan in 1984. It was also the last time there was a landslide among states, with Mr. Mondale winning only Minnesota and the District of Columbia.

There are a variety of factors that are likely to prevent a candidate today from rallying the huge, 60-plus-point majorities that swept Franklin D. Roosevelt back into office in 1936, Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964 and Richard M. Nixon in 1972.

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5 numbers that mattered this week – By STEVEN SHEPARD 06/25/16 07:50 AM EDT


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Sen. Marco Rubio announced this week that he has decided to run for reelection to the U.S. Senate. | Getty

5 numbers that mattered this week

Continuing our POLITICO feature, where we dig into the latest polls and loop in other data streams to tell the story of the 2016 campaign. Here are five numbers that mattered this week.

Race and economic status have been the definitional rifts in presidential elections in the modern era. But 2016 promises to expose those cleavages to unseen degrees.

This week’s CNN/ORC poll lays out the divide in sharp relief: Donald Trump holds a commanding lead with white voters without a college degree, 56 percent to 32 percent. But among whites with a degree, Clinton leads by an 8-point margin, 48 percent to 40 percent.

While less-educated whites have trended heavily Republican in recent elections, the educational divide could be far greater this year. Four years ago, Mitt Romney won both groups of white voters by more than 20 points.

Overall, the poll showed Trump leading Clinton among white voters, 51 percent to 38 percent. That puts Clinton about even with Obama’s share of the white vote four years ago: 39 percent, according to exit polls, though other analyses suggest it could be a little greater.

Trump, on the other hand, is underperforming Romney, who won six-in-10 white voters. The CNN poll suggests it’s more-educated white voters who are most resistant to Trump.

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