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President Trump to announce support for criminal justice overhaul proposal

  • Trump is scheduled to announce on Wednesday that he is supporting the latest iteration of the First Step Act, a bill that his son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, has been working to craft and build support for alongside a bipartisan group of senators, the sources said.
  • The National District Attorneys Association, which represents 2,500 district attorneys and 40,000 assistant district attorneys, became the latest law enforcement organization to support the bill, according to a letter the group's president addressed to Trump.
  • The prosecutors' association's support for the legislation came on the heels of backing from several other law enforcement organizations, including the Fraternal Order of Police, International Association of Chiefs of Police, Law Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime and Incarceration and the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, which also penned a letter of support to Trump.
  • Sources close to the process said the support from law enforcement associations is key to advancing the measure and securing the President's full-throated support.

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Trump nominates retired Gen. John Abizaid as US ambassador to Saudi Arabia

  • The nomination comes at a critical moment in diplomatic relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia, as the White House and Congress consider their response to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the Washington Post columnist who was killed at the Saudi consulate in Turkey last month.
  • Abizaid retired from the US Army after 34 years of service, according to CENTCOM's website, and in that time rose from infantry platoon leader to four-star general.
  • The US did not have an ambassador to Saudi Arabia when Khashoggi was killed -- the post has been vacant since January 2017.
  • After Saudi Arabia admitted that Khashoggi had been killed in its Istanbul consulate, five high-ranking officials were dismissed, including bin Salman's media chief and the deputy head of the Saudi intelligence service.

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How to (legally) crash an Indian wedding

  • A global initiative co-founded by entrepreneur Orsi Parkanyi in 2016, it connects Indian couples tying the knot with travelers keen for the ultimate cultural experience.
  • Parkanyi began marketing the concept on social media, attracting the attention of Namrata Nataraj and her partner, who were planning their Banglore-based wedding.
  • The couple spotted an ad on Facebook for JoinMyWedding, immediately signed up and when their nuptials rolled around, they had six additional faces in attendance -- from Australia, Ireland and New Zealand.
  • Prior to attending, Parkanyi stepped in to introduce Stevens and Gower to the couple over the instant message app WhatsApp. On top of that, it was incredibly social.
  • Parkanyi says the best part about JoinMyWedding for both the hosts and the guests is the opportunity for cross-cultural connection.
  • Plus, the project is already expanding outside of India -- JoinMyWedding is currently orchestrating guests attending an Indian wedding in Florida.

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Graham says he 'totally' will investigate the FBI's handling of Russia and Clinton probes

  • Graham has been a longtime critic of the FBI's handling of those investigations -- and has called for a second special counsel to investigate what happened.
  • Graham's comments are the latest sign that the Senate GOP will be a counterbalance of sorts to House Democrats, who plan to end the House Republican probe into the FBI and launch a flurry of new investigations in their new majority next year.
  • Graham also said Tuesday that he would support Senate passage of a bill to protect special counsels like Robert Mueller from political pressure, even though he said, "I don't see any threat to Mueller." Democrats have demanded quick passage of that bill after President Donald Trump fired Jeff Sessions as attorney general last week and named Mueller critic Matt Whitaker to the post as acting AG.
  • But Graham, who spoke with Whitaker last week, said he's convinced that the new acting attorney general won't interfere with the Mueller probe.

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How Mandy Moore and Taylor Goldsmith's 'This Is Us' collaboration happened

  • Moore said the idea came about months ago.
  • Speaking of babies, Moore said she and Goldsmith hope to be parents someday.
  • Moore's love of children led her to join forces with UNICEF and Garnier's Whole Blends to raise funds for children living in emergency situations.
  • Beyond her philanthropic and acting work, Moore has been doing some wedding planning.
  • When pressed on a date, Moore would only say she and Goldsmith will walk down the aisle within a year.

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HQ2 deals give Amazon helipads and tax breaks

  • Virginia's memorandum with Amazon pledges a maximum of $295 million of state investment to pay for transportation projects in the area, including a pedestrian bridge to connect the neighborhoods to nearby Reagan National Airport, which is separated from Amazon's new home by a highway.
  • The incentives offered for Amazon's Long Island City campus total $1.5 billion if the company hires 25,000 people, and up to $1.7 billion if it hires 40,000 people, which mostly reflects a $48,000-per-job tax credit for every position as long as the average salary is at least $150,000.
  • Amazon said it would separately apply for another tax incentive offered to all companies that add jobs in New York's outer boroughs, which is worth $3,000 per employee over 10 years, as well as a property tax abatement for commercial construction.

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Opinion: Wisconsin teens' apparent Nazi salute is a terrifying sight

  • Some who are sympathetic to the Wisconsin students -- white non-Jews, one imagines -- will be tempted to write this off as teenage antics for which the young men should not pay a significant price.
  • Gust has also taken the photo down and complained about "jerks" who are being online bullies -- by which he apparently meant the people angry about the photo, and not the teenagers who appear to be making a Nazi salute.
  • At least one student wrote to a reporter that bullying and bigotry are par for the course at Baraboo High School.
  • One has to wonder what messages these teens absorbed from the authority figures and adults around them (not to mention the adults in the White House) to conclude not only that throwing up a Nazi salute would make for a great photo, but also that it would be funny to tweet and share it.

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Opinion: Justice Roberts, pay attention to what Brian Kemp did

  • The court ruled that the provisions of the VRA, requiring states with histories of voting rights violations to submit themselves to federal preapproval of any changes in voting procedures or electoral rules, were deemed unconstitutional because of changes in the underlying facts.
  • Never mind that, in the decade preceding the court's Shelby County decision, Georgia had continued adopting voting changes that the US Department of Justice found discriminatory roughly once every three months.
  • After the Civil War, Congress enacted several constitutional amendments that outlawed slavery (the 13th), established due process and equal protection under the laws for all Americans (the 14th) and prohibited racial discrimination against the right to vote (the 15th).
  • The more important issue in the Shelby County decision, then, is the contention by Roberts and the court's majority that the facts had changed and so, too, had the VRA's constitutionality.

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McSally emerges as potential replacement for Kyl in Senate

  • A day after the Arizona Republican conceded her Senate campaign to Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, the state's other senator, Jon Kyl, told CNN on Tuesday he has decided whether to leave office before his term ends at the end of next year.
  • But in the wake of Sinema's victory in the race for Arizona's other Senate seat, some Republicans in the state buzzed about the possibility of McSally replacing Kyl. There are, several Arizona Republicans pointed out, significant downsides to appointing McSally, too: She's the only Republican to lose a Senate race in Arizona in 30 years.
  • Others on the list include Karrin Taylor Robson, an Arizona Board of Regents member and real estate developer, who is well-liked by the GOP donor community; Kirk Adams, a former Arizona House speaker who is Ducey's chief of staff but widely expected to leave his office soon; and Eileen Klein, a chief of staff for former Gov. Jan Brewer who Ducey appointed state treasurer in April.

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Opinion: Melania Trump's dangerous move

  • Second, Melania Trump has every right to relate her disdain for bad behavior to her husband or Bolton and to ask for a staffer's resignation over not sufficiently respecting the first lady's duties.
  • But what is not acceptable, and indeed dangerous, is the extent to which Melania Trump used her status as a family member — unelected, unappointed and unqualified — to dictate national security personnel decisions, in public, as if there are no global consequences to such action.
  • Melania Trump's actions are consistent with the mercurial management preferences of the Trump family; indeed, the President is keen on calling the defense apparatus that exists to protect America "my generals." The family has turned national security -- once, not so long ago, immune from the political backstabbing and favor-grabbing that animate the political side of the White House -- into its own TV-style drama.

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