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House Of Representatives Passes Bill Renewing Foreign Electronic Surveillance

On Wednesday, the US House of Representatives passed a bill to renew sweeping surveillance powers for the government’s intelligence agencies. The vote on Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which must be renewed every five years and is set to expire on January 19, passed by a 256 to 164 margin. Contradictory early morning tweets by President Donald Trump sparked confusion prior to the House vote. Initially in his tweet, he seemed opposed to the bill. A little over an hour later he had completely reversed himself, tweeting: “We need it! Get smart!” ...Read more

Missouri Governor Eric Greitens Admits Affair After Blackmail Accusations Surface

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens admitted late Wednesday that he had been “unfaithful” in his marriage, after a St. Louis television station reported he had an affair before he became governor and that he allegedly threatened to blackmail the woman about their sexual encounter. The allegations prompted the opening of a probe by the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office and prompted calls by Republican Missouri state senators for an immediate investigation by the state’s attorney general.  They asked that the Senator resign if the blackmail allegations are proven to be true. Greitens has denied through his attorney, James Bennett, that he had tried to blackmail the woman to keep her quiet, and said there were multiple false allegations in the TV station’s report. ...Read more

Netflix’s New Series “Altered Carbon” Releases First Trailer

The first trailer for one of 2018’s most anticipated sci-fi shows is here. Altered Carbon is Netflix’s adaptation of Richard K Morgan’s acclaimed cyberpunk novel, and will be available on the streaming service on February 2. Altered Carbon stars James Purefoy, Joel Kinnaman,, and Will Yun Lee. The story focuses on the world’s wealthiest man, who is murdered; but when his mind is transferred, he hires an ex-soldier to investigate who killed him. ...Read more

Michael Douglas Preemptively Denies Sexual Misconduct Allegation

In a new interview, Michael Douglas is denying what he says is an upcoming claim of sexual harassment against him. The veteran actor claims that The Hollywood Reporter is pursuing a story about him in which a former employee claims Douglas masturbated in front of her, used improper language in her company, and prevented her from getting other work in the entertainment industry.  Douglas denied the allegation of a sexual nature and the claim of retaliation, though he added “I will fess up to colorful language.”  Douglas also said his accuser is a woman who worked in development at his company approximately 32 years ago and was fired “for the work she was doing.”  The actor said he chose to preemptively talk about the sexual harassment claim, in hopes of limiting the story’s potential impact. ...Read more

Jay Bruce To Rejoin New York Mets With A 3-Year, $39 Million Deal

Free-agent outfielder Jay Bruce has reached agreement on a three-year, $39 million contract with the New York Mets. Bruce, 30, is a .249 career hitter with 277 home runs over 10 seasons with the Cincinnati Reds, Mets and Cleveland Indians. He had received interest from the San Francisco Giants on the free-agent market before electing to return to New York.  The Mets initially acquired Bruce from Cincinnati in August 2016, then traded him to Cleveland for minor league pitcher Ryder Ryan during the stretch drive last summer. Bruce’s deal is the second highest for a free-agent position player this offseason — trailing only first baseman Carlos Santana’s three-year, guaranteed $60 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. ...Read more

Goalies David Leggio, Brandon Maxwell Complete U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team

Goalies David Leggio and Brandon Maxwell have been added to the U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team, and the 25-man roster is now complete. The organization announced on Thursday that Europe-based professionals Leggio and Maxwell will join Ryan Zapolski as Team USA’s goalies in PyeongChang. All three played for Team USA at November’s Deutschland Cup in Germany. Leggio has been with EHC München the last three seasons after playing for six American Hockey League teams from 2007-08 through 2014-15. Maxwell has been playing for BK Mlada Boleslav in the Czech Republic. He has played in that country for parts of the last four seasons. Team USA’s Olympic schedule is set for PyeongChang. The Americans open preliminary-round play against Slovenia 7:10 a.m. ET on Feb. 14. ...Read more

President Trump Open To US-North Korea Talks ‘Under Right Circumstances’

President Donald Trump is telling South Korea’s president that he’s open to U.S.-North Korean talks “at the appropriate time, under the right circumstances.” That’s according to a White House readout of the president’s call Wednesday with South Korean President Moon Jae-In. The phone call comes after the Koreas held their first high-level talks in two years. North Korea agreed to send a delegation to the Olympic Games and both sides agreed to hold talks on reducing tensions along their border. Moon has said he’s open to meeting with Kim Jong Un to resolve the North Korean nuclear standoff. ...Read more

President Trump Criticizes Court’s DACA “Dreamers” Ruling

A federal judge’s decision to stop President Trump from ending protections for so-called Dreamers offered the young immigrants a temporary reprieve, but may have stalled the urgency in Congress toward a more lasting legislative solution. On Wednesday, Trump denounced the federal courts as “broken and unfair” after a district judge in San Francisco issued a temporary ruling keeping the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in place, despite Trump’s decision to end it this year. Pressure had been mounting for Congress to broker a deal by Jan. 19 as part of a must-pass budget package to fund the government. The White House suggested the court’s ruling would make a legislative deal harder to obtain. “We find this decision to be outrageous,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. “An issue of this magnitude must go through the normal legislative process.” ...Read more