McCarthy calls for intel briefing on Chinese spy balloon over Montana
POLITICO
by Lara Seligman and Phelim Kine
6h ago
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Thursday night called for a briefing of the “Gang of Eight” — the group of lawmakers charged with reviewing the nation’s most sensitive intelligence information — following reports of a Chinese spy balloon flying over Montana. “China’s brazen disregard for U.S. sovereignty is a destabilizing action that must be addressed, and President Biden cannot be silent,” McCarthy tweeted. “I am requesting a Gang of Eight briefing.” The Pentagon said Thursday it had detected and was tracking a Chinese surveillance balloon flying high over the United States. The balloon is ..read more
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Dems fret policing talks will be tangled with Tim Scott’s presidential hopes
POLITICO
by Nicholas Wu and Eugene Daniels
7h ago
Democrats are signaling that they’re willing to work with Republicans on a new policing bill after the death of Tyre Nichols. Who their GOP partners might be is a trickier question. Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), his party’s past lead policing negotiator, is now a possible presidential contender in 2024 — adding new potential political risk to an issue already riddled with pitfalls. Democrats are still eyeing Scott as a partner, indicating they might be open to amending a sweeping law enforcement bill named for George Floyd — the Black man whose 2020 murder by a Minneapolis police officer ignited t ..read more
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Pentagon: Chinese spy balloon spotted over Western U.S.
POLITICO
by Associated Press
10h ago
The U.S. is tracking a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon that has been spotted over U.S. airspace for a couple days, but the Pentagon decided not to shoot it down due to risks of harm for people on the ground, officials said Thursday. A senior defense official told Pentagon reporters that the U.S. has “very high confidence” it is a Chinese high-altitude balloon and it was flying over sensitive sites to collect information. One of the places the balloon was spotted was Montana, which is home to one of the nation’s three nuclear missile silo fields at Malmstrom Air Force Base. The official ..read more
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Kari Lake meets with NRSC officials
POLITICO
by Holly Otterbein
10h ago
Defeated Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake met with officials at the National Republican Senatorial Committee on Thursday, two people familiar with the matter told POLITICO. The meeting comes as Lake is considering a run for the Senate in Arizona. Caroline Wren, a senior adviser to Lake, confirmed the meeting, saying it lasted about an hour and that the topics of discussion included the differences between running a Senate and a gubernatorial campaign. Asked if the meeting got Lake any closer to making a decision about a Senate run, Wren said: “I don’t think so. I think it was more li ..read more
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Why Erin O’Toole is speaking up
POLITICO
by Nick Taylor-Vaisey
10h ago
OTTAWA — Erin O’Toole, the former leader of Canada’s Conservative Party, knows Parliament Hill from the inside and out. He led the Conservative Party in the last election campaign and won the popular vote — as he’ll remind anyone willing to listen. But he lost the election. After Justin Trudeau’s Liberals won the most seats, the knives came out for O’Toole. His disgruntled caucus ousted him from leadership on Feb. 2, 2022. A year removed from that abrupt fall from grace, O’Toole sat down with POLITICO for a rare interview. During a conversation about the highs and lows of a decade in Ottawa ..read more
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A new crypto threat to government launches
POLITICO
by Ben Schreckinger
11h ago
If the spread of social media to the Middle East sparked the Arab Spring, imagine what will happen when people get their hands on crypto tools that allow them to send money, form groups and enter into financial contracts — all with more secrecy than Bitcoin provides. That’s the startling pitch from Amir Taaki, an early Bitcoin developer now working with an international group of anarchist coders on next-generation software designed to find out. The coders believe their system will present a graver threat to governments than other internet advances of the past 20 years. The group is preparing ..read more
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Florida eyes more changes to voting laws ahead of 2024
POLITICO
by Gary Fineout
11h ago
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida could alter its voting by mail rules yet again ahead of the 2024 presidential election, including blocking voters from being able to request a mail-in-ballot by telephone. The office of Florida’s top election official, Secretary of State Cord Byrd, has come up with a list of possible changes included in a recent report that the Republican-controlled Legislature could enact this spring. His office, however, is not recommending new identification requirements strongly opposed by the state’s local election supervisors. Some changes outlined by the department in a 60-p ..read more
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GOP's politicized-government panel sets first hearing for next week
POLITICO
by Jordain Carney
13h ago
The notice set a broad topic — the subcommittee's name — and didn't include who will testify ..read more
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Sam Bankman Fried’s co-founder gave GOP govs group $500,000 right before bankruptcy
POLITICO
by Hailey Fuchs
13h ago
Just days before the cryptocurrency exchange FTX filed for bankruptcy, the company’s co-CEO Ryan Salame wrote a $500,000 check to the Republican Governors Association, the main campaign arm tasked with electing GOP executives across the country. The donation was not a radical move on Salame’s part. He was, at the time, an emerging prolific GOP donor who gave more than $23 million to federal candidates and PACs in 2021 and 2022, according to FEC records. But with the fall of FTX and the arrest of Salame’s co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried, a new layer of scrutiny has been placed upon the campaign c ..read more
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U.S. supports blocking Russia and Belarus from 2024 Olympics as war rages in Ukraine
POLITICO
by Kelly Garrity
13h ago
The U.S. supports blocking Russian and Belarusian athletes from the 2024 Olympics unless it is “absolutely clear” that they are not representing their respective countries, the White House announced on Thursday. As Russia continues to wage its almost yearlong war in Ukraine, a handful of Ukrainian allieshave called on the International Olympic Committee to ban all Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing in the 2024 Paris Olympics. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stopped short of backing an outright ban on athletes coming from Russia and Belarus. But she said the U.S. sup ..read more
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