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Obama nominates new U.S. ambassador for Iraq

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WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama nominated a career diplomat as the new US ambassador to Iraq on Monday, after the previous candidate withdrew amid allegations of sexual impropriety.

The White House said it was nominating Robert Stephen Beecroft, who has served at the US embassy in Baghdad since July 2011, first as the deputy chief of mission and since June as the charge d’affaires.

Earlier he was the US ambassador to Jordan between 2008 and 2011, and has held positions at US embassies in Saudi Arabia and Syria.

Beecroft must still be confirmed in the post by the US Senate, where Democrats have a simple majority but opposition Republicans have enough strength to block the nomination.

In mid-June Obama’s original pick for the job, Brett McGurk, withdrew his candidacy after the revelation of racy emails sent in 2008 between the married diplomat, who was stationed in Baghdad, and reporter Gina Chon.

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McGurk is now married to Chon.

At the time, six Republican senators urged Obama to pull McGurk’s name, saying he lacked sufficient managerial experience and that the emails raised questions about his judgment.

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Trump asked right-wing conspiracy theorist congressman to help him pick his next Director of National Intelligence

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On Monday, Politico reported that President Donald Trump is consulting with Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) about who he should consider to replace Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.

Nunes has led the Republican side of the House Intelligence Committee since 2015 and chaired the committee for four years, despite having no professional qualifications of any kind for that role. Since 2017, he has been known for his stunts and conspiracy theories intended to discredit the Russia investigation and throw suspicion on anyone who looks into Trump's conduct.

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Conservative newspaper hilariously trolls Trump about his failure to build any new border wall

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Donald Trump on the US-Mexico Border

The conservative Washington Examiner trolled President Donald Trump for his failure to construct any new border barricade during his 30 months in office.

On Monday, Trump lashed out at the media on Twitter for not giving him positive coverage for his wall, which he erroneously claimed would be paid for by Mexico.

The Examiner replied to Trump on Twitter, posting an article headlined, "Trump has not built a single mile of new border fence after 30 months in office."

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Here’s how a new study implies the Supreme Court has killed 16,000 people since 2012

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A new paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research looked into the effects of the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion to people below 138 percent of the poverty line, which has seen nearly 15 million people enrolled in participating states. The results were encouraging: the mortality rate for near-elderly adults has dropped over 9 percent in the four years for which data is available.

But while this is cause for celebration, The Atlantic staff writer Annie Lowrey offered a darker take on the implications of these numbers:

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