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Obama to sign executive order cutting government greenhouse gas emissions

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President Barack Obama will sign an executive order on Thursday that will cut the U.S. government’s greenhouse gas emissions, the White House said in a statement.

After signing the order, Obama will visit the Department of Energy to tour the building’s rooftop solar panels. While there, he will attend a meeting of some of the federal suppliers, which will discuss their reduction targets, including initial commitments to disclose emission targets or set new reduction goals, the statement said, without providing details.

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Obama has made fighting climate change a top priority in his final two years in office. The White House sees it as critical to his legacy.

The Environmental Protection Agency last year proposed a Clean Power Plan that set deadlines for states to submit proposals to meet power plant carbon emission reduction goals.

A dozen states, including Kentucky, West Virginia, Indiana and Wyoming, sued the EPA last August soon after the plan was unveiled on grounds that its use of a certain section of the Clean Air Act was illegal. The federal D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear the case on April 16.

Obama’s budget proposal for fiscal 2015 released last month called for a 7 percent boost in funding for clean energy and a $4 billion fund to encourage U.S. states to make faster and deeper cuts to emissions from power plants. It also called for the permanent extension of tax credits used by the wind and solar power industries.

(Reporting by Eric Walsh; Additional reporting by Valerie Volcovici; Editing by Peter Cooney; Writing by Eric Walsh)

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Trump’s Syria withdrawal was an ‘intelligence and propaganda gift to Russia’: report

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In a surprise move last month, President Trump withdrew a contingent of US troops from their posts in northeast Syria, sparking widespread outrage from observers who saw it as yet another betrayal of Kurdish factions who were fighting as allies of the US. According to a report from Business Insider this Thursday, Trump's decision not only undid years of US-led efforts to combat ISIS, it also was an "intelligence (and propaganda) gift to Russia."

Within days of the US withdrawal, Kremlin-funded propaganda outlets were broadcasting from America's abandoned bases in the region while "Russian and other hostile intelligence officials" were mining the facilities "for insights into Western intelligence," Business Insider reports.

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Fiona Hill’s impeachment testimony serves as a warning about US election security and the 2020 race

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During her bombshell impeachment testimony before members of the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday morning, foreign affairs expert Fiona Hill not only made a strong case for President Donald Trump’s impeachment — she also gave Americans plenty of reason to be concerned about U.S. election security and the 2020 presidential election. Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller, during his public testimony earlier this year, made it abundantly clear that the Russian government under President Vladimir Putin interfered in the 2016 U.S. election and will no doubt interfere in the United States’ 2020 election if it can — and Hill, a former National Security Council (NSC) senior director specializing in Russian and European affairs, gave Americans plenty of reasons to be concerned about next year’s election.

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Trump White House shamelessly uses Fiona Hill’s testimony to paint Democrats as Russian puppets

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Even though former Trump National Security Council official Fiona Hill angrily denounced President Donald Trump and his allies for spreading Russian conspiracy theories during her impeachment inquiry testimony, the Trump White House is trying to turn her statements against House Democrats.

During her testimony, Hill said that Russia's actions during the 2016 presidential election are still being felt to this day, and they've all been negative for the United States.

"Our nation is being torn apart," she said. "Truth is questioned. Our highly professional and expert career foreign service is being undermined... The Russian government's goal is to weaken our country -- to diminish America's global role and to neutralize a perceived U.S. threat to Russian interests."

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