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McConnell refuses to say he will apply Merrick Garland standard and block Trump’s nominees as term ends

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Mitch McConnell apears on Fox News (screen grab)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) refused on Sunday to say that he would block President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominees in the final year of his term as was done to President Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland.

In an interview on Fox News Sunday, Fox News host Chris Wallace noted that Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh had received different treatment from that of Garland.

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“We didn’t attack Merrick Garland’s background and try to destroy him,” McConnell argued. “We didn’t go on a search and destroy mission. We simply followed the tradition in America, which is that if you have a party — a Senate of a different party then the president then you don’t fill a vacancy created in a presidential [election] year.”

“I have to pick up on something you said,” Wallace redirected. “When you blocked Merrick Garland’s nomination from President Obama, you basically said that we don’t do this in a presidential election year. And that we wait until the election and then whoever the people choose, they get to pick the Supreme Court nominee.”

Wallace added: “But what you just said now was it’s a question of whether or not the party in control of the Senate is different than the president.”

“If Donald Trump were to name somebody in the final year of his first term in 2020, are you saying that you wold go ahead with that?” the Fox News host wondered.

“I understand your question,” McConnell replied without answering the question.

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“So if you can’t answer my direct question — are you saying…” Wallace tried to ask again before getting cut off.

“The answer to your question is, we’ll see whether there’s a vacancy in 2020,” the Majority Leader quipped.

“But your not ruling out the possibility — since you’re the Republican majority leader and there’s a Republican president — that you would go for and push the nomination of a Trump nominee in the election year,” Wallace observed.

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“What I’m telling you is, the history is you have to go back to 1880 to find the last time a Senate control by a party different from the president filled a vacancy on the Supreme Court that was created in the middle of a presidential election,” McConnell insisted.

Watch the video below from Fox News.

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The Arab uprisings were weakened by online fakes

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The Arab uprisings a decade ago were supercharged by online calls to join the protests -- but the internet was soon flooded with misinformation, weakening the region's cyber-activists.

When Tunisian dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fled the country in January 2011, rumours and uncertainty created "panic and hysteria", said ex-activist and entrepreneur Houeida Anouar.

"January 14 was a horrible night, so traumatic," she said. "We heard gunfire, and a neighbour shouted 'hide yourselves, they're raping women'."

As pro-regime media pumped out misinformation, the flood of bogus news also spread to the internet, a space activists had long seen as a refuge from censorship and propaganda.

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Dr. Fauci warns of post-Thanksgiving COVID-19 surge in US

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The United States is the worst-affected country, with 266,074 Covid-19 deaths, and President Donald Trump's administration has issued conflicting messages on mask-wearing, travel and the danger posed by the virus.

"There almost certainly is going to be an uptick because of what has happened with the travel," Fauci told CNN's "State of the Union."

Travel surrounding Thursday's Thanksgiving holiday made this the busiest week in US airports since the pandemic began.

"We may see a surge upon a surge" in two or three weeks, Fauci added. "We don't want to frighten people, but that's the reality."

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Sidney Powell’s new election lawsuit cites election experts she won’t even name: legal expert

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President Donald Trump's former election lawyer, Sidney Powell, has filed her lawsuit in Georgia suing Gov. Brian Kemp (R-GA) for what she says is a fraudulent election.

But lawyer Mike Dunford explained that it doesn't exactly work that way. Reading through Powell's court document "Emergency Motion for Declaratory, Emergency, and Permanent Injunctive Relief and Memorandum in Support Thereof."

"If you want emergency relief it is very helpful to be as clear and concise as humanly possible," he explained. "Pointing the court back to your 100+ page complaint with its 29 exhibits isn't how that is best done. To put it very mildly."

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