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BUSTED: Trump nominee caught lying about his qualifications as he faces Senate confirmation

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President Donald Trump’s nominee to be the Director of National Intelligence is facing a stolen valor situation after claiming to have put terrorists in jail, NBC News reported Monday.

“[John] Ratcliffe, 53, has little experience in national security or intelligence. He was elected in 2014 with the support of the Tea Party, ousting 91-year-old incumbent Republican Ralph Hall. Ratcliffe had been the mayor of Heath, Texas — population 7,000 — from 2004 to 2012,” NBC reported. “During that time, Ratcliffe became a federal prosecutor, named chief of anti-terrorism and national security for the Eastern District of Texas. In 2007, Ratcliffe was named the district’s acting U.S. attorney by President George W. Bush.”

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“Although Ratcliffe’s website says he ‘put terrorists in prison,’ there is no evidence he ever prosecuted a terrorism case,” NBC reported.

“He convicted individuals who were funneling money to Hamas behind the front of a charitable organization,” the congressman’s office claimed in a 2015 press release.

“While he was U.S. attorney in East Texas, Ratcliffe was appointed as a special prosecutor in a terrorism funding case in Dallas, U.S. v. Holy Land Foundation, in which a Muslim charity was found guilty of funneling money to the Palestinian terror group,” NBC reported. “But Ratcliffe’s name does not appear in the Holy Land trial record.”

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In a secluded region in Russia’s Arctic they are rejecting Putin in rare protest

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Lyudmila Laptander, an activist advocating autonomy for her mineral-rich Nenets region in the Russian Arctic, worries authorities are planning to sacrifice its traditions for the promise of economic enrichment.

"If Nenets is merged with another region, I worry that no one will look after our language or our traditions, and that our small villages in the tundra will be forgotten," said Laptander, 61, a member of the Yasavey cultural group.

The autonomous region on the edge of the Arctic Ocean was gripped by protests in May against the government's plans to integrate it with neighbouring Arkhangelsk.

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People are paying to hire this donkey to crash their Zoom meetings

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The coronavirus pandemic has led millions of people to embrace meetings via Zoom, but admittedly, those can be as tedious as in-person conferences.

So one animal sanctuary in Canada, in dire need of cash after being forced to close to visitors, found a way to solve both problems.

Meet Buckwheat, a donkey at the Farmhouse Garden Animal Home, who is ready to inject some fun into your humdrum work-from-home office day -- for a price.

"Hello. We are crashing your meeting, we are crashing your meeting -- this is Buckwheat," says sanctuary volunteer Tim Fors, introducing the gray and white animal on a Zoom call.

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Republican senators are suddenly trying to social distance — from Trump

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There’s something interesting in today’s news:

A number of Republican Senators have said they are skipping the Republican National Convention this year. The convention was originally scheduled in Charlotte, North Carolina, but at Trump’s insistence was relocated to Jacksonville, Florida, last month. The stated reason was that Democratic North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper would not commit to permitting a full convention out of concerns about the spread of coronavirus, but the abrupt switch to Florida, less than 80 days before the convention, still seems odd to me. Regardless, the switch has created a new problem: Florida is in the midst of a dramatic spike in coronavirus cases, setting a record for new cases in a single day during the weekend —11,458—and running low of ICU beds.

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