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GOP senators push Bill Barr to investigate whether Dems colluded with Ukraine to sink Trump

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Two GOP senators are asking the Justice Department to open an investigation into claims Democrats colluded with the Ukrainian government to find negative information about Trump during the run up to the 2016 election, The Washington Times reports.

Senators Ron Johnson (WI) and Charles E. Grassley (IA) reached out to Attorney General William Barr and asked him to provide more information on alleged Ukrainian attempts to undermine Trump’s presidential campaign. According to the pair, Democratic consultant Alexandra Chalupa worked with the Ukrainians on opposition research regarding Trump.

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The pair also reportedly want information regarding any alleged interactions Joe Biden has had with the Ukrainians.

“Ukrainian efforts abetted by a U.S. political party to interfere in the 2016 election should not be ignored,” the senators wrote in their letter to Barr. “Such allegations of corruption deserve due scrutiny, and the American people have a right to know when foreign forces attempted to undermine our Democrat processes.”

Featured image via Shutterstock/Flickr


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Google tightens political ads policy in effort to stop abuse

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Google on Wednesday updated how it handles political ads as online platforms remain under pressure to avoid being used to spread misleading information intended to influence voters.

The internet company said its rules already ban any advertiser, including those with political messages, from lying in ads. But it is making its policy more clear and adding examples of how that prohibits content such as doctored or manipulated images or video.

"It's against our policies for any advertiser to make a false claim -- whether it's a claim about the price of a chair or a claim that you can vote by text message, that election day is postponed, or that a candidate has died," Google ads product management vice president Scott Spencer said in an online post.

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Pope Francis begins Asia tour with visit to Buddhist temple

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Pope Francis will visit one of Thailand's famed gilded temples Thursday to meet the supreme Buddhist patriarch, on the first full day of his Asian tour aimed at promoting religious harmony.

The 82-year-old pontiff is on his first visit to Buddhist majority Thailand, where he will spend four days before setting off to Japan.

His packed schedule a day after touching down in Bangkok includes a meeting with the king and the prime minister before leading an evening mass expected to draw tens of thousands of people from across Thailand, where just over 0.5 percent of the population is Catholic.

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Hong Kong campus stalemate persists while US congress passes bill of support for democracy protesters

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Hardline Hong Kong protesters held their ground on Thursday in a university besieged for days by police as the US passed a bill lauding the city's pro-democracy movement, setting up a likely clash between Washington and Beijing.

Beijing did not immediately respond to the passage in Washington of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which voices strong support for the "democratic aspirations of the Hong Kong people."

But China had already threatened retaliation if the bill is signed into law by President Donald Trump, and state-run media warned Thursday the legislation would not prevent Beijing from intervening forcefully to stop the "mess" gripping the financial hub.

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