Jan 10, 2017

Senate plows ahead on Russia sanctions

Sergei Ilnitsky / AP Pool

A bipartisan Senate group is prepping a fresh new round of Russia sanctions, per Politico. There are 10 co-sponsors, including Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio, John McCain, Ben Cardin, Ben Sasse and Rob Portman.

The new sanctions would:

  • Freeze assets and impose visa bans on hackers and those deemed to be tied to hackers
  • Impose sanctions on bank transactions with the Russian defense and intelligence sectors.
  • Put Obama's 2014 Russia sanctions into formal law.
  • Ban any recognition of Russian sovereignty over Crimea.
  • Authorize $100 million for the U.S. government to counter "fake news," among other provisions.

Why it matters: Trump and his Secretary of State nominee, Rex Tillerson, have signaled they'll be friendlier to Russia than the Obama administration. This is a sign that Trump will have to battle Congress to make that happen.

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Updated 28 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Updates: George Floyd protests continue for 8th day

Police officers wearing riot gear push back demonstrators outside of the White House on Monday. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued across the U.S. for the eighth consecutive day, prompting a federal response from the National Guard, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection.

The latest: The Minnesota Department of Human Rights announced an investigation on Tuesday into the conduct of the Minneapolis Police Department over the past decade, after filing a civil rights charge related to the death of George Floyd.

Minnesota files civil rights charge against police over George Floyd's killing

Police spray protesters with pepper spray during a demonstration outside the Third Police Precinct on Wednesday in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

The Minnesota Department of Human Rights (MDHR) announced an investigation on Tuesday into the conduct of the Minneapolis Police Department over the past decade, alongside a civil rights charge into the killing of George Floyd.

The big picture: Complaints of excessive force brought against the city's law enforcement officers "have become commonplace, especially by African-American residents," the New York Times reports.

GOP split over Trump's St. John's photo op

Sen. Tim Scott. Photo: Andrew Harnik - Pool/Getty Images

Republican lawmakers are weighing in on President Trump's decision to tear gas and physically clear peaceful protesters from outside the White House on Monday in order to stand in front of the historic St. John's Episcopal Church for a photo.

The state of play: While some Republicans are backing the president's actions and condemning protesters, others have criticized the decision and called for improvement.