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Latest revelation of Trump action opens new avenue in probe

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s effort to keep Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a vocal and loyal supporter of his election bid, in charge of an investigation into his campaign offers special counsel Robert Mueller yet another avenue to explore as his prosecutors work to untangle potential evidence of obstruction. The federal investigation into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia already includes a close look at whether Trump’s actions as president constitute an effort to impede that same probe. Those include the firing of FBI Director James Comey, an allegation by Comey that Trump encouraged him to end an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn and the president’s role in drafting an incomplete and potentially mislea...

Good news from today’s jobs report: The tight labor market is helping to reduce the racial unemployment gap.

Toward the end of his life, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was pushing hard on a full-employment agenda.  (AP) One wants to always be careful not to over interpret any jobs report — the numbers are noisy in the monthly data. But when a number pops out that makes sense in terms of both theory and empirical evidence, it’s legitimate to take note. In this spirit, note that the African American unemployment rate hit 6.8 percent last month, the lowest on record, with data going back to the early 1970s. In addition, the gap between black and white unemployment, measured as the black rate minus the white rate, hit 3.1 percentage points, also the lowest on record. Source: BLS Now, you may well be saying, “Wait up; 6.8 percent doesn’t sound all that low, especially given that the overall jobless r...

How Mitt Romney could revive Mormon opposition to Donald Trump

Then-President-elect Trump meets with Mitt Romney in December 2016. Could Romney become his leading GOP foil? (Carolyn Kaster/AP) In 2016, Mitt Romney was heralded as a savior of the fledgling #NeverTrump movement of Republican resistance to their party’s nominee. Yet within weeks of the election, he was being mocked for that narrative’s stunning coup de grâce: Romney dining on Michelin-starred frog legs and vying to be Trump’s secretary of state. A year later, though, Romney could once again put himself in the vanguard of GOP resistance to Trump. The announcement this week by Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) that he would not seek reelection this year may mean Romney runs for the seat instead. That could revive the Mormon wing of the anti-Trump movement — which never quite coalesced in time t...

This Russian presidential contender has zero chance against Putin. But a man can dream.

A worker picks strawberries at the Lenin collective farm outside Moscow. Long-shot Communist presidential candidate Pavel Grudinin, who operates the farm, touts it as a showcase for the socialism he envisages for Russia if he wins. (Sergei Bobylev/TASS VIA GETTY IMAGES) There’s a Russian candidate for president who is wildly popular on YouTube, where he slams the policies of President Vladi­mir Putin. He has a nationwide political machine and a constituency of millions who are fed up with the current Kremlin occupant and his oligarch friends. Although Putin is overwhelmingly favored to win a new six-year term March 18, this contender has as good a chance as anyone to come in second. And no, his name is not Alexei Navalny.     It’s Pavel Grudinin, the surprise nominee of the Communist Party...

Kuwait City stadium barrier collapse injures 40 football fans

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption As many as 40 Omani fans were injured when the barrier gave way Dozens of football fans have been injured after a glass barrier collapsed during celebrations following a match held at a stadium in Kuwait. The incident occurred when Omani fans rushed to greet their team after their win in the 23rd Arabian Gulf Cup final. “The barrier went down due to pressure caused by waves of moving fans,” state news agency Kuna reported. Oman beat the United Arab Emirates (UAE) 5-4 in a penalty shootout at the Jaber al-Ahmad stadium. Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Dozens of people were taken to hospital for assessment About 40 people sustained “minor injuries” in Friday’s incident, with some fans taken to hospital after ...

Traffic-stopping red-carpet looks from Golden Globes past

Lights, camera, fashion! The 2017 Golden Globes are almost underway and we can’t wait to see how the stars light up this year’s red carpet. But for now, revisit some of the greatest (fashion) hits, starting with Scarlett Johansson’s Valentino look at the 63rd annual Golden Globes ceremony on Jan. 16, 2006.

Today in History: January 6

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Bushfires destroy buildings in Australia as heatwave melts highway surface

© Michael Dodge/Getty Images Firefighters attend to an out of control bushfire in Carrum Downs on January 6, 2018 in Australia. High temperatures and winds contributed to the blaze which began earlier this afternoon. Firefighters attended the scene where residents have been issued with a watch and act warning. Bushfires in Australia destroyed buildings and threatened lives on Saturday as a heatwave in three states brought temperatures strong enough to melt the bitumen on a highway. A fire raging out of control set several structures ablaze on the outskirts of Melbourne, the country’s second largest city, and the capital of the southeastern state of Victoria. The state’s emergency management commissioner, Craig Lapsley, said hot temperatures had combined with dry weather, strong...

Saudi Arabia Arrests 11 Princes Protesting Over Bills, Report Says

Saudi authorities made a fresh round of arrests of royal-family members as a group of princes staged a palace protest in the capital over the non-payment of their electricity and water bills. Security services on Thursday arrested the 11 princes after they refused to leave Qasr Al-Hokm in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s Attorney General, Sheikh Saud Al Mojeb, said in an emailed statement. The princes, who objected to a decree that ordered the state to stop paying their utility bills, will be held at al-Ha’er prison pending their trial, Al Mojeb said. “No one is above the law in Saudi Arabia, everyone is equal and is treated the same as others,” Al Mojeb said. “Any person, regardless of their status or position, will be held accountable should they decide not to follow the rules and regulations of t...