Ex-Trump aide refuses subpoena; Two parties bid to govern Italy

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  • Ex-Trump aide refuses special counsel subpoena – Sam Nunberg said on Monday he would not comply with a subpoena from U.S. special counsel Robert Mueller’s as part of his investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election campaign. Nunberg spent much of the day speaking to various news outlets about his decision. Nunberg started working for Trump in 2011 but he was fired from the Republican’s campaign in August 2015.

  • Anti-establishment parties claim right to govern Italy  – Voters in Italy’s election backed right-wing and populist parties, which means forming a government may now take weeks of negotiations and coalition-building. Following projections based on partial results that suggest ex-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia-led right-wing coalition looks set to win the most seats in the lower house of parliament, “two anti-establishment leaders made early plays to govern Italy.” (Reuters) The anti-immigrant League said it should rule Italy given that its center-right alliance won the most votes. “We have the right and duty to govern,” League head Matteo Salvini said. The leader of the rival 5-Star Movement said that party was also ready to assume the leadership position.
  • Top Republican disagrees with Trump on tariffs – Republican House speaker Paul Ryan urged President Donald J. Trump against moving ahead with the steel and aluminum tariffs the president proposed last week. “We are extremely worried about the consequences of a trade war and are urging the White House to not advance with this plan,” said a spokeswoman for Ryan. The New York Times called the statement “a dramatic departure for Mr. Ryan,” who worked closely with Trump to pass major tax legislation in 2017. Trump tweeted Monday that the proposed tariffs might be lifted from Mexico and Canada “if NAFTA is renegotiated to terms more favorable to the US.” (CNN)
  • Aid enters Eastern Ghouta, but some medical supplies blocked – A convoy of 46 trucks became the first aid to reach the besieged rebel-held area of Damascus since mid-February, though the World Health Organization and International Red Cross both said some medical supplies had been removed by the Syrian government. President Assad said on state television yesterday that the offensive against “terrorism” should continue, while the U.S. has condemned the government’s actions and said Russia, an ally of Assad, is killing innocent civilians.
  • South heads to North Korea – A delegation from South Korea is traveling to North Korea with the aim of forging talks between Pyongyang and the United States. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is hosting a dinner for two South Korean delegates. The focus of the delegation is to create conditions for talks between Washington and North Korea. Relations between the Koreas have warmed since the recent Olympics.

  • Putin says Russia will ‘never’ extradite 13 nationals indicted by Mueller – Putin said he would never extradite the 13 Russians who were criminally charged for interfering in the 2016 U.S. election last month, according to The Guardian. He also said they did not act on behalf of his government and denied that his government holds any compromising material on U.S. President Donald J. Trump.
  • Catholic cardinal attends hearing on sex charges – The treasurer of the Vatican, Cardinal George Pell, appeared in an Australian court for a hearing that will decide whether he stands trial on historic sexual assault charges. Pell, 76, denied the charges which police described as accusations by “multiple complainants.” He will plead not guilty to all charges, his lawyer said last year.

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  • Open science is garnering a lot of attention. It is often confused with research articles made available to the large public without any pre-payment or subscription fees. However, open science is not confined solely to research article access. It covers every aspect of science, right from the time when scientists apply for a research grant to the final publication and dissemination of results obtained.  Scientists have been talking about the pros and cons of doing science with an open and public monitoring. The debate is far from over. This project discusses the different points of view.

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  • As a nation unwinds, Leopoldo López, the opposition’s most prominent leader, sits under house arrest and contemplates what might still be possible. Since the publication of this article in the New York Times Magazine, armed guards from the Venezuelan intelligence service have raided and occupied the residence of López. Members of the Venezuelan National Assembly gathered in front of the house, along with local media and citizens, to protest the invasion and threats by the Venezuelan government that López will be returned to military prison. — Charles Anderson

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