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Obama Expels Russian Diplomats Over Election Meddling, Kremlin Promises to Push Back and More You Missed in Politics Today

by Countable | 12.29.16

It’s difficult to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in this country and to break through the clutter, so we’re here to make it easier. Here’s what we at Countable are reading today:

1. "Obama orders Russia expulsions, sanctions for interference in 2016 elections"

"President Barack Obama on Thursday ordered the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats and sanctioned Russian intelligence officials who Washington believes were involved in hacking U.S. political groups in the 2016 presidential election."

"The measures, taken during the last days of Obama's presidency, mark a new low in U.S.-Russian relations which have deteriorated over serious differences on Ukraine and Syria."

Read more at Reuters.

2. "Kremlin spokesman vows retaliation against U.S. sanctions"

"The Kremlin on Friday issued a stark warning to the United States, saying it would respond in kind to the U.S. expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats and other sanctions following the Russian hacking of U.S. political parties before the 2016 presidential elections."

"“I cannot say now what the response will be, although, as we know, there is no alternative here to the principle of reciprocity," said Russian presidential spokesman Dmitri Peskov in a statement late Thursday evening reported by the Interfax news service.”

"He said that Russian President Vladimir Putin would decide the exact response."

Read more at The Washington Post.

3. "Russia’s Putin says Syrian government, opposition sign cease-fire deal"

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a ceasefire between Syrian opposition groups and the Syrian government starting at midnight on Thursday.

The Kremlin statement came after Moscow, Iran and Turkey said they were ready to broker a peace deal in the nearly six-year-old Syrian war.

Read more at CNBC.

4. "The VA Hooked Vets on Opioids, Then Failed Them Again"

"The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs acknowledges its role in creating a large population of opioid-addicted veterans by overprescribing painkillers for injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder. After the agency tightened prescribing practices in 2013, many veterans bought pain pills sold illicitly on the streets. When those became too expensive, they sought heroin and fentanyl, a potent synthetic narcotic."

"The VA is now struggling to undo the damage. Hampered by budgetary and bureaucratic obstacles, it has failed to build a rehabilitation program robust enough to meet the overwhelming demand for treatment from the tens of thousands of veterans with opioid addiction, say analysts who have studied the issue. That has left many veterans to fend for themselves, tapping whatever resources they can find to battle a chronic, complex—and frequently fatal—condition."

Read more at the Wall Street Journal.

5. "New Judicial Watch documents: Obama spent taxpayer money campaigning for Hillary Clinton"

"President Barack Obama appeared to spend $360,236 of taxpayer money on a campaign trip to North Carolina on Air Force One with Hillary Clinton, a Freedom of Information Act request by a watchdog group found."

"Air Force One costs $180,118 per hour in flight, and the aircraft flew two hours round-trip to make the July 2016 trip to North Carolina, the Air Force’s Air Mobility Command Headquarters said in its response to a FOIA request by the conservative group Judicial Watch."

Read more at The Blaze.

— Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: Pavel Kazachkov - Flickr / Creative Commons)


Written by Countable

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