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Biden Warns Putin on Hacking: US Will ‘Take Any Action Necessary’ to Protect America

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President Joe Biden issued a warning in a call to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday that the United States will “take any action necessary” to protect America, after a wave of Russia-based hacking against U.S. companies in recent weeks, including a $70 million ransomware attack, and reportedly an attack on the RNC.

“President Biden reiterated that the United States will take any necessary action to defend its people and its critical infrastructure in the face of this continuing challenge,” the White House says in a published readout of the call.

President Biden “spoke with President Putin about the ongoing ransomware attacks by criminals based in Russia that have impacted the United States and other countries around the world,” the White House adds.

“President Biden underscored the need for Russia to take action to disrupt ransomware groups operating in Russia and emphasized that he is committed to continued engagement on the broader threat posed by ransomware. President Biden reiterated that the United States will take any necessary action to defend its people and its critical infrastructure in the face of this continuing challenge.”

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Friday afternoon the call lasted about an hour.

The call comes just weeks after President Biden met face-to-face with Putin, and warned him to rein-in the Russian hackers, some of whom are reportedly Russian government actors.

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BREAKING NEWS

Sotomayor Blasts Fellow Justices After SCOTUS Agrees to Take Up US Case Against Texas Abortion Ban but Not Block Law

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The U.S. Supreme Court has just agreed to hear arguments in federal government’s case against Texas’ abortion ban, after the Dept. of Justice petitioned the Court to intervene. DOJ had asked the justices to uphold a district court’s ruling that blocked the law but Friday afternoon conservatives on the nation’s highest court refused to do so, allowing the near-total ban to remain the law of the land.

Contrary to several breaking news reports, the Supreme Court will not be hearing arguments on the “substance” of the federal government’s case against the Texas abortion ban itself, known as SB 8, but merely “whether the US can sue ‘the State, state court judges, state court clerks, other state officials, or all private parties to prohibit S.B. 8 from being enforced,'” University of Texas law professor Stephen Vladeck notes:

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor blasted her conservative colleagues for not placing a hold on the law itself, as Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern reports, saying: “Every day the Court fails to grant relief is devastating, both for individual women and for our constitutional system as a whole.”

Arguments are set for November 1. The Court at that time will also hear arguments from Whole Women’s Health, which is also suing Texas over its abortion ban.

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change.

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BREAKING NEWS

Biden Just Announced He Would Support Killing the Filibuster to Get Voting Rights Passed – ‘And Maybe More’

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President Joe Biden just made big news – and made a lot of Democrats happy.

Up until now he has strongly opposed killing the filibuster, an antiquated, undemocratic Jim Crow relic.

But at a CNN town hall Thursday night President Biden suggested he would support eliminating the filibuster to pass crucial voting rights legislation, the Freedom to Vote Act.

When it comes to voting rights,” host Anderson Cooper stopped to confirm what the President had said, “just so I’m clear, though, you would entertain the notion of doing away with the filibuster on that one issue, is that correct?”

“And maybe more,” President Biden teased, to applause.

This new position comes just one day after Republicans for the third time blocked debate on the Freedom to Vote Act, with not a single member of the Senate GOP caucus will to even allow a discussion on the legislation that would protect the right to vote.

President Biden suggested he would be unable to pass his Build Back Better agenda if he agreed to “straight up” end the filibuster, saying he would lose three Democratic votes in the Senate if he did. But after that passes, he made clear, the voting rights bill will be his focus and he would be support eliminating the filibuster to get it passed.

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. 

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BREAKING NEWS

Just 9 Republicans Joined Democrats to Uphold the Rule of Law and Vote to Hold Steve Bannon in Criminal Contempt

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Only nine House Republicans joined with every Democrat in voting to hold Trump ally Steve Bannon in criminal contempt of Congress. Thursday afternoon’s final vote was 229-202.

Bannon refused to obey a lawful congressional subpoena ordering him to hand over documents and to submit to congressional investigators for a deposition. His legal defense was mocked by experts after he tried to invoke executive privilege.

Minority Whip Steve Scalise had directed House Republicans to vote against the motion.

Top voting rights attorney Marc Elias warns against praising the nine Republicans for doing the right thing in this one instance: “all nine of them voted against voting rights legislation,” he tweeted.

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