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6:00 PM ET, February 18, 2016


 Top Items: 
Jim Yardley / New York Times:
Pope Francis Suggests Donald Trump Is ‘Not Christian’  —  ABOARD THE PAPAL AIRLINER — Inserting himself into the Republican presidential race, Pope Francis on Wednesday suggested that Donald J. Trump “is not Christian” because of the harshness of his campaign promises to deport more immigrants …
Donald J Trump for President:
DONALD J. TRUMP RESPONSE TO THE POPE  —  If and when the Vatican is attacked by ISIS, which as everyone knows is ISIS's ultimate trophy, I can promise you that the Pope would have only wished and prayed that Donald Trump would have been President because this would not have happened.
Nick Gass / Politico:
Trump goes to war with the pope  —  Pope Francis may have picked a fight with the wrong bully.  —  After months of taking subtle swipes at Republican politicians, the pontiff went for a direct punch at Donald Trump on Thursday, suggesting the GOP poll leader is “not Christian” …
Chris Cillizza / Washington Post:
Why aren't we talking about how big a frontrunner Donald Trump is for the Republican nomination?  —  Barring some sort of cataclysm, Donald Trump is going to win the South Carolina Republican presidential primary easily on Saturday.  That will be his second straight large victory …
Ben Shapiro / Breitbart:
Pope Francis Rips Capitalism, American Immigration Policy at Mexican Border
Los Angeles Times:
Trump and Pope Francis clash over immigration, another extraordinary campaign twist
CBS News:
CBS News poll: Trump maintains commanding lead over GOP field  —  Donald Trump (35 percent) continues to hold a commanding lead over the rest of the field, with a 17 point lead over his closest rival, Texas Senator Ted Cruz (18 percent).  John Kasich (11 percent) has now risen to a virtual third-place tie with Marco Rubio (12 percent).
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
Scalia's death has landed Republicans in a nasty trap  —  THE MORNING PLUM:  —  A new CBS News poll out this morning finds that Donald Trump continues to dominate among Republican voters nationally: He's backed by 35 percent; Ted Cruz has 18 percent; and Marco-Mentum has 12 percent.
CBS News:
CBS News poll: The next Supreme Court justice, Obama, and the economy  —  The U.S. Supreme Court  —  With an unexpected vacancy on the Supreme Court as a result of Justice Antonin Scalia's death, it's unclear if he will be replaced before the November election.
Garrett Epps / The Atlantic:
The Republicans' Scalia Hysteria  —  A half-century ago, the brilliant British comedy troupe Beyond the Fringe produced “The End of the World,” a skit in which a group of cultists gather atop a mountain to greet the Apocalypse, prophesied for that very day.  “Now is the end!” they chant.
Scott Thistle / Sun Journal:
Gov. LePage says Congress should follow Constitution on Supreme Court vacancy
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and Politico
Fox News:
White House: Obama ‘regrets’ decision to filibuster Supreme Court Justice Alito
Amie Parnes / The Hill:
Tightening race rattles Clinton World's nerves  —  Allies of Hillary Clinton are growing nervous as the Democratic presidential race with Bernie Sanders tightens ahead of contests in Nevada and South Carolina.  —  A new CNN/ORC poll released Wednesday found Clinton with a 1-point lead in Nevada, which hosts its caucuses on Saturday.
Margaret Talev / Bloomberg Business:
Clinton Strong in South Carolina But Warning Signs Ahead, Bloomberg Poll Shows  —  Hillary Clinton holds a commanding lead over Bernie Sanders in South Carolina thanks to a 3-to-1 advantage among African-American voters, according to a Bloomberg Politics poll that shows the Democrats' fourth …
Associated Press:
Superdelegates help Clinton expand her lead despite NH loss  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — So much for Bernie Sanders' big win in New Hampshire.  —  Since then, Hillary Clinton has picked up endorsements from 87 more superdelegates to the Democratic National Convention, dwarfing Sanders' gain …
Patrick Howley / Breitbart:
Exclusive — SC Blogger: Marco Rubio's Campaign Manager Pushed Story That Nikki Haley Had An Affair With Me  —  COLUMBIA, S.C. — The campaign manager of 2016 GOP presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) once pushed out the story that South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley had an affair …
Elianayjohnson / National Review:
Down on Jeb's Prospects, Bob Dole Says Marco Rubio is His Second Choice
Discussion: Politico and Political Wire
Alexis Levinson / National Review:
The Kasich Campaign's Next Moves
Hadas Gold / Politico:
MSNBC's Trump town hall falls to CNN and Fox News in the ratings  —  MSNBC's choice to host Donald Trump in an exclusive town hall on Wednesday did not result in a ratings win against competitors CNN or Fox News.  —  During the 8 p.m. hour, when MSNBC's Trump town hall was up against CNN's GOP town hall …
Discussion: RedState and Hullabaloo
Isaac Chotiner / Slate:
MSNBC's Town Hall With Donald Trump Was Disgraceful
Ben Rhodes:
President Obama is going to Cuba.  Here's why:  —  Cuba is only 90 miles from Florida, but for a long time the distance between our two countries seemed a lot greater.  —  For more than fifty years, the United States pursued a policy of isolating and pressuring Cuba.
Spencer Hall /
A note from the editorial director  —  Earlier today, SB Nation posted a story called “Who is Daniel Holtzclaw?” that attempted to find out the backstory of convicted serial rapist Daniel Holtzclaw.  The story focused on his football background in particular.
Barry Petchesky / Deadspin:
SB Nation Publishes, Deletes “Complete Failure” Of A Story About Convicted Rapist Cop Daniel Holtzclaw
Kaitlan Collins / The Daily Caller:
Kid Rock Was Asked, ‘Who Are Your Heroes?’  — You're Going To Love His Answer  —  Kid Rock was recently asked who his heroes are, and the 45-year-old singer gave the most American answer out there.  —  During a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Robert Ritchie revealed who he looks up to.
Mikhail Klikushin / The New York Observer:
Russian TV Trashed Michelle Obama Last Night  —  New documentary series seeks to expose ‘American corruption’ and targets Obamas  —  On Sunday, Russian TV host Dmitry Kiselyov, who enjoys the largest audience among news programs in Russia, announced in his prime-time program News of the Week …
Ross Douthat / New York Times:
How to Break a Party  —  Beginning with the Tea Party wave and continuing through the not-Romney musical chairs of the 2012 Republican primary and the battles over debt limits and fiscal cliffs, most coverage of the Republican Party's internal divisions during the Obama era fell into an easy groove …
Aislinn Pulley / Truthout Stories:
Black Struggle Is Not a Sound Bite: Why I Refused to Meet With President Obama  —  As a Black organizer, I do not feel that a handshake with the president is the best way for me to honor the Black freedom fighters whose labor laid the groundwork for the historic moment we are living in.
Discussion: Politico and The Daily Caller
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 More Items: 
Nellie Andreeva / Deadline:
Amazon Orders ‘I Love Dick’ Comedy Pilot From Jill Soloway
Discussion: Jezebel, Guardian and The Verge
Kevin Landers / WBNS-TV:
Future Of Nazareth Restaurant In Doubt As Owner Mulls Future In U.S. (UPDATED)
Fox News:
Palestinian leader gives wife-beating tips on Gaza TV
Discussion: BizPac Review
Daniel Nussbaum / Breitbart:
Susan Sarandon on Backing Bernie: 'I Don't Vote with My Vagina'
Discussion: New York Post and Rush Limbaugh
Tim Higgins / Bloomberg Business:
Sanders Supporters Like Chipotle, While Trump Fans Prefer Sonic
Michael Grunwald / Politico:
Here's what a Biden campaign would look like
 Earlier Items: 
Kelly McLaughlin For / Daily Mail:
Mystery black rain hits Michigan town: Tar-like substance falls from the sky and leaves residents …
Bloomberg Business:
Surging Cruz Is Big Oil's New Crush as Donors Cool to Bush
Discussion: Trail Blazers Blog
Benny Johnson / Independent Journal Review:
US Senator Reads Mean Tweets From Trump Supporters
Discussion: RedState and Business Insider
Molly Redden / Guardian:
Abortion ban linked to dangerous miscarriages at Catholic hospital, report claims
Discussion: Shakesville and Jezebel
Bill Chappell / NPR:
Oregon Occupier Countersues For $666 Billion, Citing ‘Works Of The Devil’
Bradford Richardson / The Hill:
Obama ‘Hope’ designer endorses Sanders
Nate Cohn / New York Times:
Mainstream G.O.P. Field of Three Faces Brutal Delegate Math
Discussion: FiveThirtyEight and Politico

From Techmeme:

Parmy Olson / Bloomberg:
Google's Gemini video demo of its multimodal capabilities wasn't carried out in real time or in voice; the model was shown still images and given text prompts

Wall Street Journal:
The US and UK governments jointly accuse Russia's FSB of orchestrating a wide-ranging, global hacking campaign since 2015 to interfere in British elections

Jessica Lyons Hardcastle / The Register:
A researcher says a years-old Bluetooth authentication flaw lets attackers inject keystrokes to run arbitrary commands on Apple, Android, and some Linux devices

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