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1:20 AM ET, March 14, 2018


 Top Items: 
Wall Street Journal:
‘Rex, Eat the Salad:’ Inside the Awkward Relationship Between Rex Tillerson and Donald Trump  —  Cabinet post was a sharp change for a former Exxon Mobil CEO who was used to calling the shots  —  WASHINGTON—In a private room in China's Great Hall of the People in November …
Michael C. Bender / Wall Street Journal:
Trump's Personal Assistant Is Fired  —  John McEntee was escorted out of White House for unspecified security issue  —  WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump's personal assistant, John McEntee, was escorted out of the White House on Monday, two senior administration officials said.
STATEMENT BY SASC CHAIRMAN JOHN McCAIN ON LEADERSHIP CHANGES AT STATE DEPARTMENT & CIA  —  Washington, D.C. ­- U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement today on the proposed leadership changes at the State Department and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA):
Discussion: Shadowproof and Vox
Matthew Rosenberg / New York Times:
New C.I.A. Deputy Director, Gina Haspel, Had Leading Role in Torture
Washington Post:
Trump ousts Tillerson, will replace him as secretary of state with CIA chief Pompeo
Alex Ward / Vox:
Gina Haspel, Trump's CIA director pick, oversaw the torture of dozens of people
The Daily Beast:
State Department Staffers Cry ‘Hallelujah’ Over Rex Tillerson's Downfall
Discussion: Spectator USA and Washington Post
Brett Samuels / The Hill:
Tillerson doesn't thank Trump in post-firing speech
Discussion: RedState
Associated Press:
Trump fires Tillerson at State, replacing with CIA's Pompeo
Emily Stewart / Vox:
Rex Tillerson gets to keep the big tax break he got as secretary of state
Discussion: TechCrunch, theGrio and Raw Story
New York Times:
Pennsylvania Special Election Results: 18th Congressional District  —  CandidatePartyVotesPct.  —  Dem.  —  Rick Saccone  —  Rep.  —  Lib.  —  First results expected around 8:20 p.m. Eastern time.  —  The Pennsylvania special election on Tuesday, in a Republican-leaning House district …
Ella Nilsen / Vox:
What happens if the Pennsylvania special election goes to a recount  —  The race is getting down to the wire.  —  The special election in Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District between Democrat Conor Lamb and Republican Rick Saccone is tight.  Election watchers are starting to speculate …
Discussion: New York Magazine
Dylan Scott / Vox:
The Pennsylvania special election shows the 2018 House battleground is enormous  —  By one calculation, more than 110 seats could theoretically be in play, based on tonight's results.  —  Set aside who actually won the Pennsylvania special House election between Democrat Conor Lamb …
Walter Shapiro / The Guardian:   Why it's time for Democrats to ditch Nancy Pelosi
Jessica Taylor / NPR:
Pennsylvania Special Election Too Close To Call
Discussion: Joe.My.God.
Ian Sample / The Guardian:
Stephen Hawking, modern cosmology's brightest star, dies aged 76  —  The physicist and author of A Brief History of Time has died, a family member has said … Stephen Hawking, the brightest star in the firmament of science, whose insights shaped modern cosmology and inspired global audiences in the millions, has died aged 76.
Discussion: Raw Story, Gizmodo, WPIX 11 New York and NPR
Stephen Hawking dies aged 76  —  Stephen Hawking has died at the age of 76, his family has said.  —  The British physicist was known for his work with black holes and relativity, and wrote several popular science books including A Brief History of Time.  —  “We are deeply saddened …
Andrew Kaczynski / CNN:
Stormy Daniels discussed alleged affair with Trump on 2007 radio show, host says  —  Radio Host: Stormy Daniels discussed alleged Trump affair on 2007 radio show  —  (CNN)Stephanie Clifford, the porn star known as Stormy Daniels, discussed her alleged affair with Donald Trump during …
Washington Post:   Stormy Daniels friend describes listening in on her phone calls with Trump
Kevin Breuninger / CNBC:
Rep. Trey Gowdy disagrees with GOP colleagues in House probe, says Russia wanted to hurt Hillary Clinton  — Rep. Trey Gowdy , R-S.C., says Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election was motivated at least in part “by a desire” to hurt Hillary Clinton's candidacy.
Kyle Cheney / Politico:
Gowdy breaks from GOP committee, says Russia worked to undermine Clinton
Discussion: Axios
Karoun Demirjian / Washington Post:
Intel panel Republicans seem to back away from finding that Russia was not trying to help Trump
Discussion: Vox
Michael Del Moro / ABC News:
Family of slain DNC staffer sues Fox News over retracted story  —  The family of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich, who was killed in 2016, has filed a lawsuit against Fox News, an investigative reporter and one of the network's contributors over a story about Rich and allegations …
Josh Gerstein / Politico:
Manafort could face ‘rest of life in prison,’ judge says  —  Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman, runs a significant risk of spending the rest of his life in prison and the evidence against him by special counsel Robert Mueller's office seems strong, a federal judge declared in an order made public on Tuesday.
Discussion: IJR, Raw Story, Mediaite and Political Wire
Katelyn Polantz / CNN:   Paul Manafort faces 305 years
Kevin Daley / The Daily Caller:
Judge Thomas Ellis III, who is presiding over the second prosecution …
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
New York Times:
Trump Eyes Replacing His Veterans Affairs Secretary With His Energy Chief  —  WASHINGTON — President Trump, fresh off replacing his secretary of state and C.I.A. director, is considering firing his secretary of veterans affairs and installing Energy Secretary Rick Perry in the post, according to two people close to the White House.
Discussion: Politico, CNN, RedState and Raw Story
Christian Gollayan / New York Post:
Dog dies after United flight attendant forces it into overhead bin  —  On Monday night, a dog died in a plane after a United Airlines flight attendant forced the dog into an overhead bin.  —  Maggie Gremminger, a passenger on a flight from Houston to New York's LaGuardia Airport, uploaded a photo of the dog's owners on Twitter.
See more of June Lara on Facebook
Discussion: The Root, Boing Boing and CBS Denver
Debra Birnbaum / Variety:
Claire Foy Was Paid Less Than Matt Smith on ‘The Crown’  —  JERUSALEM — With two critically acclaimed seasons of “The Crown” behind them, the drama's producers acknowledged that they face some hurdles for the third season.  —  “It's called libel,” quipped Andy Harries, CEO of Left Bank …
Julie Miller / Vanity Fair:
The Crown Paid Its Queen Elizabeth Less Than Its Prince Philip
Discussion: The Guardian, RedState and Daily Wire
Jeremy Roebuck /
Feds: Ex-aide to U.S. Rep. Bob Brady targeted in murder-for-hire plot  —  A former political strategist for U.S. Rep. Bob Brady was targeted in a murder-for-hire plot to stop him from cooperating with an ongoing corruption probe in Arkansas and Missouri, federal authorities said.
Sean Illing / Vox:
A Princeton sociologist spent 8 years asking rural Americans why they're so pissed off  —  Hint: it's not about the economy.  —  Robert Wuthnow, a sociologist at Princeton University, spent eight years interviewing Americans in small towns across the country.
Discussion: Mother Jones and Hullabaloo
Southern Poverty Law Center:
TWP chief Matthew Heimbach arrested for battery after affair with top spokesman's wife  —  Below is an update to an earlier story posted about Matthew Heimbach's arrest.  —  Matthew Heimbach, the leader of the Traditionalist Worker Party, is free on bond after being charged with battery …
Southern Poverty Law Center:
TWP chief Matthew Heimbach arrested, top spokesman quits
Maxwell Tani / The Daily Beast:
Elon Musk Wanted to Buy ‘The Onion,’ Now His Team's Hiring Its Staffers for a Secret Project … Early in February, the satirical news publication The Onion published a story about Elon Musk, titled, “Elon Musk Offering $1.2 Billion in Grants to Any Project That Promises to Make Him Feel Complete.”
Philip Jankowski / Austin American-Statesman:
BREAKING: Court of appeals upholds ‘sanctuary cities’ ban SB4  —  The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday ruled that Senate Bill 4, the state's so-called sanctuary cities ban, can remain the law of the land in Texas for now, stating that the cities that challenged the law will likely lose in their federal court suit.
Julián Aguilar / The Texas Tribune:
Federal appeals court's ruling upholds most of Texas' “sanctuary cities” law
Luke Harding / The Guardian:
Russian exile Nikolai Glushkov found dead at his London home  —  Close friend of late oligarch Boris Berezovsky claimed political asylum in UK after being convicted of fraud … A Russian exile who was close friends with the late oligarch Boris Berezovsky has been found dead in his London home, his lawyer has said.
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 More Items: 
Eugene Scott / Washington Post:
Like it or not, studies suggest that Clinton may not be wrong on white women voting like their husbands
Lil Wayne Threatens Rowdy Concertgoers with Guns
Discussion: and Daily Wire
Antonio Regalado / MIT Technology Review:
A startup is pitching a mind-uploading service that is “100 percent fatal”
 Earlier Items: 
Erica Jones / NBC4 Washington:
School Resource Officer Accidentally Fires Gun Inside Alexandria School: Police
Discussion: ThinkProgress and Joe.My.God.
Tony Romm / Washington Post:
Melania Trump will meet with tech giants including Facebook and Google to talk cyberbullying
Discussion: Gizmodo and Mashable
Aaron Gordon / Village Voice:
‘The Trains Are Slower Because They Slowed the Trains Down’
Connor Sheets /
Etowah sheriff pockets $750k in jail food funds, buys $740k beach house
Kashmir Hill / Gizmodo:
How Conservative Activists Catfished Twitter
New York Times:
The Needle's Back. Maybe This Time, It Will Really Be Wrong.
Discussion: Mother Jones and Mediaite