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1:40 PM ET, March 31, 2019


 Top Items: 
Michael Schwirtz / New York Times:
Russia Ordered a Killing That Made No Sense.  Then the Assassin Started Talking.  —  RIVNE, Ukraine — The target lived on the sixth floor of a cheerless, salmon-colored building on Vidinska Street, across from a thicket of weeping willows.  Oleg Smorodinov found him there, rented a small apartment on the ground floor, and waited.
Kris Schneider / ABC News:
Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney guarantees Americans covered by ‘Obamacare’ won't lose health care  —  The acting chief of staff said the debate about pre-existing conditions is over.  —  Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said Sunday that if the Trump administration succeeds …
Discussion: Politico
Steven Lemongello / Orlando Sentinel:
Sen. Rick Scott becomes Trump point man on GOP health care policy  —  Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla. speaks during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on “Nuclear Policy and Posture” on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 29, 2019.  (Carolyn Kaster / AP)  —  Privacy Policy
ABC News:
‘This Week’ Transcript 3-31-19: Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and Sen. Amy Klobuchar
Discussion: POLITICUSUSA and New York Post
Washington Post:   For Trump's ‘Party of Healthcare,’ there is no health-care plan
Avery Anapol / The Hill:
‘Fox & Friends’ apologizes for headline about ‘3 Mexican Countries’  —  “Fox & Friends Weekend” apologized on Sunday after displaying a graphic referring to “3 Mexican countries,” drawing attention on social media.  —  The show displayed a graphic at the bottom of the screen that read “Trump cuts U.S. aid to 3 Mexican countries.”
Associated Press:
Biden defends his behavior with women  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Vice President Joe Biden said Sunday he doesn't believe he ever acted inappropriately toward women but will “listen respectfully” to suggestions he did.  —  Biden, who is deciding whether to join the 2020 presidential race …
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Jasmine Wright / CNN:
Elizabeth Warren says Joe Biden needs to give an answer for allegation of inappropriate touching
Discussion: Daily Wire
Martin Matishak / Politico:
Trump not bluffing about closing U.S.-Mexico border, Conway says  —  White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said Sunday that President Donald Trump is serious about possibly closing the U.S.-Mexico border this week.  —  “It certainly isn't a bluff.  You can take the president seriously,” …
Trump's post-Mueller policy wars
New York Times:
Why Elizabeth Warren, a Presumed Front-Runner, Trails Her Rivals in Fund-Raising  —  MEMPHIS — On a Sunday afternoon earlier this month, Senator Elizabeth Warren began a swing through the South by proclaiming that she was running “a different type of campaign” — one that did not include …
MJ Lee / CNN:
Elizabeth Warren's finance director leaving campaign  —  Elizabeth Warren: I'm not taking a dime of PAC money  —  (CNN)Michael Pratt, Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren's finance director, is in the process of leaving Warren's presidential campaign as a result of the senator's recent decision …
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Marianne LeVine / Politico:
One of the GOP's brightest female stars is dogged by Trump in 2020  —  ADEL, Iowa —Joni Ernst had barely kicked off a town hall one morning here recently when the barrage of complaints about Donald Trump began.  —  One after one, constituents took to the microphone to grill …
Discussion: POLITICUSUSA and Raw Story
Steve Coll / New Yorker:
The Media and the Mueller Report's March Surprise  —  The Attorney General's summary reported no conspiracy, but serious newsrooms and journalists did the job they are supposed to do.  —  Last year, the Times and the Washington Post shared a Pulitzer Prize for “deeply sourced …
Carrie Dann / NBC News:
Most Americans don't think Trump is in the clear yet on Russia, new poll finds  —  President Trump's approval remains stable and a third of voters say they don't know whether the summary of Mueller's findings clears him of wrongdoing in a new NBC News/WSJ poll.
Gavin de Becker / The Daily Beast:
Bezos Investigation Finds the Saudis Obtained His Private Data  —  The National Enquirer's lawyer tried to get me to say there was no hacking.  —  For 40 years, I've advised at-risk public figures and government agencies on high-stakes security matters.  My career has included working with the CIA …
Jesse McKinley / New York Times:
New York Agrees to Congestion Pricing, Mansion Tax and Plastic Bag Ban in $175 Billion Budget Deal  —  ALBANY — After weeks of intraparty bickering, the New York State Legislature and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo agreed to a $175 billion budget early Sunday morning, packed with a bevy of progressive programs …
Discussion: Axios and Simple Justice
Harry Stevens / Axios:
First of its kind study shows CEO political donations favor GOP  —  A new, first of its kind study tracks the political leanings of CEOs by examining 18 years of political contributions by more than 3,800 CEOs of S&P 1500 companies.  —  The big picture: The chief executives …
Discussion: Raw Story and POLITICUSUSA
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 More Items: 
New York Times:
The Secret Death Toll of America's Drones
New York Times:
‘Breaches Everywhere’: Midwest Levees Burst, and Tough Questions Follow
Mike Lillis / The Hill:
Dems worry Mueller findings could expand executive power
Discussion: Politico and Hullabaloo
Tamar Auber / Mediaite:
Son of Stormfront Founder Reveals His Family Watches Tucker Carlson for Tips on ‘White Nationalist Talking Points’
The Guardian:
Leaked reports reveal severe abuse of Saudi political prisoners
John Sexton / Hot Air:
AOC: Our Side Doesn't Name-Call Like Those Xenophobic, White Supremacists On The Right
Siegfried Mortkowitz / Politico:
Political outsider wins Slovakia's presidential election
 Earlier Items: 
Jennifer Rubin / Washington Post:
When is a summary not a summary?  —  For a week, criticism rained …
Andy Ngo / New York Post:
Inside the suspicious rise of gay hate crimes in Portland
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit and
Washington Post:
Mueller report findings upend partisan views of probe, poll finds
Discussion: Axios
Alex N. Press /
Forget Your Middle-Class Dreams
David D. Kirkpatrick / New York Times:
A Leonardo Made a $450 Million Splash. Now There's No Sign of It.
Discussion: Althouse
Gavin Newsham / New York Post:
Trump is the world's worst cheat at golf, players and celebs say
Coral Davenport / New York Times:
Trump's Order to Open Arctic Waters to Drilling Was Unlawful, Federal Judge Finds
Discussion: Washington Times and The Root

From Techmeme:

Meta says it is testing its Meta AI chatbot with WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger users in India and parts of Africa

Ken Yeung / VentureBeat:
Elon Musk's xAI previews Grok-1.5 Vision, its first multimodal model, and says the AI model will be available soon to “early testers and existing Grok users”

Wes Davis / The Verge:
Bluesky says it is now allowing heads of state to sign up, and adds features including hashtags in profile bios and the ability to long press a link to share

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