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5:50 PM ET, July 1, 2020

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Mitch Prothero / Business Insider:
Russia did pay extremists to attack US soldiers in Afghanistan, according to 3 separate Taliban sources  — Sources in the Taliban — two current commanders and one former — have confirmed to Insider that Russia pays extremists in Afghanistan to attack US soldiers.
Jim Sciutto / CNN:
Trump's resistance led intel agencies to brief him less and less on Russia  —  Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump's resistance to intelligence warnings about Russia led his national security team, including those who delivered the President's Daily Brief to brief him verbally less often …
Discussion: Alternet.org and DownWithTyranny!
Fadel Allassan / Axios:
Bolton says he would have briefed Trump on Russian bounty intelligence  —  Former national security adviser John Bolton told CBS News' “The Takeout Podcast” on Wednesday that he would have personally briefed President Trump if he saw intelligence that Russian officials offered bounties …
Discussion: New York Times and Fox News
Politico:
Russia bounty flap highlights intel breakdown under Trump
Discussion: The Daily Caller and Mediaite
Grace Segers / CBS News:
Bolton says Russia controversy highlights Trump's “lack of interest in intelligence”
Discussion: The Hill and New York Times
CNN:
White House says Trump reads amid questions about his handling of intelligence briefing
Discussion: Raw Story
Jacob Pramuk / CNBC:
Biden expands lead in swing states as voters hammer Trump over coronavirus, CNBC/Change poll says  — Voters in six 2020 swing states largely disapprove of how President Trump is handling the coronavirus as the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the country, a CNBC/Change Research poll found.
RELATED:
Harry Enten / CNN:   2020's biggest difference with 2016: Trump loses the honesty debate
Jed Graham / Investor's Business Daily:   Joe Biden Extends Lead As Coronavirus, Protests Sink President Trump Job Approval: IBD/TIPP Poll
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
Trump said ‘experience’ was his edge over Biden.  A poll shows voters disagree by a remarkable margin.
Discussion: Associated Press and The Hill
Richard Lim / Washington Examiner:   Are we being set up for another stunning Trump win?
Frank Bruni / New York Times:   Is Trump Toast?  —  There's a persuasive argument that the 2020 election is already over.
Jonathan Swan / Axios:
Scoop: Trump regrets Kushner advice  —  President Trump has told people in recent days that he regrets following some of son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner's political advice — including supporting criminal justice reform — and will stick closer to his own instincts …
Tucker Carlson / RealClearPolitics:
Tucker Carlson: Going Forward Republican Voters Must Demand 3 Things From Their Candidates  —  Tucker Carlson said Republican officeholders are not working hard enough for the American people and, at a moment like this, that's a severe and dangerous problem in a monologue delivered on Tuesday's broadcast of his FOX News program.
RELATED:
Becket Adams / Washington Examiner:
In Mark McCloskey interview, Chris Cuomo fishes for clickbait and proves himself a fool
Discussion: Redstate and CNN
Ian Schwartz / RealClearPolitics:
CNN's Cuomo vs. St. Louis Home Defender: You Are The Face Of “White Resistance” To Black Lives Matter
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
New York Times:
China's Software Stalked Uighurs Earlier and More Widely, Researchers Learn  —  A new report revealed a broad campaign that targeted Muslims in China and their diaspora in other countries, beginning as early as 2013.  —  TAIPEI, Taiwan — Before the Chinese police hung high-powered surveillance cameras …
RELATED:
Roxanne Roberts / Washington Post:
The virus didn't stop a Washington socialite from throwing a backyard soiree.  Then the tests came back positive.  —  This is A Cautionary Tale featuring well-intentioned people making poor choices.  It is also the tale of a socialite with an Instagram habit who recently held a fabulous backyard soiree during a pandemic.
Discussion: Eschaton
ProPublica:
Internal Messages Reveal Crisis at Houston Hospitals as Coronavirus Cases Surge  —  Texas was one of the first states in the nation to ease social distancing mandates.  In Houston, the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 has quadrupled since Memorial Day.  “It's time to be alarmed,” one expert said.
RELATED:
NBC News:   Internal messages reveal crisis at Houston hospitals as coronavirus cases surge
Tim Reid / Reuters:
Exclusive: Hundreds of George W. Bush administration officials to back Biden, group says  —  WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Hundreds of officials who worked for former Republican President George W. Bush are set to endorse Democratic White House hopeful Joe Biden, people involved in the effort said …
Politico:
POLITICO Playbook PM: Trump revs up for another culture war — over the military  —  WELL, HERE WE ARE AGAIN.  THE QUESTION hanging over Washington is whether President DONALD TRUMP will veto the National Defense Authorization Act — the Pentagon policy bill that has been signed into law for 59 consecutive years.
Discussion: Variety, The Daily Beast and KFF
RELATED:
The Hill:
GOP senators debate replacing Columbus Day with Juneteenth as a federal holiday  —  Republican senators are debating whether Juneteenth, a day that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States, should replace Columbus Day on the federal government's list of official holidays.
Discussion: Breitbart and TheBlaze
RELATED:
Brooke Singman / Fox News:
GOP senators propose replacing Columbus Day with Juneteenth as a federal holiday
Discussion: National Review
About Facebook:
Facebook Does Not Benefit from Hate  —  This piece originally ran in AdAge.  —  When society is divided and tensions run high, those divisions play out on social media.  Platforms like Facebook hold up a mirror to society — with more than 3 billion people using Facebook's apps every month …
RELATED:
Joan Donovan / Wired:   You Purged Racists From Your Website? Great, Now Get to Work
Denise Lavoie / Associated Press:
Richmond mayor orders prompt removal of Confederate statues  —  RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney on Wednesday ordered the immediate removal of all Confederate statues in the city, saying he was using his emergency powers to speed up the healing process for the former capital …
USA Today:
South Dakota tribal leader joins call to remove Mount Rushmore ahead of Trump visit  —  SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Another South Dakota tribal leader is calling for the removal of Mount Rushmore as President Donald Trump's visit to the monument draws near.  —  Harold Frazier, chairman …
Discussion: Townhall and The Hill
RELATED:
Orion Rummler / Axios:
Trump says he supports another round of direct payments to Americans  —  President Trump told Fox Business on Wednesday that he supports another round of direct stimulus payments as part of a potential “phase four” coronavirus relief package.  —  Why it matters: 19.5 million Americans remain …
Discussion: Associated Press and NBC News
RELATED:
Mohamed Younis / Gallup:
Americans Want More, Not Less, Immigration for First Time  —  WASHINGTON, D.C. — Thirty-four percent of Americans, up from 27% a year ago, would prefer to see immigration to the U.S. increased.  This is the highest support for expanding immigration Gallup has found in its trend since 1965.
Isabel Wilkerson / New York Times:
America's Enduring Caste System  —  Our founding ideals promise liberty and equality for all.  Our reality is an enduring racial hierarchy that has persisted for centuries.  —  We saw a man face down on the pavement, pinned beneath a car, and above him another man, a man in uniform …
Discussion: Townhall
New York Times:
Meet the Supporters Trump Has Lost  —  A significant majority of people who voted for him in 2016 are planning to do so again.  What is different about those who've had a change of heart?  —  For some, the disenchantment started almost as soon as Donald J. Trump took office.
Discussion: Alternet.org
The Daily Beast:
Russian Bounties for Killing Americans Go Back Five Years, Ex-Taliban Claims  —  Russia has been courting the Taliban at least since 2014 with money and weapons, ostensibly to fight ISIS, certainly to undermine the American effort in Afghanistan.  —  Taliban veterans like to laugh about the first time …
Daniel Chaitin / Washington Examiner:
Hugh Hewitt: Rumor has it Samuel Alito will retire from Supreme Court  —  Conservative Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito may be eyeing retirement.  —  The “stronger rumor” is that Alito is “going to quit,” conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt told Washington Post reporter Robert Costa on his show Wednesday.
Chris Isidore / CNN:
The Trump administration just lent $700 million to a trucking company sued for ripping off taxpayers  —  New York (CNN Business)The US Treasury is giving a $700 million loan to YRC Worldwide, a troubled trucking company that warned in May it was in danger of going out of business.
Liam Stack / New York Times:
Overlooked No More: Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, Pioneering Gay Activist  —  Before the word “homosexuality” existed, he argued that same-sex attraction was innate, and that those who experienced it should be treated the same as anyone else.  —  Overlooked is a series of obituaries …
Jake Russell / Washington Post:
Hawks turn arena into voting station after Georgia residents struggle to get to polls  —  After Georgia experienced a number of issues in this month's primary election, the Atlanta Hawks are stepping up to help alleviate the concerns of local voters.  The team announced Monday it is teaming …
Joe Kinsey / Outkick:
Chicago Red Stars Soccer Player Defends Decision To Stand For Anthem  —  Alexi Lalas tweeted and then deleted this when players from the National Women's Soccer League kneeled before a recent match: “Now it takes courage to actually stand for the national anthem.”
6abc:
Whipping post removed from outside Sussex County Courthouse  —  GEORGETOWN, Delaware (WPVI) — An eight-foot tall whipping post has been removed from outside the Sussex County Courthouse in Georgetown, Delaware.  —  The Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs (HCA) …
Discussion: New York Post
Matthew Lee / Associated Press:
Trump allies take aim at his global media chief for firings  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — Seven U.S. senators, including two strong allies of President Donald Trump, harshly criticized Trump's new chief of U.S.-funded global media on Wednesday for firing the heads of several international broadcasters without consulting Congress.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Maria Copeland / Campus Reform:
Fresno State faces calls to remove Gandhi statue
Discussion: Breitbart
Eric Deggans / NPR:
‘Do Right By Us’: Black ‘Survivor’ Alums Say The Reality Was Harmful Stereotypes
Discussion: New York Post and Mercury News
Chloe Brown / New York Times:
I'm a Black American. I Need a Gun to Feel Safe in This Country.
David Harsanyi / National Review:
The Left's Coronavirus Narrative Is a Myth
Discussion: Washington Post
New York Times:
Coronavirus Live Updates: Some States Halt Reopenings and Indoor Dining as Cases Surge
Discussion: Twitchy
Washington Post:
House to vote on removal of bust of Roger B. Taney, segregationist who wrote Supreme Court's Dred Scott ruling
Discussion: The Hill
Rachel Siegel / Washington Post:
Fed officials raised concerns in June that U.S. could enter a much worse recession later this year …
Discussion: Political Wire and The Week
 Earlier Items: 
Caitlin Oprysko / Politico:
Poll: Trump job approval dips as coronavirus fears rise
Discussion: The Hill
Jacob Silverman / Columbia Journalism Review:
Spies, Lies, and Stonewalling: What It's Like to Report on Facebook
Washington Post:
‘Cries for help’: Drug overdoses are soaring during the coronavirus pandemic
Sally Goldenberg / Politico:
Civil rights activist and former de Blasio official considering run for mayor
Michael M. Grynbaum / New York Times:
Fox News Fires Ed Henry Over Sexual Misconduct Claim