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2:20 PM ET, June 14, 2021

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 Top Items: 
Michael Balsamo / Associated Press:
Justice official resigning amid uproar over Dems' subpoenas  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department's top national security official is resigning from his position after revelations that the department secretly seized record s from Democrats and members of the media.
RELATED:
Katie Benner / New York Times:
Justice Dept. Official to Step Down Amid Uproar Over Leaks Inquiry  —  John Demers, a Trump appointee who remained in the department, would typically have been briefed on investigations like those involving the secret collection of journalists' phone records.
Jordain Carney / The Hill:
McConnell signals GOP would block Biden Supreme Court pick in '24  —  Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) signaled Monday that Republicans, if they win back control of the chamber, wouldn't advance a Supreme Court nominee if a vacancy occurred in 2024, the year of the next presidential election.
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Hugh Hewitt / The Hugh Hewitt Show:
Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell On President Biden Judicial Nominees, A New “JCPOA”  —  GOP Senator Mitch McConnell joined me this morning:  —  Audio:  —  06-14hhs-mcconnell  —  Transcript:  —  HH: Joined now by an old friend of show, Senate Leader of the GOP, Mitch McConnell.
Jordain Carney / The Hill:   McConnell warns he's willing to intervene in 2022 GOP primaries
New York Times:
China's ‘Bat Woman,’ at the Center of a Pandemic Storm, Speaks Out  —  Shi Zhengli, a top virologist, said in a rare interview that speculation about her lab in Wuhan was baseless.  But China's habitual secrecy makes her claims hard to validate.  —  To a growing chorus of American politicians …
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Jim Geraghty / National Review:
Yup, the Wuhan Institute of Virology Kept Live Bats within Its Walls  —  On the menu today: New evidence shows that despite the contentions of Peter Daszak, the Wuhan Institute of Virology did indeed have live bats within its walls; a spectacularly inaccurate op-ed attempting to dispel the lab-leak theory …
NBC News:
Putin dismisses criticism of hacking and internal crackdowns ahead of Biden summit … MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin denied ordering a hit on political rival Alexei Navalny, but in an exclusive interview with NBC News he did not guarantee that the jailed Kremlin critic …
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Washington Post:
Biden will give Putin a list of demands. The Russian president may ignore them.
Thomas Shattuck / Foreign Policy Research Institute:   A Nation Must Think Before it Acts Russia is Hammering the U.S. in Cyberspace, Why is Biden Meeting with Putin at All?
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Jane E. Brody / New York Times:
The Health Benefits of Coffee  —  Drinking coffee has been linked to a reduced risk of all kinds of ailments, including Parkinson's disease, melanoma, prostate cancer, even suicide.  —  Americans sure love their coffee.  Even last spring when the pandemic shut down New York …
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
GOP Senator Says Democracy, Majority Rule Aren't What Our Country Stands For Rand Paul gets a little too honest about his beliefs.  —  One of the edifying side effects of the Trump era has been that, by making democracy the explicit subject of political debate, it has revealed the stark fact …
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Ben Kesslen / NBC News:
Former NSA contractor Reality Winner, jailed for leaking secrets about Russian hacking, released early from prison … Reality Winner, the former National Security Agency contractor who was jailed for leaking secrets about Russian hacking, has been released early from prison, her lawyer said Monday.
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Carolyn Y. Johnson / Washington Post:
Novavax's coronavirus vaccine is 90 percent effective, study finds  —  The vaccine is one of six the U.S. bet on but is likely to have its biggest impact globally  —  Novavax, a Maryland biotechnology company that endured delays in developing a coronavirus vaccine, revealed results Monday showing …
Discussion: NPR
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Carl Zimmer / New York Times:
Novavax Offers U.S. a Fourth Strong Covid-19 Vaccine
Ben Smith / New York Times:
Why The New Yorker's Stars Didn't Join Its Union  —  The 96-year-old magazine, known for its revered writers and sophisticated audience, is being consumed by a labor dispute.  —  Writers for The New Yorker have been known to refer to the editor, David Remnick, as “Dad,” …
Melanie Zanona / Politico:
House GOP prays Trump can kick his habit of 2020 grievances  —  Donald Trump just can't seem to quit 2020.  That means Republicans can't either.  —  The former president is returning to the national spotlight with plans to play a central role in the GOP's push to reclaim power …
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Judd Legum / Popular Information:
These 25 rainbow flag-waving corporations donated more than $10 million to anti-gay politicians in the last two years  —  This month, corporations are plastering their social media avatars with rainbows, sponsoring Pride parades, and declaring their unwavering commitment to the LGBTQ community.
Discussion: The Guardian and Raw Story
Washington Post:
Coronavirus infections dropping where people are vaccinated, rising where they are not, Post analysis finds  —  States with higher vaccination rates now have markedly fewer coronavirus cases, as infections are dropping in places where most residents have been immunized and are rising …
Washington Post:
2020 was the deadliest gun violence year in decades.  So far, 2021 is worse.  —  The shootings have come at a relentless pace.  Gun violence this year has cut through celebrations and funerals, places of work and houses of worship.  It has taken lives at a grocery store and in a fast-food drive-through lane.
Discussion: ABC News
Alex Isenstadt / Politico:
‘Full of s—’: Candidates warned not to fake Trump endorsement  —  Lynda Blanchard donated nearly $1 million to pro-Donald Trump political committees, served as his ambassador to Slovenia and launched her Alabama Senate campaign with a video spotlighting her Trump bumper sticker-adorned pickup truck.
Discussion: The Hill, HotAir, Joe.My.God. and Raw Story
Glenn Greenwald:
The Enduring False Narrative About the PULSE Massacre Shows the Power of Media Propaganda  —  Politicians and activists should stop ratifying the fiction that Omar Mateen was motivated by anti-LGBT hatred.  It dishonors the victims and obscures the real motive.  —  2 hr ago
Discussion: The Western Journal and TheBlaze
Robert Barnes / Washington Post:
Supreme Court puts off decision on reviewing Harvard race-conscious admissions system  —  The Supreme Court on Monday put off a decision on reviewing whether Harvard's consideration of race to build a diverse student body discriminates against Asian Americans, the latest attempt to convince …
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Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
Are Democrats doomed in the midterms?  Not if they can do this first.  —  The midterm elections will take place in approximately 500 days.  Which is exactly why some Democratic strategists believe it's urgent to begin executing their midterm strategy right now — nearly a year and a half in advance.
Michael Isikoff / Yahoo News:
Exclusive: Saudi assassins picked up illicit drugs in Cairo to kill Khashoggi  —  Early on the morning of Oct. 2, 2018, a Gulfstream jet carrying a team of Saudi assassins on its way to Istanbul made a quick stopover in Cairo.  The purpose: to pick up a lethal dose of “illegal” …
Politico:
POLITICO Playbook: Manchin and Sinema still might get their way  —  DRIVING THE DAY  —  President JOE BIDEN is at NATO headquarters in Brussels today explaining his decision to pull out of Afghanistan to allies who felt blindsided.  The House is back in session and will soon be debating …
Discussion: HuffPost, The Hill, CNN and Rolling Stone
Barak Ravid / Axios:
New Israeli foreign minister stresses need to repair ties with Democrats  —  Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said in a ceremony on his first day in office on Monday that the new government must repair Israel's relationship with the Democratic Party, which he said had badly deteriorated …
Andrew Das / New York Times:
Westminster Dog Show 2021: Wasabi the Pekingese Wins Best in Show  —  Wasabi's victory capped an unusual Westminster, held at a riverside estate in Westchester County instead of its usual home at Madison Square Garden because of the coronavirus pandemic.  —  TARRYTOWN, N.Y. — Wasabi …
Discussion: The A.V. Club, Gothamist and Slate
Marianna Sotomayor / Washington Post:
'I didn't take an oath to defend Donald Trump': Rep. Tom Rice tests whether Republican voters will support a conservative who crossed Trump  —  MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — Republican Rep. Tom Rice of South Carolina has been a reliable conservative during his five terms in Congress …
Marc Fisher / Washington Post:
Temp checks, digital menus and ‘touchless’ mustard: The maddening persistence of ‘hygiene theater’  —  At an ice cream shop in Rockville, Md., gloved servers scoop the frozen treat into cups, but a sign taped to the front window says “No cones: Covid.”  At McDonald's outlets along I-95 in Virginia …
Sarah Mucha / Axios:
Harris' trip problems rekindle 2020 campaign doubts  —  Vice President Kamala Harris' stumbles during her first foreign trip have rekindled the debate from her presidential campaign about whether she — and not her staff — is to blame.  —  Why it matters: While Harris' only overture toward running …
Brian Schwartz / CNBC:
Biden advisor Steve Ricchetti's son lands job at the Treasury Department a year out of college  — The Treasury Department said that J.J. Ricchetti, the son of White House counselor and longtime Biden confidant Steve Ricchetti, would be a special assistant in the office of legislative affairs.
 
 
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 More Items: 
New York Times:
As Battle Against Virus Wanes, Mayors Confront a New Challenge: Crime
Glenn Kessler / Washington Post:
McAuliffe doubles down on false budget claim that has been fact-checked three times
Discussion: The Hill and IJR
Roger Sollenberger / The Daily Beast:
Boeing Restarts Donations to Members of the So-Called ‘Sedition Caucus’
theepochtimes.com:
News Flash: Trump Was Right
Will Wilkinson / Model Citizen:
NIMBYism and the Externalities of Non-Development
Mark Sherman / Associated Press:
Justices rule against low-level crack cocaine offenders
Discussion: Washington Post, Politico and TheGrio
 Earlier Items: 
Carla Babb / Voice of America:
VOA Exclusive: CENTCOM Head Says US Will Not Support Afghan Forces with Airstrikes After Troop Withdrawal
Discussion: Washington Post and UPI
Tracy Connor / The Daily Beast:
Painfully Confused Capitol Rioter Claims He's Running for Congress
Discussion: VICE, NBC Boston and Raw Story
Ryan Goodman / Just Security:
Questions for FBI Director Wray About the January 6 Attack
Eric Levitz / New York Magazine:
The Delusions of the Radical Centrist
Charles M. Blow / New York Times:
Demonizing Critical Race Theory
Discussion: Althouse
Astead W. Herndon / New York Times:
Ralph Northam Reflects on His Journey Back From the Edge
American Greatness:
Anatomy of the Woke Madness