Columns

Russian hackers tricked people into revealing passwords

WASHINGTON (AP) — Russian hackers who penetrated hundreds of U.S. utilities, manufacturing plants and other facilities last year gained access by using the most conventional of phishing tools, tricking staffers into entering passwords, officials say. The Russians targeted mostly the energy ...

GOP, Dems focus on messages as summer recess, elections near

WASHINGTON (AP) — One House bill, backed mostly by Republicans, would repeal a tax imposed on some medical devices to help pay for President Barack Obama’s health care law, a statute they despise. With another, still a bare-bones outline, the GOP would make last year’s $1.5 trillion tax ...

Dems want Ross to clarify origins of citizenship question on census

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic lawmakers want Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to clarify where a citizenship question on the 2020 census originated after newly released documents show he was seeking such a question early in Donald Trump’s presidency. The Trump administration’s decision to ...

Under Trump Doctrine, no slight goes unanswered

WASHINGTON (AP) — As the presidential tweets ricochet from one world hot spot to another, a Trump Doctrine has emerged: Claim matchless strength, suffer no slight and counter-punch harder than you are hit — at least verbally. President Donald Trump’s searing ALL CAPS response to a ...

No, Twitter will not ban Trump; here’s why

NEW YORK (AP) — Calls to ban Donald Trump from Twitter are at least as old as his presidency. But it’s not going to happen, at least not while he’s in office. The latest strive involves an all-caps tweet sent late Sunday warning Iran of “CONSEQUENCES THE LIKE OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT ...

Will New Jersey send a Republican to the Senate?

“This human nature is shabby stuff, as you may know from introspection.” — Peter De Vries SUMMIT, N.J. — Or from reading the “public letter of admonition” sent by the U.S. Senate’s Select Committee on Ethics to Robert Menendez, the Democratic incumbent seeking a third full ...

Trump again questions Russia election meddling

WASHINGTON (AP) — Capping a week of drama, back tracking, a double negative and blistering statements from allies about his attitude toward Russian election interference, President Donald Trump on Sunday was back to referring to “a big hoax.” Trump spent days trying to reassure the ...

White House rejects Putin idea for eastern Ukraine referendum

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House rejected on Friday a Vladimir Putin-backed effort to hold a referendum in eastern Ukraine on the region's future, distancing itself from the idea in the aftermath of President Donald Trump's controversial summit with the Russian leader. Russia's ambassador ...

Trump slams rate increases by independent Federal Reserve

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Thursday cast aside concerns about the Federal Reserve’s independence, saying he was “not happy” with the Fed’s recent interest rate increases. Trump told CNBC in an interview: “I don’t like all of this work that we’re putting into ...

US intelligence chief is tough on Russia, at odds with Trump

ASPEN, Colo. (AP) — National Intelligence Director Dan Coats’ drumbeat of criticism against Russia is clashing loudly with President Donald Trump’s pro-Kremlin remarks, leaving the soft-spoken spy chief in an uncomfortable — and perhaps perilous — place in the ...

Russia’s Trump takeaway: Putin basks post-summit

MOSCOW (AP) — While Donald Trump came home to criticism from left and right after his first summit with Vladimir Putin, the Russian president came home to universal praise. Instead of being portrayed as a duel on the world stage, the summit was viewed in Russia as a meeting of two mighty ...

Republicans join Democrats in condemning Trump’s remarks

WASHINGTON (AP) — “Bizarre.” “Shameful.” “Disgraceful.” That’s the swift and sweeping condemnation directed at President Donald Trump on Monday after he sided with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a stunning appearance in Helsinki — and that’s just from the ...

Don’t fix baseball, even if it might be broken

WASHINGTON — It is a prudential axiom: If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. This reflects the awareness that things can always be made worse, and the law of unintended consequences, which is that they often are larger than and contrary to intended ones. As baseball reaches the all-star break ...

Five takeaways from the Russian election hacking indictment

WASHINGTON (AP) — As the American presidential election entered the final stretch in 2016, a dozen Russian military intelligence officers were scattered throughout Moscow, unleashing a massive cyber operation to disrupt the vote. That’s according to an indictment issued Friday that says ...

Shouting, insults as FBI agent faces angry Republicans

WASHINGTON (AP) — An embattled FBI agent whose anti-Trump text messages exposed the Justice Department to claims of institutional bias vigorously defended himself at an extraordinary congressional hearing that devolved into shouting matches, finger-pointing and veiled references to personal ...

How many times must we save people who overdose?

A deeply humane friend recently suggested that medics stop saving people on their third opioid overdose. The subject was naloxone, a medication that can yank users from the jaws of death. It can be given via Narcan nasal spray or injection. My friend surprised me. I thought that if a life ...

Was it unconstitutional to appoint Mueller?

WASHINGTON — The president, who might not be fully acquainted with the pertinent Supreme Court case law, says the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel was unconstitutional. The president’s opinion, because it is his, is prima facie evidence for the opposite conclusion. It is, ...

Kavanaugh’s views on power of president drawing questions

WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s past writings that a president should not be distracted by lawsuits and investigations could become a flashpoint in what’s already shaping up to be a contentious confirmation battle. With special counsel Robert Mueller ...

Survey: Supreme Court enjoys relatively high public confidence

WASHINGTON (AP) — The next Supreme Court justice will join the bench at a time when the public has more confidence in the high court than in Congress or the presidency. A Gallup survey in June found 37 percent of Americans have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in the court, ...

Marquette University case wasn’t just free speech

WASHINGTON — Free speech won; decency lost. This has become such a common observation that it hardly merits a headline. But in a Wisconsin Supreme Court case resolved Friday, the plaintiff was that rarest of victors these days — a conservative professor defending his freedom of speech ...