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WASHINGTON (AP) — Intelligence officials have warned lawmakers that Russia is interfering in the 2020 election campaign to help President Donald Trump get reelected. That's according to three officials familiar with the closed-door briefing. The disclosure raises questions about the integrity of the presidential campaign and whether Trump's administration is taking the proper steps to combat the kind of interference that the U.S. saw in 2016. The warning was first reported by The New York Times and The Washington Post. The Times said it infuriated Trump, who complained that Democrats would use the information against him.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has made an unconventional pick to oversee the intelligence agencies he dismisses as the “deep state.” Richard Grenell has been an unusually undiplomatic U.S. ambassador to Germany since April 2018. He became acting Director of National Intelligence on Thursday. Most of his prior experience has been in politics and media affairs. He lacks the extensive intelligence background of the outgoing director and previous directors. He is expected to be in the post for 90 days and a permanent replacement will be announced by March 11. That is according to a U.S. official speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss internal White House deliberations.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Roger Stone, a longtime confidant of President Donald Trump, has been sentenced to more than three years in prison for obstructing a congressional investigation in a case that has sparked fears about presidential interference in the justice system Soon after Judge Amy Berman Jackson pronounced sentence on Thursday, Trump publicly decried Stone's conviction as unfair. But Trump says he isn't ready to act just yet on a pardon. Trump had denounced as a “miscarriage of justice” the initial Justice Department recommendation that Stone receive at least seven years in prison. Attorney General William Barr backed off that recommendation, prompting four prosecutors to quit Stone's case.
BERLIN (AP) — The gunman who killed nine people in Germany mixed extreme paranoia about secret state surveillance with far-right conspiracy tropes, misogyny and racist vitriol. Authorities quickly pulled down his rambling screeds and videos, which touched on conspiracy theories that have spread from the U.S. Experts say the online ramblings suggest he was influenced by a hodgepodge of paranoid conspiracy theories, including QAnon. But experts say there are differences as well. The German far-right attacker didn't reference other attacks or perpetrators, extremist memes, or specific groups. Investigators are looking into the attacker’s mental state and whether he had accomplices.
BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets have followed Wall Street lower after a rise in virus cases in South Korea refueled investor anxiety about China's disease outbreak. Benchmarks in Tokyo, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Sydney retreated. Markets had been gaining on hopes the viral outbreak that began in the central Chinese city of Wuhan might be under control. Stronger-than-expected U.S. economic data and interest rate cuts by several Asian central banks have helped to buoy sentiment. But investors were jarred by South Korea's report of 52 new cases of the coronavirus. That renewed concern the infection is spreading in South Korea, Singapore and other Asian economies.