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Vladimir Putin says it’s ‘not my job’ to create rivals for his 2018 election bid, as he hosts annual press conference

“Vladimir Putin is holding his annual press conference, traditionally an hours-long marathon that offers a rare chance for media to ask the Russian leader a question” writes Alec Luhn for telegraph.co.uk. Thursday’s press conference will allow him to outline some of his talking points for the campaign, which will likely be conducted through official appearances rather than rallies and debates.Last week, Mr Putin announced he would run for re-election in March 2018. Source: telegraph.co.uk Share This:

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Dems Urge GOP to Delay Tax Vote Till Jones Takes Seat

“Republicans currently have a 52-48 majority in the Senate and were able to pass their tax bill losing only one Republican vote earlier this month” reports realclearpolitics.com. Asked on Tuesday if the Alabama election had any bearing on his timing for the tax bill, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell answered simply, “No.” A spokesman pointed to that comment Wednesday.Jubilant after their surprise victory in the Alabama Senate election Tuesday night, Democrats called on Republicans to delay any further action on their tax overhaul until Doug Jones is seated in the…

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News Regulators 

Dollar adds to losses after CPI report; Investors await Fed decision

“Then, the November inflation report showed a slowing of core consumer price growth, which exclude volatile items such as gasoline, while headline inflation was in line with forecasts” writes Markets Reporter for marketwatch.com. Traders were also looking ahead to the Federal Reserve decision later in the day at 2 p.m.Down under, the Australian and New Zealand dollar are also stronger on the back of the falling greenback. Source: marketwatch.com Share This:

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GBP News 

Facebook claims Russia spent just $1 on Brexit ads — but MPs don’t believe it

“He claimed Facebook had only looked at the activity of one Russian group which had already been active in the US presidential election” writes Shona Ghosh for businessinsider.com. The company made the claims in a letter to the Electoral Commission, which is questioning Google, Facebook, and Twitter over any role Russia may have played in the election through misleading online ads and accounts.Collins noted that Facebook had run its own standalone analysis to identify tens of thousands of fake pages in relation to the French presidential election earlier this year. Source:…

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Jones’s Alabama win doesn’t change prospects for tax bill passage, analyst says

“Doug Jones’s victory in the Alabama Senate election Tuesday night does not change prospects for the Republican tax bill, said Brian Gardner of Keefe, Bruyette & Woods in a note Wednesday” writes Fiscal Policy Reporter for marketwatch.com. “We expect the tax bill will probably be passed by Congress before Christmas,” Gardner said. The election “should not impact the tax bill unless some other factor(s) derail the tax bill and push the issue into 2018,” Gardner said. Source: marketwatch.com Share This:

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‘Tough on crime’ used to win votes. Now it’s all about criminal justice reform

“But the message echoes the same warning as the Dukakis ad: this candidate will side with criminals over your family” writes Arthur Rizer for washingtonexaminer.com. The furlough program that allowed Horton to skip town and commit his crimes was common around the United States.During the 2014 midterm election, crime didn’t even make the list of top 13 issues in a Gallup poll.The Charles Koch Institute’s polling of 2016 voters found significant support across the ideological spectrum for criminal justice reform.A monotone, male narrator introduces the script: “Bush and Dukakis on…

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