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2:10 PM ET, March 4, 2018


 Top Items: 
New York Times:
Mueller's Focus on Adviser to United Arab Emirates Indicates Widening of Inquiry  —  WASHINGTON — George Nader, a Lebanese-American businessman, has hovered on the fringes of international diplomacy for three decades.  He was a back-channel negotiator with Syria during the Clinton administration …
Russ Choma / Mother Jones:   Mueller Is Now Looking Into Middle Eastern Influence as Part of the Trump Investigation
Trump on China's Xi consolidating power: 'Maybe we'll give that a shot some day'  —  (CNN)President Donald Trump bemoaned a decision not to investigate Hillary Clinton after the 2016 presidential election, decrying a “rigged system” that still doesn't have the “right people” in place to fix it …
David Shepardson / Reuters:   Trump praises Chinese president extending tenure ‘for life’
Gillian Wong / Associated Press:   China's Xi poised to make historic grab at indefinite rule
Matt Shuham / Talking Points Memo:
READ: Trump Says Rep. Maxine Waters Needs ‘An IQ Test’ At Gridiron Dinner  —  President Donald Trump on Saturday night addressed the annual Gridiron Club Dinner, an event he skipped last year and one known for presidential humor.  —  Though he poked fun at his own administration's dysfunction …
Brent D. Griffiths / Politico:
Trump pokes fun — and makes North Korea news — at Gridiron  —  President Donald Trump said late Saturday during a speech at the annual Gridiron Dinner in Washington that “we will be meeting” with North Korea, indicating that negotiations about a potential dialogue between the U.S. and North Korea continue to advance.
Discussion: Fox News, Political Wire and Althouse
Matt Wilstein / The Daily Beast:
Trump Jokes Melania Might Leave Him at Gridiron Dinner … Just a few hours after he suggested that perhaps America should follow China's lead with the whole “president for life” thing, President Donald Trump took the stage to tell some jokes at the annual Gridiron Club Dinner …
Emily Heil / Washington Post:
At a white-tie Gridiron dinner, President Trump tries joking: ‘I like chaos’
Discussion: Raw Story
Washington Post:
‘Pure madness’: Dark days inside the White House as Trump shocks and rages
Associated Press:
The Latest: May tells Trump of Britain's ‘deep concern’  —  The Latest on President Donald Trump and trade (all times local):  —  British Prime Minister Theresa May has spoken with President Donald Trump and expressed “deep concern” about his threatened trade war with the European Union.
Discussion: Axios, Breitbart and ABC News
Alan McGuinness / Sky News:
Theresa May tells Donald Trump of ‘deep concern’ over US trade tariffs
Discussion: Breitbart
Zachary Warmbrodt / Politico:
Tariffs on course to be imposed, Trump officials say
Discussion: Breitbart
National Journal:
GOP Panic Spreads to Pennsylvania  —  Republicans have spent over $9 million in a blue-collar district Trump carried by 20 points.  If the GOP can't win there, they're in deep trouble.  —  Republicans are learning an uncomfortable reality about the political environment for 2018: Tax cuts …
Discussion: Shareblue Media
New York Times:
Hand Grenades and Gang Violence Rattle Sweden's Middle Class  —  STOCKHOLM — In the Stockholm suburb of Varby Gard, it was not unusual to see the figure of a 63-year-old man pedaling a bicycle home after the end of his shift as an aide for disabled adults, hunched against the icy wind of a Swedish winter.
Discussion: Breitbart
New York Times:
As Primaries Begin, Divided Voters Weigh What It Means to Be a Democrat  —  PALOS HILLS, Ill. — When Representative Daniel Lipinski, a conservative-leaning Democrat and scion of Chicago's political machine, agreed to one joint appearance last month with his liberal primary challenger …
Rory Appleton / Fresno Bee:
Emilio Huerta drops out of congressional race against David Valadao
Discussion: Los Angeles Times
John Woodrow Cox / Washington Post:
Inside an accused school shooter's mind: A plot to kill ‘50 or 60.  If I get lucky maybe 150.’ … Six days before he allegedly opened fire on an elementary school playground, the eighth-grader returned to his Instagram group chat to fixate, yet again, on his most intense interests: guns and bombs and the mass murder of children.
Kailani Koenig / NBC News:
Denis McDonough: McConnell ‘watered down’ Russia warning in 2016  —  WASHINGTON — Former White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough on Sunday said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “watered down” a warning about Russia's attempts to interfere in the 2016 election and defended …
Discussion: The Guardian and Political Wire
Charlie Savage / New York Times:
What if Republicans Win the Midterms?  —  WASHINGTON — A sizable portion of the American population has been convulsing with outrage at President Trump for more than a year.  Millions of people who previously took only mild interest in politics have participated in protests …
Kaitlyn Schwers / Kansas City Star:
Missouri men sentenced to prison for dragging kitten behind Jeep, killing it  —  Two Missouri men who sparked outrage last summer after dragging a kitten behind a vehicle and posting a video of it on social media were sentenced to prison on Friday.  —  Kyle Williams, 18, of Branson …
Discussion: Fox News and Breitbart
Burt Mummolo / KTUL-TV:
Oklahoma teachers planning a statewide strike  —  Oklahoma teachers planning a statewide strike (KTUL)  —  Oklahoma teachers are fed up with state lawmakers.  A public school teacher in Stillwater created the Facebook group “Oklahoma Teacher Walkout - The Time is Now!” two days ago, and it has already gained more than 20,000 members.
M*A*S*H actor David Ogden Stiers dies at 75  —  M*A*S*H actor David Ogden Stiers died of cancer on Saturday, his agent confirmed.  He was 75.  —  “I am very sad to report that David died this morning March 3, 2018 peacefully at his home in Newport, Oregon after a courageous battle with bladder cancer …
Discussion: Outside the Beltway and ABC News
Molly Hensley-Clancy / BuzzFeed:
All The Democratic Party's Biggest Names Are Lining Up Against The Banks  —  Democratic presidential hopefuls are scrambling to come out against the first big bipartisan legislation of the Trump era, positioning themselves as hardliners on Wall Street regulation and free from the influence of banks.
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 More Items: 
Gene Maddaus / Variety:
Oscars Security: LAPD Will Have Over 500 Officers On Hand at Red Carpet
Discussion: Breitbart
Avi Selk / Washington Post:
Obama's attorney general rebukes Trump: ‘I had a president I did not have to protect’
Discussion: Washington Examiner
Washington Examiner:
Government is not best done in a state of outrage
Veronica Stracqualursi / CNN:
Flake: ‘There should be’ Republican challenger to Trump in 2020
Quinn Scanlan / ABC News:
Trump will never ‘let it go’ that Jeff Sessions' recusal from Russia probe was ‘original sin’: Priebus
Discussion: Breitbart
Houston Chronicle:
DA: Former prosecutor withheld key email in death row case
Discussion: The Root
Kristina Davis /
Mexican man assumes American's identity for 37 years, steals $361,000 in government benefits
 Earlier Items: 
Nahal Toosi / Politico:
The Genocide the U.S. Didn't See Coming
David Nather / Axios:
Exclusive: Public doesn't trust Trump on midterms meddling
Simon Marks / Politico:
Germany, France to start work on new EU projects, says Macron
Nils Gilman / The American Interest:
The Collapse of Racial Liberalism
Daniel J. Roth / Jerusalem Post:
Joseph Curtin / New York Times:
Let's Bag Plastic Bags
Joy-Ann Reid / The Daily Beast:
The Right Can't Fight the Future
Discussion: Hullabaloo
Ginia Bellafante / New York Times:
When Should Cultural Institutions Say No to Tainted Funding?
Discussion: Outside the Beltway

From Techmeme:

Raffaele Huang / Wall Street Journal:
Apple removes WhatsApp and Threads from its App Store in China, saying it was ordered to do so by China's cyberspace officials citing national security concerns

Ryan Morrison / Tom's Guide:
Microsoft researchers introduce VASA-1, an AI model that can create a realistic talking face video from a portrait photo and an audio file, in research preview

Zaheer Kachwala / Reuters:
Google says it will consolidate teams that focus on building AI models across Research and DeepMind, and move its Responsible AI teams from Research to DeepMind

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