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Paul Manafort had plan to benefit Vladamir Putin government

in 2017/Top Headlines by

President Donald Trump‘s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, secretly worked for a Russian billionaire to advance the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin a decade ago and proposed an ambitious political strategy to undermine anti-Russian opposition across former Soviet republics, The Associated Press has learned. The work appears to contradict assertions by the Trump administration and Manafort himself that he never worked for Russian interests. Manafort proposed in a confidential strategy plan as early as June 2005 that he would…

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Winners and losers in Donald Trump’s first budget plan

in 2017/Top Headlines by

Military spending would get the biggest boost in President Donald Trump’s proposed budget. Environmental programs, medical research, Amtrak and an array of international and cultural programs — from Africa to Appalachia — would take big hits, among the many parts of the government he’d put on a crash diet. The budget proposal out Thursday is a White House wish list; it’ll be up to Congress to decide where money goes. If Trump gets his way, there will be more losers…

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House GOP health bill facing fresh House committee test

in 2017/Top Headlines by

The White House and Republican leaders are talking to rank-and-file lawmakers about revising the GOP health care overhaul, hoping to keep a rebellion by conservatives and moderates from snowballing and imperiling the party’s showpiece legislation. Four days after a congressional report projected the bill would pry coverage from millions of voters, signs of fraying GOP support for the legislation were showing. The measure would strike down much of former President Barack Obama‘s 2010 overhaul and reduce the federal role, including…

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After 2 months, Jim Mattis is only Donald Trump pick at Pentagon

in 2017/Top Headlines by

Jim Mattis is not lonely in the Pentagon, but two months into his tenure as secretary of defense not a single political appointee has joined him. The retired Marine general, who took office just hours after President Donald Trump was sworn in, has sparred with the White House over choices for high-priority civilian positions that, while rarely visible to the public, are key to developing and implementing defense policy at home and abroad. When the Obama administration closed shop in…

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Economic development incentives drive jobs to Florida, boost state economy

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Shaping up to be one of the biggest battles in the Legislature in many years, the fight on economic development incentives and tourism funding has been swirling throughout the halls of the Capitol the last few weeks. On one side are those who believe that taxpayer dollars should not be used to entice businesses and tourists to Florida; the other side sees these programs as crucial for creating jobs and boosting our economy. Having watched and safeguarded taxpayer dollars being…

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Keith Perry files bill to create 10-day back-to-school sales tax holiday

in Statewide by

Sen. Keith Perry has filed a bill calling for a 10-day back-to-school tax holiday in August. Under the proposed legislation (SB 490), certain school supplies would be tax exempt from Aug. 4 through 14. “As I talk to folks across north central Florida, I hear the same thing over and over – people are working hard to do right by their children,” he said in a statement Thursday. “Any steps we can take legislatively to lessen the burden on Florida’s…

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Great expectations: Small businesses upbeat about 2017

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

Donald Trump‘s election as president has made many small business owners more upbeat about 2017. Dean Bingham says he’s cautiously optimistic because business picked up at his auto repair shop after the election — people who had put off fixing their cars have decided it’s time to get them serviced. “Over the last month, customers have been coming in with optimism that they didn’t have the last few years,” says Bingham, owner of a Mr. Transmission/Milex franchise in Greenville, South…

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