WNPR

Russia

President Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, has dropped a pair of defamation lawsuits he filed after BuzzFeed News published the infamous Russia dossier last year.

The embattled lawyer isn't conceding anything about the substance of what was detailed in the dossier, which is unverified, but says he has too much else on his plate to proceed now that he is dealing with a federal court case in New York.

"The decision to voluntarily discontinue these cases was a difficult one," said a lawyer for Cohen, David Schwartz.

Updated at 12:27 p.m. ET

A fact-finding team from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is on its way to Syria and will begin working there by Saturday, spokesperson Johan de Wittlaan said Thursday.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

We know now Russia has interfered with our 2016 presidential election, but did you know that the U.S. has meddled in over 80 elections since World War II according to one Carnegie Mellon study

This hour, we look at how our country has interfered with democratic processes around the world. How do we reconcile our country's actions with the threat facing us today?

The Treasury Department wove a sprawling epic about global power and money on Friday in announcing new sanctions that target some of Russia's most powerful men — including three with ties to Trump world.

The announcement included everything necessary for a first-class soap opera, from arms trafficking to organized crime to the smuggling of millions in cash in suitcases.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the time has come for the United States to shine a light on what Russia is doing:

Special counsel Robert Mueller notified President Trump's lawyers last month that the president is being investigated as part of the Russia probe, but a source familiar with the situation says they were told Trump was not a criminal target at that time.

Updated at 1:53 p.m. EDT

A federal judge has sentenced a Dutch lawyer to 30 days in prison and a $20,000 fine for lying to the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Alex van der Zwann, 33, is the first person to be sentenced in the ongoing probe by special counsel Robert Mueller. His lawyer argued van der Zwann deserved leniency for eventually coming clean about the wrongdoing — but U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson was unmoved.

IFC Films

Armando Iannucci is the creator of Veep and The Thick of It and the writer and director of In the Loop. Those, you'll note, are all contemporary political satires. Iannucci's new movie, The Death of Stalin, is set in 1953 Moscow and tells a true-to-some-degree version of the story of, logically, Joseph Stalin's death. Historical period piece or no, The Death of Stalin is still utterly recognizable Iannucci: it's funny, it's filthy -- it's mostly about the incompetence of the powerful. And, at the same time, stories about Russian authoritarianism have a certain contemporary vibe too, ya know?

Updated at 7:00 p.m. ET

Days after President Trump ordered the expulsion of 60 Russian officials from the United States and the closure of the Russian Consulate in Seattle because of the poisoning of a Russian ex-spy and his daughter in the U.K., Russia has responded in kind.

Updated 9:05 p.m. ET

President Trump ordered the expulsion of 60 Russian officials from the United States and ordered the closure of the Russian consulate in Seattle, the White House announced Monday.

The move follows the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in the English city of Salisbury on March 4.

Russia has fired back at accusations by U.S. Army Gen. John Nicholson that the Kremlin is providing material support to the Taliban.

In an interview with the BBC last week, Nicholson, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, said in an interview taped there: "We've had weapons brought to this headquarters and given to us by Afghan leaders and [they] said this was given by the Russians to the Taliban."

"Clearly, they are acting to undermine our interests," he said.

Vladimir Putin won a landslide election victory on Sunday — the fourth anniversary of the annexation of Crimea — extending his presidency by another six years as he easily breezed past a field of minor candidates left by the disqualification of his only credible rival.

If Putin serves to the end of his new fourth term, which expires in 2024, he would become the longest-serving leader of Russia since Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.

Updated at 9:15 p.m. ET

Congressional Republicans say they still support special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election interference even as the president continued his offensive Sunday against the investigation, as well as a recently fired high-ranking FBI official, Andrew McCabe.

Trump sent a flurry of tweets Sunday morning, in which he painted the Mueller-led special counsel probe as a politically biased witch hunt.

The U.K. is expelling 23 Russian diplomats as punishment for a chemical weapons attack that took place in England. Prime Minister Theresa May has said Russia was likely behind the poisoning of a former Russian spy who, along with his daughter, was exposed to a lethal nerve agent that was developed in Russia.

After nearly a month of pronouncements, melodrama, headlines and strife, Round One of memo mania is finally complete.

House Intelligence Committee Republicans went first with their Feb. 2 salvo that alleged "biased" FBI and Justice Department officials had abused their surveillance powers by withholding information from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

Then, on Saturday, committee Democrats released a rebuttal giving their perspective on the story — or at least part of it.

Updated at 5:28 p.m. ET

Rick Gates, the business partner of Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, pleaded guilty on Friday to two charges and will begin cooperating with federal prosecutors investigating the Trump campaign and Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Gates appeared in federal court on Friday afternoon. He told Judge Amy Berman Jackson he was making the plea of his own free will.

Pages