GOVERNMENT & POLITICS

Massachusetts Lawmakers Compromise On $41.9 Billion Budget Plan

18 hours ago
The Massachusetts Statehouse in April 2017.
William Zhang / Creative Commons

The Massachusetts House and Senate agreed on Wednesday to a $41.88 billion budget deal for the fiscal year that began on July 1. The compromise spending plan is 17 days overdue.

Updated at 3:50 p.m. ET

A federal magistrate judge ordered Wednesday that a Russian woman charged with being a Russian agent in the United States must be jailed ahead of her trial after prosecutors said she was a flight risk.

The woman, Maria Butina, has been in regular contact with Russian intelligence, the Justice Department says, and she attempted to offer sex in exchange for a position with an organization she targeted.

A scene from a May 2017 event on Route 116 Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge between Holyoke and South Hadley, Massachusetts.
MassDOT / Public domain

There’s a last-minute push on Beacon Hill to allow local communities in Massachusetts to vote on new regional taxes to pay for their own transportation projects, an option available in most other states.

Updated at 5:18 p.m. ET

A day after his much-criticized news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Trump attempted some damage control Tuesday, saying "I accept" the findings of the U.S. intelligence community that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential campaign.

But he again repeated his claim that there was no collusion between his presidential campaign and Russia and suggested that others may have interfered in the election.

Given the attitude with which President Trump has greeted all news of the Russian interference in the 2016 election, his performance in Helsinki on Monday should have come as no surprise.

And yet there was surprise — even shock — when the president of the United States stood onstage alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin and accepted the former KGB officer's denials regarding that interference.

After speaking at a New England Council breakfast on July 16, 2018, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren told reporters that the U.S. government needs to offer a strong response to alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Katie Lannan / State House News Service

U.S. Senators from Massachusetts and Connecticut reacted negatively Monday to President Trump’s one-on-one meeting and joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Updated at 7:13 p.m. ET

President Trump's effort to reset relations with Russia backfired at home after he failed to side with the U.S. intelligence community over Moscow's interference in the 2016 election. The president's equivocation drew bipartisan condemnation, capping a week in which Trump alienated allies and cozied up to adversaries.

Trump himself declared his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday in Helsinki a success, in what he called the "proud tradition of bold American diplomacy."

One hundred dollar bills.
Pictures of Money / Creative Commons / goo.gl/GZ3kmt

Last week, we talked about the Massachusetts budget. Another week has elapsed. Are the expectations any better that the conference committee might make a deal this week?

Haiti's Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant resigned Saturday after days of riots sparked by a plan to raise prices on fuel.

Haitian President President Jovenel Moïse said on Twitter that he had accepted Lafontant's resignation as well as members of his cabinet. Moïse said he would work to choose a new prime minister.

At last, Donald Trump will get the chance to meet with Vladimir Putin at the formal summit both men have been seeking for months.

After watching as President Trump held one-on-one talks with leaders from around the world — even North Korea — the Russian president will finally have his American counterpart's undivided attention when they meet on Monday in the Finnish capital Helsinki.

In the United States, the curious magnetism between the two presidents has fueled speculation about Trump's open admiration for Putin.

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