News day Tuesday

Junior urged Trump to stay strong on guns … 
as they watched aftermath of school shooting.
The Daily Beast
Marian Kamensky / Austria> According to three sources with knowledge of their conversations, the president and Trump Jr. repeatedly discussed gun control over the long Presidents’ Day weekend, often as they both closely watched a TV airing footage in real-time of young Parkland students savaging the president for his inaction.
> When polled on his opinions on the matter, the first son emphatically replied that the president must not waver on his pro-gun stance, whatever the impassioned calls for reform.

For the record, guns are not allowed at Mar-a-Lago.
— Kaivan Shroff on Twitter

Mueller charges Russian oligarch Khan’s son-in-law 
Moscow Times
zwaan> The son-in-law of Russian oligarch German Khan has been charged with making false statements to the FBI as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian collusion in the 2016 presidential election.
> Alex Van Der Zwaan was charged Feb. 16 in federal court in Washington related to a report he helped prepare on the trial of a Ukrainian politician, Yulia Tymoshenko. Van Der Zwaan was charged with a criminal information, which typically precedes a guilty plea.
> Van Der Zwaan, identified on his LinkedIn page as an associate in the London office of Skadden, Arps, Slate Meagher & Flom, was questioned regarding the firm’s work in 2012 on behalf of the Ukraine Ministry of Justice.
> Van Der Zwaan is married to Eva Khan, the daughter of Russian oligarch German Khan, who last year sued the media outlet BuzzFeed for libel for publishing the “Trump Dossier.”
The Hill

Alex Van Der Zwaan appears to be a link between Rick Gates, Paul Manafort & Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who was a friend of Russia. With Van Der Zwaan’s guilty plea, this could lead to further cooperation in order to help Mueller obtain more evidence on Manafort.
— Ed Krassenstein on Twitter

Oxfam probes new sex misconduct cases, now numbering 26
Oxfam revealed Tuesday it was investigating 26 new cases of sexual misconduct since the crisis erupted over its handling of a 2011 prostitution scandal in Haiti, which the British charity called a “wake-up call”.
>>> Thousands cancel donations

Assad has launched “war of extermination” on rebel stronghold.
Vice News
> Bombing men, women and children.
> Panos Moumtzis, U.N. regional coordinator for Syria, said in a statement there had been an “extreme escalation” in the bombardment of the enclave, once the breadbasket of Damascus and now home to some 393,000 residents living in desperate conditions. He accused the regime of targeting innocent civilians and infrastructure, and said the humanitarian situation for civilians there was “spiralling out of control.”

Good trial for peanut allergy treatment
> An experimental treatment aimed at helping people with severe peanut allergy scored a clinical win Tuesday, putting it in line to possibly become the first drug to provide meaningful protection against accidental exposure.

UNICEF: US about equal to Sri Lanka in infant mortality
The Guardian
> The risk of dying as a newborn in the US is only slightly lower than the risk for babies in Sri Lanka and Ukraine …

Baseball announces weak pace-of-play rules; no pitch clock.

BP: Oil demand won’t peak for at least 20 years
>>> Oil “hockey pucks” a potential alternative to pipelines 

Teen sentenced to 4 years for planning Ohio school shooting
10TV Columbus
>>> School threats in Miami hit ridiculous levels
Miami Herald

Guy wants to extend life of computers–
Microsoft wants him in prison
Washington Post
Eric-Lundgren2-300x157> Prosecutors said 33-year-old Eric Lundgren ripped off Microsoft by manufacturing 28,000 counterfeit discs with the company’s Windows operating system on them. He was convicted of conspiracy and copyright infringement, which brought a 15-month prison sentence and a $50,000 fine.
> A federal appeals court has granted an emergency stay of the sentence, giving  Lundgren another chance to make his argument that the whole thing was a misunderstanding. Lundgren does not deny that he made the discs, or hoped to sell them. But he says this was no profit-making scheme. By his account, he just wanted to make it easier to extend the usefulness of secondhand computers — keeping more of them out of the trash.

Supreme Clarence Thomas all pissed off about high court gun ruling.
Courthouse News Service
“The right to keep and bear arms is apparently this court’s constitutional orphan,” Thomas wrote. “And the lower courts seem to have gotten the message.”
>>> NY Magazine: Impeach Justice Thomas
For lying, writes former NYT exec Jill Abramson, in total waste of 4,200 words. Ain’t gonna happen.

New Pennsylvania map gives Dems a boost
Most affected: Philly suburbs.
“This is pretty close to a Democratic wet dream,” Christopher Nicholas, a Republican consultant.
>>> Below: the gerrymandered district before it was redrawn


Senate considers trashing bank rules put in place after 2008 meltdown
> On one side are moderate Democrats such as Sens. Heidi Heitkamp and Jon Tester from Republican-leaning states who support the legislation because they say it will provide relief to small and regional banks and boost rural economies.
> On the other are progressives like Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown and their activist allies, who argue that the bill will put consumers at risk. They’re working to undercut the party’s centrists before the vote, with several of the moderates — as well as Brown — facing tough reelection campaigns this year.

Hyperloop digging to begin in DC
The Washington, D.C., Department of Transportation issued a permit to Elon Musk’s company to start digging underneath an abandoned parking lot near the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. It’s still not clear how extensive the digging will be or what types of work the permit will allow.


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