Wednesday, January 29, 2020
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Britney Spears posts reassuring message

“All is well,” and Britney Spears will be back soon. That’s what the singer told her supporters Tuesday night.

The pop star icon went on Instagram to address rumors that have circulated on social media in the past weeks and let her social media followers know she is doing “what’s best at the moment” and that she needs a “little bit of privacy to deal with all the hard things that life is throwing my way.”

“My family has been going through a lot of stress and anxiety lately so I just needed time to deal,” she said. On her caption, Spears added, “You may not know this about me, but I am strong, and stand up for what I want!”

Earlier this month, People magazine reported the star had checked into a facility to seek “all-encompassing wellness treatment.” At the time, Spears posted a photo about self-care on Instagram with the caption, “We all need to take time for a little “me time.”

In January, the “Circus” singer also stepped back from her “Domination” residency in Las Vegas because of her father’s health issues, who, she wrote, was hospitalized and “almost died.”

In a press release, her reps said Spears’ father was hospitalized due to his colon “spontaneously” rupturing and remained in the hospital for 28 days.

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Trump issues first veto of his presidency

The resolution against his emergency declaration was a stunning bipartisan rebuke to Trump, but lawmakers currently do not have the votes to overturn his veto.

Donald Trump issued the first veto of his presidency Friday afternoon, rejecting a congressional resolution that would have blocked him from funding his border wall without congressional approval.

“Consistent with the law and the legislative process designed by our founders, today I am vetoing this resolution,“ Trump said. “Congress has the freedom to pass this resolution, and I have the duty to veto it. And I’m very proud to veto it.”

The president’s veto comes a day after 12 Republicans joined Senate Democrats to rebuke the president’s decision to declare a national emergency last month in order to redirect funds to build a wall on the southern border.

The resolution was a stunning bipartisan rebuke to Trump, but lawmakers currently do not have the votes to overturn his veto.

Trump on Friday was flanked by a crowd as he approved the veto in the Oval Office, including Vice President Mike Pence, Attorney General William Barr and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. A group relatives of people purportedly killed by undocumented immigrants, called “angel parents” by the president, and law enforcement representatives also attended the veto signing.

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Twitter tests conversation ‘subscriptions’

Twitter is testing yet another new feature: a “subscribe to conversation” button that would let users follow a thread without liking or replying to it. Twitter user and software engineer Jane Manchun Wong (who’s known for finding this kind of thing) discovered the prototype in the Android version of the app. In response to her tweet about it, Twitter said this is an attempt to make the platform more conversational. It’s now the latest in a flood of changes we’ve seen from Twitter.

This new tool adds a button to the top right corner of threads. If you click it, you’ll be notified when additional tweets are added to the thread. Because you don’t need to “heart” or comment in a thread to receive updates, this could add a bit of anonymity. There’s no indication yet if or when Twitter will deploy the change platform-wide, though.

Earlier this week, the company released its experimental beta testing app, Twttr, which will let early adopters test new Twitter features. First, it’s giving threads a chat-like look with color coding and indentation. At the beginning of the month, the company confirmed it’s working out a way to hide unwanted replies en masse (this was also discovered by Wong).

In February, we learned the company is testing a way to preview user profileswithout leaving your timeline. It’s also testing an “original tweeter” label, which will show which account started a thread, and it added a chronological timeline button on Android. Finally, at SXSW, Twitter revealed a new camera for the app, which will make it easier to share photos and videos.

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Can House Democrats really protect Obamacare?

House Democrats who swept back into power on the promise to protect people with pre-existing conditions face tough legal and political choices as they try to make good on that vow.

Those promises galvanized millions of voters. But now, like the Republicans previously elected on promises to repeal and replace Obamacare, they face the formidable challenge of turning campaign rhetoric into reality.

And with the Senate and White House still in Republican hands, Democratic leaders have only one surefire weapon in their arsenal: a resolution to jump into the court fight over Obamacare’s consumer protections. That would empower the House Counsel to intervene in the lawsuit brought by 20 conservative state attorneys general that threatens to abolish the health care law.

“There’s a clear picture that the thing we will definitely do quickly is intervene in the lawsuit” to defend the law, a Democratic leadership aide told POLITICO.

Beyond that, their strategy is still up for grabs: Several key Democrats promise a more confrontational approach that includes early showdown votes with Republicans in Congress over the law’s future. First on that agenda: legislation strengthening Obamacare’s popular pre-existing condition protections that would force GOP lawmakers to go on record for or against a law that many worked for years to kill.

“Let’s nail them down,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.). “A bunch of Republican candidates did a complete U-turn on the pre-existing condition question, and they made it back into office based on that profession of faith. Now, everybody should be asked to commit and vote.”

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