Why Dogs and Humans Love Each Other So Much | Time


With dogs, things are different.

Our world and their world swirled together long ago like two different shades of paint. Once you’ve achieved a commingled orange, you’re never going back to red and yellow.

But why is that?

It’s not enough to say that the relationship is symbiotic—that dogs hunt for us and herd for us and we keep them warm and fed in return. Sharks and remora fish struck a similarly symbiotic deal, with the remora cleaning parasites from the shark’s skin and getting to help itself to scraps from the shark’s kills as its pay. That underwater deal is entirely transactional; love plays no part.

Humans and dogs, by contrast, adore each other.

Source: Why Dogs and Humans Love Each Other So Much | Time

Media figures lament toxic Twitter | TheHill


High-profile journalists are saying they might leave Twitter after tweets attacking them and family members.

The latest controversy is underscoring how the popular social media platform has become toxic in the current political climate.

Source: Media figures lament toxic Twitter | TheHill

Trump administration introduces proposal to roll back Endangered Species Act protections | TheHill


The proposal would make it easier to delist an endangered species and would withdraw a policy that offered the same protections for threatened species as for endangered species unless otherwise specified.

It would streamline interagency consultations and make it more difficult to protect habitat near land where endangered species live.

The proposed rules also include an interpretation that a species considered endangered would be protected for a “foreseeable future” that extends “only as far” as it can be reasonably determined that “both the future threats and the species’ responses to those threats are probable.”

Source: Trump administration introduces proposal to roll back Endangered Species Act protections | TheHill

Putin accuses U.S. forces of trying to ruin Trump summit outcome | Reuters


The White House has been struggling to contain a political outcry and confusion over the summit ever since.

Putin, speaking to Russian diplomats from around the world assembled in Moscow, said on Thursday the Helsinki summit had been successful.

“It was successful overall and led to some useful agreements. Of course, let’s see how events will develop further,” he said, without disclosing the nature of the agreements he referred to.

Source: Putin accuses U.S. forces of trying to ruin Trump summit outcome | Reuters

Trump Is Being Manipulated by Putin. What Should We Do? | The New York Times


As a member of Congress, a coequal branch of government designed by our founders to provide checks and balances on the executive branch, I believe that lawmakers must fulfill our oversight duty as well as keep the American people informed of the current danger.

Somehow many Americans have forgotten that Russia is our adversary, not our ally, and the reasons for today’s tensions go back much farther than the 2016 election. For more than a decade, Russia has meddled in elections around the world, supported brutal dictators and invaded sovereign nations — all to the detriment of United States interests.

Mitt Romney had it right in 2012 when he told President Barack Obama that Russia was “without question our No. 1 geopolitical foe.”

Source: Opinion | Trump Is Being Manipulated by Putin. What Should We Do? – The New York Times

As Russians describe ‘verbal agreements’ at summit, U.S. officials scramble for clarity | The Washington Post

“Important verbal agreements” were reached at the Helsinki meeting, Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, told reporters in Moscow Wednesday, including preservation of the New START and INF agreements, major bilateral arms control treaties whose futures have been in question. Antonov also said Putin had made “specific and interesting proposals to Washington” on how the two countries could cooperate on Syria.

But officials at the most senior levels across the U.S. military, scrambling since Monday to determine what Trump may have agreed to on national security issues in Helsinki, had little to no information Wednesday.

Source: As Russians describe ‘verbal agreements’ at summit, U.S. officials scramble for clarity – The Washington Post

Putin, Trump talked about a referendum for eastern Ukraine


Ambassador Anatoly Antonov revealed the discussions amid confusion and concern in the U.S. about what the two world leaders actually agreed upon behind closed doors.

“This issue (of a referendum) was discussed,” he said, adding that Putin made “concrete proposals” to Trump on solutions for the four-year, Russian-backed insurgency in eastern Ukraine, which has killed more than 10,000 people.

He did not elaborate on what Putin’s solutions would be.

The move may be seen as an effort to sidestep European peace efforts for Ukraine and increase the pressure on the Ukrainian government in its protracted conflict with pro-Russian separatists in the Donbass region.

Source: Putin, Trump talked about a referendum for eastern Ukraine

America’s Debt Dilemma | US News


The White House last week quietly conceded that its initial budgetary estimates for the next few years are unlikely to materialize as planned. In February, a preliminary presidential budget proposal projected deficits of $7.1 trillion over the course of a 10-year window.

But updated estimates indicate that initial benchmark was off by more than $900 billion, with annual deficits eclipsing $1 trillion as soon as next year.

“This is a striking acknowledgment following almost two years of claims that economic growth unleashed by [tax cut and spending hike] policies will wipe deficits away,” Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, said in a statement on Tuesday.

“On our current course, debt will overtake the size of the entire economy in about a decade, and interest will be the largest government program in three decades or less. This will weaken both our economy and our role in the world.”

Source: America’s Debt Dilemma | The Report | US News

What Helsinki agreements? This is not normal


What we do know about Helsinki largely comes from the joint Trump-Putin press briefing, perhaps the most embarrassing post-summit press conference performance ever by an American president. The presidents described the topics they discussed but offered no detail on any agreements.

The summit did not produce a joint statement, which typically offers the vehicle to record and report on agreements reached.

Following a more normal summit, National Security Advisor John Bolton or Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who took part in the larger meeting following the Trump-Putin one-on-one session, would have briefed the press on the summit results, including any agreements.

Alternatively, Bolton or another senior National Security Council official would have briefed the press on background.

None of that has happened.

Source: What Helsinki agreements? This is not normal

Trump invites Putin to Washington despite U.S. uproar over Helsinki summit | Reuters


Four days after Trump stunned the world by siding with Putin in Helsinki over his intelligence agencies, the president asked national security adviser John Bolton to issue the invitation to the Russian leader, said White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders.

What happened at Monday’s one-on-one between Trump and Putin with only interpreters present remained a mystery, even to top officials and U.S. lawmakers who said they had not been briefed.

The coveted invitation was sure to be seen as a victory by Putin, whose last official visit to the United States was in July 2007, when he spent two days at the Bush family compound.

Source: Trump invites Putin to Washington despite U.S. uproar over Helsinki summit | Reuters