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THE RUSSIA RUNDOWN “U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies have confirmed that President Donald Trump’s campaign aides and associates had constant contact with Russian intelligence officials before the election, directly contradicting public statements made by top administration officials.” Former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and then-adviser Mike Flynn were among the aides identified as having communicated with Russian operatives. And Dan Rather says this could rival Watergate. [HuffPost]
BREAKING DOWN THE MIKE FLYNN RESIGNATION TIMELINE Take a look at the complete timeline of the events that led to the National Security Adviser’s resignation. According to the White House, Trump didn’t mind Flynn’s contact with the Russians ― just that he lied about it to Vice President Mike Pence. Democrats (and his hometown paper) are upping the pressure on the Chairman on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), to investigate Flynn. Even some Republicans Senators (minus Rand Paul) seemed to be open to Flynn testifying in front of Congress about his ties to Russia. [HuffPost]
ICE AGENTS REPORTEDLY ARREST FIRST DACA-RECIPIENT “The man’s lawyers say this could be the first time under U.S. President Donald Trump that a person covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, has been taken into immigration custody. “ [HuffPost]
SOUTH KOREAN, U.S. GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS BELIEVE ASSASSINS KILLED HALF-BROTHER OF KIM JUNG UN South Korean officials said they suspected two female North Korean agents in the sudden death of Kim Jong Nam, whose brother, Kim Jung Un, had a “standing order” for his assassination. CNN is reporting a woman has been arrested in connection with his death. [Reuters]
STUDY: 1.1 MILLION DIE PREMATURELY IN INDIA EACH YEAR BECAUSE OF POOR AIR QUALITY 52 percent of air pollution-related deaths take place in India and China. [HuffPost]
‘A DEFINITIVE HISTORY OF THAT TIME TRUMP TOOK A COLD STONE STUNNER’ Yes, you absolutely should read this Travis Waldron masterpiece about the president’s tussle with a WWE champ. [HuffPost]
RUMOR HAS IT No, he literally has it. Rumor the German Shepard has won best in show at Westminster. [HuffPost]
HARRISON FORD UNDER INVESTIGATION AFTER CLOSE CALL WITH PASSENGER AIRPLANE The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating after Ford mistakenly landed his plane on a taxiway. [HuffPost]
‘QUEENS OF THE STONED AGE’ Meet the “Green Angels” ― a group of models who “gets NYC high” in a multimillion-dollar operation. [GQ]
TOM BRADY: VISITING THE WHITE HOUSE ISN’T POLITICAL Brady’s in a bit of a lose-lose situation between his teammates and the president. In lighter news, an Atlanta zoo had to name a cockroach after him after the Falcons lost the Super Bowl. [HuffPost]
CAPTAIN AMERICA HAS NO TIME FOR WHITE SUPREMACY NONSENSE ON TWITTER Take a look at Chris Evans’ takedown of David Duke after he went after Evans’ exes. [HuffPost]
THESE 46 PHOTOS SHOWCASE THE POWER OF PHOTOJOURNALISM Warning: some of the images are graphic. [HuffPost]
BEFORE YOU GO
~ A bodega stock clerk has been convicted in the 1979 murder of 6-year-old Etan Patz.
~ Your wedding registry is now complete: you can add IKEA. Warning ― warranties for divorce-proofing that marriage over assembly not included.
~ Third time’s the charm for Kate Upton, who has the cover of “Sports Illustrated” swimsuit edition.
~ What 11 first-time Oscar voters have to say about the process.
~ The landline is truly dead, and Amazon Echo and Google Home would like to replace it.
~ Meet the man who has written about 6,000 different weddings for The New York Times.
~ In case you’re wondering, Vogue ― yellowface is not OK.
~ Hugh Jackman shared he had another Basal Cell Carcinoma on his face removed.
~ Santana thinks Beyonce lost Album of the Year at the Grammysbecause she can’t sing. Yes, we’re as confused as you are.
~ America’s top fortune cookie writer is quitting, so forgive us if we feel like the future is gone.
~ And try not to melt over the Obamas’ messages to each other on Valentine’s Day.