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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, May 16, 2018 1:00 am

Politics

Pa. voters pick Senate challenger

News services

A four-term congressman who is a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump has won the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania.

U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta had paid little attention to his Republican rival, state Rep. Jim Christiana, during the primary campaign leading up to Tuesday. Instead, he focused his attacks on the candidate he is looking to unseat in the fall, two-term Democratic Sen. Bob Casey.

In Nebraska, Sen. Deb Fischer won the Republican nomination in her bid for a second term in office. Fischer defeated four GOP challengers, some of whom had argued she wasn't conservative enough. On the Democratic side, Lincoln City Councilwoman Jane Raybould defeated three challengers for the nomination to take on Fischer in November.

FBI eyes suspect in hacking-tool leak

The FBI has been investigating whether a former CIA employee jailed on child pornography charges is also tied to a massive leak of cyber hacking tools, according to court documents reviewed by The Associated Press.

Government prosecutors say Joshua Adam Schulte remains a target of an ongoing investigation into the theft of the tools that were used by the agency to spy overseas. No charges have been filed against him, and his defense lawyers have insisted he was not involved.

WikiLeaks began releasing some of the CIA's hacking tools in March 2017. The U.S. government has all but publicly acknowledged the embarrassing leak from the CIA's Center for Cyber Intelligence.

US puts anti-terror sanctions on Iran

The United States intensified its financial pressure on Iran on Tuesday, slapping anti-terror sanctions on the head of its central bank and barring anyone around the world from doing business with him. That dealt a further blow to European hopes of salvaging the Iranian nuclear deal in the wake of President Donald Trump's withdrawal.

Valiollah Seif, the governor of the Iranian central bank, was named a “specially designated global terrorist” along with another senior official, Ali Tarzali, who works in the central bank's international division. The Treasury Department accused the men of secretly funneling millions of dollars through an Iraqi bank to help Hezbollah, the militant network that the U.S. considers a terrorist group.

Judge deals blow to Manafort

Special counsel Robert Mueller was working within his authority when he brought charges against President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, a federal judge in Washington ruled Tuesday.

The decision was a setback for Manafort in his defense against charges of money-laundering conspiracy, false statements and acting as an unregistered foreign agent related to his Ukrainian political work. Manafort had argued that Mueller had exceeded his authority because the case was unrelated to Russian election interference.

Senate bill would help drone threat

A bipartisan group of senators has introduced a bill that would give the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security powers to act against drones deemed a threat, including those at large gatherings in local communities, if federal authorities are invited by a state's governor or attorney general.

The proposal expands on a request from the Trump administration to, in some cases, free Justice and Homeland Security officials from legal prohibitions on intercepting communications or “sabotaging” aircraft. Those laws were written before drones were as cheap, powerful and commonplace as they are today.