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Former Senator Bill Nelson is Biden’s decision to head NASA

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden plans to appoint former Florida Senator Bill Nelson as the next NASA administrator.

Nelson, who served three Senate terms before losing his 2018 re-election bid to Republican Rick Scott, was the lead Democrat on the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transport. He actually went into space and served on a mission aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1986 while he was a member of the House of Representatives.

This Columbia flight was the last successful shuttle launch before the Challenger explosion.

The presidential nomination of Nelson was widely awaited, and Nelson spoke regularly on space policy on behalf of the Biden campaign over the past year. In a nomination announcement on Friday, the White House cited Nelson’s work as chairman of the House’s space subcommittee, as well as his leadership role in space policy on the Senate’s Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

Prior to the announcement, Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla. Said Nelson was “an excellent choice” to lead NASA awaiting a return to the moon and beyond.

The nomination must be confirmed by the Senate.

– CQ appeal

Lawmakers are on pause during the COVID-19 outbreak at the Idaho Statehouse

BOISE, Idaho – The Idaho House and Senate quickly took hiatus on Friday through April 6 as the coronavirus spread to the statehouse.

House legislators abruptly canceled all committee meetings on Friday morning. Two members of the House of Representatives – Rep. James Ruchti, a Democrat from Pocatello, and Greg Chaney, a Republican from Caldwell – tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday. That’s six members of the House of Representatives who tested positive for COVID-19 in the past week.

House spokesman Scott Bedke, a Republican from Oakley, said House leaders had decided to take a break as six House members tested positive for COVID-19 in the past week. He said he knew an employee who had also tested positive.

“If you use the contact tracing on the six and the employees who are not there, we will play it safe here,” Bedke said at a press conference on Friday. “I’m not too surprised. We knew this was a great possibility and we planned it out as well as we could. “

But Bedke said he has no regrets about how he conducted safety logs during the pandemic. Masks were not required in the Capitol, and many state lawmakers did not wear or keep their distance.

“I would never tell my colleagues what to do with their lives,” said Bedke on Friday. “We could all have been a little more careful. I’m not saying we did everything perfectly, but we did it pretty well. “

Republican Representative Lance Clow of Twin Falls; Ryan Kerby from New Plymouth; Bruce Skaug of Nampa; and Julie Yamamoto of Caldwell also tested positive for COVID-19 last week, Idaho Press reported.

– Idaho statesman

According to prosecutors, Michael Cohen would remain in detention for another 9 months

NEW YORK – Michael Cohen is due to remain in custody until November 22, 2021, prosecutors said, dismissing arguments from Donald Trump’s former fixer that he should have already finished his campaign fund violation sentence for hitting Congress and lied to other crimes.

Cohen sued in December, claiming that his sentence should be reduced because of Trump’s criminal justice reform. Good behavior and participation in prison programs should have resulted in his sentence being completed, Cohen argued.

In new filing released Friday, U.S. assistant attorney Allison Rovner wrote that many of the programs Cohen completed behind bars, such as technical reasons related to the Bureau of Prisons’ policies.

Cohen said it was “a shame” that prosecutors waited a maximum of 60 days to respond to his complaint.

Cohen, who attacked Trump after serving as his right-hand man for years, recently met with prosecutors in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, Cy Vance, in connection with a criminal investigation into the Trump Organization.

– New York Daily News

Putin still wants to speak to Biden, says the Kremlin

Vladimir Putin is still hoping for a public talk with Joe Biden to clear the air between the two presidents after the US leader accused him of being a murderer, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday.

The White House brushed off Putin’s original proposal, made in comments to state television late Thursday, to broadcast a lecture live on either Friday or Monday. But Peskov said Russia would formally ask the US to hold it “at a time convenient for the US president”.

“Mr. Biden has made unprecedented statements,” Peskov said on a conference call. “In order to prevent these statements from harming the already sad state of bilateral relations, Putin suggested discussing the situation, but doing so openly as this would be of interest to the peoples of both countries. “

Biden’s answer in the affirmative, when asked in an interview with ABC News this week whether he thought Putin was a murderer, sent already strained connections to a new low. After Russia called its ambassador from Washington, Putin returned a schoolyard expression that can roughly be translated: “You need you to know you”.

He made his offer for the interview – not a debate, but a discussion according to Peskov – after a rousing speech in front of tens of thousands of supporters in a Moscow stadium on the occasion of the anniversary of the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine by Russia in 2014, an event that sparked that recent round of tension between Moscow and the West.

Putin said he will be busy on a wilderness trip in Siberia this weekend but may be available at other times.

The White House said Biden will be “pretty busy” and noted that he had spoken to Putin by phone earlier this year.

– Bloomberg News

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