The Denver Post - - NEWS -

washington» Mon­tene­gro is set to be­come NATO’s new­est mem­ber af­ter the U.S. Se­nate voted over­whelm­ingly to rat­ify the tiny Balkan na­tion’s en­try into the al­liance.

Se­na­tors voted 97-2 on Tuesday to ad­mit Mon­tene­gro, with only Repub­li­can Sens. Rand Paul of Ken­tucky and Mike Lee of Utah vot­ing no. Paul had sug­gested that adding Mon­tene­gro could lead to height­ened ten­sion with Moscow, pos­si­bly even war. Un­der NATO’s prin­ci­ple of col­lec­tive de­fense, an at­tack against one ally is con­sid­ered an at­tack against them all.

De­spite its size, Mon­tene­gro bears strate­gic im­por­tance. A for­mer ally of Rus­sia, the coun­try is in the midst of a clash be­tween the West and Moscow over in­flu­ence in the Balkans. Mon­tene­gro’s mem­ber­ship gives NATO a con­tigu­ous bor­der along the Adri­atic coast.

Rus­sia strongly op­poses the ex­pan­sion of the Western mil­i­tary al­liance in a re­gion it con­sid­ers part of its strate­gic sphere of in­ter­est.

Law­mak­ers in Repub­li­can-led Kansas vote to ex­pand Med­i­caid B The Repub­li­can-con­trolled

topeka, kan.» Leg­is­la­ture ap­proved an ex­pan­sion Tuesday of state health cov­er­age to thou­sands of poor adults un­der for­mer Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s health care over­haul, days af­ter the col­lapse of GOP lead­ers’ re­peal ef­fort in Washington.

The bill would ex­pand the state’s Med­i­caid pro­gram for the poor, dis­abled and el­derly so that it would cover up to 180,000 ad­di­tional adults who aren’t dis­abled. It now heads to con­ser­va­tive Repub­li­can Gov. Sam Brown­back.

Rus­sian Manafort client will­ing to speak to Congress

B washington» A Rus­sian bil­lion­aire close to Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin said Tuesday he is will­ing to take part in U.S. con­gres­sional hear­ings to dis­cuss his past business re­la­tion­ship with Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s for­mer cam­paign chair­man, Paul Manafort.

Last week, The As­so­ci­ated Press re­ported that Manafort had writ­ten alu­minum mag­nate Oleg Deri­paska in 2005, propos­ing to do work for Deri­paska that would “ben­e­fit the Putin Gov­ern­ment.” The story was based on in­ter­views with peo­ple fa­mil­iar with Deri­paska’s business deal­ings with Manafort and documents ob­tained by the AP, in­clud­ing strat­egy mem­o­randa, con­tracts and records show­ing in­ter­na­tional wire trans­fers for mil­lions of dol­lars.

In a quar­ter-page ad­ver­tise­ment in Tuesday’s edi­tions of The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, Deri­paska said he was “ready to take part in any hear­ings con­ducted in the US Congress on this sub­ject in or­der to de­fend my rep­u­ta­tion and name.”

Man kills three home bur­glars; wo­man who aided rob­bers ar­rested B A

oolo­gah, okla.» wo­man be­lieved to have driven three bur­glars to an Ok­la­homa home where they were shot to death dur­ing a sus­pected home in­va­sion has been ar­rested on mur­der and rob­bery war­rants but the home­owner’s son who shot them has not been ar­rested while po­lice in­ves­ti­gate whether he acted in self-de­fense un­der the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law.

Wagoner County Deputy Nick Ma­honey said Tuesday that El­iz­a­beth Marie Ro­driguez, 21, of Oolo­gah was ar­rested on three first-de­gree mur­der and three first-de­gree bur­glary war­rants and was jailed with­out bail af­ter go­ing to po­lice and say­ing she had in­for­ma­tion about the shoot­ing at a home just east of the Tulsa sub­urb of Bro­ken Ar­row.

Ok­la­homa also is one of 24 states which have laws al­low­ing cit­i­zens to shoot some­one if they be­lieve the per­son threat­ens their safety, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Coun­cil of State Leg­is­la­tures.

Ma­honey said the home­owner’s 23-year-old son used an AR15 ri­fle to shoot the three Mon­day af­ter­noon af­ter they broke through a glass door in the rear of the home. The As­so­ci­ated Press

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