SENATE APPROVES MONTENEGRO’S ADDITION TO NATO
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