(CNN) - Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, plans to introduce a resolution in the Senate to oppose a new law in Russia that bans the public discussion of same-sex rights and relationships.
The nonbinding resolution calls for Russia to guarantee that athletes and spectators "will not experience anti-LGBT discrimination" when the country hosts the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, according to Merkley's spokesperson, Jamal Raad.
(CNN) - The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is again issuing subpoenas for State Department documents involving the deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi last year.
But an adviser at the State Department said the latest demand is a head-scratcher.
Programming note: Was there a political cover up surrounding the Benghazi attack that killed four Americans? Watch a CNN special investigation — The Truth About Benghazi, Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET.
(CNN) - In yet another sign that Congress is headed for a clash in the fall over government spending, Senate Republicans Thursday blocked a transportation and housing bill, arguing it would break budget spending caps.
It was a significant defeat for Democrats and a win for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, who persuaded several Republicans who had previously voted to support the higher spending level to change their positions and vote to block the bill.
CNN's GUT CHECK | for August 1, 2013 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
VODKA, BORSCHT AND FREEDOM: RUSSIA GRANTS SNOWDEN ASYLUM, HE HAS LEFT MOSCOW AIRPORT, LAWYER SAYS… “We would like to thank the Russian people and all those others who have helped to protect Mr. Snowden. We have won the battle - now the war,” WikiLeaks tweeted after NSA leaker Edward Snowden was granted asylum in Russia. Snowden has legal status in Russia for one year, his Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena said earlier Thursday.
WILL OBAMA MEET WITH PUTIN IN SEPTEMBER? When Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama met in June, they agreed to a Moscow bilateral meeting in September when the world’s leaders will be in St. Petersburg, Russia for the G20 summit. Will that meeting still happen? “I do not have a scheduling announcement for you today,” Press Secretary Jay Carney said Thursday at the White House press briefing. “We are evaluating the utility of the summit.” – Tom Cohen
(CNN) – The controversial written passage on the side of the National Mall's Martin Luther King Jr. memorial has been removed, the sculptor said Thursday.
Chinese artist Master Lei Yixin told reporters at a press event in front of the memorial that the inscription had been removed by deepening the grooves that give the side of the memorial texture.
Washington (CNN) - Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Robert Mueller is known for his poker-faced demeanor, rarely betraying emotion as he led some of the most sensitive government investigations.
George Tenet, his friend and the former Central Intelligence Agency director, on Thursday offered a rare peek at Mueller battling to keep a straight face during public hearings. Mueller is leaving his post Sept. 4 after 12 years, and the Justice Department held a farewell ceremony to honor him.
Washington (CNN) - On Thursday the White House officially launched a new website to educate business owners on how the Affordable Care Act is likely to affect their bottom line. The new site, part of the administration's existing inter-agency effort called BusinessUSA, aims to be a one-stop-shop to dispel misinformation surrounding new requirements that employers offer health insurance to their workers, a senior Obama administration official said.
"The goal with the tool is to put the information – if there is unique information to your state, your location, let's put it right there at your fingertips along with the other information that may be more applicable across the board," the official said.
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama announced on Thursday that he will nominate John Koskinen, a veteran of both public service and the private sector, to take over the embattled Internal Revenue Service.
A blog post on the White House website described Koskinen, who recently turned 74, as "a retired corporate restructuring expert" who would become commissioner of the IRS upon confirmation by the Senate.FULL STORY