Minnesota politics - commentary, blogs and multimedia | StarTribune.com

Trump legal team looking to investigate Mueller aides

Robert Mueller, the former FBI director and special counsel leading the Russia investigation, leaves after closed meetings with the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 21, 2017. (Doug Mills/The New York Times)

President Donald Trump's legal team is evaluating potential conflicts of interest among members of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigative team, according to three people with knowledge of the matter. The revelation comes as Mueller's probe into Russia's election meddling appears likely to include some of the Trump family's business ties.

US bans travel for Americans to NKorea after Warmbier death

In this Feb. 29, 2016 file photo, American student Otto Warmbier speaks to reporters in Pyongyang, North Korea.

American citizens will be barred by the U.S. from traveling to North Korea beginning next month following a prohibition on using U.S. passports to enter the country, the State Department said Friday.

Trump to host Lebanese leader amid Middle East tensions

The White House says President Donald Trump will host Lebanon's prime minister next week.

Correction: Minnesota-Lawmaker Pay story

In the Story Summary of a July 20 story about lawmaker pay, The Associated Press reported erroneously that Minnesota state representatives currently make $45,000. Representatives' salary was scheduled to rise from $31,000 annually to $45,000, but the House speaker has blocked the raise from taking effect.

Ex-military contractor gets life in prison in sex case

A former U.S. military contractor already serving prison time for stealing secrets has been sentenced to life behind bars for abusing underage girls in Honduras.

Trump ex-campaign manager Lewandowski sues neighbors for $5M

President Donald Trump's former campaign manager has filed a $5 million lawsuit against his New Hampshire neighbors over access to a pond-front property.

Trump names lawyer as new acting ethics chief

President Donald Trump designated a veteran government lawyer Friday as a temporary replacement for a former ethics chief who sparred repeatedly with the White House over the handling of its officials' finances.

Thousands of unexploded bombs are another "secret war" legacy
Secrecy Rules

The landscape of Laos was sown with cluster bombs that continue to maim and kill, more than 40 years later.

Paulsen raised $565K in second quarter
Hot Dish Politics

Paulsen's newly Democratic challenger raised nearly as much in half the time this spring.

House unveils plan to fix VA's budget gap as deadline looms

A House committee unveiled a disputed plan Friday to allow the Department of Veterans Affairs to shift $2 billion from other programs to cover a sudden budget shortfall that could threaten medical care for thousands of patients in the coming weeks.

Abortion fight rages in Kentucky, which has just 1 clinic

Both sides in the abortion fight raging in Kentucky agree on one thing: The stakes are as high as ever in a state that could become the first in the nation without an abortion clinic.

Lawmakers demand funds for homeless vets be restored

More than half of Wisconsin's state legislators demanded on Friday that President Donald Trump's administration restore funding to put homeless veterans in two state homes, warning that the funding cut would worsen veterans' suffering.

Ex-Mexican drug cartel leader gets 30 years in US prison

Prosecutors say a former high-ranking member of the Zetas cartel in Mexico must serve 30 years in a U.S. prison and forfeit $10 million for his drug-related crimes.

US stocks inch lower on Europe worries; tech stocks sink

U.S. stocks are down Friday as investors take a more cautious approach after a report said the European Central Bank will make a decision about reducing its economic stimulus in October. A 10-day winning streak for technology companies fades and General Electric slumped after the company issued a weak forecast.

Former Trump adviser Flynn consulting again, says brother

Embattled former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has opened a new consulting firm called Resilient Patriot, LLC that is advising private equity firms, according to one of his brothers, who says Flynn is "moving on with his life."

The Latest: Panel in talks with Manafort, Trump Jr. reps

The Latest on the ongoing investigations into Russia meddling in the 2016 election (all times EDT):

Environmental report on pipeline favorable for developers

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline intended to carry natural gas across West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina would have some adverse environmental effects, including impacts on water resources, forest and other habitats, but most could be reduced to insignificant levels, an assessment by federal regulators found.

Latest: Pipeline supporters pleased with federal assessment

The Latest on the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline (all times local):

Sessions: Officials should consider harm of sanctuary city

Attorney General Jeff Sessions again singled out Philadelphia on Friday as an increasingly violent city made more dangerous by immigrants living in the country illegally, setting up a showdown with the nation's top law enforcement official in a so-called sanctuary city.