The frenzy over Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s solicitation charges, explained

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft has been charged with misdemeanor solicitation of prostitution in connection with a Florida spa with potential ties to human trafficking.

The Patriots are one of the most hated teams in American sports, fresh off another Super Bowl win, and Kraft has a long friendship with President Donald Trump, making this a major news story for sports fans and political junkies alike.

Kraft is among some two dozen individuals being charged by police in Jupiter, Florida. Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter is part of a months-long investigation into spas and paid sex in …

Steve Irwin said, “My mission … is to save wildlife.” He did.

Steve Irwin’s life was cut short when he was impaled through the chest by a stingray in 2006 near the Great Barrier Reef. But his legacy remains immense. He was a popular television personality, a zookeeper, science educator, and a conservationist. He would have been 57 years old today, and a Google Doodle not only honors him, but also the work he dedicated his life to.

You might be most familiar with Irwin from his Crocodile Hunter television series, which documented his very, very close and dangerous-seeming encounters with animals (including crocodiles), which he co-hosted with his wife Terri …

The bizarre election fraud hearings that could lead to a new House election, explained

At a North Carolina hearing, investigators have laid out in detail an “unlawful,” “coordinated,” and well-funded plot to tamper with absentee ballots in a US House election that remains uncalled more than three months after Election Day — finally bringing clarity to one of the most bizarre election scandals in recent memory.

On Thursday afternoon, after four days of evidence indicating fraud and an attempt to conceal the scheme from state investigators, Republican candidate Mark Harris himself told the state election board that he believed a new election should be called. Harris had been the apparent winner on Election Night …

Trump’s tweets saying he’s already building the border wall, briefly explained

President Donald Trump wants his social media followers to know that even if Congress is unwilling to give him as much money as he wants for a border wall, he’s nonetheless building it. And he really is — with a couple significant caveats.

On Wednesday, Trump tweeted a time-lapse video from the Army Corps of Engineers that shows construction of bollard fencing along the southern border in Santa Teresa, New Mexico.

“We have just built this powerful Wall in New Mexico,” Trump wrote. “Completed on January 30, 2019 — 47 days ahead of schedule! Many miles more now under construction! …

Bernie Sanders is running for president again. This time, he’s a frontrunner.

Sen. Bernie Sanders caught the establishment Democratic Party off guard three years ago; few anticipated the strength of his candidacy and message.

Things have changed. Sanders announced on Tuesday he is running for president again — but this time, he’s not the underdog. This time, he is a frontrunner who, despite coming in second in 2016, has fundamentally altered the Democratic Party.

Sanders, now 77 years old, is the most popular senator among constituents in America and consistently ranks among the top potential 2020 candidates in early polls. That said, he’s joining a packed field, including progressive firebrands like Sen. …

16 states sue the Trump administration over national emergency declaration

Sixteen states, including California, New York, and Michigan, are suing over Trump’s decision to declare a national emergency to obtain funding for a border wall.

The suit against the Trump administration is the latest one the White House faces over the president’s announcement. The ACLU as well as the nonpartisan nonprofit Protect Democracy have also said they’ll pursue lawsuits against the Trump administration.

The states’ lawsuit, much like the others, argues that the Trump administration is bypassing Congress’s constitutional authority over federal funding and hurting states in the process.

“If the President is essentially stealing money that’s been allocated to …

Vox Sentences: The pope will listen to survivors

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The Vatican prepares to talk about the sexual abuse of minors; Australia is hit with a cyberattack.

“The Protection of Minors in the Church”

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
  • The Vatican prepared Monday for a Thursday meeting called “The Protection of Minors in the Church,” which will address the long and destructive history of sexual abuse of children by officials of the church. Pope Francis

North Carolina investigators describe “unlawful” ballot tampering scheme in House election

At a North Carolina hearing Monday, investigators started laying out in detail an “unlawful,” “coordinated,” and “well-funded” plot to tamper with absentee ballots in a US House election that remains uncalled more than three months after Election Day — finally bringing some clarity to one of the most bizarre election scandals in recent memory.

State investigators established their theory of the case — that a Republican operative, Leslie McCrae Dowless, directed a coordinated scheme to unlawfully collect, falsely witness, and otherwise tamper with absentee ballots — and a worker who says she assisted him in the scheme delivered explosive testimony …

Trump just issued an ultimatum to the Venezuelan military: abandon Maduro or else

President Donald Trump just issued an ultimatum to Venezuela’s military: Either join with the US-led effort to depose Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, or suffer immense consequences.

Maduro’s troops can defect and support the US-backed challenger — Juan Guaidó — “or you can choose the second path, continuing to support Maduro,” Trump said on Monday at Florida International University. “If you choose this path, you will find no safe harbor, no easy exit, and no way out. You will lose everything.”

Since January, the Trump administration, joined by governments in the Americas and Europe, has called for Venezuela’s socialist president …

Tulsi Gabbard’s 2020 presidential campaign

The controversial Democratic senator from Hawaii is running for president in 2020.

Tulsi Gabbard, a Democratic representative from Hawaii, was first elected to Congress in 2012. She announced her presidential run on January 11, 2019, joining a growing field of Democratic contenders seeking the Democratic Party nomination in the 2020 presidential election.

Gabbard initially excited the left because she was an outspoken economic progressive and a veteran who objected to American intervention abroad. She was also the first Hindu member of Congress. Nancy Pelosi called her an “emerging star”;