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Census workers told to stop gathering data on citizenship

President Donald Trump’s effort to exclude people in the U.S. illegally from being counted in the process for divvying up congressional seats was dealt another blow Wednesday when the Census Bureau’s director indefinitely halted an effort to gather data on the citizenship status of every resident.

Bureau workers laboring to comply with the Trump order were instructed to “‘stand down’ and discontinue their data reviews,” Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham said in a memo.

A review indicated problems with the data that would require additional work, Dillingham said.

The Office of Inspector General reported Tuesday that bureau workers were under significant pressure from two Trump political appointees to figure out who is in the U.S. illegally.

Ex-Mich. Gov. Snyder charged with neglect in Flint disaster

Former Gov. Rick Snyder is facing two counts of willful neglect of duty related to the Flint crisis over lead-contaminated drinking water.

The charges, found in online court records Wednesday, are misdemeanors punishable by up to $1,000 and a year in jail.

The date of the offense is listed in the records as April 25, 2014, the day the city switched from using the Detroit regional system water to the Flint River.

Snyder attorney Brian Lennon previously called the expected charges against the former two-term Republican “outrageous.”

Trump offers, Biden accepts use of Blair House on Jan. 19

The White House has offered President-elect Joe Biden the use of Blair House, the official residence for guests of the president, on the eve of his inauguration.

Biden has accepted the offer to stay at the 1824 Federal home, according to a spokesperson for the State Department, which oversees use of the property. Biden’s inauguration committee declined several requests for comment, making it unclear whether he has made firm plans to stay there or simply accepted the invitation to keep the option open.

Inauguration Day typically begins with a breakfast for friends and family at the home before a church service and a meeting at the White House with the outgoing president.

It is unlikely that Trump, who isn’t planning to attend the inauguration, will meet with Biden; his planners have so far declined to provide details on Biden’s plans that morning.

Despite warnings, Navalny planning to return to Russia

MOSCOW — Less than six months after Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny was poisoned in what he has termed a state-ordered attack, he announced Wednesday that he is returning to Russia, where he could find himself behind bars soon after his arrival.

Navalny has been recovering in Germany since he became ill during an Aug. 20 flight to Moscow from the Siberian city of Tomsk. He spent more than two weeks in a medically induced coma in a Berlin hospital and has been recuperating since in Germany. He has not been back in Russia but is planning his return for Sunday.

“[Russian President Vladimir] Putin, who gave the order to kill me, is screaming in his bunker and tells his servants to do everything to prevent me from returning,” Navalny said in an Instagram post.

The Federal Penitentiary Service has threatened to lock him up if he returns, formally requesting that a suspended sentence be changed to jail time.

— From wire reports

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