TRUMP ADMINISTRATION PUTS NET NEUTRALITY IN THE CROSSHAIRS: On Tuesday, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced the Restoring Internet Freedom Order, a plan that many see as an attack on net neutrality. The new rules would end regulations that keep service providers like Verizon, AT&T, Comcast and Charter from favoring some sites and apps over others, according to AP. Those who advocate for net neutrality say undoing these rules makes it harder for the government to crack down on internet providers who act against consumer interests and that it will will harm innovation. Some fear it could lead to a a tiered internet, where users have to pay for the specific kinds of content they use.
MICHAEL FLYNN MAY BE ABOUT TO TESTIFY AGAINST DONALD TRUMP: In a move that could signal cooperation with the government, lawyers for former national security adviser Michael Flynn have told President Donald Trump's legal team that they are no longer communicating with them about special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election interference. Flynn's legal team communicated the decision this week, said a person familiar with the move who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation. The decision could be a sign that Flynn is moving to cooperate with Mueller's investigation or negotiate a deal for himself. In large criminal investigations, defense lawyers routinely share information with each other. But it can become unethical to continue such communication if one of the potential targets is looking to negotiate a deal with prosecutors.
CONGRESS CONTINUES TRUMP/RUSSIA PROBE DESPITE GOP CALLS TO CEASE: Some Republicans are hoping lawmakers will soon wrap up investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election that have dragged on for most of the year. But with new details in the probe emerging almost daily, that seems unlikely. Three congressional committees are investigating Russian interference and whether President Donald Trump's campaign was in any way involved. The panels have obtained thousands of pages of documents from Trump's campaign and other officials, and have done dozens of interviews. The probes are separate from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. Mueller can prosecute for criminal activity, while Congress can only lay out findings, publicize any perceived wrongdoing and pass legislation to try to keep problems from happening again. If any committee finds evidence of criminal activity, it must refer the matter to Mueller.
TRUMP TAKES A BREAK FROM HIS MAR-A-LAGO GOLF TO CONGRATULATE HIMSELF ON MILITARY LEADERSHIP: President Donald Trump thanked U.S. troops for their service on Thursday, assuring them “we’re really winning” against America’s foes as he celebrated Thanksgiving at his private club in Florida and provided lunch for Coast Guard men and women on duty for the holiday. Using the occasion to talk up his own leadership, Trump told deployed military members via a video conference that they’ve achieved more progress in Afghanistan and against the Islamic State group under his watch than had been made in years of the previous administration. “Everybody’s talking about the progress you’ve made in the last few months since I opened it up,” he told the 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 82nd Airborne Division, whose members are conducting operations in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
POPE FRANCIS ATTACKS TRUMP'S IMMIGRATION STANCE WITHOUT MENTIONING HIM BY NAME: Pope Francis is decrying those whipping up fear of migrants for political gain, and is urging people to view global migration as a peace-building opportunity and not as a threat. The message was issued Friday by the Vatican, in preparation for the Catholic church's annual World Peace Day, which it marks on Jan. 1. Without citing any nation, Francis said many countries have seen "the spread of rhetoric decrying the risks posed to national security or the high cost of welcoming new arrivals" of migrants. He added that those who "for what may be political reasons, foment fear of migrants instead of building peace are sowing violence, racial discrimination and xenophobia."