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Caitlin Hillyard's MyC-SPAN

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    U.S. Policy Toward Russia

    Officials from the Departments of State and Defense as well as a Russian pro-democracy activist were among the witnesses who testified on U.S. policy toward Russia. The hearing focused on Russia’s impact on peace in security in Europe, and the country’s violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). Open Russia Movement Activist Vladimir Kara-Murza stressed the importance of the U.S. continuing to enforce the Magnitsky Act, which penalizes Russian officials suspected of human rights violations.

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    Holocaust Art Recovery Act

    Witnesses testified at a joint hearing of two Senate Judiciary subcommittees. The hearing concerned the Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery Act, which deals with adjusting the statutes of limitation which had prevented the restitution of some art works confiscated by the Nazis during World War II. Actress Helen Mirren testified about what she had learned while portraying in the movie Woman in Gold a Jewish refugee who fought the Austrian government for a piece of art taken from her family during the Holocaust. Simon Goodman testified about his work to find his family’s stolen treasures.

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    Senate Democrats on Merrick Garland Supreme Court Nomination

    To mark the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Brown vs. Board of Education decision, several Democratic senators called for Senate action on Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

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    U.S. Global Leadership

    Former Secretary of State James Baker and former National Security Adviser Thomas Donilon testified at a hearing on the role of U.S. leadership around the globe. Topics included international affairs and global economic issues for the next administration to consider.

    Following the hearing Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Bob Corker (R-TN) answered reporters' questions on the war in Syria, saying, “We missed an opportunity...there was no Plan B.”

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    Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, National Security and Privacy

    The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Amendments Act, which was up for reauthorization in 2017. Former national security and intelligence officials from the Obama and George W. Bush administrations talked about the strengths and weaknesses of the act, which includes Section 702,* and made recommendations for consideration in the act’s reauthorization process.

    * Section 702 permits the attorney general and the Director of National Intelligence to jointly authorize targeting of non-Americans reasonably believed to be located outside the U.S