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May 19, 2017
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The Bureau of Prisons has begun the process of acquiring at least one new private prison specifically for housing undocumented immigrants, BuzzFeed News reports. "Given Attorney General [Jeff] Sessions' strong focus on a priority for the investigation and prosecution of immigration offenses, we do expect an increase in additional immigration offenders over the weeks and months ahead," said the acting director of the bureau, Dr. Thomas Kane.

The Bureau of Prisons is seeking bids for a prison with up to "9,540 beds." "The population will be low-security adult male inmates that are primarily criminal aliens with ordinarily 90 months or less remaining to serve on their sentences," the notice says.

"We're extremely concerned," the American Civil Liberties Union's deputy director of legislative affairs in Washington, Jesselyn McCurdy, told BuzzFeed News. "We have seen how people have been mistreated, abused, and in many cases, not been given proper medical care and died as a result of being in private prisons."

Arrests of undocumented immigrants have increased 37.6 percent under President Trump. Jeva Lange

2:11 a.m. ET

Wednesday was "an historic day, a holy day — maybe even an a-holy day — as his holiness met his bigliness at the Vatican," Jimmy Kimmel said on Wednesday's Kimmel Live. There were actually "no major incidents" when President Trump met with Pope Francis, he assured everyone. "The pope made it clear that he would like our president to join him in promoting peace, giving aid to the poor, and protecting our environment, and the pope is very persuasive. Unfortunately, Trump is only in year 70 of his 100-year deal with the devil right now, and he's got a no-trade clause, so it's very unlikely he would switch teams."

When Pope Francis meets with world leaders, "he doesn't have much of a... poper face, I guess," Kimmel said. He showed photos of Francis meeting various world leaders, and noted his expression, then showed the pope and Trump, with some realistically fake footage of a papal hand-swatting and fake photos of Trump's gift for Pope Francis. But the Fox News coverage he showed was real. "If you were visiting from another planet and turned on Fox News, you really might not know which of these guys was the holy one," Kimmel said, playing some of the "slobbering" commentary, and then some. Watch below. Peter Weber

1:34 a.m. ET

Leonard the pit bull is proof that with a little training, a misunderstood dog is capable of doing amazing things.

When Leonard, 1, was rescued in Ohio last October, he was almost euthanized because the shelter didn't think anyone would adopt him. He liked to take things that weren't his and had a one-track mind, and the Union County Humane Society realized that while it would be hard for him to sit around someone's house, those traits would make him a successful police dog. They contacted the Clay Township Police Department, and after some tests and training, Leonard joined the force on May 19, becoming Ohio's first official police pit bull.

Leonard's job is to find narcotics, and when he's off duty, he lives with Chief of Police Terry Mitchell. "He would just as soon climb on your lap and give you kisses and go to sleep as he would do anything else, but he's really taken to the vest," Mitchell told WTOL. "When you put that vest on him, he's all business. It's like he knows it's time to go to work." Catherine Garcia

1:21 a.m. ET
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Greg Gianforte, the Republican running against Democrat Rob Quist in Thursday's special election for the open House seat in Montana, has been issued a citation for misdemeanor assault related to his reported manhandling of reporter Ben Jacobs at a campaign event Wednesday evening in Bozeman, Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin said Wednesday night. "The nature of the injuries did not meet the statutory elements of felony assault," Gootkin said in a statement, adding that Gianforte "is scheduled to appear in Gallatin County Justice Court between now and June 7." The punishment for misdemeanor assault is no more than $500 or up to 6 months in county jail.

Gootkin also said that he had been asked about a political contribution he'd made to Gianforte's campaign. "I did contribute $250.00 on March 23, 2017," the sheriff said. "This contribution has nothing to do with our investigation which is now complete." Gianforte has long been expected to win the heavily Republican state, though the race is much closer than Republicans would like. Quist has been hammering Gianforte for telling donors he supports the House GOP health-care bill and telling the public he opposes it; Jacobs was asking Gianforte about the new Congressional Budget Office score of the bill when, according to Fox News reporters in the room, Gianforte "grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground." Peter Weber

12:35 a.m. ET
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As "nuts" as it was, it's anyone's guess how the altercation between Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte and Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs will affect Thursday's special election in Montana, University of Montana political science professor Robert Saldin said Wednesday night.

Several voters have already cast their ballots, Saldin told the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, and some anti-media Republicans might be sympathetic to Gianforte, who has used strong rhetoric against journalists in previous campaign speeches. Jacobs tweeted Wednesday evening that Gianforte body slammed him when he was asking a question during a campaign event, an account supported by a team from Fox News. The Guardian has released audio of the incident, and Gianforte's campaign released a statement at odds with what's heard on the recording and reported by Fox News. Jacobs walked into a room without permission and "aggressively shoved a recorder in Greg's face," the Gianforte campaign said, insisting that the candidate merely "attempted to grab the phone that was pushed in his face. Jacobs grabbed Greg's wrist, and spun away from Greg, pushing them both to the ground."

In a news conference Wednesday night, Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin said because authorities are investigating the altercation, he couldn't provide much information beyond that Gianforte and Jacobs will both be interviewed. Tina Olechowski, a spokeswoman for Democratic candidate Rob Quist, declined to comment about the incident when asked by the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, and said Quist was on his way to Missoula when he heard about what happened. Meanwhile, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesman Tyler Law said the Republican Party should publicly speak out against what Gianforte allegedly did. Catherine Garcia

May 24, 2017

In December, R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe joined Stephen Colbert to reluctantly ring out 2016 with a list of terrible things that happened last year, while still feeling fine. On Wednesday's Late Show, it was Paul Simon's turn for a duet on the emotional duality of these times we live in. Colbert asked Simon whey he didn't play "59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)" anymore. "Oh, I loathe that song," Simon said. "It just feels naive, you know, just doesn't feel like 2017." "What do you mean naive?" Colbert asked. "Wrong mood," Simon said. Colbert suggested some changes, starting with: "Hello lamppost, nice to see ya / We might get bombed by North Korea." But don't worry, they're still feelin' groovy (or at least Colbert is). Watch and sing along below. Peter Weber

May 24, 2017
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A trio of Fox News employees is backing up journalist Ben Jacobs' account of what happened Wednesday evening between him and Greg Gianforte, the Republican candidate for Montana's vacant U.S. House seat.

The Guardian's Jacobs tweeted that during a campaign event in Bozeman, Gianforte "body slammed me and broke my glasses," and later, audio was released of the incident in which Gianforte can be heard yelling, "I'm sick and tired of you guys!" Fox News reporter Alicia Acuna was in the room when the altercation took place, along with field producer Faith Mangan and photographer Keith Railey. In a firsthand account posted to the Fox News website, Acuna wrote that Jacobs, whose name she didn't know at the time, walked into the room with a voice recorder and "put it up to Gianforte's face and began asking him if he had a response to the newly released Congressional Budget Office report on the American Health Care Act. Gianforte told him he would get to him later. Jacobs persisted with his question. Gianforte told him to talk to his press guy, Shane Scanlon."

Then, Gianforte "grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him," Acuna wrote. She said the Fox News crew "watched in disbelief" as Gianforte then "began punching the man, as he moved on top of the reporter and began yelling something to the effect of 'I'm sick and tired of this!'" Jacobs got up and asked Acuna, Mangan, and Railey for their names, Acuna said, but "in shock, we did not answer." After Jacobs left the room, "Gianforte looked at the three of us and repeatedly apologized." Acuna said "To be clear, at no point did any of us who witnessed this assault see Jacobs show any form of physical aggression toward Gianforte, who left the area after giving statements to local sheriff's deputies."

In a statement, Scanlon referred to Jacobs as a "liberal journalist," and claimed that Gianforte asked Jacobs to lower his recorder and when Jacobs didn't, "Greg then attempted to grab the phone that was pushed in his face. Jacobs grabbed Greg's wrist, and spun away from Greg, pushing them both to the ground." Catherine Garcia

May 24, 2017
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On Wednesday, several companies that regularly air commercials during Sean Hannity's Fox News show pulled their ads in the wake of his coverage of the 2016 murder of a Democratic National Committee staffer.

Hannity had been pushing a conspiracy theory that Seth Rich was murdered because he gave DNC files to WikiLeaks; police say there is no evidence of this, and that Rich was likely shot and killed during a botched robbery. On Tuesday, Fox News retracted the story it published about Rich earlier this month, but Hannity initially refused to let it go. On his show Tuesday night, he said he would stop discussing his Rich theory "for now," but later tweeted that he was "not stopping" because he is "closer to the TRUTH than ever."

The companies who have pulled their ads include Peloton, Ring, and Cars.com, which told BuzzFeed News its media buy strategies "are designed to reach as many consumers as possible across a wide spectrum of media channels," but they've been "watching closely and have recently made the decision to pull our advertising from Hannity." Several companies contacted by BuzzFeed News said that just because they air commercials during Hannity, it doesn't mean they endorse what he has to say; Mercedes-Benz, for example, said its "rule of thumb is that we do not pull our ads based on editorial content. Our feeling is that a variety of viewpoints is part of the natural discourse that takes place in a free media." Before he departed the network amid accusations of sexual harassment, former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly saw companies pull their ads from airing during his program, then the highest-rated cable news show. Catherine Garcia

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