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Dylan Scott

Dylan Scott is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. He previously reported for Governing magazine in Washington, D.C., and the Las Vegas Sun. His work has been recognized with a 2013 American Society of Business Publication Editors award for Best Feature Series and a 2010 Associated Press Society of Ohio award for Best Investigative Reporting. He can be reached at dylan@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Dylan

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) joined with other Republicans on Wednesday who condemned President Barack Obama's decision to open diplomatic relations with Cuba.

"Make no mistake, although we are glad (former prisoner Alan Gross) is now free, the agreement the Obama Administration has entered into with the Castro regime has done nothing to resolve the underlying problem," Cruz, who is Cuban-American, said in a statement. "Indeed, it has made it worse."

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President Barack Obama formally announced on Wednesday his administration's plan to re-establish diplomatic relations with Cuba, positioning the move as the historic reversal of a half-century-long failed policy between the two countries.

"We will end an outdated approach that for decades has failed to advance our interests," he said in an address from the White House Cabinet Room. "Instead we will begin to normalize our relations between our two countries. Through the changes, we intend to create more opportunities for the American and Cuban people and begin a new chapter among the nations of the Americas."

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The United States intends to open an official embassy in Cuba in the coming months, the White House announced Wednesday, part of a broader normalizing of diplomatic relations after the countries exchanged prisoners.

In a conference call with reporters, a senior administration official called the developments "the most significant changes to our Cuba policy in more than 50 years."

"What we are doing is beginning the normalization of relations of the United States and Cuba," the official said. "President Obama has long believed that engagement is a better tool than isolation and nowhere is that clear than in Cuba, where we have seen a policy of isolation fail for the last 50 years."

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As the backlash continues against police violence in the aftermath of multiple African-Americans being killed by officers, one wrinkle in the ongoing debate has been the aggressive reaction of law enforcement itself to the public criticism and protest.

Among the recent examples, a New York City police union has urged members to ban Mayor Bill de Blasio from their funerals if they die in the line of duty, saying it would be "an insult to that officer’s memory and sacrifice" after the mayor's handling of Eric Garner's death at the hand of an NYPD officer. A St. Louis police association demanded that the NFL and St. Louis Rams discipline players who walked onto the field before a game making the "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" gesture associated with the Michael Brown shooting. A police union in Cleveland called a Browns player's T-shirt protesting the Tamir Rice and John Crawford shootings there "pretty pathetic."

It isn't unusual for police unions to urge public calm and defend their members' constitutional rights to due process in the event of an officer-involved shooting. What is different in these cases, experts say, is the kind of rhetoric that unions are deploying to counter critics of the police.

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After police unions slammed his decision to wear a T-shirt protesting the police shootings of two black people in Ohio, Cleveland Browns wide receiver Andrew Hawkins gathered the media on Monday to explain himself more fully.

Hawkins outlined his rationale, speaking without notes, according to ESPN Cleveland reporter Tony Grossi. He touched on his own upbringing and the role of his children in his lengthy comments.

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It wasn't a particular person or fact that earned PolitiFact's 2014 Lie of the Year, but the general mass hysteria that accompanied the Ebola epidemic.

And though PolitiFact doesn't say it, its most prominent examples were conservative figures, which isn't too surprising given the level of delirium on Fox News and elsewhere once the disease, which has killed more than 5,000 people in West Africa, claimed one life on American shores.

"Fear of the disease stretched to every corner of America this fall, stoked by exaggerated claims from politicians and pundits," PolitiFact's authors wrote. "They said Ebola was easy to catch, that illegal immigrants may be carrying the virus across the southern border, that it was all part of a government or corporate conspiracy."

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