Tierney Sneed

Tierney Sneed is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked for U.S. News and World Report. She grew up in Florida and attended Georgetown University.

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More than a month since a group of anti-government extremists took over a federal wildlife refuge in rural Oregon and nearly nearly two weeks since the authorities arrested most of the group's leaders in a dramatic confrontation that left one of the occupier's dead, the standoff drags on with no end in sight.

Hopes that arrests of the ringleaders would lead to a quick and peaceful resolution to the ongoing takeover have diminished as the holdouts still at the refuge dig in and the occupier who was killed, LaVoy Finicum, has been elevated as a martyr in extremist circles. The remaining diehards at the Malheur National Wildlife Center have re-dubbed it "Camp Finicum."

National attention on the standoff has waned since Finicum's death, but things have continued to get weirder. Franklin Graham, the minister, has gotten involved at some level to try to bring an end to the standoff. Ammon Bundy, the main leader who is now jailed in Portland, reportedly in solitary confinement, has been making regular statements to the public via recorded messages released by his lawyers, and police have tightened the cordon around the refuge even as the handful of militants holed up inside ​have sounded the call for their supporters on the outside to "stand up" in their defense.

Here's what has happened since Ammon Bundy and brigade were arrested last month:

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Ben Carson compared Ted Cruz's mea culpa for spreading rumors about his campaign to the "attitude" Hillary Clinton expressed after the Benghazi attacks, Buzzfeed reported.

Carson was asked by Todd Starnes on a podcast posted Thursday night about whether Cruz "handled himself as a Christian" in response to reports that the Cruz campaign circulated rumors among supporters the night of the Iowa caucus that Carson was suspending his campaign.

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Authorities in Utah are preparing for a scenario in which "armed extremists" crash the funeral of LaVoy Finicum, a leader of the Oregon occupation who was killed last week in a confrontation with police.

An advisory issued Wednesday by the Utah Statewide Information and Analysis Center -- and reported on by the libertarian outlet Reason -- alerts law enforcement officials near Kanab, Utah, where the funeral is being held Friday, to be "vigilant and aware that confrontation with these potentially volatile persons, may include more than one individual." The advisory notes that the Finicum family has asked for a quiet service; "however, extremists may utilize such a high profile funeral for media attention or to further ideological beliefs."

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Going mano a mano against Bernie Sanders -- and days after they essentially tied in Iowa -- Hillary Clinton’s performance at Thursday’s MSNBC debate reflected someone who no longer thought her nomination was inevitable. Her attacks were sharper, she responded to his criticisms more directly and she pushed new arguments that she had been holding back so far in the campaign.

Here are five things that changed during Thursday’s debate.

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The mood during Thursday's Democratic debate got testy on both sides as Hillary Clinton denounced the attacks Bernie Sanders has been making on her relationship with Wall Street as an "artful smear."

"Senator Sanders says he wants to run a positive campaign. I've tried to keep my disagreements over issues, as it should be," Clinton said. "Time and time again, by insinuation, there is this attack that he is putting forth, which really comes down to, you know, anybody who ever took donations or speaking fees from any interest group has to be bought. I just absolutely reject that, Senator. I really don't think these kinds of attacks by insinuation are worthy of you."

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The ongoing fight in the Democratic primary over health care comes down to whether Bernie Sanders' desire for a single-payer system puts the gains made under Obamacare at risk, Hillary Clinton suggested at Thursday's MSNBC debate in New Hampshire.

"Senator Sanders wants us to start all over again," Clinton said. "This was major achievement of President Obama, of our country. It's helping people right now. I'm not going to wait and have us plunge back into a national debate that has very little chance of succeeding."

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In a jailhouse recording released by his lawyers Thursday, Ammon Bundy delivered a stern message to the authorities currently waiting out the occupation at a rural Oregon federal wildlife center:

"Go home Oregon State Police. You have already killed enough," the message, which was posted to the Bundy Ranch YouTube page, says. "Go home FBI. It is time to end this."

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Two voice mails apparently left by Ted Cruz campaign reps told Iowa precinct chairs to use reports that Ben Carson was "suspending campaigning" to encourage caucusgoers to chose Cruz over Carson, Breitbart reported.

Breitbart posted the audio of two of the voice mails, both left on the phone of Nancy Bliesman, a precinct captain for Cruz in Crawford County, Iowa. They were left at 7:07 p.m. and 7:29 p.m CST (caucusing began at 7), notably after the Carson campaign clarified a CNN report that he was taking a brief respite from the campaign trail after Iowa. A Carson spokesperson tweeted a little before 7 pm CST that the neurosurgeon was making a quick jaunt to his home in Florida to refresh his wardrobe before returning to the campaign trail.

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A federal grand jury in Portland has indicted Ammon Bundy and 15 other anti-government protestors who took over a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon, according to an indictment filed Wednesday and made public Thursday. The occupiers were each indicted on a single count of conspiracy to impede officers of the United States.

In addition to the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge that began Jan. 2, the indictment also alleges some of the occupiers made threats against federal officials last year.

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Members of the Congressional Black Caucus said House Speaker Paul Ryan told them he backs a bill to restore portions of the Voting Rights Act gutted by the Supreme Court, but won't bypass his committee chairman to bring it the floor for a vote, The Hill reported.

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) told The Hill that Ryan had signaled support for the Voting Rights Amendment Act, a bipartisan bill sponsored by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), at a meeting with the group of black lawmakers Wednesday.

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