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July 13, 2015

Yanis Varoufakis is an academic economist, and until a few days ago was the finance minister of Greece. Naturally enough, he likes to talk economics. Here's his description of what it was like to try that in the Eurogroup, the eurozone club of finance ministers:

It's not that it didn't go down well — it's that there was point blank refusal to engage in economic arguments. Point blank... You put forward an argument that you've really worked on — to make sure it's logically coherent — and you're just faced with blank stares. It is as if you haven't spoken. What you say is independent of what they say. You might as well have sung the Swedish national anthem — you'd have got the same reply. [New Statesman]

Varoufakis resigned after it became clear that his Syriza party was heading toward an agreement with eurozone lenders that will likely keep Greece in a recession for as far as the eye can see. How they got there is starting to make a lot more sense. Ryan Cooper

11:21p.m.

Over the weekend, President Trump told advisers he wants Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen out as soon as possible, five current and former White House officials told The Washington Post on Monday.

He has complained about her for months and does not think she is doing a good enough job securing the borders, the officials said. Trump and Nielsen were supposed to visit troops stationed at the border in South Texas this week, but Trump canceled the trip.

People close to Nielsen said Trump gets frustrated when she tries to tell him about immigration laws and regulations, and he has berated her during Cabinet meetings. White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, who preceded Nielsen as DHS secretary, is Nielsen's biggest defender in the administration, and he's reportedly trying to either avert her dismissal or postpone it. Officials told the Post that Kelly's word doesn't mean much, because his future at the White House is also uncertain.

Trump has told White House aides that potential replacements for Nielsen include Kevin McAleenan, commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, or David Pekoske, administrator of the Transportation Security Administration, the Post reports. Catherine Garcia

10:47p.m.

At least 42 people have been killed by the Camp Fire in Northern California's Butte County, making it the deadliest fire in state history.

The previous deadliest blaze was the 1933 Griffith Park Fire, which killed 29 people in Los Angeles. The Camp Fire has burned 117,000 acres, destroyed more than 7,100 homes and businesses, and is just 30 percent contained, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said on Monday. Most of the deaths were in the town of Paradise, which was almost entirely wiped out by the fire.

In Southern California, the Woolsey Fire has burned 91,572 acres in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, destroying 370 structures and killing two people. It is only 20 percent contained. Two new fires broke out nearby on Monday, but firefighters were able to quickly get them under control, thanks to ground and air support. Winds are fanning the flames in both Northern and Southern California, and forecasters say it is not expected to rain before Thanksgiving. Catherine Garcia

9:54p.m.

New York City is standing in solidarity with California, as wildfires continue to rage across the state.

On Monday night, the Empire State Building was lit up in blue and gold, California's state colors. The top of the spire glowed red to look like an EMS siren "in sympathy for the victims and those affected by the California wildfires," the Empire State Building tweeted.

The wildfires have killed at least 40 people and destroyed thousands of homes and businesses in Northern and Southern California. Catherine Garcia

9:00p.m.

A friend of Republican operative Roger Stone said he's been told by Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team that he will be indicted for perjury.

"This was one of the most confusing and frightening things I've experienced," Jerome Corsi, a conservative author, commentator, and conspiracy theorist, told NBC News on Monday. "I'm 72 years old and I'm afraid they're going to lock me up and put me in solitary confinement." Mueller is investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, and his prosecutors have reportedly called nearly a dozen of Stone's associates, including Corsi, in front of his Washington, D.C., grand jury.

Corsi said he was interviewed about WikiLeaks obtaining emails hacked from John Podesta, Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman. NBC News reported in October that Mueller's team has communications suggesting Corsi knew ahead of time that WikiLeaks was going to publish Podesta's stolen emails; Corsi said he can't remember ever meeting WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange or receiving information from anyone about Podesta's emails, and claims he "figured out" the emails were going to be published by doing his own detective work. "They have all your emails and phone records," he said of Mueller's team, adding, "They're very good at the perjury trap." Perjury is where you lie to law enforcement. Catherine Garcia

8:18p.m.

Democrat Kyrsten Sinema defeated Republican Martha McSally in the Arizona Senate race, The Associated Press, NBC News, and several other outlets project.

The winner wasn't apparent on Nov. 6, as Arizona still had a lot of votes to count, and on Monday, Sinema's lead over McSally grew to 1.7 percentage points. McSally tweeted her congratulations to Sinema, and said she remains "inspired by Arizonans' spirit" and believes "our state's best days are ahead of us."

Sinema, a three-term congresswoman who bills herself as a moderate, will fill the seat held by retiring Sen. Jeff Flake (R), becoming the first woman in state history elected to the Senate. Catherine Garcia

7:12p.m.

At least three people were killed and 29 injured on Monday when Palestinian militants fired at least 300 rockets and mortar bombs at Israel and Israeli fighter jets bombed buildings across Gaza.

The dead include two Palestinian militants. The violence was triggered by a botched Israeli raid in Gaza late Sunday night that left seven Hamas militants and an Israeli lieutenant colonel dead. Hamas and a smaller group named Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the rockets, with a spokesman saying they retaliated "so the occupation and its supporters know that the lives of our sons come with a price."

An Israeli airstrike destroyed the headquarters of Al Aqsa, the television station run by Hamas; Israel has said the station "broadcasts violent propaganda" and offers "operational messaging" to militants. The Associated Press reports this was likely the most "intense exchange of fire" since 2014. Catherine Garcia

5:29p.m.

Mississippi's Senate race hasn't come to an end — and neither has the controversy surrounding comments one candidate made about a "public hanging."

In a video that surfaced Sunday, Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) is seen telling a man standing with her at what appears to be a Nov. 2 campaign event that "if he invited me to a public hanging, I'd be on the front row." Hyde-Smith has been asked several times about the comments, and has used every opportunity to double down on her unapologetic statement about the video, The Associated Press reports.

In the statement, Hyde-Smith defended her comments as "an exaggerated expression of regard," adding that "any attempt to turn this into a negative connotation is ridiculous." And when accepting an endorsement from the National Right to Life Committee on Monday, Hyde-Smith again referred questioning reporters to that statement, per AP.

Her comments hit a nerve, especially considering Hyde-Smith's Democratic opponent, former agriculture secretary Mike Espy, is black. Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King Jr., pointed out that Mississippi has a long history of lynching, and called the senator's comments "a reminder ... that racism is still a festering, pervasive evil in the U.S."

Hyde-Smith was appointed to fill Sen. Thad Cochran's (R) seat after he retired amid health concerns, and has served in the Senate since April. Both she and Espy failed to reach the 50 percent threshold in last week's Senate special election, so they will face each other once more during a runoff on Nov. 27. Hyde-Smith is expected to win the deep red state. Kathryn Krawczyk

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