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December 30, 2016

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani thinks the real purpose of President Obama's recently announced sanctions on Russia is not to punish the country for its cyber activity, but to cause problems for President-elect Donald Trump. While on Fox & Friends on Friday morning, Giuliani called out Obama's "petty little actions" as a way to take "tremendous leverage" away from Trump, who has expressed interest in improving relations with Russia.

"Petty little actions like this don't mean very much," Giuliani said of Obama's sanctions against Russian individuals and entities thought to be involved in interfering in the U.S. presidential election on Trump's behalf. "It's almost a mockery to say this is too little too late," Giuliani added. "It should have been done 10 months ago, 11 months ago, 12 months ago. If it is really true, the response should be much stronger."

Giuliani advised Trump to get a second opinion when he takes office, rather than trust the intelligence coming from the Obama administration. "There's no question that the intelligence that President Obama has been getting has either been incompetent or politicized," Giuliani said. Once Trump figures out for himself who is to blame, Giuliani recommended the U.S. "bang them back really hard."

Watch Giuliani's full interview below. Becca Stanek

5:53 p.m.

Quentin Tarantino is ready to go back to his roots.

As moviegoers patiently wait for the director's highly anticipated Once Upon a Time In Hollywood to hit the theaters, Leonardo DiCaprio did fans a favor on Monday by sharing the film's official poster and release date on Twitter.

Expected to hit theaters in July, Once Upon a Time In Hollywood brings all of Tarantino's old favorites back to the big screen as the ultimate dream team: DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie and Al Pacino travel back to Los Angeles in 1969, at the height of hippy Hollywood and the Charles Manson murders. Despite the movie's release date being around the 50th anniversary of the bloodshed, Tarantino has told Variety that the film will not focus specifically on the evil true-crime story. "It takes place at the height of the counterculture explosion," he told the magazine earlier in 2018.

The late Luke Perry, Dakota Fanning, Damian Lewis, Emile Hirsch and Damon Herriman were also revealed to be part of the film's star-studded cast, with Herriman playing cult-leader Charles Manson.

In classic Tarantino fashion, the story "oscillates between humorous, serious and spooky," says cinematographer Robert Richardson, as Pitt and DiCaprio play longtime friends and business partners who are struggling to find fame and success as they did in their early careers. Luckily for the dynamic duo, DiCaprio's character — the washed up actor Rick Dalton — happens to be neighbors with the beautiful, fast-rising star Sharon Tate, played by Robbie.

While the rest of the plot remains a mystery, Collider reports that Tarantino has revealed one more thing about the movie: in terms of plotting and style, Once Upon a Time In Hollywood will carry a very similar vibe to the director's iconic 90s hit Pulp Fiction. Is it July yet?! Marina Pedrosa

5:35 p.m.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has no naive expectations of President Trump.

On a Monday visit to Kansas, Pompeo was asked a very valid question given the rest of the Trump cabinet's track record: How long do you think you'll remain secretary of state? "I'll be there until he tweets me out of office," Pompeo assured, adding that it doesn't look like that'll be happening, "at least today."

Pompeo was a GOP congressmember for Kansas until he was tapped to lead the CIA under Trump. He's since gone on to become secretary of state, but also took some domestic trips in the past month that seemed to hint at a return to politics. He visited the traditional presidential first-stop of Iowa in early March, something Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) called "a little unusual," per The Washington Post's Jackie Alemany. He then stopped by Texas and Kansas, furthering speculation that he may run for Senate or governor in his former congressional state, ABC News notes. With his Monday comments though, Pompeo shot that idea down — at least for now. Kathryn Krawczyk

5:16 p.m.

Pittsburgh's Tree of Life Synagogue and the Al Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand are all "part of a club that nobody wants to be a part of."

That's how Tree of Life President Sam Schachner described his congregation's relationship to the two mosques that lost 50 worshippers to a mass shooting on Friday. And that's why the congregation has launched a GoFundMe fundraiser hoping to raise $100,000 for Christchurch's Muslim community, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette details.

In October, a gunman killed 11 members at the Pittsburgh synagogue, prompting "overwhelming support ... from our Muslim brothers and sisters in Pittsburgh," the GoFundMe details. Tree of Life is still continuing to recover, the GoFundMe says, but it still wants to recognize that the New Zealand worshippers are "going through the most difficult moments in your lives." So the synagogue is asking its supporters to show victims in Christchurch that "the entire world is with them," it wrote on the GoFundMe.

The GoFundMe started Saturday and had raised $2,736 a bit less than 24 hours later, the Post-Gazette notes. As of 5 p.m. EST on Monday, it had skyrocketed to $17,305 with donations coming in constantly. Read more about the campaign at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, or find the GoFundMe here. Kathryn Krawczyk

5:14 p.m.

It's not every day that chocolate stirs up controversy, but Cadbury — a major British chocolate company — felt the wrath of the United Kingdom's archaeologists and museum curators over the weekend after launching a misguided advertising campaign.

The marketing push, which has been temporarily taken down, was meant to promote Cadbury's Freddo Treasures chocolates by encouraging customers to go out and hunt for real treasure around the U.K. in the region's "top treasure hotspots," reports The New York Times.

The ads included text such as "grab your metal detector and go hunting for Roman riches" or "dig up Viking silver on the River Ribble," saying "the treasure's fair game."

The only problem is that digging in those protected spots would literally be looting. And the protectors of Britain's historic sites and artifacts let the corporation know it. Tim O'Donnell

4:22 p.m.

The chaos that is Brexit continued in classic form on Monday, despite a reprieve from the voting carousel that took place last week, as the March 29 departure deadline rapidly approaches.

The speaker of Britain's House of Commons, John Bercow, said on Monday that he plans to block a third vote on Prime Minister Theresa May's European Union withdrawal agreement — which faced two resounding defeats in Parliament already — unless May could present a "substantially" different deal this time around.

Adding to the drama is the fact that Bercow did not notify May's office of his decision ahead of time, which subsequently, The Washington Post reports, created "further uncertainty" about Brexit's future.

"We are in a major constitutional crisis here," Robert Buckland, the government's solicitor general, told BBC in a television interview, per The New York Times.

Parliament is still waiting to hear whether Brussels will agree to an extension of Article 50 that would delay Brexit beyond March 29, but, as May has noted, an extension could only prolong the problem. Still, the prime minister will travel to EU headquarters on Thursday to attempt to broker an agreement. Tim O'Donnell

4:09 p.m.

New legislation banning "fake news" and making it illegal to "disrespect" the government online has just been signed into law in Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed legislation that says fines of up to 1.5 million rubles, or about $23,000, can be imposed for spreading "unreliable socially significant information," Bloomberg reports. It also bans exhibiting "blatant disrespect" online for Russia or its "authorities, the public, the Russian flag or the constitution," per Reuters. Showing this "blatant disrespect" can result in fines or jail time.

Under the bill, a state media watchdog can block websites that will not remove material that is determined to be in violation of the law, per The Washington Post. Critics fear, The Straits Times reports, that the legislation "is vaguely worded and would have large scope for abuse," allowing Russian officials to easily silence critics.

One expert told the Post that this new law "gives the prosecutor's office an extremely high authority and almost completely eliminates the Russian (albeit completely non-free) courts from the game," while another warned it gives the prosecutor general "essentially unconstrained authority to determine that any speech is unacceptable under the new law." Brendan Morrow

2:50 p.m.

2020 Democrats may have found their common enemy — and it's not President Trump.

Last week, former congressmember and Senate candidate Beto O'Rourke joined the wide field of Democrats aiming for the presidency. But instead of Trump using O'Rourke's increasingly popular name to rile up his fans, it was actually fellow Democrats who started shoving "Beto" into their fundraising email subject lines.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) was one of the first Democrats to welcome O'Rourke into the race, firing off a very kind email complete with an exclamation point. But she quickly pivoted, pointing out that "more candidates" could easily mean less support for her, so you should donate and show "you're with Elizabeth." Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) was a little more blunt, pointedly naming O'Rourke when she said she wanted to "engag[e] in substantive debates" with the extra-large 2020 pool and using just O'Rourke's name in the subject line.

Yet it was Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) who had the harshest dig, acknowledging in a Monday email that yes, O'Rourke crushed Sanders' 24-hour fundraising record. But you know what, "we more than likely had a lot more individual donations than he did," Sanders' email sassily continued.

Even if Democrats aren't necessarily pointing out O'Rourke as an enemy, it's pretty clear using his name as a subject line gets clicks, New York Magazine's Gabriel Debenedetti points out. And of course, throwing an extra layer of drama into the fundraising scramble doesn't hurt either. Kathryn Krawczyk

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