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Gulenist Group Signs Clients, Still in Conflict with Joel Rubin's Firm

The Washington Strategy Group, a lobbying firm started by supporters of Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish cleric living in Pennsylvania blamed by the Turkish government for instigating a failed coup last year, has started signing clients. The group registered to lobby on its own behalf last year on “Human rights violations and the protection of free expression in Turkey,” but until last week hadn’t signed any clients. The six clients all appear to be local Gulenist and Turkish-American organizations based in Columbus, Ohio; Des Plaines, Ill.; Houston; New York; St. Louis; and Sunnyvale, Calif. Washington Strategy Group also registered to lobby for each of them on “Global human rights violations, freedom of expressions, rule of law, recent refugee and immigration problems,” according to disclosure filings.

Sparks-based Sierra Nevada Corp Tests Dream Chaser Spacecraft

Sierra Nevada Corp. says its Dream Chaser spacecraft had a successful free-flight drop test in the Mojave Desert during the weekend. The company tweeted photos of the craft gliding to a landing at Edwards Air Force Base on Saturday. In previous tests this year a helicopter carried the Dream Chaser aloft but did not release it. The company says it will release more information about the test Monday afternoon.

Turkish-origin Student Becomes Youngest US Politician with Municipal Council Election

A 19-year-old student of Turkish origin became the youngest politician in U.S. history after his election to the municipal council in the northeastern city of New Haven, Connecticut. Independent and uncontested candidate Hacıbey Çatalbaşoğlu was elected to the board of alders from New Haven's Ward 1 reserved for the city's renowned Yale University, where Çatalbaşoğlu continues his studies. Çatalbaşoğlu, who also helps out his father at their pizza shop in downtown New Haven, conducted a tight door-to-door election campaign, asking voter support with the promise to bring the city and the university closer.

Chobani Building $21 Million Research Center, Not in New York

Chobani, the second-largest yogurt maker in the United States, has picked Idaho, not upstate New York, as the site of its new $21 million research center. The Greek yogurt giant founded by former University at Albany student Hamdi Ulukaya is headquartered in New Berlin, New York, about 100 miles west of Albany. Chobani announced late last week that it is building a 70,000-square-foot expansion in Twin Falls, Idaho, where the company has invested $850 million over the past five years.

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