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'Monster' kidnapped Jayme Closs, stole her 'normal life': family

'Monster' kidnapped Jayme Closs, stole her 'normal life': family Family members of 13-year-old Jayme Closs said the Wisconsin man who murdered her parents and kidnapped her was a "monster" who stole her "normal life," in testimony ahead of his sentencing on Friday. Jake Patterson, 21, in March admitted to committing the October killings and abduction in Barron County, Wisconsin. "Because of this monster, Jayme won't have her mom and dad at her dance recitals," Mike Closs, Jayme's uncle, said in Barron County court.

U.S. Supreme Court blocks redrawing of Ohio, Michigan electoral maps

U.S. Supreme Court blocks redrawing of Ohio, Michigan electoral maps The lower courts found that the electoral maps in the two states had been drawn to entrench Republicans in power by manipulating boundaries in a way that reduced the voting clout of Democrats - a practice known as partisan gerrymandering - in violation of the U.S. Constitution. While both disputes involve U.S. House of Representatives districts in the two states, the Michigan case challenges districts in the state legislature as well. The decisions in Michigan and Ohio that were put on hold by the justices were the latest rulings by federal courts determining that electoral maps designed by a state's majority party unconstitutionally undermined the rights of voters who tend to support the other party.

Trump appeals ruling allowing banks to hand his financial records to Congress

Trump appeals ruling allowing banks to hand his financial records to Congress "We remain committed to providing appropriate information to all authorized investigations and will abide by a court order regarding such investigations," Deutsche Bank spokeswoman Kerrie McHugh said in an emailed statement. A spokesman for the Intelligence Committee declined to comment on the appeal. Capital One and the House Financial Services Committee did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Colorado man pleads not guilty to murdering fiancé with baseball bat

Colorado man pleads not guilty to murdering fiancé with baseball bat A Colorado man accused of bludgeoning his fiancé to death with a baseball bat last year pleaded not guilty on Friday to murdering the young mother whose body has yet to be found, a court official said. Patrick Frazee, 33, was arraigned in Teller County District Court in Cripple Creek, Colorado on charges stemming from the November disappearance and presumed slaying of Kelsey Berreth, court spokesman Rob McCallum said in a statement. Frazee, who is accused of killing Berreth and then burning her body, has been held without bond since his arrest in December.

U.S. states ask education secretary to forgive disabled veterans' student loans

U.S. states ask education secretary to forgive disabled veterans' student loans Led by New Jersey Democrat Gurbir Grewal and Utah Republican Sean Reyes, the 51 state and territorial attorneys general said they welcomed federal efforts to make loan discharges easier to obtain, but said the U.S. Department of Education should stop requiring veterans to take affirmative steps to get them done. "The current approach is inadequate," the attorneys general said in a letter to DeVos.

ACLU, Planned Parenthood sue over Alabama abortion ban

ACLU, Planned Parenthood sue over Alabama abortion ban The lawsuit is one of several the groups have filed or are preparing to file against states that recently passed strict anti-abortion measures in an effort to prompt the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark case that guarantees a woman's constitutional right to abortion. "This dangerous, immoral, and unconstitutional ban threatens people's lives and well-being and we are suing to protect our patients' rights," Leana Wen, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement. The ACLU's Alabama chapter and Planned Parenthood of America filed their complaint in federal court in Alabama on behalf of the Southern state's three abortion clinics and Planned Parenthood Southeast.

U.S. House fails to pass disaster aid bill; second attempt likely next month

U.S. House fails to pass disaster aid bill; second attempt likely next month The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday failed to pass a $19.1 billion disaster aid bill supported by President Donald Trump, but is expected to try again early next month. Following Senate passage of the legislation on Thursday by a vote of 85-8, House leaders had hoped to win quick, unanimous approval of the bill and send it to Trump for his expected signature. For months, lawmakers have been haggling behind the scenes over the disaster aid bill in response to hurricanes in the southeastern U.S., severe flooding in the Midwest, devastating wildfires in California and other events.

Pentagon eyes expanding DARPA future warfare research office

Pentagon eyes expanding DARPA future warfare research office The U.S. Department of Defense is close to expanding its legendary future warfare and technology agency DARPA by combining it with the Pentagon office in charge of adapting existing weapons to new uses, people familiar with the plans said. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency would absorb the Strategic Capabilities Office (SCO) and centralize more research units under the Pentagon's Chief Technology Officer Michael Griffin. SCO reported directly to the defense secretary, removing it from traditional bureaucratic channels at the Pentagon.

National Spelling Bee drops perfection as a prerequisite to entry

National Spelling Bee drops perfection as a prerequisite to entry The bee, which begins on Tuesday in an auditorium outside Washington and ends on Thursday with a live telecast on ESPN, will test the spelling mettle of a record 565 young people, age 7 to 15. While a handful of regions have traditionally sent more than one participant to the national contest, the new RSVBee program opens a door for dozens of others. It is a question of fairness, said Valerie Miller, a spokeswomen for the bee, which started in 1925.

Democrats grapple with 'electability' question as white men lead diverse field

Democrats grapple with 'electability' question as white men lead diverse field Democrats seeking to unseat Republican U.S. President Donald Trump in 2020 will choose from the largest and most diverse set of candidates in history - yet, so far, two older white men are leading the pack. The early dominance of former Vice President Joe Biden, 76, and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, 77, is raising uncomfortable questions about whether Democratic voters think a woman or minority candidate has what it takes to defeat Trump, the likely Republican nominee.

Trump campaign views healthcare as a 2020 campaign weapon

Trump campaign views healthcare as a 2020 campaign weapon U.S. President Donald Trump's campaign believes he can turn Republicans' biggest liability from last year's congressional elections - the debate about the future of healthcare in America - into a winning issue for his reelection. Some candidates have suggested abolishing private insurance in favor of a single government-run plan, sometimes referred to as "Medicare for All," while others favor more modest reforms. Trump's campaign is betting that whoever emerges with the Democratic nomination next year will have been forced to embrace a sweeping healthcare reform proposal that may spook moderate voters.

Death toll from storms lashing central U.S. rises to seven

Death toll from storms lashing central U.S. rises to seven The latest in a line of destructive storms pounding the central United States killed at least three people as tornadoes raked across Missouri while heavy rain flooded rivers in Oklahoma, authorities said on Thursday. The three deaths and several injuries were recorded in and around Golden City, Missouri, some 30 miles (48 km) northeast of Joplin where a tornado touched down on Wednesday evening, the Missouri Department of Public Safety said on Twitter. "It looks to stay quite wet over the next week across the central portion of the country," said meteorologist Mark Chenard of the National Weather Service (NWS) Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.

Heavy rains limit operations at Oklahoma refinery, oil pipeline

Heavy rains limit operations at Oklahoma refinery, oil pipeline Heavy rains and storms slamming the central United States forced the closure of a HollyFrontier Corp refinery in Oklahoma and a portion of Tallgrass Energy LP's crude oil pipeline on Thursday. Severe weather in the central United States has left three people dead on Thursday, local media said, as tornadoes raked across southwest Missouri and devastated the state capital, and heavy rain flooded rivers in Oklahoma. The Midwest region has been hit with rain throughout the spring, disrupting supply and demand of refined products in the region, while ongoing refinery maintenance has scrambled market conditions further.

Tallgrass embargoes deliveries of shut Pony Express pipeline segment

Tallgrass embargoes deliveries of shut Pony Express pipeline segment Extensive flooding on the Cimarron River in Oklahoma required the temporary embargo on all movements into destinations located near Cushing, Oklahoma, the company said. The Pony Express pipeline has a capacity of 320,000 barrels per day. The pipeline starts in Guernsey, Wyoming, and flows southeast to Cushing, according to the company's website.

Las Vegas businessman gets 50 years prison in $1.5 billion Ponzi scheme

Las Vegas businessman gets 50 years prison in $1.5 billion Ponzi scheme Edwin Fujinaga, 72, the former chief executive of MRI International Inc, was sentenced by Chief Judge Gloria Navarro of the Nevada federal court, following his conviction last November on 20 counts of mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering. Fujinaga was also ordered to forfeit $813.3 million and make $1.13 billion of restitution, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

New York state regulator investigating pension transfer deals: sources

New York state regulator investigating pension transfer deals: sources At issue is whether brokers, who help put such deals together, solicited insurers who are not licensed in New York to take on the pension transfers, the people familiar with the matter said. The New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), on Wednesday, issued subpoenas to units of Morgan Stanley, Aon PLC, Willis Towers Watson PLC and Mercer, a unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc, seeking documents about their communications with insurer Athene Holding Inc about "pension risk transfer" transactions, the people said.

Florida executes man convicted of killing eight women in 1984

Florida executes man convicted of killing eight women in 1984 (Reuters) - A 65-year-old man known as one of Florida's most notorious serial killers who had been convicted of kidnapping, sexually assaulting and killing eight women in 1984 was executed on Thursday.

Las Vegas businessman gets 50 years prison in $1.5 billion Ponzi scheme

Las Vegas businessman gets 50 years prison in $1.5 billion Ponzi scheme Edwin Fujinaga, 72, the former chief executive of MRI International Inc, was sentenced by Chief Judge Gloria Navarro of the Nevada federal court, following his conviction last November on 20 counts of mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering. Fujinaga was also ordered to forfeit $813.3 million and make $1.13 billion of restitution, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

New York state regulator investigating pension transfer deals: sources

New York state regulator investigating pension transfer deals: sources At issue is whether brokers, who help put such deals together, solicited insurers who are not licensed in New York to take on the pension transfers, the people familiar with the matter said. The New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), on Wednesday, issued subpoenas to units of Morgan Stanley, Aon PLC, Willis Towers Watson PLC and Mercer, a unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc, seeking documents about their communications with insurer Athene Holding Inc about "pension risk transfer" transactions, the people said.

Trump says U.S. to keep close eye on 'American Taliban' Lindh after release

Trump says U.S. to keep close eye on 'American Taliban' Lindh after release WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday that the United States would be closely watching John Walker Lindh, the American captured in Afghanistan in 2001 fighting for the Taliban, after his release from prison.

Bank CEO charged in Manafort bribery scheme designed to get Trump post

Bank CEO charged in Manafort bribery scheme designed to get Trump post Stephen Calk, who was chairman and CEO of Federal Savings Bank though is now on a leave of absence, was charged by federal prosecutors in New York with one count of financial institution bribery, which carries a maximum prison term of 30 years. Calk, 54, pleaded not guilty during a brief appearance in Manhattan federal court after surrendering to authorities.

Sanders, other U.S. Democratic 2020 candidates back workers in dispute with McDonald's

Sanders, other U.S. Democratic 2020 candidates back workers in dispute with McDonald's Sanders, one of the two dozen Democrats running for the Democratic presidential nomination, held a virtual town hall, taking questions from McDonald's workers in Dallas who protested the company's annual shareholders' meeting. "You guys are being exploited," Sanders, speaking from Washington, told the workers. McDonald's is under fire from activist groups for failing to protect workers from sexual harassment and violence.

Pompeo slams release of "American Taliban" as unconscionable: Fox

Pompeo slams release of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo criticized the pending release on Thursday of John Walker Lindh, the American captured in 2001 fighting for the Taliban, and said he believed the decision needed to be reviewed. "Unexplainable and unconscionable," Pompeo said in an interview with Fox News. Pompeo said Lindh "still is threatening the United states of America, still committed to the very jihad that he engaged in that killed a great American and a great CIA officer.

Florida to execute man convicted of abducting, killing eight women in 1984

Florida to execute man convicted of abducting, killing eight women in 1984 Robert Long is scheduled to die by lethal injection at 6 p.m. at the Florida State Prison in Raiford. Investigators said Long's crime spree began in the early 1980s when he answered ads for household goods for sale in local newspapers placed by women, went to their homes and sexually assaulted them. Authorities believe that Long, dubbed the "Classified Ad Rapist," used this tactic to rape dozens of women in California and Florida.

U.S. prosecutors weigh death penalty for accused Pittsburgh synagogue shooter

U.S. prosecutors weigh death penalty for accused Pittsburgh synagogue shooter The case of Robert Bowers, the man accused of massacring 11 people at Pittsburgh's Tree of Life synagogue last year was set to return to a federal courtroom on Thursday, as prosecutors weigh whether to pursue the death penalty against him. Bowers has pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh to a 63-count indictment. Some of the charges, including murder as a hate crime, can carry the death penalty.

Swimming, s'mores and shots: Camps harden vaccine rules in U.S. measles outbreak

Swimming, s'mores and shots: Camps harden vaccine rules in U.S. measles outbreak As the United States battles its worst measles outbreak in 25 years, summer camps are tightening their policies on vaccines, with some prepared to turn away children whose parents opted not to vaccinate them against the disease. With more than 10 million American children attending summer day and overnight camps, camp owners and industry associations said they are urging parents to follow medical experts' advice to prevent their camps from becoming transmission sites for the highly contagious and sometimes deadly illness. Scott Rosmarin, whose family has operated Rosmarins Day Camp in Monroe, New York, for three generations, said he has already sent past camp families a letter warning that he will turn away longtime campers if their parents cite religious or philosophical objections to the vaccine.

Texas environmentalists plan lawsuit against Valero for pollution

Texas environmentalists plan lawsuit against Valero for pollution Three Texas environmental groups notified Valero Energy Corp on Wednesday of plans to file a lawsuit under the U.S. Clean Air Act for pollution at the company's Port Arthur, Texas, refinery, the organizations said. Environment Texas, the Sierra Club and the Port Arthur Community Action Network allege over 600 violations of pollution limits by the release of hazardous chemicals like sulfur dioxide, hydrogen sulfide and particulates from the refinery since 2014.

Trump loses court round in U.S. Democratic lawmakers demand for bank documents on his businesses

Trump loses court round in U.S. Democratic lawmakers demand for bank documents on his businesses (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump, three of his children and the Trump Organization on Wednesday lost their bid to block Deutsche Bank AG and Capital One Financial Corp from providing financial records to Democratic lawmakers investigating Trump's businesses.

Trump administration holds off redirecting California's high-speed rail money

Trump administration holds off redirecting California's high-speed rail money In exchange, the state dropped its plans to ask a court to at least temporarily halt any planned shift in funds, California Governor Gavin Newsom's office said. On Tuesday, California sued in U.S. District Court in San Francisco to challenge the administration's decision to withhold $929 million awarded in 2010 for a "bullet" train project hobbled by extensive delays and rising costs. The lawsuit argued that President Donald Trump has "overt hostility to California" and its opposition to his initiative, so far unrealized, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Pipeline opponents challenge Louisiana law targeting protesters

Pipeline opponents challenge Louisiana law targeting protesters Environmental groups and demonstrators arrested near an Energy Transfer LP crude pipeline filed a lawsuit on Wednesday challenging a 2018 Louisiana state law that made trespassing near oil and gas pipelines a criminal offense. Felony charges that carry sentences of up to five years in prison were brought last year against protesters and a journalist near the Dallas-based operator's Bayou Bridge pipeline, which was then under construction, according to the suit filed in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana. After protests erupted near Energy Transfer's Dakota Access Pipeline and Bayou Bridge beginning in 2016, 18 states including Texas, Pennsylvania and South Dakota have introduced bills similar to the Louisiana law, according to the nonprofit Center for Constitutional Rights.

Navy SEAL's murder trial delayed over defense claims of prosecutor misconduct

Navy SEAL's murder trial delayed over defense claims of prosecutor misconduct A judge in the court-martial of a decorated Navy SEAL charged with war crimes in Iraq said on Wednesday the trial would start at least a few days late as lawyers on both sides grappled over allegations that prosecutors illegally snooped on the defense. The timing of the trial could be rendered moot in light of reports that President Donald Trump is considering offering a pardon to Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher and other U.S. military personnel accused or convicted of battlefield atrocities. Gallagher is charged with fatally stabbing a helpless, wounded Islamic State fighter in his custody and with shooting two unarmed civilians - a school girl and an elderly man - from a sniper's perch during his 2017 deployment to Mosul, Iraq.

New Jersey man charged with threatening to bomb Trump Tower

New Jersey man charged with threatening to bomb Trump Tower Jonathan Xie, of Basking Ridge, was taken into custody on charges of attempting to provide material support to Hamas, the Islamist group that rules the Gaza Strip and which the United States designates as a terrorist organization, making false statements and transmitting threats over interstate commerce, according to federal prosecutors. "Homegrown violent extremists like Xie are a serious threat to national security," U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said in a statement.

Pilot reports flash just before fatal mid-air Alaska plane collision

Pilot reports flash just before fatal mid-air Alaska plane collision The surviving pilot in last week's fatal mid-air plane collision in Alaska saw a flash just before the two planes collided with a "large, loud impact," according to a National Transportation Safety Board preliminary report issued on Wednesday. Six people died in the May 13 crash near Ketchikan, Alaska. The colliding planes, a De Havilland Otter operated by Ketchikan-based Taquan Air, and a De Havilland Beaver operated by Ketchikan-based Mountain Air Service, were ferrying cruise ship passengers back from a sightseeing trip to Misty Fjords National Monument in the Tongass National Forest.

House panel, Trump lawyers agree on appeals schedule in financial records case: statement

House panel, Trump lawyers agree on appeals schedule in financial records case: statement The House Oversight Committee has reached an agreement with President Donald Trump's attorneys to seek an expedited appeal in a court case in which lawmakers are seeking the U.S. leader's financial records from his accounting firm, the panel said in a statement on Wednesday. The panel said in a statement that under the schedule, written arguments could be submitted as early June 12, with briefings completed by July.

Judge rules against Trump, paves way for banks to provide his business records to Congress

Judge rules against Trump, paves way for banks to provide his business records to Congress U.S. President Donald Trump, three of his children and the Trump Organization on Wednesday lost their bid to block Deutsche Bank AG and Capital One Financial Corp from providing financial records to Democratic lawmakers investigating Trump's businesses. In a decision read from the bench after hearing arguments, U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos in New York said Congress has the legal authority to demand the records, clearing the way for the banks to comply with subpoenas issued to them by two U.S. House of Representatives committees last month.

Republican senator wants U.S. Census to ask about criminal records

Republican senator wants U.S. Census to ask about criminal records Senator Mike Lee of Utah suggested the idea at a hearing about the economic impact of the Census. It may add a new layer to a political battle over what questions the U.S. Census Bureau should include on its decennial survey of U.S. residents. "How many people are out of the labor force because of their criminal records?" Lee asked at a hearing in Washington by the Joint Economic Committee, which he chairs.

U.S. Treasury backs away from plan for Harriet Tubman on $20 bill next year

U.S. Treasury backs away from plan for Harriet Tubman on $20 bill next year In 2016, the Treasury Department said it would replace former President Andrew Jackson's image on the front of the bill with that of Tubman by 2020, along with redesigns of the $5 and $10 bill. President Donald Trump has called the inclusion of Tubman on the $20 bill an example of "pure political correctness." As a presidential candidate, Trump suggested Tubman would be better-suited for the $2 bill, a note that is not widely circulated. "We will meet the security feature redesign (goal) in 2020.

Trump loses court round in U.S. Democratic lawmakers demand for bank documents on his businesses

Trump loses court round in U.S. Democratic lawmakers demand for bank documents on his businesses (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump, three of his children and the Trump Organization on Wednesday lost their bid to block Deutsche Bank AG and Capital One Financial Corp from providing financial records to Democratic lawmakers investigating Trump's businesses. U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos ruled at a court hearing in New York that Congress has the legal authority to demand the records, clearing the way for the banks to comply with subpoenas issued to them by two U.S. House of Representatives committees last month. (Reporting by Brendan Pierson; editing by Grant McCool)

Trump torpedoes meeting with Democrats, blasts Pelosi's 'cover-up' accusation

Trump torpedoes meeting with Democrats, blasts Pelosi's 'cover-up' accusation President Donald Trump on Wednesday abruptly cut short a White House meeting with Democratic lawmakers on infrastructure, then ripped into them over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's accusation that he is engaged in a cover-up and asserted that he could not work with them unless they dropped multiple investigations. The rupture bodes ill for any possible cooperation between the president and the Democrats who control the House of Representatives on legislation on infrastructure or other matters as Trump seeks re-election in 2020, signaling deepening political gridlock in Washington.

U.S. Navy SEAL appears in court for hearing in war crimes case

U.S. Navy SEAL appears in court for hearing in war crimes case A decorated Navy SEAL platoon leader charged with war crimes in Iraq appeared in a San Diego military court on Wednesday for a hearing focused on allegations by his attorneys that prosecutors engaged in illegal snooping on the defense team and journalists. The hearing comes less than a week before Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher is scheduled to go on trial in a court-martial charging him with murdering a helpless, wounded Islamic State fighter in his custody and shooting unarmed civilians. Defense assertions that the Navy prosecutor, together with agents of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and presiding judge, have engaged in wrongdoing could lead to a substantial delay in further proceedings.

Former U.S. Army soldier indicted for planning to bomb rally: Justice Department

Former U.S. Army soldier indicted for planning to bomb rally: Justice Department A U.S. combat veteran was indicted by a federal grand jury on Wednesday for allegedly planning to bomb a rally in Long Beach, California, last month, the Justice Department said. Mark Steven Domingo, 26, of Reseda, California, who served with the Army in Afghanistan, was arrested over the plot to bomb a white nationalist rally last month. The grand jury's indictment charged Domingo with providing material support to terrorists and attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, the Justice Department said.

Pipeline opponents challenge Louisiana law targeting protesters

Pipeline opponents challenge Louisiana law targeting protesters Environmental groups and demonstrators arrested near an Energy Transfer LP crude pipeline filed a lawsuit on Wednesday challenging a 2018 Louisiana state law that made trespassing near oil and gas pipelines a criminal offense. Felony charges that carry sentences of up to five years in prison were brought last year against protesters and a journalist near the Dallas-based operator's Bayou Bridge pipeline, which was then under construction, according to the suit filed in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana. After protests erupted near Energy Transfer's Dakota Access Pipeline and Bayou Bridge beginning in 2016, 18 states including Texas, Pennsylvania and South Dakota have introduced bills similar to the Louisiana law, according to the nonprofit Center for Constitutional Rights.

Rain, flooding expected in U.S. Southern Plains after deadly storms

Rain, flooding expected in U.S. Southern Plains after deadly storms Weather forecasters on Wednesday expected drenching rains to roll into the storm-ravaged U.S. southern and central states, where thunderstorms and tornadoes killed at least three people and triggered widespread flooding. More than 30 tornadoes struck a swath from Texas to Iowa since Monday, according to the National Weather Service, and residents in at least three Oklahoma riverfront communities were urged to evacuate due to flooding. One person was killed and another was injured when a tornado struck the rural town of Adair, Iowa, about 50 miles (80 km)west of Des Moines, at about 1:30 a.m. local time, the weather service said.

New York state legislature votes to make Trump tax returns available

New York state legislature votes to make Trump tax returns available New York state's legislature on Wednesday passed a bill that would make it easier for U.S. congressional committees investigating President Donald Trump to get access to his state tax returns. The Democratic-controlled state Assembly and Senate voted along party lines on the measure, which would circumvent his refusal to hand over his federal tax returns to Congress. New York Republicans who opposed the bill called it an abuse of power that fed into the political designs of Democrats in Washington, the Albany Times-Union reported.

Trump administration holds off redirecting California's high-speed rail money

Trump administration holds off redirecting California's high-speed rail money In exchange, the state dropped its plans to ask a court to at least temporarily halt any planned shift in funds, California Governor Gavin Newsom's office said. On Tuesday, California sued in U.S. District Court in San Francisco to challenge the administration's decision to withhold $929 million awarded in 2010 for a "bullet" train project hobbled by extensive delays and rising costs. The lawsuit argued that President Donald Trump has "overt hostility to California" and its opposition to his initiative, so far unrealized, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

'American Taliban' to be released from prison Thursday

'American Taliban' to be released from prison Thursday John Walker Lindh, the American captured in Afghanistan in 2001 fighting for the Taliban and vilified as a national traitor, is to be released early from a federal prison on Thursday while some U.S. lawmakers worry he still poses a security risk. Lindh, photographed as a wild-eyed, bearded 20-year-old at his capture, will leave a federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana on probation after serving 17 years of a 20-year sentence, according to a prison official. Now 38, Lindh is among dozens of prisoners set to be released over the next few years after being captured in Iraq and Afghanistan by U.S. forces and convicted of terrorism-related crimes following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

Virginia governor's role in blackface yearbook photo unclear, school says

Virginia governor's role in blackface yearbook photo unclear, school says Virginia Governor Ralph Northam's former medical school was unable to determine his role in a racist photograph that appeared on his 1984 yearbook page, according to a report released on Wednesday following a three-month inquiry. The photo sparked weeks of political chaos in the state after it was published by a conservative website in February, setting off scandals that embroiled Virginia's three top Democrats. It shows one person in blackface makeup and another in the robes of the white supremacist Ku Klux Klan.

Pelosi says Trump obstruction, cover-up could be impeachable offense

Pelosi says Trump obstruction, cover-up could be impeachable offense U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Wednesday President Donald Trump was engaged in obstruction of justice and a cover-up which could be an impeachable offense. "The fact is, in plain sight in the public domain, this president is obstructing justice and he's engaged in a cover-up - and that could be an impeachable offense," Pelosi said at an event sponsored by the Center for American Progress, a liberal policy advocacy group.

Pelosi says she prays for Trump after accusing him of cover-up

Pelosi says she prays for Trump after accusing him of cover-up U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Wednesday she prays for President Donald Trump after a meeting on infrastructure between Democratic congressional leaders and the president collapsed. "For some reason, maybe it was lack of confidence on his part, that he really couldn't ... match the greatness of the challenge that we have," Pelosi told reporters. "I pray for the president of the United States, and I pray for the United States of America," said Pelosi, who earlier in the day had accused Trump of engaging in a "cover-up" in stonewalling congressional probes stemming from the Mueller Russia investigation.

Trump accuses Democratic leaders of 'tearing the United States apart'

Trump accuses Democratic leaders of 'tearing the United States apart' WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday accused the top Democrats in Congress of "tearing the United States apart" by pursuing investigations stemming from the now-concluded Russia probe.

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