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Mary Trump fires back in defense of her right to publish memoir

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NEW YORK -- President Donald Trump's niece slammed her family's attempt to block the release of her upcoming memoir and urged a New York judge not to grant their request for an injunction.

Mary L. Trump on Thursday said in a court filing that she would not have consented to a secrecy deal that was part of a legal settlement two decades ago over...Read more

White House tentatively agrees to leave some troops in Afghanistan past US election

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WASHINGTON -- Top U.S. commanders believe they have tentative White House approval to leave just over 4,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan beyond November, delaying a full American pullout until after the presidential election.

The plan, worked out at a meeting between Pentagon and White House officials late last month, would represent an about-...Read more

Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ groups find common ground in fight against police brutality

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RALEIGH, N.C. -- Last Sunday, two groups of protesters planned gatherings in two downtown Raleigh parks, both working to draw attention to police brutality against minority groups.

One gathering was by protesters mostly focused on the concerns of LGBTQ people. The other was by protesters who have been fighting racial discrimination against ...Read more

Kim Jong Un scolds North Korea cadres for complacency on virus

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made his first public appearance in about a month to chastise some top cadres over their management of the coronavirus, amid speculation he may be isolating himself because of the pandemic.

During a Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party meeting, Kim warned officials they may be growing ...Read more

Prominent activist Nathan Law announces he has fled Hong Kong

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HONG KONG -- Prominent activist Nathan Law has left his native Hong Kong in a bid to avoid persecution under a sweeping national security law that Beijing imposed on the territory earlier this week.

Law said on Twitter in the early hours of Friday that he had chosen to continue his activism abroad over being kept silent or facing persecution at...Read more

San Francisco cracks down on archdiocese for violating coronavirus rules

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The Archdiocese of San Francisco has agreed to stop celebrating public Mass indoors and to restrict outdoor services after city officials threatened to close churches that were operating in defiance of the city's public health orders amid the coronavirus outbreak.

"The Archdiocese remains steadfast in protecting the health of its congregants ...Read more

The killing of 26 people at a drug rehab center in Mexico thought to be part of a gang war

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MEXICO CITY -- Drug rehabilitation centers have been frequent targets of attack in Mexico's bloody gang wars.

But the massacre Wednesday at a facility in the city of Irapuato still managed to shock a nation gripped by escalating violence.

Police said at least four gunmen with high-powered weapons arrived in a vehicle shortly after 5 p.m., ...Read more

Congress clears sanctions bill to punish China over Hong Kong

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WASHINGTON -- Congress on Thursday cleared legislation for the president that would require U.S. sanctions on Chinese officials violating human rights in Hong Kong while also threatening penalties on foreign banks that support Beijing's crackdown on the formerly autonomous territory.

Lawmakers were spurred to action after Beijing earlier this ...Read more

As coronavirus cases soar, Trump continues cheerleading for reopening the economy

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WASHINGTON -- While celebrating better-than-expected economic numbers at the White House on Thursday, President Donald Trump conceded that the coronavirus outbreak wasn't over but insisted "we're putting out the fires."

It's more like a blaze raging out of control.

The president appears to be in denial as the country racks up record numbers of...Read more

Google probe has states split on strategy with US antitrust case looming

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WASHINGTON -- With the U.S. Justice Department nearing a lawsuit against Alphabet Inc.'s Google for antitrust violations, a coalition of states that are conducting a parallel investigation are divided over the best strategy for taking on the internet giant, according to people familiar with the matter.

While the multistate investigation into ...Read more

Red state politicians are battling the coronavirus; Trump makes that harder

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To George Fuller, mayor of McKinney, Texas, his recent decision seemed a no-brainer: require everyone in his city to wear a mask inside businesses to stem the spread of coronavirus and avert a full economic shutdown.

Some constituents in his Dallas exurb saw it differently. They pelted him with profane emails, calling him a "pathetic, cowardly ...Read more

Ousted US prosecutor Berman to be interviewed by House panel

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WASHINGTON -- Geoffrey Berman, ousted as the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York amid ongoing investigations of President Donald Trump's businesses and inaugural committee, is scheduled to be interviewed next week by the House Judiciary Committee.

The transcribed interview will occur behind closed doors on Thursday, according to...Read more

Duckworth blocks military promotions to protect impeachment witness

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WASHINGTON -- Sen. Tammy Duckworth has put a blanket hold on 1,100 military promotions until Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper assures her in writing that impeachment witness Lt. Col. Alex Vindman will not be punished for his testimony.

Vindman, who had been staffed to the National Security Council as an expert on Ukraine, earned the ire of ...Read more

Senate undoes proposed power shift in nuclear arms budgeting

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WASHINGTON -- The Senate voted quietly Thursday to undo a proposal in its fiscal 2021 defense authorization bill that would have given the Pentagon extraordinary new power to shape the Energy Department's future nuclear weapons budgets.

CQ Roll Call reported this week on behind-the-scenes opposition to provisions in the Senate Armed Services ...Read more

Atlanta protest organizer among 2 arrested in Wendy's arson

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ATLANTA -- An Atlanta protest organizer is one of two people who were arrested on arson charges Thursday in connection with the fire at the Wendy's restaurant where Rayshard Brooks was killed, authorities said.

Atlanta fire spokesman Sgt. Cortez Stafford confirmed that John Wade, 33, and Chisom Kingston, 23, have both been taken into custody in...Read more

Trial delayed for militia leader allegedly behind Minn. mosque bombing

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Citing the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, a federal judge on Thursday postponed the trial of an Illinois militia leader charged with orchestrating the 2017 bombing of a Bloomington mosque.

Michael Hari was scheduled to stand trial on hate crime and explosives charges later this month, making his the first federal trial to take...Read more

Pence meets with Florida Gov. DeSantis and urges young people to wear masks

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- During his Florida visit Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence reminded everyone, especially young people, to wear a mask over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

Pence said he knows that young people, who have a "strong, independent streak," want to socialize over the holiday weekend but he urged people to be responsible...Read more

The coronavirus has changed since it left Wuhan. Is it more infectious?

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A version of the coronavirus first seen in Italy four months ago has overtaken the original strain from Wuhan, China, and is now dominant around the world, scientists reported Thursday.

The newer version has a mutation that alters the "spike" protein the virus uses to enter human cells. The team of scientists who found it say the change ...Read more

Biden surpasses Trump in June fundraising

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Joe Biden reported raising $10 million more than President Donald Trump last month amid new polls showing the former vice president holding a solid lead in the race for the White House.

The increasingly strong footing of Trump's presumed Democratic challenger comes at a time when most Americans disapprove of the president's handling of the ...Read more

USC reverses robust fall reopening plans, asks students to stay home for online classes

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LOS ANGELES -- Amid the alarming surge in coronavirus spread, the University of Southern California announced it will no longer bring all undergraduates back to campus for the fall semester and will move to mainly online classes, reversing an earlier decision to welcome students back for a hybrid model.

The decision, announced by Provost ...Read more