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All the big news of the day, at home and around the world. || News Plexus LLC — delivering your news in a convenient, AD-FREE and easy-to-read stream.

All the big news of the day, at home and around the world. || News Plexus LLC — delivering your news in a convenient, AD-FREE and easy-to-read stream.
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NewsPlexus Media December 15, 2019

Johnson victory means Brexit is coming, tough talks loom
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson campaigned on one theme alone — "Get Brexit done." His sweeping victory in Thursday's election means that could now happen within weeks. Even before his Conservative Party had officially crossed the winning line Friday, Johnson said it looked like his party had "a powerful new mandate" to complete Britain's divorce from the European union.
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NewsPlexus Media December 15, 2019

US should recognize American Samoans as citizens, judge says
People born in the territory of American Samoa should be recognized as U.S. citizens, a federal judge in Utah decided Thursday in a case filed amid more than a century of legal limbo but whose eventual impact remains to be seen. The cluster of Pacific islands southwest of Hawaii is the only place in the country without an automatic claim to citizenship. People born there are labeled U.S. nationals, meaning they pay taxes but cannot vote, run for office or apply for certain government jobs.
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NewsPlexus Media December 15, 2019

Judge delays decision on removing Texas baby's life support
A judge newly assigned to decide if a Texas hospital can remove a 10-month-old girl from life support against her mother's wishes said Thursday she was allowing more time for a facility to be found that would take Tinslee Lewis, even as a doctor said the most basic activity “causes pain.” Judge Sandee Bryan Marion of Texas' Fourth Court of Appeals said at the hearing in Fort Worth that she would decide by at least Jan. 2 if Cook Children's Medical Center could remove life support.
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NewsPlexus Media December 15, 2019

Myanmar's Suu Kyi's defense of army puzzles former admirers
What drives Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of Myanmar who this week defended her country at the International Court of Justice against charges that it carried out genocide against its Muslim Rohingya minority? There was a time when Suu Kyi was the hero of human rights advocates, whose nonviolent struggle against her country's military dictatorship was admired by people around the world and won her the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. She spent a decade and a half under house arrest, more or less in solitary. She was the target of an assassination attempt. She never wavered. Now she is seen by many of her former admirers as an apologist for war crimes.
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NewsPlexus Media December 15, 2019

UK's Johnson claims Brexit mandate as Tories secure majority
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party has won a thumping majority of seats in Britain's Parliament — a decisive outcome to a Brexit-dominated election that should allow Johnson to fulfill his plan to take the U.K. out of the European Union next month. With 642 of the 650 results declared on Friday, the Conservatives had 358 seats and the main opposition Labour Party 203.
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NewsPlexus Media December 15, 2019

Sergeant told to tone down 'gayness' to lead diversity unit
A gay St. Louis County police sergeant who was awarded nearly $20 million in a discrimination lawsuit has been promoted to lieutenant and picked as the leader of a newly created diversity and inclusion unit. Police Chief Jon Belmar said in a news release Thursday night announcing the unit that the department “must demonstrate to our officers and to our community that we prioritize diversity and inclusion."
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NewsPlexus Media December 15, 2019

Polish gov't defends law to 'discipline' judges, amid outcry
Poland's right-wing governing party on Friday defended its heavily-criticized plans to impose new restrictions on judges, saying it wants to "discipline" a "caste" of judges that has become too engaged in politics. Critics say the draft legislation marks a repressive step that flouts the European Union and its values.
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NewsPlexus Media December 15, 2019

Turkey protests US Senate vote recognizing Armenian genocide
Turkey summoned the ambassador from the United States on Friday to protest the U.S. Senate's approval of a resolution that recognizes as genocide the mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks a century ago, an official said. U.S. Ambassador David Satterfield was summoned to the Turkish Foreign Ministry, where Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Oney conveyed Turkey's "strong reaction" to the Senate action, a ministry official said.
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NewsPlexus Media December 15, 2019

Jersey City attack being investigated as domestic terrorism
The couple who burst into a kosher market in Jersey City with assault weapons appear to have acted alone even though they had expressed interest in a fringe religious group that often disparages whites and Jews, New Jersey officials said. Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said the attack was driven by hatred of Jews and law enforcement and is being investigated as an act of domestic terrorism.
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NewsPlexus Media December 14, 2019

Macron pushes ahead with pension plan amid damaging strikes
French President Emmanuel Macron remains determined to push ahead with an overhaul of the nation's pension system despite more than a week of nationwide strikes that paralyzed public transport in Paris, where stores and restaurants have seen eroding profits. Yet, travelers from around the world have continued to visit the City of Light as the holiday season approaches, according to the Paris tourism office.
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NewsPlexus Media December 14, 2019

Student journalists, plagued by questions of editorial independence and with varying degrees of First Amendment protections, nonetheless face the same press freedom challenges as their professional counterparts. The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, which documents First Amendment aggressions in the United States, has collected student journalism-based incidents at both the university and high school levels. Since its launch in 2017, the Tracker has documented five cases of high school newspapers being censored or placed under prior review for their coverage of controversial topics. At the university level, it has collected two arrests, two physical attacks and three border stop involving student journalists, as well as three cases of subpoenas or legal orders.
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NewsPlexus Media December 14, 2019

Mississippi 15-week abortion ban is blocked by appeals court
A federal appeals court declared Friday that Mississippi's ban on abortion at 15 weeks is unconstitutional, dealing a blow to those seeking to overturn the landmark Supreme Courtruling that legalized abortion nationwide. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves ruled correctly when he blocked the Mississippi law from taking effect in 2018.
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NewsPlexus Media December 14, 2019

Boy, 13, arrested in killing of Barnard College freshman
A 13-year-old boy was arrested Friday in the stabbing death of a Barnard College freshman who was approached in a park by as many as three youths as she ventured from her New York City campus on the eve of final exams. The boy was arrested on charges including felony murder, City Corporation Counsel James E. Johnson said in a statement. The teen appeared Friday in family court and is being held in a juvenile detention facility. He is due back in court Tuesday.
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NewsPlexus Media December 12, 2019

GOP, Democrats push 1970's Equal Rights Amendment in SC
One of South Carolina's most liberal lawmakers and one of its most conservative are joining together to revive the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The 1970's proposal banning any discrimination based on sex is being revived in several state capitols across the U.S. It is just one state away from the 38 needed before it can become the 28th amendment to the Constitution.
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NewsPlexus Media December 12, 2019

$1M bail for teen charged in Wisconsin school officer attack
A 16-year-old Wisconsin boy who was shot while attacking a school resource officer with a barbecue fork texted a friend weeks earlier that he was planning to grab the officer's gun and either shoot himself or the officer, prosecutors alleged Wednesday. Grant Fuhrman was charged as an adult with attempted first-degree intentional homicide in the Dec. 3 attack on Oshkosh West High School Resource Officer Mike Wissink. Wissink shot and wounded Fuhrman during the attack, which happened in Wissink's office. Cash bond was set at $1 million.
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NewsPlexus Media December 12, 2019

House OKs defense bill, parental leave for federal workers
The House on Wednesday passed its annual defense policy measure, which combined a $738 billion Pentagon price tag with legislation to provide federal employees with 12 weeks of paid parental leave. The sweeping 377-48 vote followed weeks of arduous House-Senate negotiations that finally yielded a traditionally bipartisan measure, stripped of many add-ons sought by Democrats controlling the House.
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NewsPlexus Media December 12, 2019

Fed leaves low rates alone and sees no moves in near future
Chairman Jerome Powell made clear Wednesday that the Federal Reserve is prepared to keep its benchmark interest rate very low through at least next year — and possibly longer. Fueling that expectation is the growing belief of Fed officials that inflation will remain tame even as the economy keeps growing modestly and the job market remains solid. The lowest unemployment rate in a half-century — 3.5% — won't necessarily fan high inflation as it might have in the past, Powell suggested at a news conference.
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NewsPlexus Media December 12, 2019

Chile: Debris believed from missing plane carrying 38 found
Debris believed to be from a military transport plane carrying 38 people that vanished two days ago en route to the Antarctic has been discovered in the frigid, treacherous waters between the icy continent and South America, Chile's Air Force said Wednesday. Air Force Gen. Eduardo Mosqueira said "sponge" material, possibly from the plane's fuel tank, was found floating roughly 19 miles from the place the C-130 Hercules last had radio contact.
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NewsPlexus Media December 12, 2019

US hits Iran with new sanctions, hopes for prisoner dialogue
The Trump administration on Wednesday hit Iran with new sanctions that target several transportation firms as it continues its "maximum pressure campaign" against the Islamic Republic over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. The sanctions target Iran's state shipping line and a China-based company that has been involved in delivering missile parts to Iran. They also add a layer of new penalties to a previously sanctioned Iranian airline, Mahan Air, which is accused of sending weapons to Iranian proxies in Lebanon and Yemen, and three of its sales agents.
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NewsPlexus Media December 12, 2019

Fears mount that New Jersey shooting was anti-Semitic attack
Fears that a deadly shooting at a Jewish market in Jersey City was an anti-Semitic attack mounted on Wednesday as authorities recounted how a man and woman deliberately pulled up to the place in a stolen rental van with at least one rifle and got out firing. A day after the gunbattle and standoff that left six people dead — the two killers, a police officer and three people who had been inside the store — state and federal law enforcement officials warned they have not established the motive for the attack.
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NewsPlexus Media December 12, 2019

Watchdog caught in political crossfire on his Russia report
The Justice Department’s internal watchdog was caught in a political tug of war Wednesday as Republican and Democratic senators used his report on the origins of the Russia investigation involving Donald Trump's 2016 campaign to support their views that it was a legitimate probe or a badly bungled farce. Inspector General Michael Horowitz testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee about his findings that while the FBI had a legitimate basis to launch the investigation and was not motivated by political bias in doing so, there were major flaws in how that investigation was conducted.
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NewsPlexus Media December 12, 2019

Weinstein's bail hiked over allegations he disabled monitor
A judge Wednesday hiked Harvey Weinstein's bail over allegations he mishandled or disabled his electronic ankle monitor dozens of times in recent months. Judge James Burke gave Weinstein three options to cover a new bail of up to $5 million and warned the disgraced movie mogul that he'll face jail if other issues crop up.
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NewsPlexus Media December 12, 2019

Texas police officer killed by man fleeing traffic stop
A Houston-area police sergeant was killed when a man wanted on a domestic violence warrant broke free from police while being handcuffed, fled from a traffic stop and struck her with his vehicle, police said. The search continued Wednesday for 21-year-old Tavores Henderson, who police said likely still has one handcuff attached to his wrist. Harris County Sgt. Dennis Wolfford said a warrant for felony murder had been issued for Henderson.
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NewsPlexus Media December 12, 2019

Nobel laureate Suu Kyi defends Myanmar army in genocide case
Nobel Peace Prize winner and former political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi denied Wednesday that Myanmar's armed forces committed genocide, telling the United Nation's top court that the mass exodus of Rohingya people from the country she leads was the unfortunate result of a battle with insurgents. The image of the former pro-democracy icon appearing before the International Court of Justice to defend the army that kept her under house arrest for 15 years was striking. Suu Kyi, who as Myanmar's state counselor holds an office similar to prime minister, was awarded the 1991 peace prize in absentia for championing democracy and rights under the nation's then-ruling junta.
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NewsPlexus Media December 12, 2019

6 killed in New Jersey gunbattle, including police officer
Six people, including a police officer and three bystanders, were killed in a furious gun battle Tuesday that filled the streets of Jersey City with the sound of heavy fire for hours, authorities said. The dead included the two gunmen, Jersey City Police Chief Michael Kelly said. The slain officer, Detective Joseph Seals, 40, was credited by his superiors with having led the department in the number of illegal guns removed from the streets in recent years, and might have been trying to stop an incident involving such weapons when he was cut down by gunfire that erupted near a cemetery, authorities said.
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NewsPlexus Media December 10, 2019

Supreme Court leaves Kentucky's ultrasound law in place
The Supreme Court on Monday left in place a Kentucky law requiring doctors to perform ultrasounds and show fetal images to patients before abortions. The justices did not comment in refusing to review an appeals court ruling that upheld the law. Enforcement of the law had been on hold pending the legal challenge but will begin shortly, said Steve Pitt, general counsel to Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin.
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NewsPlexus Media December 10, 2019

Finland's new young female prime minister breaks the mold
Finland's next government is breaking the mold in multiple ways. Sanna Marin, the 34-year-old transport minister, was tapped over the weekend by the ruling Social Democratic Party to be Finland's new prime minister. When she takes the reins of the country, most likely on Tuesday, she will become the world's youngest sitting head of government.
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NewsPlexus Media December 10, 2019

Led by 'Marriage Story,' Netflix dominates Golden Globe noms
A Netflix wave swept over the 77th Golden Globe nominations, where the streaming company dominated with 34 total nominations, including four films up for best picture and four series nominated for the top television awards. Noah Baumbach's divorce drama “Marriage Story” led all films with six nominations including best picture, drama, and acting nods for its two leads, Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson, in nominations announced Monday by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association in Beverly Hills, California.
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NewsPlexus Media December 10, 2019

Diplomats: US backs out of North Korea human rights meeting
The United States changed its mind and is now refusing to sign a letter that would have authorized the U.N. Security Council to hold a meeting on the human rights situation in North Korea, diplomats said Monday. Without support from the United States, European and other countries that wanted the U.N.'s most powerful body to discuss human rights in North Korea can't go ahead Tuesday because they are now one vote short of the minimum nine "yes" votes required, the diplomats said.
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NewsPlexus Media December 10, 2019

No bond for suspect in officer's death; mental illness cited
Attorneys for a man accused of fatally shooting a Houston officer said Monday that their client has a history of mental illness, as a judge ordered him to remain jailed without bond. Arturo Solis, dressed in yellow jail clothing, said nothing during a short court hearing before state District Judge Danilo Lacayo. Solis is charged with capital murder in the shooting death Saturday of Sgt. Christopher Brewster.
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NewsPlexus Media December 10, 2019

Pensacola gunman got around a ban on foreigners buying guns
Generally, foreigners are not allowed to buy guns in the United States. But there are exceptions written into federal law, which may explain how the Saudi flight student who shot three servicemen to death at the Pensacola naval base was able to purchase a weapon. For example, a foreigner who manages to obtain a state hunting license and can show proof of residency in that state can legally buy a gun. "It seems every day we find a new loophole," said Adam Winkler, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law and an expert on gun laws and politics.
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NewsPlexus Media December 10, 2019

Wisconsin Guard leader resigns in wake of sex assault review
The commander of the Wisconsin National Guard agreed to resign at Gov. Tony Evers' request Monday, following the release of a scathing federal report that found the Guard defied federal law, regulations and policies for years over the handling of soldiers' sexual assault and harassment complaints. The report from the National Guard Bureau in Washington, D.C., found the Guard allowed internal investigations in defiance of federal law as well as Department of Defense and bureau policy; investigators falsely presented themselves as working for the federal bureau; case records were mismanaged; and Guard sexual assault response policies were not in compliance with federal regulations for more than five years.
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NewsPlexus Media December 10, 2019

Accidental shootings show police training gaps
Accidental shootings by law enforcement have happened in recent years at agencies small and large and at all levels — city, county, state and federal — across the U.S., an Associated Press investigation found. They’ve caused hundreds of injuries to officers, suspects and bystanders, and sometimes they’ve caused deaths. Experts say it’s because officers don’t get the training they need to handle their guns proficiently, especially in life-and-death situations.
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NewsPlexus Media December 10, 2019

Up to 13 feared dead in volcanic eruption off New Zealand
A volcano off the New Zealand coast erupted Monday with a towering blast of ash and scalding steam as dozens of tourists were exploring its moon-like surface, killing five people and leaving eight others missing and feared dead, authorities said. Helicopter crews landed on White Island despite the danger and helped evacuate the dozens of survivors, some of them critically injured.
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NewsPlexus Media December 10, 2019

Arkansas officer 'ambushed and executed,' police chief says
Investigators were trying to determine why a man “ambushed and executed” a city police officer who was sitting in his patrol car outside police headquarters in a college town in northwest Arkansas. The Saturday death of Fayetteville Police Officer Stephen Carr was one of three killings of police officers nationwide in a two-day period.
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NewsPlexus Media December 10, 2019

Report: US misled public on progress in Afghanistan war
The U.S. government across three White House administrations misled the public about failures in the Afghanistan war, often suggesting success where it didn't exist, according to thousands of pages of documents obtained by The Washington Post. The documents reveal deep frustrations about America's conduct of the Afghanistan war, including the ever-changing U.S. strategy, the struggles to develop an effective Afghan fighting force and persistent failures to defeat the Taliban and combat corruption throughout the government.
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NewsPlexus Media December 10, 2019

FBI was justified in probing Trump-Russia, fed watchdog says
The FBI was justified in opening its investigation into ties between the Trump presidential campaign and Russia and did not act with political bias, the Justice Department's internal watchdog declared Monday, undercutting President Donald Trump’s repeated claims that he has been the target of a “witch hunt.” The long-awaited report rejected theories and criticism spread by Trump and his supporters, though it also found “serious performance failures” up the bureau’s chain of command that Republicans are citing as evidence that Trump was targeted by an unfair investigation.
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NewsPlexus Media December 10, 2019

Analysis: Russia scandal makes 'fair' a thing of the past
The goal all along, or so the Olympic leaders say, has been fairness. And also — that notion of protecting the "innocent" Russian athletes who must be out there somewhere. But what's clear to anyone who has followed even a second of the Russian doping saga, now in its fifth year and showing no signs of ending, is that "fair" went out the window a while ago. Gone with it are any viable ways of deciphering who's innocent and who's not anymore.
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NewsPlexus Media December 10, 2019

Consulting firm allows Buttigieg to release names of clients
The McKinsey & Co. consulting firm said Monday that it will allow Pete Buttigieg to identify the clients he served more than a decade ago while the Democratic presidential contender also pledged to open his fundraising events to the news media and provide the names of key fundraising organizers. The moves reflect the growing pressure Buttigieg is under as his campaign gains traction in early voting states, particularly Iowa, less than two months before the Democratic contest begins.
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NewsPlexus Media December 10, 2019

Spy Harder: Patriots caught videotaping in Spygate sequel
The New England Patriots acknowledged on Monday night that a video crew working for the team filmed the Cincinnati Bengals sideline during Sunday's game, a violation of league rules that echoed the team's 2007 Spygate scandal. In a statement posted on Twitter and the team website, the Patriots said that a three-person crew for a web series titled “Do Your Job” “inappropriately filmed the field from the press box” as part of a feature on the scouting department.
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NewsPlexus Media December 10, 2019

Facing new test, Buttigieg pledges openness but cautiously
In his rise to the top tier of the Democratic race for president, Pete Buttigieg has impressed voters with his unflappable demeanor. But that moderate bearing is being tested as his opponents challenge him to reveal more about his two years working for an international consulting company. How Buttigieg handles the heat will be another measure of the durability of his improbable run, now that the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is seen as a serious threat to front-running candidates, especially in Iowa.
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NewsPlexus Media December 10, 2019

Iowa worker who took bathroom photos may have many victims
A settlement between the state of Iowa and three of its Department of Revenue workers whose genitals were secretly photographed by a male colleague while they were going to the bathroom won't bring the matter to a close, as files found on the fired employee's work computer show he may have victimized dozens of other men. The State Appeal Board voted Monday to settle the 2017 lawsuit brought by Daniel Wagner, Lloyd Lofton and Joshua Bates for $900,000. The men, who will each pocket $185,290, said coworker Kenneth Kerr stalked them at work and that supervisors failed to act when they complained about it.
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NewsPlexus Media December 10, 2019

Navy, families recount heroics of fallen sailors in shooting
Joshua Watson had just graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and looked forward to a military career as a pilot. On Saturday, he was being hailed a hero, as his family recounted how the 23-year-old — in his last minutes of life — led first responders to an active shooter at the Pensacola naval base. In a Facebook post, his brother Adam said Watson saved countless lives with his own.
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NewsPlexus Media December 9, 2019

Push to ratify ERA launched in Utah, eyed in other states
A renewed national push to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment has come to conservative Utah, where supporters have launched a long-shot bid to become the tipping point state, despite opposition from the influential Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Utah is one of several conservative-leaning states where supporters hope to make inroads regarding the amendment that would explicitly enshrine equality for women in the U.S. Constitution.
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NewsPlexus Media December 9, 2019

Slain UPS driver's family questions police response to chase
Relatives of a UPS driver killed after robbery suspects took him hostage on a wild police chase across South Florida questioned Friday why officers had to unleash a torrent of gunfire when the truck got stuck in rush-hour traffic. Both suspects, 41-year-old cousins Lamar Alexander and Ronnie Jerome Hill, were killed along with the driver, Frank Ordonez, and another motorist, 70-year-old Richard Cutshaw, who was waiting at a busy intersection when officers ran up and opened fire from behind the cars of innocent bystanders.
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NewsPlexus Media December 9, 2019

Saudi gunman tweeted against US before naval base shooting
The Saudi gunman who killed three people at the Pensacola naval base had apparently gone on Twitter shortly before the shooting to blast U.S. support of Israel and accuse America of being anti-Muslim, a U.S. official said Sunday as the FBI confirmed it is operating on the assumption the attack was an act of terrorism. Investigators are also trying to establish whether the killer, 2nd Lt. Mohammed Alshamrani, 21, of the Royal Saudi Air Force, acted alone or was part of a larger plot.
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NewsPlexus Media December 9, 2019

Germany's Merkel voices 'shame' during 1st Auschwitz visit
German Chancellor Angela Merkel voiced a feeling of "deep shame" during her first-ever visit on Friday to the hallowed grounds of the former Nazi German death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau, where Adolf Hitler's regime murdered more than a million people. Merkel noted that her visit comes amid rising anti-Semitism and historical revisionism and vowed that Germany would not tolerate anti-Semitism. She said Germany remains committed to remembering the crimes that it committed against Jews, Poles, Roma and Sinti, homosexuals and others.
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NewsPlexus Media December 9, 2019

Cowboys for Trump group now says sand wasn't from monument
Iconic gypsum sand that the group Cowboys for Trump had said was from White Sands National Monument in New Mexico and was sent to Washington for the U.S. Capitol Tree lighting ceremony this week was actually gathered just outside the monument, one of the group's co-founders said Friday. The group had caused a political furor after announcing it sent the sand because it's illegal to remove sand from the park — and Democrats said the group might have violated federal law.
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NewsPlexus Media December 9, 2019

Lebanon's journalists suffer abuse, threats covering unrest
Lebanese journalists are facing threats and wide-ranging harassment in their work — including verbal insults and physical attacks, even death threats — while reporting on nearly 50 days of anti-government protests, despite Lebanon's reputation as a haven for free speech in a troubled region.
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NewsPlexus Media December 9, 2019

California congressman Duncan Hunter to quit after holidays
U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter of California will resign after the holidays, following his guilty plea this week to illegally using campaign money for personal expenses, his office said Friday. The San Diego-area Republican did not provide a specific date for his departure in a two-sentence statement. He previously indicated he intended to leave Congress but had provided no time frame.
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