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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 6, 2019

US Rep. Denny Heck of Washington state to retire after term
Democratic Rep. Denny Heck of Washington state announced Wednesday that he is retiring from Congress at the end of his term, saying his work on the investigation into Russian election interference and the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump have "rendered my soul weary." "I will never understand how some of my colleagues, in many ways good people, could ignore or deny the president's unrelenting attack on a free press, his vicious character assassination of anyone who disagreed with him, and his demonstrably very distant relationship with the truth," Heck said in a letter to his constituents.
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NewsPlexus Media December 6, 2019

Tejano singer convicted of rape to launch comeback tour
A Tejano singer who was convicted of raping an underage female relative and imprisoned for more than a decade is preparing to relaunch his career with a sold-out show in Houston, despite the original terms of his release barring him from visiting the city and surrounding county because the victim lives there. Jose "Joe" Lopez, 69, served 12 years of his 20-year-sentence for raping his then-13-year-old niece in 2004.
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NewsPlexus Media December 6, 2019

EPA rejects ban on poison bombs against cattle predators
Trappers can keep using sodium cyanide bombs to kill coyotes and other livestock predators, the Trump administration said Thursday, rejecting calls for a ban despite repeated instances of the devices also poisoning other wildlife, pets and people. The Environmental Protection Agency's interim decision newly restricts use of the so-called M-44s within 600 feet of a home and 300 feet of a public road or path. Users also would have to post two warning signs within 15 feet of the poison bombs.
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NewsPlexus Media December 6, 2019

Patriotism is the theme of Christmas at the White House
Melania Trump is celebrating American patriotism at the White House this Christmas, incorporating red and blue into the traditional holiday green, adding a timeline of American design, innovation and architecture and studding a Christmas tree with her family's annual ornament, the American flag.
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NewsPlexus Media December 6, 2019

Kim again rides horse up sacred peak as N. Korea raps Trump
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un rode a white horse up a sacred mountain in his second symbolic visit in less than two months, state media reported Wednesday, as his military chief lashed out at U.S. President Donald Trump for talking about a possible military option against the North. Mount Paektu and white horses are symbols associated with the Kim family's dynastic rule. Kim has made previous visits there before making major decisions.
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NewsPlexus Media December 6, 2019

Northern Mexico fears return to dark past after gunfights
Mexico's president says he wants to fight drug cartels with "hugs, not bullets," but after 23 people were killed in a weekend gunbattle in the border state of Coahuila, some communities want a more forceful strategy to prevent cartel assailants from reimposing a reign of terror. Residents of the small town of Villa Union said Tuesday that they fear a return to the days of 2010-2013, when the old Zetas cartel killed, burned and abducted Coahuila citizens. This past weekend, the Cartel del Noreste — an offshoot of the Zetas — invaded Villa Union to try to reassert a claim to the turf.
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NewsPlexus Media December 5, 2019

10 wounded in shooting near New Orleans’ French Quarter
Ten people were shot and wounded early Sunday near the French Quarter in New Orleans, a popular spot for tourists. Hours later in another part of town, another shooting killed two men and wounded two others. Police said both shootings remain under investigation, and authorities did not immediately draw any connection between them.
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NewsPlexus Media December 5, 2019

A police officer shot an armed male student in a classroom at a suburban Milwaukee high school Monday morning after the teenager pointed a gun at officers, a police chief said. Officers performed life-saving measures on the 17-year-old Waukesha South High School student, who is in custody and in stable condition, and no officers or other students were injured, Waukesha Police Chief Russell Jack said.
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NewsPlexus Media December 5, 2019

Idaho community mourns 9 relatives killed in plane crash
When Jim Hansen boarded his company's single-engine aircraft for a pheasant-hunting trip to South Dakota, he brought along the same people he trusted with his business: his family. The family headed back to Idaho on Saturday, but their plane crashed about a mile after takeoff from the Chamberlain airport, nine family members — from Hansen to his great-grandson Houston — died. They left behind burgeoning businesses that reached across several Western states.
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NewsPlexus Media December 5, 2019

Black victims underrepresented in named violent crime laws
The slayings of Reagan Tokes and Alianna DeFreeze had much in common. Both were abducted, raped and killed in Ohio in 2017. Tokes was a 21-year-old college student, DeFreeze a 14-year-old seventh grader. Both their killers, previously convicted sex offenders, were subsequently found guilty. Yet only one victim got a law with her name on it — Tokes, who was white. That disparity in so-called namesake laws represents a national trend: White crime victims are much more likely to get crime bills named after them than black victims.
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NewsPlexus Media December 5, 2019

Home-state skepticism of Kamala Harris foretold trouble
When Sen. Kamala Harris entered the presidential race in January, her California roots were supposed to give her special access to the cash and delegates required to win the Democratic nomination. Instead, she faced headwinds in her home state that would become a microcosm for the trouble that ultimately forced her sudden departure from the contest.
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NewsPlexus Media December 5, 2019

North Korea says it's up to US to choose 'Christmas gift'
North Korea on Tuesday repeated its assertions that the Trump administration is running out of time to salvage nuclear negotiations, saying it's entirely up to the United States to choose what "Christmas gift" it gets from the North. The statement, attributed to a senior diplomat, came as North Korea continues to dial up pressure on Washington and Seoul ahead of leader Kim Jong Un's end-of-year deadline for the U.S. to offer mutually acceptable terms for a deal.
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NewsPlexus Media December 5, 2019

UN says half of Zimbabwe’s people face severe hunger
About half of Zimbabwe’s population faces severe hunger amid a devastating drought and economic collapse, the United Nations said Tuesday, noting a “vicious cycle of skyrocketing malnutrition that’s hitting women and children hardest.” The World Food Program said it plans to more than double the number of people it helps to more than 4 million. More than 7 million people overall are in need.
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NewsPlexus Media December 5, 2019

Iran says it killed 'rioters' in deadliest unrest in decades
Iran acknowledged for the first time Tuesday that its security forces shot and killed protesters across the country to put down demonstrations last month over the sharply spiking price of gasoline, the deadliest unrest to hit the country since the turmoil of the 1979 Islamic Revolution. A report by Iranian state television sought to portray those killed as "rioters" or foreign-backed insurgents who threatened military posts, oil tanks and the public. It acknowledged that the violence also killed passers-by, security forces and peaceful protesters without assigning blame.
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NewsPlexus Media December 5, 2019

France to retaliate if US doubles Champagne, cheese prices
France is bristling at a U.S. threat to slap 100% tariffs on French cheeses, Champagne and other products, with the French leader telling President Donald Trump on Tuesday that the move would amount to an attack on all of Europe. The U.S. Trade Representative proposed the tariffs on $2.4 billion in goods Monday in retaliation for a French tax on global tech giants including Google, Amazon and Facebook.
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NewsPlexus Media December 5, 2019

Gun background checks are on pace to break record in 2019
Background checks on gun purchases in the U.S. are climbing toward a record high this year, reflecting what the industry says is a rush by people to buy weapons in reaction to the Democratic presidential candidates' calls for tighter restrictions. By the end of November, more than 25.4 million background checks — generally seen as a strong indicator of gun sales — had been conducted by the FBI, putting 2019 on pace to break the record of 27.5 million set in 2016, the last full year President Barack Obama was in the White House.
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NewsPlexus Media December 5, 2019

Mississippi felons push court to restore voting rights
The man at the center of a Mississippi case aimed at restoring the voting rights of felons said Tuesday that he is fighting on behalf of everyone like him who "made a mistake in life." Dennis Hopkins spoke after judges at the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans heard arguments in a federal lawsuit brought on behalf of six people including Hopkins who’ve had their right to vote permanently taken away under Mississippi law for committing certain felonies. The case has been certified as a class action, meaning it could affect thousands of people.
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NewsPlexus Media December 5, 2019

Kamala Harris ends White House bid, citing lack of funding
Sen. Kamala Harris told supporters on Tuesday that she was ending her bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, an abrupt close to a candidacy that held historic potential. “I’ve taken stock and looked at this from every angle, and over the last few days have come to one of the hardest decisions of my life," the California Democrat said. “My campaign for president simply doesn’t have the financial resources we need to continue.”
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NewsPlexus Media December 5, 2019

More pressure on Prince Andrew after alleged victim on TV
Prince Andrew was missing when his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, hosted NATO leaders at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday evening, but he was the focus of renewed scrutiny as allegations of sexual misconduct received wide attention on British TV. Andrew, who has stepped down from royal duties because of his involvement with sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, was the subject of a BBC documentary broadcast Monday night in which he was accused of having sex with a 17-year-old American trafficked by Epstein.
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NewsPlexus Media December 5, 2019

25 jail officers indicted, accused of using excessive force
More than two dozen correctional officers in Baltimore were charged Tuesday with using excessive force on prisoners at state-operated jails in a city plagued by decades of institutional corruption, inside and outside jailhouse walls. The 25 indicted officers are accused of assaulting and threatening detainees at correctional facilities, tampering with evidence and falsifying documents.
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NewsPlexus Media December 5, 2019

The Who plans 1st Cincinnati area concert since '79 tragedy
The rock band The Who announced Tuesday night it will play its first Cincinnati area concert since 11 fans died 40 years ago in a pre-show stampede. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame band will play April 23 at Northern Kentucky University's BB&T Arena, across the Ohio River 7 miles south of the Dec. 3, 1979, concert site, where another two dozen people were injured Dec. 3, 1979, amid confusion and lack of preparation for thousands of fans lined up for hours for first-come seats.
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NewsPlexus Media December 5, 2019

Ex-chief says he didn’t intentionally ‘deceive’ anyone
Ousted Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said Tuesday that he didn’t “intentionally mislead or deceive” anyone about the mid-October night he was found sleeping behind the wheel of his SUV. Johnson, 59, released a statement through his attorney a day after Mayor Lori Lightfoot fired him for “ethical lapses,” just weeks before he was set to retire.
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NewsPlexus Media December 4, 2019

Sewer blockage pushes waste into 300 New York City homes
A blocked sewer main flooded basements Saturday with brown filth and left residents in the neighborhood near New York City's Kennedy Airport feeling sickened by the stench. A water condition caused the backup, pushing human waste into about 300 homes in Jamaica, Queens, officials said.
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NewsPlexus Media December 4, 2019

Freed Taliban prisoner recounts SEAL rescue attempts
An Australian teacher held captive with an American colleague by the Taliban for more than three years believes U.S. special forces tried and failed six times to free them. Timothy Weeks was released last month in a prisoner swap along with Kevin King, ending an ordeal that began with their abduction in 2016 outside the American University in Kabul, where they worked.
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NewsPlexus Media December 4, 2019

Albania calls for international help to recover from quake
Albania's prime minister said Sunday he has called on the international community financial aid and expert assistance to help the country recover from a 6.4 magnitude earthquake that killed 51 persons and left thousands homeless. Prime Minister Edi Rama said the government was reshaping the budget to help deal with the crisis but that the country also needs international support.
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NewsPlexus Media December 2, 2019

‘I know Joe’s heart’: Why black voters are backing Joe Biden
After Kamala Harris challenged Joe Biden’s past opposition to school busing in a nationally televised Democratic presidential debate, the former vice president who prides himself on strong relationships in the black community was in an unfamiliar place, playing defense on race. But Bebe Coker had a message for the man she’s known for decades: don’t back down. The 81-year-old education activist remembered the history differently than Harris’ portrayal, recalling black parents encouraging Biden to reject forcing black students to attend white schools.
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NewsPlexus Media December 2, 2019

Toll at least 21 after Mexico cartel attack near US border
Mexican security forces on Sunday killed seven more members of a presumed cartel assault force that rolled into a town near the Texas border and staged an hour-long attack, officials said, bringing the death toll to at least 21. The Coahuila state government said in a statement that lawmen aided by helicopters were still chasing remnants of the force that arrived in a convoy of pickup trucks and attacked the city hall of Villa Union on Saturday.
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NewsPlexus Media December 2, 2019

With prime minister out, Iraq in constitutional 'black hole'
Iraq's parliament on Sunday formally accepted the prime minister's resignation, but the path to replacing Adil Abdul-Mahdi was clouded with legal questions that one lawmaker described as a "black hole in the constitution," which does not clearly spell out the next step. Meanwhile, anti-government demonstrations went on in the capital, and one protester was shot dead. Demonstrators closed roads, including those leading to a major commodities port in southern Iraq. A special judicial committee was formed to investigate demonstrator deaths.
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NewsPlexus Media December 2, 2019

House panel to vote on Ukraine report as Trump mulls defense
The House impeachment inquiry enters a pivotal stage this week, with investigators planning a vote Tuesday to approve their report making the case for President Donald Trump’s removal from office as he decides whether to mount a defense before a likely Senate trial. A draft report will be available for members of the House Intelligence Committee to view in a secure location before their planned vote on Tuesday, which would send their findings to the House Judiciary Committee to consider actual charges.
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NewsPlexus Media December 2, 2019

'Frozen 2' ices competition again with record Thanksgiving
"Frozen 2" kept a wintry wind at its back in its second week, setting a Thanksgiving record with a whopping box office bounty, while newcomer "Knives Out" found its own broad audience. Disney's new set of adventures for Anna, Elsa and Olaf brought in $85.3 million in the U.S. and Canada over the weekend and earned an unprecedented $132.7 million for the holiday frame of Wednesday through Sunday, according to studio estimates.
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NewsPlexus Media December 2, 2019

Malta leader to resign amid protests over reporter's death
Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat told the nation Sunday night that he would resign in January, following pressure from angry citizens for the truth about the 2017 car bombing that killed an anti-corruption journalist. In a televised message, Muscat said he had informed Malta's president that he will quit as leader of the governing Labor Party on Jan. 12 and that "in the days after I will resign as prime minister."
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NewsPlexus Media December 2, 2019

A substitute teacher berated a Utah fifth grader after he said during a pre-Thanksgiving lesson that he was thankful he’s finally going to be adopted by his two dads, the parents said. The boy’s classmates said the teacher told him, “that’s nothing to be thankful for” and lectured the 30 kids in the class about her views on homosexuality. She said that “two men living together is a sin” and “homosexuality is wrong.”
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NewsPlexus Media December 1, 2019

Deadly storm moves cross country taking aim at Northeast
A deadly winter storm that has been tormenting travelers across the U.S. since before Thanksgiving moved to the Northeast on Sunday, packing one last punch of snow and ice as people made their way home after the holiday weekend. The National Weather Service predicted more than a foot (0.3 meters) of snow in swaths of upstate New York and New England, as well as ice accumulations in parts of Pennsylvania.
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NewsPlexus Media December 1, 2019

Buttigieg turns to black pastor to discuss racism, poverty
As he labors to win over black voters whose support is vital to his Democratic presidential bid, Pete Buttigieg found a receptive host on Sunday in a civil rights activist who has sought to continue the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s push for a racially diverse national campaign against poverty. After attending services at the Rev. William Barber's Greenleaf Christian Church, Buttigieg stayed for a discussion with the Poor People's Campaign — begun by King shortly before he was assassinated in 1968.
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NewsPlexus Media December 1, 2019

South Dakota airplane crash kills 9 in extended family
Nine members of an extended Idaho family died when their plane crashed in a South Dakota field as they were heading home after a hunting trip. Travis Garza, president of the wellness company Kyani, said in a Facebook post Sunday that the crash near Chamberlain Saturday afternoon killed brothers and founders Jim and Kirk Hansen. Garza said the crash also killed their father, Jim Hansen Sr.; Kirk Hansen's children, Stockton and Logan; his sons-in-law, Kyle Taylor and Tyson Dennert; and Jim Hansen's son, Jake, and grandson, Houston.
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NewsPlexus Media December 1, 2019

Charges filed in stabbing of ex-Ohio State QB Terrelle Pryor
A woman was charged with attempted homicide in a Pittsburgh stabbing that critically injured former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who is also facing a charge, police said. Pryor was taken to the hospital just after 4:30 a.m. Saturday following a dispute with "mutual combatants" in an apartment on the city's North Side, police said.
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NewsPlexus Media December 1, 2019

Focus on early release of terror convict in London stabbings
Usman Khan was convicted on terrorism charges but let out of prison early. He attended a “Learning Together” conference for ex-offenders, and used the event to launch a bloody attack, stabbing two people to death and wounding three others. Police shot him dead after he flashed what seemed to be a suicide vest. Khan is gone, but the questions remain: Why was he let out early? Did authorities believe he no longer believed in radical Islam? Why didn’t the conditions imposed on his release prevent the carnage?
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NewsPlexus Media December 1, 2019

Londoners fought back to curtail carnage in bridge attack
Even in times of shared, senseless tragedy, an uplifting moment sometimes emerges. On Saturday, shocked and saddened Londoners dealing with the return of terrorism to their streets after a two-year hiatus found solace in the way bystanders fought to subdue the London Bridge attacker, keeping the death count lower than it would have been if they had fled.
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NewsPlexus Media December 1, 2019

Chileans who lost eyes in protests demonstrate in capital
Protesters rallied in front of Chile's presidential palace Thursday to support people who have lost eyes to police shotgun pellets and tear gas canisters during mass demonstrations that have wracked the country. Some of the dozens of demonstrators had bandages on their faces and told angry tales of being hit by face-level fire that they felt was intentional. "In Chile, asking for dignity costs you an eye," one sign proclaimed.
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NewsPlexus Media December 1, 2019

North Korea may deploy 'super-large' rocket launcher soon
North Korea said Friday the latest test-firing of its "super-large" multiple rocket launcher was a final review of the weapon's combat application, a suggestion that the country is preparing to deploy the new weapons system soon. South Korea's military earlier said North Korea fired two projectiles, likely from the same "super-large" rocket launcher, on Thursday. It expressed "strong regret" over the launches and urged North Korea to stop escalating tensions.
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NewsPlexus Media December 1, 2019

LGBT activists in China seek to change marriage civil code
It was only after her partner's death that He Meili realized the full meaning of marriage. As a lesbian couple in China, He and Li Qin kept their ties largely unspoken, sometimes introducing themselves as cousins. This rarely bothered He until Li succumbed to complications from lupus in 2016, and Li's parents demanded that He hand over the deed for their apartment and other property documents under Li's name. He has joined LGBT activists and supporters in an appeal to lawmakers to allow same-sex marriage, using a state-sanctioned channel to skirt recent government moves to suppress collective action.
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NewsPlexus Media December 1, 2019

After time in the wilderness, Louis CK is welcomed in Israel
Two years after being swept up in the #MeToo movement and acknowledging sexual misconduct with multiple women, comedian Louis C.K. took to the stage at a nearly packed basketball arena outside Tel Aviv, where the audience seemed ready to let it go.
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NewsPlexus Media December 1, 2019

AP Explains: What awaits Suriname's convicted president?
A court in the South American country of Suriname has convicted President Desi Bouterse in the 1982 killings of 15 prominent political opponents and sentenced him to 20 years in prison. The decision marks the end of a historic trial that began in 2007, the same year that Bouterse accepted "political responsibility" for the killings but insists he was not present.
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NewsPlexus Media December 1, 2019

Iraqi prime minister to resign in wake of deadly protests
A day after more than 40 protesters were killed by security forces, Iraq's prime minister announced Friday that he would submit his resignation to parliament, a step that carried uncertainty for the entire government and stirred fears of a possible political crisis. The move by Adel Abdul-Mahdi came 13 months after he took office and followed calls by Iraq's top Shiite cleric for lawmakers to withdraw support. At least four protesters were killed in the hours after the announcement in continuing violence in Baghdad and southern Iraq.
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NewsPlexus Media December 1, 2019

Agency cited sprinkler need months before high-rise fire
The agency that manages public housing in Minneapolis noted a need for sprinklers in older high-rise apartments months before a massive fire broke out in a 50-year-old building, leaving five people dead from smoke inhalation. Although the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority didn't specifically budget for high-rise sprinklers in a plan approved in September, the document does list them as a future priority.
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NewsPlexus Media December 1, 2019

Who made the new drapes? It’s among high court’s mysteries
The lack of transparency at the Supreme Court begins with the heavy red drapes that frame the courtroom on all sides. The court replaced the drapes this summer, but would not reveal the name of the company that did the work. The Supreme Court’s role in a bitterly divided Washington and nation may be more important than ever, yet basic details about how the court operates remain obscured. The court is not subject to the federal Freedom of Information Act and the justices are not bound by most ethics rules that apply to all other federal judges.
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NewsPlexus Media December 1, 2019

Court convicts Suriname leader in killings of 15 opponents
A court in the South American country of Suriname convicted President Desi Bouterse on Friday in the 1982 killings of 15 political opponents and sentenced him to 20 years in prison. The decision by a panel of three judges marks the end of a historic trial that began in November 2007, although it was not immediately clear what happens next.
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NewsPlexus Media December 1, 2019

PG&E says blackouts limited fires despite 1 likely failure
The nation's largest utility said Friday that its distribution lines haven't sparked any major wildfires since it began shutting off power to Northern California customers during periods of high fire risk. However, Pacific Gas & Electric is not ruling out the possibility that failed transmission equipment may have started a fire north of San Francisco that damaged or destroyed more than 400 structures.
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NewsPlexus Media December 1, 2019

Belated bill to help solve indigenous cold cases gains steam
A bill originally meant to help law enforcement investigate cold cases of murdered and missing indigenous women that has floundered in Congress for two years may have the missing ingredients to become law — money and muscle. The money comes from an appropriations subcommittee chaired by Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who told The Associated Press that for the first time funding is being directed specifically to murdered and missing indigenous people.
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NewsPlexus Media December 1, 2019

Vietnam receives last of 39 remains of trafficking victims
The last remains of the 39 Vietnamese who died while being smuggled in a truck to England last month were repatriated to their home country on Saturday. Photos by the official Vietnam News Agency showed the arrival at the Hanoi airport of 16 bodies and seven urns, which had been flown from London. They were loaded into ambulances on a foggy morning for a trip to their hometowns in several provinces in northern and central Vietnam.
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