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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 August 20, 2019

Chinese pop stars publicly back Beijing on Hong Kong
At least eight pop stars from mainland China and one each from Taiwan and Hong Kong are publicly stating their support for Beijing's one-China policy, eliciting a mixture of disappointment and understanding from fans. Many of the statements came after protesters opposed to Beijing's growing influence over semi-autonomous Hong Kong removed a Chinese flag and tossed it into Victoria Harbour earlier this month.
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NewsPlexus Media August 20, 2019

Amash dumped Trump, and now Michigan district may dump Amash
Eirran Betka-Pope was on her lunch break when she spotted hundreds of Donald Trump supporters protesting outside the office of Rep. Justin Amash, the first Republican on Capitol Hill to say Congress should begin impeachment proceedings against the president. The protesters, who stood on the sidewalk with "Squash Amash" signs, saw his comments as the ultimate betrayal of a president they adore. But for Betka-Pope, a Trump critic, Amash's actions were commendable — and worthy of a counterprotest.
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NewsPlexus Media August 20, 2019

Pakistan decries cross-border fire as Kashmir security eases
Pakistan said Indian troops fired across the Line of Control in the disputed Kashmir region, killing two civilians and wounding another, as some security restrictions were lifted Monday in the main city of Srinagar. Pakistan and Indian often exchange fire in the Himalayan region, but tensions have increased since Aug. 5, when New Delhi changed the status of Indian-administered Kashmir, which is split between the nuclear-armed rivals and claimed by both.
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NewsPlexus Media August 20, 2019

Afghanistan mourns, vows to crush militants after attack
As Afghanistan mourned the 63 people killed in a suicide bombing at a Kabul wedding, a brother of the groom spoke through tears of his weariness at the bloodshed in the country and the crushing guilt he felt at having to face his neighbors, many of whom lost relatives in the weekend blast. "Around 20 victims' families live in our very neighborhood," said 22-year-old Ramin, whose brother, Mirwais Alami, survived along with his bride, Raihana.
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NewsPlexus Media August 20, 2019

Thousands flee from 'monster' wildfire on Canary Islands
A major, out-of-control wildfire in Spain's Canary Islands was throwing flames 160 feet into the air on Monday, forcing emergency workers to evacuate more than 9,000 people, authorities said. The blaze — described by the local fire department as "a monster" — was racing across parched woodlands into Tamadaba Natural Park, regarded as one of the jewels on Gran Canaria, a mountainous volcanic island in the Atlantic Ocean archipelago off northwest Africa.
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NewsPlexus Media August 20, 2019

UK PM Boris Johnson faces rising Brexit strategy criticism
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing rising criticism of his Brexit strategy at home as he increases pressure on the European Union to re-open negotiations ahead of key meetings with his French and German counterparts later this week. The prime minister's office said Monday that the right of EU citizens to work in the U.K. without restrictions would end on Nov. 1 if Britain leaves the bloc without a Brexit deal.
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NewsPlexus Media August 20, 2019

Early Epstein accuser: Police could have stopped him in 1997
More than two decades before Jeffrey Epstein took his own life, a woman went into a California police station and filed one of the earliest sex-crime complaints against him: that he groped her during what she thought was a modeling interview for the Victoria's Secret catalog. Alicia Arden said she never heard back from investigators about her complaint. No charges ever came of it. And to this day she sees it as a glaring missed opportunity to bring the financier to justice long before he was accused of sexually abusing dozens of teenage girls and women.
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NewsPlexus Media August 20, 2019

Grower: 5,000 patients in Louisiana medical marijuana program so far
Two weeks after Louisiana patients began receiving medical marijuana, the program is humming along without supply disruption and with thousands of people receiving the drug for medical use, regulatory officials and the head of one growing operation said Monday. John Davis, president of GB Sciences Louisiana, one of two state-sanctioned medical marijuana growers, said Louisiana has about 5,000 cannabis patients so far.
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NewsPlexus Media August 20, 2019

Pentagon conducts 1st test of previously banned missile
The U.S. military has conducted a flight test of a type of missile banned for more than 30 years by a treaty that both the United States and Russia abandoned this month, the Pentagon said. The test off the coast of California on Sunday marked the resumption of an arms competition that some analysts worry could increase U.S.-Russian tensions. The Trump administration has said it remains interested in useful arms control but questions Moscow's willingness to adhere to its treaty commitments.
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NewsPlexus Media August 20, 2019

Q&A: Recession jitters are rising. Is there reason to worry?
Nerves are being frayed by a global economy that increasingly looks breakable. Growth is stalling. Factory output is down. Oil demand is off. U.S. tariffs on China have slowed trade. Investors have crowded into government bonds and sent interest rates sliding in a way that has often preceded a recession. So is a recession near? Hard to tell.
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NewsPlexus Media August 20, 2019

US prisons chief removed from position after Epstein's death
Attorney General William Barr removed the acting director of the Bureau of Prisons from his position Monday, more than a week after millionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein took his own life while in federal custody. Hugh Hurwitz's reassignment comes amid mounting evidence that guards at the chronically understaffed Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York abdicated their responsibility to keep the 66-year-old Epstein from killing himself while he awaited trial on charges of sexually abusing teenage girls.
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NewsPlexus Media August 20, 2019

Salvadoran suspected of having abortion acquitted at retrial
A young rape victim who was suspected of having an abortion and charged with homicide was acquitted by a judge at a retrial Monday in a case that attracted international attention to El Salvador's strict abortion laws. The retrial was a first for such a case in the Central American nation, where prosecutors aggressively pursue legal cases against women who have miscarriages or other obstetric emergencies, accusing them of murder.
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NewsPlexus Media August 20, 2019

Patience wears thin for migrants stranded off Italian coast
The Spanish rescue ship Open Arms resorted to serving pizzas to 107 increasingly angry and sometimes aggressive migrants who are stranded aboard, as Italy's interior minister stuck to his refusal to let the vessel dock at a nearby Italian island in a weekslong standoff. The migrants were rescued from traffickers' boats in the Mediterranean off Libya and have spent 18 days aboard the Open Arms as they wait to see whether anti-migrant Interior Minister Matteo Salvini will let them disembark on Lampedusa, a tiny Italian island south of Sicily. Six other European Union countries have agreed to take the passengers.
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NewsPlexus Media August 20, 2019

Authorities praised for handling of protests in Portland
After previous political rallies that ended in violence, police in Portland, Oregon, earned praise Monday from outside observers for using a natural barrier — the city's Willamette River — to keep dueling protesters apart during a weekend far-right rally and large counter-demonstration that included a subset of masked and black-clad anti-fascists.
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NewsPlexus Media August 20, 2019

Detained immigrants sue over conditions, medical care
Immigrants held in U.S. detention facilities filed a lawsuit Monday decrying what they called shoddy medical care and a failure by authorities to provide accommodations for disabilities. In the suit filed by disability and civil rights advocates in U.S. District Court, immigrants said they're placed in isolation as punishment and denied recommended medical treatment and surgery. Some said they've been denied wheelchairs and a deaf detainee who communicates in American Sign Language said he has not been provided an interpreter.
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NewsPlexus Media August 20, 2019

Records: Epstein signed will 2 days before jailhouse suicide
Jeffrey Epstein signed a will just two days before he killed himself in jail, new court records show, opening a new legal front in what could be a long battle over the financier's fortune. Court papers filed last week in the U.S. Virgin Islands list no details of beneficiaries but valued the estate at more than $577 million, including more than $56 million in cash.
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NewsPlexus Media August 20, 2019

Iranian tanker sought by US heading toward Greece
An Iranian supertanker with $130 million worth of light crude oil that the U.S. suspects is tied to a sanctioned organization left Gibraltar and was heading east into the Mediterranean Sea on Monday, with its next destination reported to be Greece. The Iran-flagged Adrian Darya 1, previously named Grace 1, set course for Kalamata, Greece, with an estimated arrival on Aug. 25, according to ship tracking service MarineTraffic.
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NewsPlexus Media August 20, 2019

Mysterious death in custody has family seeking answers
Carmen Riley bent over her unconscious son, looked into his eyes and knew. It didn't take a mother's intuition or a doctor's prognosis to figure out that Ty'rique was gone. Several days earlier, 21-year-old Ty'rique Riley had been jailed after an altercation with his father. Now he lay in a hospital bed, his body covered in lacerations and deep, dark bruises. He was missing teeth. His kidneys were failing. How did this happen? And who was responsible? Seven weeks after his death, Riley's family and supporters are pushing for answers.
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NewsPlexus Media August 20, 2019

Wildfire acreage way down in California this year — so far
California is not burning. At least not as much as it has in recent years. Acreage burned through Sunday is down 90% compared to the average over the past five years and down 95% from last year, according to statistics from the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. The stats are good news for a state that has seen terrifyingly destructive and deadly blazes the past two years, but the worst of those fires occurred in the fall.
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NewsPlexus Media August 20, 2019

President tweets pic of Trump Tower looming over Greenland
President Donald Trump is making light of his own idea of buying Greenland from Denmark, tweeting a doctored photo of Trump Tower looming over a small village in the Arctic territory.
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NewsPlexus Media August 20, 2019

Lam promises work to narrow Hong Kong rifts, no specifics
Hong Kong's leader said Tuesday she's immediately setting up a "communication platform" to narrow differences in the city after months of anti-government protests. Chief Executive Carrie Lam also said the city's police watchdog will carry out a fact-finding study of the protests and related incidents as it looks into 174 complaints about police behavior.
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NewsPlexus Media August 20, 2019

With eyes on election, White House insists economy is strong
The "fundamentals" of the U.S. economy are solid, the White House asserted Monday, invoking an ill-fated political declaration of a decade ago amid mounting concern that a recession could imperil President Donald Trump's reelection. Exhibiting no such concern, senior adviser Kellyanne Conway declared to reporters, "The fact is, the fundamentals of our economy are very strong,"
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NewsPlexus Media August 20, 2019

Planned Parenthood leaves federal family planning program
Planned Parenthood said Monday it's pulling out of the federal family planning program rather than abide by a new Trump administration rule prohibiting clinics from referring women for abortions. Alexis McGill Johnson, Planned Parenthood's acting president and CEO, said the organization's nationwide network of health centers would remain open and strive to make up for the loss of federal money. But she predicted that many low-income women who rely on Planned Parenthood services would "delay or go without" care.
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NewsPlexus Media August 20, 2019

Democrats spending millions to take back statehouses
Democrats still shaken by the 2010 tea party wave that netted Republicans six governors' offices, flipped 21 statehouse chambers and drove nearly 700 Democratic state legislators from office are mounting a comeback, pouring millions of dollars into state-level races. In a longtime Republican district covering a wealthy enclave of Dallas, Democratic challenger Shawn Terry has raised $235,000 — an eye-popping amount for a statehouse race that's more than a year away. In Virginia, where the GOP holds a slim majority, Democrats have outraised Republicans for the first time in years. Democrats are even putting some money in deeply Republican Louisiana.
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NewsPlexus Media August 20, 2019

California university consultant killed in campus stabbing
A retired administrator working as a consultant to California State University, Fullerton was fatally stabbed Monday in a campus parking lot on the first day of the school year in what police called a targeted attack, though they were not sure of a motive. Steven Shek Keung Chan, 57, of Hacienda Heights was found inside a silver Infiniti. He had been stabbed many times, police said.
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NewsPlexus Media August 20, 2019

Cardinal Pell's appeal verdict due but may not be final word
The most senior Catholic cleric found guilty of sexually abusing children will learn the outcome of his appeal on Wednesday though the verdict still may not be the final word on his convictions for molesting two choirboys in an Australian cathedral more than two decades ago. The Victoria state Court of Appeal heard arguments from Cardinal George Pell's lawyers and prosecutors in June. In recognition of the intense public interest, the court is taking the unusual step of livestreaming its judgment on his appeal.
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NewsPlexus Media August 20, 2019

Omar: Go to Israel, see 'cruel reality of the occupation'
Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib sharply criticized Israel on Monday for denying them entry to the country and called on fellow members of Congress to visit while they cannot. Omar, of Minnesota, suggested President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were suppressing the lawmakers' ability to carry out their oversight role.
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NewsPlexus Media August 20, 2019

Far-right and antifa groups both claim victory at Portland
With both the left and the right declaring victory following a long-hyped rally that had Portland, Oregon, on edge it seems the liberal city will continue to be a flashpoint in an increasingly divided country. City officials were mostly relieved that a downtown gathering Saturday of more than 1,000 far-right protesters and anti-fascist counter-demonstrators wasn't as violent as feared.
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NewsPlexus Media August 20, 2019

Islamic State claims bombing at Kabul wedding that killed 63
The suicide bomber stood in the middle of the dancing, clapping crowd as hundreds of Afghan children and adults celebrated a wedding in a joyous release from Kabul's strain of war. Then, in a flash, he detonated his explosives-filled vest, killing dozens — and Afghanistan grieved again. The local Islamic State affiliate claimed responsibility for the deadliest attack in the capital this year, with 63 killed and 182 wounded, while outraged Afghans questioned just how safe they will be under an approaching deal between the United States and the Taliban to end America's longest war.
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NewsPlexus Media August 20, 2019

Strangers come for miles to mourn El Paso shooting victim
Thousands of strangers came to say goodbye to a woman who was killed in a mass shooting in El Paso after hearing her longtime companion had few family members left. Antonio Basco had told reporters he felt alone in planning the funeral for Margie Reckard, one of 22 people killed when a gunman opened fire at a Walmart on Aug. 3. Basco had almost no family left, so he invited the world to join him in remembering his companion of 22 years.
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NewsPlexus Media August 19, 2019

Planned book by Mark Halperin faces widespread criticism
A reported book deal for Mark Halperin, the "Game Change" co-author and political commentator who has faced multiple allegations of sexual harassment, is being greeted with widespread outrage. Former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson called the deal "a slap in the face to all women."
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NewsPlexus Media August 19, 2019

Leaked UK memos warn of food, drug shortages in Brexit chaos
Secret British government documents have warned of serious disruptions across the country in the event that the U.K. leaves the European Union without a trade deal on Oct. 31, according to a report. The Sunday Times newspaper published what it said was what the British government expects in the case of a sudden, "no-deal" Brexit. Among the most serious: "significant" disruptions to the supply of drugs and medicine, a decrease in the availability of fresh food and even potential fresh water shortages due to possible interruptions of imported water treatment chemicals.
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NewsPlexus Media August 19, 2019

Trump likens buying Greenland to 'a large real estate deal'
President Donald Trump said Sunday the idea of buying Greenland from Denmark has been discussed within his administration because of the strategic benefits for the U.S. and suggested that the semi-autonomous territory is a financial burden to Denmark.
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NewsPlexus Media August 19, 2019

Iranian tanker sought by US heads to unknown destination
An Iranian supertanker hauling $130 million worth of light crude oil that the U.S. suspects to be tied to a sanctioned organization lifted its anchor and begun moving away from Gibraltar late on Sunday. The trail left by GPS data on Marinetraffic.com, a vessel tracking service, showed the Iran-flagged Adrian Darya 1, previously known as Grace 1, moving shortly before midnight. The tanker slowly went south before steering eastwards toward a narrow stretch of international waters separating Morocco and the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula.
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NewsPlexus Media August 19, 2019

Kathleen Blanco, Louisiana's governor during Katrina, dies
Former Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, who became the state's first female elected governor only to see her political career derailed by the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, has died. After struggling for years with cancer, Blanco died Sunday in hospice care in Lafayette. She was 76.
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NewsPlexus Media August 19, 2019

US talks secretly to Venezuela socialist boss
The U.S. has opened up secret communications with Venezuela's socialist party boss as members of President Nicolás Maduro's inner circle seek guarantees they won't face retribution if they cede to growing demands to remove him, a senior U.S. administration official has told The Associated Press. Diosdado Cabello, who is considered the most-powerful man in Venezuela after Maduro, met last month in Caracas with someone who is in close contact with the Trump administration.
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NewsPlexus Media August 19, 2019

Signs of recession worry Trump ahead of 2020
President Donald Trump is warning of an economic crash if he loses reelection, arguing that even voters who personally dislike him should base their ballots on the nation's strong growth and low unemployment rate. But privately, Trump is growing increasingly worried the economy won't look so good come Election Day.
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NewsPlexus Media August 19, 2019

Judge blasts Georgia officials' handling of election system
Georgia election officials have for years ignored, downplayed and failed to address serious problems with the state's election management system and voting machines, a federal judge said in a scathing order this week. U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg said those problems place a burden on citizens' rights to cast a vote and have it reliably counted. She called Georgia's voting system "antiquated, seriously flawed, and vulnerable to failure, breach, contamination, and attack."
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NewsPlexus Media August 19, 2019

Philadelphia standoff suspect charged with attempted murder
A man suspected of shooting six police officers during an hourslong standoff that ended when tear gas caused the man to surrender was charged with attempted murder. Authorities have said that the criminal background of suspect Maurice Hill should have prevented him from legally owning the firepower used during the standoff that lasted deep into the night.
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NewsPlexus Media August 19, 2019

Doctors say new rule will mean sicker immigrants
Diabetics skipping regular checkups. Young asthmatics not getting preventive care. A surge in expensive emergency room visits. Doctors and public health experts warn of poor health and rising costs they say will come from sweeping Trump administration changes that would deny green cards to many immigrants who use Medicaid, as well as food stamps and other forms of public assistance. Some advocates say they're already seeing the fallout even before the complex 837-page rule takes effect in October.
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NewsPlexus Media August 19, 2019

Suburban voters are pressuring Republicans to act on guns
Suburban voters' worries are weighing heavy on Republicans in the wake of recent mass shootings. The party has seen once-reliable suburbs turn competitive as women worry about their children's safety and bristle at Donald Trump's harsh rhetoric on race and immigration, and they embraced Democratic alternatives in last year's midterm elections. GOP candidates looking ahead at tough races increasingly are eyeing new ways to address anxieties about gun violence, and to do that without crossing the party's base, which sees gun restrictions as an infringement on the constitutional right to bear arms.
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NewsPlexus Media August 19, 2019

Restrictions continue in Kashmir despite security ease
Restrictions continued in much of Indian-administered Kashmir on Sunday, despite India's government saying it was gradually restoring phone lines and easing a security lockdown that's been in place for nearly two weeks. Soldiers manned nearly deserted streets and limited the movement of the few pedestrians who came out of their homes in Srinagar, the region's main city.
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NewsPlexus Media August 19, 2019

The nation's largest provider of shelters for immigrant children is looking to reopen two facilities that the state of Arizona forced it to shutter last year because of issues with employee background checks and allegations of abuse. Southwest Key filed applications to reopen a downtown Phoenix facility that can house 420 children and one in the outer suburbs that can house 139.
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NewsPlexus Media August 19, 2019

Wildfire forces 4,000 to evacuate in Spain's Canary Islands
Around 4,000 people were evacuated Sunday because of wildfires that, for the second time in a week, ravaged the countryside of one of Spain's Canary Islands. The latest blaze broke out on Saturday afternoon near the town of Valleseco on Gran Canaria island in the Atlantic Ocean archipelago.
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NewsPlexus Media August 19, 2019

Ending a drought for R-rated comedies, 'Good Boys' is No. 1
The R-rated comedy, left for dead by some Hollywood studios, again reached No.1 at the box office over the weekend thanks to the raunchy coming-of-age tale "Good Boys," about a trio of 12-year-olds on a crude misadventure. "Good Boys" surpassed expectations to debut with $21 million, according to studio estimates Sunday, dethroning the "Fast & Furious" spinoff "Hobbs & Shaw," which slid to second with $14.1 million in its third weekend. Not since Melissa McCarthy's "The Boss" came in No. 1 all the way back in April 2016 has an R-rated comedy topped the North American box office.
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NewsPlexus Media August 19, 2019

Trump ties US success to 2nd term: 'You have to vote for me'
President Donald Trump sought to reassure his supporters about the state of the U.S. economy despite the stock market volatility and told rallygoers in New Hampshire, a state that he hopes to capture in 2020, that their financial security depends on his reelection. "Whether you love me or hate me, you have to vote for me," Trump said.
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NewsPlexus Media August 19, 2019

Energized liberals fear Warren, Sanders can't beat Trump
They want fundamental change: single-payer health care, debt-free college, environmental protections and the end of big money in politics. But as liberal voters size up the two leading candidates running on those values — Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren — one question is impossible to avoid: Can either one beat President Donald Trump?
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NewsPlexus Media August 19, 2019

Uber driver convicted of raping intoxicated passenger
An Uber driver has been found guilty of raping an intoxicated woman he picked up at a casino near Philadelphia. Ahmed Elgaafary was found guilty Thursday of rape of an unconscious person, sexual assault and indecent assault.
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NewsPlexus Media August 19, 2019

Greenland to Trump: Thanks, but we're not for sale
Greenlanders are giving Donald Trump the cold shoulder. Although amused, they're definitely not warming up to the U.S. president's talk of buying the semiautonomous Danish territory. "We see it as an expression of greater interest in investing in our country and the possibilities we offer," the Greenland government said Friday in a short statement. "Of course, Greenland is not for sale."
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NewsPlexus Media August 19, 2019

2 men sentenced for plotting to attack Muslim community
Two of four young men arrested for plotting to attack an upstate New York Muslim community with homemade explosives were sentenced Friday to four to 12 years in prison. Brian Colaneri, 20, and Andrew Crysel, 19, pleaded guilty to terrorism conspiracy in June. They and two others from the Rochester area were accused of planning to attack Islamberg.
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