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Trump lawyer accuses Mueller of improperly obtaining transition emails

A top lawyer for President Donald Trump’s transition team has accused a government agency of unlawfully turning over thousands of emails to Special Counsel Robert Mueller as part of his probe into Russia’s election meddling and potential collusion with the Trump campaign. Kory Langhofer, general counsel to the transition team known as Trump for America (TFA), wrote a letter to the House Oversight Committee and Senate Homeland Security Committee Saturday detailing claims that Mueller’s team had improperly received emails sent and received by Trump officials before the start of his…

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The hidden lesson inside the Alabama election

By most any political estimation, this past week’s Alabama special senate election was an outlier. Democrats generally don’t win statewide races in Alabama and Doug Jones likely wouldn’t have if a series of child molestation stories hadn’t surfaced about Republican candidate Roy Moore. But tallies out of Alabama’s biggest vote-producing counties suggest the election was just another example of a trend that’s shaped the most-watched races of 2017: The GOP’s retreat from the suburbs. More than 60 percent of the vote on Tuesday night came out of just five counties…

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Science 

Does Pentagon still have a UFO program? The answer is a bit mysterious

The Pentagon is shown with the Air Force Memorial in the foreground in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., September 11, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts More WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Pentagon acknowledged on Saturday that its long-secret UFO investigation program ended in 2012, when U.S. defense officials shifted attention and funding to other priorities. But as to whether the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program has continued to investigate UFO sightings since its funding ended five years ago could rank as an unexplained phenomenon. The New York Times reported on Saturday that the hush-hush program,…

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Meet America’s first all-LGBTQ city council

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings. SUBSCRIBE Palm Springs, California, is now being represented by the nation’s first entirely LGBTQ city council. Yes, all five members of the city council identify within the LGBTQ community, and they represent every letter in the acronym. With last month’s election, the pentad arrives in a conflicting political landscape, where LGBTQ politicians have picked up historic wins while the Trump administration and a number of states are rolling back some of the gains the…

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Science 

'Absolutely Grisly.' A Woman Was Mauled to Death by Her Own Dogs

She was out walking her pit bulls More A 22-year-old woman was apparently mauled to death by her own dogs, described as pit bulls, according to Virginia law enforcement. Bethany Lynn Stephens’ body was found in a wooded area in Goochland, V.A., with wounds on her hands, arms, throat and face consistent with a mauling, WTVR reports. Stephens’ father went looking for her on Thursday, and reportedly discovered her dogs standing watch over her body. “It was an absolutely grisly mauling ,” Sheriff James Agnew told WTVR. “In my 40…

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Why the ‘death penalty capital of the world’ stopped executing people

Since the Supreme Court legalized capital punishment in 1976, Harris County, Texas, has executed 126 people. That’s more executions than every individual state in the union, barring Texas itself. Harris County’s executions account for 23 percent of the 545 people Texas has executed. On the national level, the state alone is responsible for more than a third of the 1,465 people put to death in the United States since 1976. In 2017, however, the county known as the “death penalty capital of the world” and the “buckle of the American…

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Science 

SETI scientists report radio silence from interstellar object but will keep listening

The Breakthrough Listen initiative uses the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia. (NRAO Photo) More News Brief: The scientists behind the Breakthrough Listen initiative say they haven’t detected any radio signals coming from a strange interstellar object known as ‘Oumuamua, but there are still more observations to be made and analyzed. About 90 trillion bytes of data were collected Wednesday during the first of four planned listening sessions at the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia. The Breakthrough Listen science team at the University of California at Berkeley has put out a…

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EPA delays post-Flint rule changes for lead in drinking water

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is moving forward to update regulations to reduce lead in drinking water, but says the effort will take months longer than planned. The Environmental Protection Agency announced on Thursday that it would delay its publication ofproposed changes to federal regulation of lead and copper in drinking water until August 2018, having previously set out to have them released by January 2018. It similarly pushed back the timeline for finalizing the changes to February 2020, seven months after its previous deadline. It is the second time…

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Judge temporarily blocks new Trump rules on birth control

PHILADELPHIA — A federal judge in Philadelphia on Friday ordered the Trump administration not to enforce new rules that could significantly reduce women’s access to free birth control. Judge Wendy Beetlestone issued the injunction, temporarily stopping the government from enforcing the policy change to former President Barack Obama’s health care law. People in support of birth control participate in a rally outside of a local Health and Human Services office on November 15, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. Erik S. Lesser / EPA file The law required most companies to cover…

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Former aide accuses Rep. Bobby Scott of sexual misconduct

A former aide to Rep. Bobby Scott on Friday accused the Virginia Democrat of sexual misconduct and said he fired her after she rebuffed his alleged advances. At a press conference, Macherie Reese Everson, who goes by Reese, said that Scott touched her inappropriately on two occasions in 2013 and that he flirted with her. Everson said that when she declined the overtures, she was “retaliated against” by being fired. Scott strongly denied the accusations. Everson said the conduct occurred when she was a Congressional Black Caucus Foundation fellow working…

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