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Trump travel ban heading to Supreme Court

WASHINGTON — The Trump travel ban has a return engagement before the U.S. Supreme Court, after the justices said Friday they will take up the government’s appeal of the latest version. In December, the court telegraphed that it would likely hear the case when it allowed the government to enforce the travel ban while a new round of challenges were playing out in the lower courts. Only two justices, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor, expressed their dissents. Like the previous versions, the latest form maintains limits on granting visas…

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Right-wing demand to ‘Release the Memo’ endorsed by Russian bots, trolls

WASHINGTON — The latest attempt by some Republicans in Congress to discredit the Trump-Russia investigation has been embraced by Russian bots and trolls on social media. At issue is a classified memo written by House GOP staffers that purports to describe abuses in FBI surveillance practices, but has been denounced by Democratic lawmakers as deeply misleading. House Republicans have described the revelations in the memo as “worse than Watergate,” and are demanding its release. The story is getting major coverage by right-leaning news organizations, including Fox News, Breitbart, the Washington…

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Trump blasts Roe v. Wade in satellite address to anti-abortion rally

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump addressed anti-abortion activists at the March For Life Friday, beaming into the Washington, D.C., rally via satellite from the White House Rose Garden. “The March for Life is a movement born out of love,” Trump said. As he spoke, huge cheers erupted from the crowd gathered just a few miles away. Trump lambasted Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court ruling that reinforced a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion, as a decision that allowed for “some of the most permissive abortion laws in the…

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Feds to retry Sen. Menendez on corruption charges

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department notified a federal judge Friday that it will again put Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey on trial, after a jury deadlocked and ended an earlier prosecution in a mistrial. “The conduct alleged in the indictment is serious and warrants retrial before a jury of citizens in the District of New Jersey,” the Justice Department said. “An early retrial date is in the best interests of the public,” government lawyers told the judge. A spokesman for Menendez said prosecutors evidently “did not hear the overwhelming…

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Government shutdown likelihood grows amid Senate standoff

WASHINGTON — Just hours ahead of a midnight deadline to fund the government, a high-stakes standoff in the Senate is making the prospects of a shutdown more likely by the minute. The Senate convened Friday without a clear path forward on how to fund the government with Democrats demanding more progress on a deal on DACA, or Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals, while some Republicans, frustrated with the spate of month-long spending bills, are likely to block the current proposal on the table, which would keep the government running for…

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Space 

NASA 2019 budget expected to include lunar exploration program details

WASHINGTON – Details about how NASA will implement a space policy directive regarding a human return to the moon will be in the agency’s 2019 budget request, scheduled for release as soon as early February. NASA Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot, speaking at a Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) civil space forum here Jan. 18, didn’t discuss specifics of those plans, but suggested both international and commercial partnerships would play key roles in NASA’s approach to implementing Space Policy Directive 1. That directive, signed by President Trump Dec. 11,…

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Battle over legal marijuana: a monumental moment for states’ rights

West Hollywood is painted with rainbow flags. Known as “The Creative City,” this counterculture hub is set in rolling hills, thrumming with thrift stores, vegetarian restaurants, and, since Jan. 1, four dispensaries selling recreational cannabis. The most populous state in the union, with 39 million people, started allowing legal recreational pot sales three days before the Justice Department threatened to step up enforcement of federal prohibition.  As people waiting in a line outside West Hollywood’s MedMen brush off a rainstorm, Iain McDonald, an actor and Lyft driver from Australia, says he’s puzzled…

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World War 3 warning: USA to turn on China as trade battle looms

It comes days after US President Donald Trump said Washington was considering a big “fine” as part of a probe into China’s alleged theft of intellectual property.  And now a trade expert has warned Mr Trump is “determined to bite somebody”.  The former president of the National Foreign Trade Council, William Reinsch, told CNBC: “The prevailing view in Washington now is that, this year, he is determined to bite somebody and China  is the most likely target.” Mr Trump has claimed that trade with China is unfair to the US…

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A year after the March, women are sprinting forward

Ginny Dameron didn’t know what to expect from the Women’s March in Austin, Tex., last January. She usually avoids big crowds, and worried about the potential for confrontation. But seeing tens of thousands of people show up at the state capitol, she says, “wowed” her: “It was the sense that we were not alone.” Odelia Younge also felt conflicted over whether to join the March in San Francisco — at first. Her top causes: reproductive and social justice, especially for the black community. “I decided to show up in a…

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North Korea nuclear missile tests ‘may have STALLED’ – so what is Kim up to?

North Korea expert Joseph S Bermudez pointed out that there was no indication of any recent activity at one of the regime’s key missile testing sites, according to recent satellite images. 38 North, a Washington-based North Korea watchdog, said an image, taken on January 10, “shows no indications of any recent solid-fuel engine tests at the Magunpo Solid-fuel Rocket Engine Test Facility. “The last test conducted there, according to US government sources, was around mid-October of last year. The facility is being well-maintained and appears ready for future testing.” The…

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