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The big white house with pillars at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW in Washington, D.C

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LOS ANGELES, CA – If you’re a Los Angeles native, resident or even visitor, you will probably cringe at the combination of “LA” and “rush hour.” Sitting in LA traffic is an excruciatingly painful task, and not just because of the hours you spend putting pressure on your lower back. If your brakes aren’t screeching because of the driver who just cut you off, then you’re probably yelling about the bumper-to-bumper deadlock. Truth be told, traffic is infuriating, exhausting and unproductive

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The barrier around a gorilla exhibit at the Cincinnati Zoo was not in compliance with regulations when a 3-year-old boy fell into the enclosure in May, according to a federal investigation.  Zoo officials questioned the finding by pointing out the barrier passed muster with federal authorities about a month before the boy’s fall.  “In its 38-year history, the barrier system at Gorilla World has always been found compliant during USDA inspections,” a statement from the zoo said.  A member of an animal response team fatally shot a Western lowland gorilla named Harambe on May 28 after determining that the ape posed an imminent threat to the child. The animal’s death unleashed a public fury that was directed both at the child’s mother and at the zoo for its decision to use lethal force.  Inspectors from the U.S.

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The director of a state and federal-funded nonprofit in West Virginia has been removed after writing a racist Facebook post referring to first lady Michelle Obama  as an “ape in heels.”  Clay County Development Corp. director Pamela Ramsey Taylor wrote the offensive post after  Donald  Trump was elected president in an exchange that also embroiled the mayor of Clay, a small town near Charleston

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Criminal hate crime incidents reported to police increased 6.8 percent in the United States in 2015, according to official FBI data released today. There were 5,850 incidents in 2015, compared to 5479 reported in 2014, the widely anticipated report showed .

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Mourners gathered across Paris in the areas hit by last year’s horrific terror attacks to commemorate the first anniversary of the tragedy. French officials unveiled new memorial plaques, which display the names of those who killed in each attack, at seven different sites.

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WASHINGTON ― An Electoral College voter from Washington state told the Associated Press on Friday that he would not vote for Hillary Clinton under any circumstances, even if, as is firmly expected, Clinton wins his state’s popular vote. The elector, Robert Satiacum, is a Native American who supported Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in the Democratic Primary and told the AP that Clinton is a “criminal” who hasn’t done enough on Native American issues.

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Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog Almost exactly 20 years ago, President Bill Clinton signed into law a bill creating an interstate agreement for emergency management. That inconspicuous law has opened the door for the current flood of out-of-state law enforcement agents  present at the continuing protests against the  Dakota Access Pipeline  (DAPL) in North Dakota.

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Pope Francis may be too humble to spend time at the lavish palace of Castel Gandolfo, but we aren’t. The Vatican announced on Friday that the papal 135-acre estate will now be open to the public for visits

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Three weeks to go. It would be great if Donald Trump’s escalating weirdness gave Hillary Clinton a lock on the race. But we’re not there yet.

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“Tax cuts skewed towards the wealthy elite starve our communities of much-needed resources while further tilting the scales towards large corporations and the rich.” – Stephen Rouzer at Main Street Alliance If you cut taxes for the rich and giant corporations, what happens to the rest of us?

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Republican presidential nominee  Donald Trump  flatly denied during the presidential debate on Sunday that he had ever engaged in the sort of aggressive sexual behavior he detailed during a 2005 taped conversation with Billy Bush, at the time an “Access Hollywood” host.

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Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton paid a visit to a historic black church on Sunday, mixing Bible verses with frank talk about the “implicit bias” and systemic racism that still exists in America.  Clinton took to the pulpit at Little Rock AME Zion Church , a church in Charlotte, North Carolina, whose members have been involved in protests against the police shooting of Keith Scott , a 43-year-old black man, on Sept. 20.  The candidate spoke about Scott’s death, and the death of Terence Crutcher , a black father from Tulsa, Oklahoma who was killed by police days earlier.  She also mentioned the stories of two young residents of Charlotte, Taje Gaddy, 10, and Zianna Oliphant, 9, who testified before Charlotte’s City Council last week

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Notes For Next Time

03Oct

The consensus is that Hillary Clinton won the first debate handily. Yet despite Donald Trump’s bizarre behavior during and after the debate, the polls show only a modest bounce in Clinton’s favor. We have been here before.

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JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shook hands and exchanged brief words at the funeral on Friday of Shimon Peres, the former Israeli leader who won international acclaim for peacemaking with the Palestinians. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders gathered for the burial in Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl cemetery, two days after Peres, a former president and premier, died at the age of 93.

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U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s estimated net worth is $3.7 billion, $800 million less than a year ago, Forbes magazine reported on Wednesday, attributing the loss largely to New York’s softening real estate market. The magazine probed 28 assets or asset classes owned by the New York businessman and found 18 had declined in value, including Trump Tower in Manhattan and his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida.

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A police officer and a wanted suspect are both dead after a chase led to gunfire in New Mexico on Friday. Authorities identified the slain officer as 33-year-old  Clint Corvinus , a four-and-a-half year veteran of the Alamogordo Police Department, according to his memorial page.

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WASHINGTON, Aug 30  – Marco Rubio, who dropped out of the Republican presidential race earlier this year, was chosen on Tuesday as the Republican Party nominee for a second U.S. Senate term from Florida, according to the Associated Press .

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This boy may be small, but he’s got a big heart.

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NEW YORK ― An imam and a member of his congregation were shot dead on Saturday when a lone gunman opened fire as the two were leaving prayer services, according to multiple reports.  Witnesses heard several shots fired  near the Al-Furqan Jame Masjid Mosque in Queens at about 1:50 p.m., according to the New York Daily News. The two men were found lying in a pool of blood and witnesses said they’d both been shot in the head. More..

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A federal judge on Friday overturned Brendan Dassey’s conviction in the death of Teresa Halbach. The 26-year-old Dassey, who was featured in the Netflix mini-documentary series “Making A Murderer,” was sentenced in 2007 on homicide and sexual assault charges to life without parole over the murder of Halbach in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin. More…

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is not optimistic that he will be in charge of the Senate come November ― and Donald Trump , he implied, is not helping matters. McConnell told a civic group in Kentucky on Thursday that the chances of the GOP retaining control of the Senate were “very dicey,” the Associated Press reported . More..

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Shortly after  Donald Trump  suggested  “ Second Amendment people ” could stop Hillary Clinton from nominating Supreme Court justices, his campaign feverishly insisted he was in no way urging violence against the Democratic nominee. This would be a lot more convincing if the campaign didn’t still count as an adviser an individual who has actually called for Clinton to be executed

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The U.S. women’s gymnastics team walked out of the arena after their qualification round in Rio on Sunday the prohibitive favorites to take home team gold. London veteran Aly Raisman and once-in-a-generation phenom Simone Biles earned spots in the all-around final

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Muslims gathered for Catholic Mass on Sunday in churches and cathedrals across France in a powerful display of unity following the killing of an elderly priest.

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An out-of-control brush fire consumed hillsides around the Santa Clarita Valley near Los Angeles over the weekend, charring 33,000 acres  and destroying more than a dozen structures in the region.  One person was found dead  inside a burned vehicle, although it was unclear if the fire was to blame. More..

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Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said on Sunday that he would consider pulling the United States out of the World Trade Organization should he end up winning the election. The comments, made to NBC’s “Meet the Press,” are the latest in a series of Trump threats to pull the U.S. away from international institutions and compacts

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Turks across the country took to the streets late Friday night, responding to their embattled leader’s pleas to confront the Turkish military as it attempted to take  power in a coup. “I urge the Turkish people to convene at public squares and airports,” a flustered President Recep Tayyip Erdogan implored his citizens in a  live broadcast via FaceTime on CNN Turk, after the military declared in a televised statement that it had seized control of the nation. “There is no power higher than the power of the people.” More…

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People recalled seeing “ bodies flying like bowling pins ” during  Thursday night’s deadly attack in the southern French city of Nice .

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For months, Donald Trump has insisted that he would not release his tax returns while under audit ― a position seconded by tax lawyers, though one that the IRS has said is not necessary. In an interview with Fox News on Wednesday, the presumptive Republican nominee continued to make the argument it was the IRS audit preventing him from disclosing the finite details of his personal finances ― from the tax breaks he took, to the charitable donations he’s made. But in a telling aside, Trump seemed to admit that he wasn’t disclosing his returns because of the political damage he feared they would inflict

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Obama raises the stakes for multinationals to combat human trafficking

14Jul

By Dimitar Georgiev More…

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Some critics are finding Stephen Curry’s new shoes  a good fit — for jokes. ” These $120 sneakers look like they should sport the name of a shuffleboard player, not an NBA  superstar,” New York Magazine wrote. More…

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Vice President Joe Biden endorsed presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for president on Thursday, hours after  President Barack Obama  publicly declared his support for Clinton. “In my view, God willing, it’ll be Secretary Clinton,” Biden said, referring to the next president, during an address at the American Constitution Society convention in Washington

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MMA Fighter Kimbo Slice Dead At 42

07Jun

Professional mixed martial artist Kimbo Slice died Monday at the age of 42 . The announcement of his death came hours after Slice was reportedly hospitalized near his South Florida home for “undisclosed reasons.” More…

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Muhammad Ali represented the epitome of black excellence.  Ali, who died Friday , used his skill, strength and charisma to climb his way to the top and earn recognition as a world class boxing and civil rights champion. But part of what made Ali’s unprecedented success so meaningful is that he proved that a black man could be held by no boundaries; that if he was committed, he could break them all.  More…

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Muhammad Ali’s sensational spirit extended well beyond the boxing ring. Ali, who sadly passed away Friday , was a man of charisma and charm.

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A train carrying crude oil derailed Friday at the scenic Columbia River Gorge, spilling oil on the Oregon side of the river, which separates that state from Washington. At least one of the tanker cars burst into flames. The derailment affected 11 cars of the 96-car train, Union Pacific spokesman Aaron Hunt said .

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A member of Australia’s parliament who shot and killed an elephant on a hunting trip has said he also ate part of the animal because it is humanity’s “right” to do so. Robert Borsak , an MP for the country’s Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party , defended the consumption of the elephant during a speech he made Tuesday before parliament against the “insidious growth of skewed animal rights ideology.” Borsak was referencing an initiative by the country’s Green Party to end ” Australia’s killing culture ” against species like kangaroos, which are often deemed a pest and culled en masse. More..

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A mosquito-born virus linked to birth defects may keep a six-time NBA All-Star champion from playing in Brazil’s Olympics.

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Look, we all know there are plenty of things in Australia that can kill you. But we figured we didn’t have to worry about bicyclist-jumping kangaroos. Until now

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A 27-year-old man is accused of trashing a Memorial Day cross display in Henderson, Kentucky over the weekend.

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The Libertarian Party experienced a minor revolt at its biennial convention this weekend over concerns that its leading vice presidential candidate isn’t libertarian enough, complicating its efforts to achieve a stronger-than-usual showing in November’s presidential elections. Former Massachusetts Gov

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Reported injuries have decreased in the meat and poultry industry, but plant workers still face grave dangers on the job — and there’s reason to believe the safety hazards are worse than they seem, according to the Government Accountability Office. Many workers are unlikely to speak out about health and safety risks for fear of losing their jobs, the office said in a report issued Wednesday.

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Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton frequently emphasizes that she is a “proud Democrat” who wants to help elect other Democrats, contrasting herself with rival Bernie Sanders. While Sanders, the independent senator from Vermont, has set grassroots fundraising records for his own candidacy, Clinton’s campaign has criticized him for not doing more to help raise the profile of progressive candidates for federal and state offices as he rallies his supporters. Sanders had previously said, “ We’ll see , ” when asked whether he would fundraise on behalf of other candidates

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Donald Trump gets a bump in general elections polls, but there’s reason to doubt that it will stick.

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A Michigan man is in hot water after allegedly using a fake $100 bill to pay a stripper for a lap dance.

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A back-and-forth battle in Game 1 of the NBA Western Conference Finals led to a surprising early-series deficit for the Golden State Warriors. And, for a time Wednesday, it looked as if Game 2 was headed for another photo finish in the Warriors’ showdown with the Oklahoma City Thunder.  But then, about halfway through the third quarter, Warriors MVP Stephen Curry got a little mad

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Echoing a line from his hit Broadway musical “Hamilton,” Lin-Manuel Miranda on Monday condemned presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump’s nativist ideology, reminding the graduating class of the University of Pennsylvania of the stories and contributions of immigrants to America. “In a year when politicians traffic in anti-immigrant rhetoric,” he said, “there is also a Broadway musical reminding us that a broke, orphan immigrant from the West Indies built our financial system, a story that reminds us that since the beginning of the great, unfinished symphony that is our American experiment, time and time again, immigrants get the job done.” More…

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Donald Trump keeps saying we don’t have any good trade deals, but tell that to the guy in Massachusetts who just got a penis transplant . Trump and David Cameron are in the midst of a trans-Atlantic feud, exhibiting the sort of intra floppy-haired-white-guy hostility usually only found during a prep school lacrosse match

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Actor Wendell Pierce was arrested at an Atlanta hotel over the weekend after a political discussion with two other guests turned violent. The 52-year-old star, best known for playing Detective William “Bunk” Moreland on the HBO show “The Wire” and Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas in the movie “Confirmation,” was in Atlanta shooting the film ” One Last Thing ” when the altercation with two Bernie Sanders supporters allegedly occurred, TMZ reported.   More…

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The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) hadn’t updated its near-real time daily chart of Arctic sea ice levels in more than a month. A satellite that monitors the ice malfunctioned, forcing the center to suspend the service. Researchers missed a lot during those dark weeks

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For the first time in two years, humans stood on the top of the world. A team of nine Sherpas successfully scaled Mount Everest’s peak on Wednesday — the first climbers to do so since a deadly earthquake in 2015 and a fatal avalanche the year before made attempts to the summit impossible. More..

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“The Joker” singer was definitely not joking this time. After playing at his induction ceremony for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Friday night, legendary rocker Steve Miller used his acceptance speech to jab at the institution for not being more inclusive of women.

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When it comes to date nights, Bernie Sanders showed on Friday night that he’s one helluva class act.

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If politics were, in fact, a game of beanbag, the South Carolina primary would be a bag of rusty nails. Alas, politics ain’t beanbag . And South Carolina is just the campaign equivalent of throwing rusty nails at your rivals. The first projectiles came on Thursday, as the remaining Republican presidential candidates descended on the Palmetto State to engage in some good ole-fashion dirt-slinging and innuendo

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As the dust settles around Super Bowl 50, the conversation around the contest itself has died down, while the dialogue surrounding Cam Newton’s abrupt departure from his postgame presser has, somehow, lived on. In the past few days, some have claimed that the incident typifies Newton’s supposed immaturity . Others have declared that it was a natural response from a guy whose style of play is wholly predicated on his emotions

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World powers pressed Russia on Wednesday to stop bombing around Aleppo in support of a Syrian government offensive to recapture the city and a Western official said Moscow had presented a proposal envisaging a truce in three weeks’ time. Secretary of State John Kerry is pushing for a ceasefire and more aid access to Aleppo, where rebel-held areas are being cut off and the United Nations has warned a new humanitarian disaster could be on the way.

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A 3-month-old baby was shot in the face and died on Tuesday when gunfire erupted on a Los Angeles street, law enforcement officials said.

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After Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) handily beat former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary, it’s worth taking a look at how unlikely the media considered his bid less than a year ago

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AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – A U.S.

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Jay Z’s streaming service Tidal announced on Friday that it would be donating $1.5 million to social organizations, including non-profits that make sure the world knows black lives matter. The funds to be donated were raised at the Tidal X: 1020 charity event in Brooklyn last October, the company told Mic in a statement . The artists who performed at the sold-out event included Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, Nick Jonas and, of course, Hov himself.

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Being president has its perks, according to Barack Obama, who stopped by “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” on Sunday night to congratulate the Denver Broncos on their Super Bowl win over the Carolina Panthers . The thing is, Obama taped the message last week .

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MANCHESTER, N.H. — Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is out with a deceptive new mailer that masquerades as official government business and promises people there’s a “check enclosed” when it’s actually asking for money instead.

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Beyoncé’s Super Bowl halftime performance of her newly released single “Formation” was amazing — but beyond the singing, it was the style she and her dancers rocked that really caught our attention.  One look at the army of black women rocking leather outfits, afros and black berets and we were instantly reminded of the revolutionary members of the Black Panther Party . At one point, Beyoncé and her dancers even raised black power fists in the air marking an important public declaration of black pride

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A man participating in North Carolina’s annual Krispy Kreme Challenge  charity race has died after experiencing chest pains, the organization said. The 58-year-old man dropped out in the first mile of Saturday’s 5-mile, doughnut-guzzling race through Raleigh, organizers announced. The race tasks participants with downing a dozen glazed doughnuts — approximately 2,400 calories — at a Krispy Kreme shop located at the 2.5-mile marker.

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By Emily Stephenson MANCHESTER, N.H. (Reuters) – Donald Trump and Marco Rubio could be top targets for rivals’ fire on Saturday when seven Republican White House hopefuls take the stage in New Hampshire for their eighth debate, just days before the state’s high-stakes primary. Billionaire Trump held a wide lead in polls in New Hampshire, with U.S.

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WASHINGTON — Rep. Reid Ribble (R-Wis.) announced this week  that he wouldn’t seek another term in Congress partly because he wants to spend more time with his family.  Ribble vowed to serve no more than four terms after taking office in 2010, but a sad airport farewell contributed to his decision to quit after just three terms, Ribble told “So, That Happened,” the HuffPost Politics podcast.      Ribble said he took his three grandsons home to Sherwood, Wisconsin, for a few days after Christmas.  “We played out in the snow and did all the things that granddads and grandsons love to do,” he said.

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So,  that happened.  Hillary Clinton’s candidacy has a very compelling mission: She’ll hold fast against the GOP’s attempts to roll back the accomplishments of the Obama administration.

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During Thursday night’s Democratic debate, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) trotted out a variation on a line we’ve heard from him often on the campaign trail: “I’m the only candidate up here who doesn’t have a super PAC.” As a loud critic of money in politics, Sanders loves to rip super PACs while on the stump

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The body of an Italian student who went missing in Cairo was found half naked by the roadside with cigarette burns and other signs of torture, a senior Egyptian prosecutor said on Thursday. In Rome, Italy’s Foreign Ministry summoned the Egyptian ambassador to express concern over the death of Giulio Regeni, who disappeared on Jan. 25, the five-year anniversary of the uprising that ended Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule

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Celine Dion spoke publicly for the first time since her husband, René Angélil, died from throat cancer in January .  The Canadian music icon paid tribute to Angélil on Wednesday night with a memorial at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas . Plenty of people were there to celebrate the life of Dion’s late husband and manager, who helped her become one of the most famous singers in the world.  “I was never part of any of the meetings that he had where he had to say yes or no.

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