October 16, 2019

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Trump ratchets up clash with Congress on Syria

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Just hours before meeting with angry congressional leaders to discuss the rapidly unfolding Syria crisis, President Donald Trump has already made clear where he stands on the issue: "It's not our border." Trump told reporters Wednesday that his decision to pull U.S. troops out of northern Syria — which was quickly followed by a Turkish attack on U.S.-allied Kurdish forces — was “strategically brilliant” while downplaying Russian intervention in the conflict. "Our soldiers are out of there. Our soldiers are totally safe," Trump said. "Syria may have some help with Russia, and that’s fine. It’s a lot of sand — they’ve got a lot of sand over there, so there’s a lot of sand that they could play with..." But lawmakers are in no mood for games. The House overwhelmingly approved resolution condemning the U.S. withdrawal from northern Syria and the abandonment of its Kurdish allies. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), GOP Conference Chairman Liz Cheney (Wyo.) were among the 129 Republicans who crossed party lines and voted for the Democratic-drafted measure, a dramatic slap at Trump in the midst of one the most serious foreign policy crises of his presidency. Sixty Republicans, mostly hardline conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus, voted against the measure.
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11 juicy details from Elton John's new memoir

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(CNN)If you saw "Rocketman," you know that Elton John overcame shyness and a nasty drug problem to become one of the biggest and most enduring pop stars in the world.But you don't know the half of it.Sir Elton has a candid new memoir, "Me," which is full of illuminating and funny stories about his half-century in show business. Here are 11 of its juiciest details. He shot down Rod Stewart's blimpThe two aging British rockers, pals since the late 1960s, like to prank each other. Stewart calls Elton "Sharon," while Elton calls him "Phyllis."When John began to lose his hair in the '70s, Stewart sent him a helmet-like salon hair dryer as a joke.But Elton got his revenge. In the early '80s Stewart was playing a concert in London that was advertised with a blimp flying over the venue with his face on it. Elton hired someone to shoot it down.
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For once, good environment news: A humpback whale population has come back from the brink

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Finally, some good environmental news. After being almost wiped out by whaling in the 20th century, a humpback whale population off the coast of South America has come back from the brink of extinction.In the late 1950s there were only 440 western South Atlantic humpbacks left.Protections were put in place in the 1960s. At first they didn't seem to be rebounding, but a study published Wednesday finds that to the surprise of scientists the population is now up to an estimated 25,000 whales. That's almost as many as researchers estimate there were before whaling began in the 1700s.Scientists were thrilled to realize how fast and how well the population has recovered after whaling finally stopped for good in the 1970s.
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Chicago Cancels Public School Classes As Teachers Prepare To Strike

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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot says classes in the city's public schools will be cancelled Thursday for 299,000 children, in anticipation of an expected teacher strike. The Chicago Teachers Union and Chicago Public Schools have been locked in a months-long contract dispute over higher pay, caps on class size and other issues. The union's delegates plan to meet Wednesday evening to vote on whether to move forward with the strike. In a press conference, Lightfoot said on Wednesday that she stands by the city's most recent offer, which she said would provide teachers a 16 percent raise over five years, among other proposed changes. "We have tried to provide the best deal that is fiscally responsible, that's fair to teachers, fair to taxpayers," Lightfoot said. "Without question, the deal we put on the table is the best in the Chicago Teachers Union's history."
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Closings in US drug trial of Honduran president's brother

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A prosecutor has told a jury at the closing of a drug trial that the brother of Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez created "state-sponsored" drug trafficking by corrupting the country's politics to protect drug dealers. Assistant U.S. Attorney Emil Bove in New York made the allegation Wednesday as he asked a jury to convict Antonio Hernandez of drug conspiracy and weapons charges. A defense lawyer warned jurors not to be swayed by the prosecution's "shock and awe" presentation that included machine guns and testimony from five turncoat witnesses he described as "liars, losers and murderers." The closings capped a two-week trial. Hernandez is accused of using his government connections to smuggle U.S.-bound cocaine through Honduras.
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The FCC approves T-Mobile-Sprint deal in party-line vote

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The Federal Communications Commission has approved the $26.5 billion combination of Sprint and T-Mobile on a 3-2 party-line vote.The wireless merger still faces opposition from a coalition of state attorneys general, who argue the deal is bad for competition. The companies won’t merge while litigation persists.The antitrust trial is scheduled to start in New York in December, an unusual situation given that the Trump administration’s Justice Department approved the deal.The FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, a Republican, backed it months ago citing the companies’ promise to build out a next-generation 5G network to many rural areas, improving internet access.The Democratic commissioners say going from four to three major wireless companies will mean higher prices for consumers. They say it will be difficult to enforce promises made by T-Mobile and Sprint.
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Court seems split on possible resentencing for teen sniper

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Liberal and conservative justices seemed split Wednesday on whether to grant a new sentencing hearing to Lee Boyd Malvo , one of two snipers who terrorized the Washington, D.C., region in 2002 when he was a teenager.The Supreme Court heard arguments on whether Malvo, who was 17 at the time of the killings, was wrongly sentenced in Virginia to life without parole.His attorneys say he deserves a new hearing because of recent Supreme Court rulings barring mandatory life sentences for juveniles and reserving the punishment for those “rare children whose crimes reflect irreparable corruption.”Virginia argues Malvo’s life sentence was not mandatory because the judge theoretically had discretion to suspend part of Malvo’s life sentence, despite a state law mandating either execution or life without parole as the only sentencing options for a capital murder conviction.
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Trump trashes Graham over Syria troop withdrawal criticism

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Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump slammed one of his key allies on Capitol Hill, Sen. Lindsey Graham, over his approach to Turkey's incursion in Syria.Trump said during a news conference at the White House Wednesday afternoon that Graham "would like to stay in the Middle East for the next thousand years." The President suggesting that the South Carolina Republican should instead focus on investigating various members of the intelligence community Trump thinks tried to sway the 2016 presidential election against him."The people of South Carolina don't want us to get into a war with Turkey, a NATO member, or with Syria. Let them fight their own wars. They've been fighting for a thousand years. Let them fight their own wars. The people of South Carolina want to see those troops come home," Trump said.
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No classes, parents scramble as Chicago teacher strike looms

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CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago’s mayor announced on Wednesday that the city’s public schools will be shut down on Thursday, ahead of an expected teachers’ strike. Mayor Lori Lightfoot said during a news conference that the district’s 25,000 teachers represented by the Chicago Teachers Union would almost certainly walk out on Thursday based on union leaders’ reaction to bargaining talks this week.“Without question, the deal we put on the table is the best in the Chicago Teachers union history,” said Lightfoot. “Despite all this, the Chicago Teachers Union intends to forge ahead with a strike.”A clearly frustrated Lightfoot said the city has not only offered a 16% pay raise over the 5-year contract, but the city has also agreed to put language in the contract that addresses “enforceable targets” on class size and increasing staffing levels for positions such as nurses, librarians and social workers — items the union said were critical.
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ProPublica: Trump Org. fudged info on buildings to reduce tax bill for financial gain

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(CNN)President Donald Trump's real estate business reported different financial figures for two of his Manhattan properties to lenders than to New York tax authorities, according to documents obtained by ProPublica. The different sets of numbers on expenses, profits and occupancy figures resulted in the two buildings appearing more lucrative to lenders and less so to city officials assessing property taxes, ProPublica found in an investigation published Wednesday. ProPublica obtained the property tax documents through the state of New York's Freedom of Information Act law and loan records after Trump's lender sold the debt on the properties, making them public. The Trump Organization did not respond to questions from ProPublica or CNN.
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Alaska to look at oil spill plan requirements

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Thirty years after the Exxon Valdez oil spill, the state of Alaska is looking at whether to change its requirements for oil spill prevention and response plans. One conservationist worries the move could lead to a watering down of environmental regulations. State Environmental Conservation Commissioner Jason Brune (BREW-nee) says there's no intent to do away with the plans. In a release, he said he's heard from Alaskans that contingency plans "are unnecessarily burdensome while lacking corresponding environmental benefits." But in an interview, he said he also has heard from those who think the rules don't go far enough. The department is taking public comment as it considers whether to propose changes.
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The ‘My Headphones’ Meme Is Here to Say Everything You Can’t About How You’re Really Doing

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The internet is here to remind everyone that our headphones know us better than anyone else.A play off of the popular “no one” followed by “me” construction, the internet’s latest meme has people sharing the song you’re listening to that, well, clearly shows that you are deeply in your sad feelings. Examples include, but are not limited to, saying you’re happy and calm while listening to “Paralyzer” by Finger Eleven; bopping to “Winner Takes It All” from Mamma Mia (the movie version), after saying you’re fine with a breakup; or telling your mom not to visit for the weekend while harmonizing to the Les Miserables finale.Naturally, the best uses of the “my headphones” meme can be found in recent tweets, like this one from Chloe Bryan, listening to the NPR Tiny Desk concert version of Taylor Swift’s “All Too Well” on high volume after saying she’s fine.
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In Iraq, concern that Syria chaos would bring back IS

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RABIAA, Iraq (AP) — Iraq’s defense minister on Wednesday expressed concerns that the Islamic State group could take advantage of Turkey’s invasion of northern Syria to destabilize Iraq, saying that a number of militants have been able to escape detention in Syria amid the chaos and cross into Iraq.Speaking to a group of journalists touring the Iraq-Syria border with him, Najah al-Shammari urged the Iraqi government to work quickly on sealing the border.“The Iraqi government should act quickly to close illegal crossings between Iraq and Syria,” al-Shammari said. He did not elaborate or say how many IS members have crossed into Iraq. He said that some of them are still at large while others have been detained.
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Adam Rippon Thinks Trump Should Be Impeached: 'He's Not Fit. He's a Lunatic'

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PEOPLE Now airs live, Monday through Friday, from the Meredith offices in New York City.Catch PEOPLE Now every weekday at 12:00 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT on People.com or on the PeopleTV app on your favorite streaming device. Want even more? Check out clips from previous episodes of PEOPLE Now.
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Vatican launches $110 eRosary

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(CNN)The Rosary is going mobile. The Vatican announced the launch of the "Click to Pray eRosary" Wednesday. October is the month of the Rosary.The eRosary is an app-driven device that can be worn as a bracelet. To activate it, all you have to do is make the sign of the cross, similar to how Catholics begin praying the Rosary.Once activated, the wearer can choose between three different options to pray. There is the standard rosary, a contemplative rosary or a thematic rosary, which will be updated every year. The device shows the users progress throughout each prayer and keeps track of each rosary completed.The interactive device is a push from the church to reach tech-savvy millennials and Gen Z.
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High court weighs state role in prosecuting immigrants

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is trying to sort out whether states can prosecute immigrants who use fake Social Security numbers to get a job.The justices heard arguments Wednesday in Kansas’ appeal of a state court ruling that threw out three convictions after concluding the state was seeking to punish immigrants who used fake IDs to obtain jobs.The Kansas Supreme Court ruled that the federal government has exclusive authority to determine whether an immigrant may work in the United States.The justices seemed concerned that states shouldn’t be hampered in other identity-theft prosecutions when someone might use a stolen Social Security number to get a driver’s license or arrange for direct deposit of a paycheck.
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Detectives across US grill serial killer, close cold cases

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Keep him talking, don't interrupt him and, no matter what, don't ask why he killed his victims. Those were the instructions Texas Ranger James Holland gave to the dozens of homicide detectives around the country when they got their moment with Samuel Little, hoping to solve decades-old cold cases and bring back answers to desperate families from the man the FBI identified this month as the most prolific serial killer in U.S. history. Little ultimately spilled forth with chilling confessions, claiming he killed 93 women in all between 1970 and 2005 and smilingly recounting the details with startling clarity. But to get what they needed, detectives had to employ a certain amount of psychology, some of which made them uncomfortable, such as laughing along with him or putting up with his flirting.
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Woeful Mariners now only team never to reach World Series

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SEATTLE (AP) — And then there was one.The Washington Nationals are off to the World Series for the first time in franchise history after sweeping the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night, becoming the final National League team to reach the Fall Classic and leaving a single team with the distinction of never playing for a title.Congratulations, Seattle Mariners. Not only do you have the longest playoff drought in professional sports, but you are now the only team that hasn’t been to a World Series.Since the Mariners came into existence in 1977, there has been a void. Despite lineups that included the likes of Ken Griffey Jr., Ichiro Suzuki, Randy Johnson, Edgar Martinez and Alex Rodriguez, they have just four playoff appearances in their history, all coming between 1995 and 2001.
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Opinion: What LeBron James could have — and should have — said about Daryl Morey, China

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We know what LeBron James said.Oh, do we ever.James’ comments haven’t gone over well since he responded Monday to questions about China and Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey’s pro-Hong Kong tweet that instigated a crisis for the NBA.When James said, “I don’t want to get in a word or sentence feud with Daryl Morey. But I believe he wasn’t educated on the situation at hand and he spoke," he should have said, “I support democracy, free speech and denounce human rights abuses throughout the world. It wasn’t a good week for the NBA, and Daryl’s tweet put the players and the league in a challenging situation. That’s all I have to say on the topic.”That’s not what James said, which is his choice, but the fallout – at least in terms of criticism – has been significant. It's not known yet if there is a financial cost, but his reputation took a hit as his "More Than An Athlete" mantra runs hollow.
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Syria Warns It May Soon Strike Back as U.S., Russia Plan Talks with Turkey

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Syria has warned it may soon retaliate against Turkey after the northern neighbor led an incursion of insurgents across the border, leaving the United States and Russia rushing to organize talks.Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's political and media adviser, Bouthaina Shaaban, told Russia's state-run RT outlet Wednesday that recent developments did not constitute "a Turkish military operation, but an invasion and aggression against the sovereignty of the Syrian Arab Republic." The military action targeted Kurdish militias once backed by the Pentagon, but now allied with the Syrian government and its Russian ally in the wake of a U.S. withdrawal.Asked about the possibility of a clash between the Syrian and Turkish militaries, Shaaban said "everything is possible" and that most of those led by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan are affiliated with Jabhat al-Nusra, the former Al-Qaeda affiliate now known as the Hayyet Tahrir al-Sham, and the Islamic State militant group (ISIS).
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Sutter Health, California settle massive antitrust case

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — One of California’s largest hospital systems has reached an agreement to settle a massive class-action lawsuit over allegations that it abused its market power to snuff out competition and overcharge patients for medical bills.A spokeswoman for California Attorney General Xavier Beccera said Wednesday that both sides reached a settlement agreement ahead of opening remarks expected to begin later this week.The antitrust case against Sutter Health was brought by 1,500 employers and later joined by Beccera.Jennifer Molina, a spokeswoman for Becerra, said she could not comment further until the final agreement is approved by the court sometime in the future.A spokeswoman for Sutter Health did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
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Gallup poll: Majority of Americans now support Trump's impeachment, removal

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A majority of Americans surveyed in a  — 52 percent — say they want impeached and removed from office as House Democrats pursue an impeachment inquiry against him.The results from a poll released Wednesday mark a 7-point rise in support for Trump's impeachment since a Gallup survey in June, about 2 months after the release of former special counsel 's report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. But 46 percent of respondents in the new poll said Trump should not be impeached and removed from office, according to the latest poll. Support for impeachment remains overwhelming among Democrats at 89 percent, while 55 percent of independents polled said the same. Only 6 percent of Republicans said they supported Trump’s impeachment and removal, 1 point less than in June. 
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The world's oldest leftovers stashed in a cave

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(CNN)It seems stashing your leftovers from dinner is hardly a new concept.Humans have been storing food for 200,000 to 400,000 years, new research suggests. A bit like we would store our food in a Tupperware container, early humans stored marrow-rich deer bones for several weeks. Once the bones, skin and tendons had had time to dry out, they extracted the marrow. Researchers discovered the earliest evidence for storage and delayed consumption of bone marrow at Qesem Cave in Israel. The deer bones showed the telltale signs of people cracking them open to get at the marrow inside.In order to find out if this was, in fact, what early humans were doing. Tel Aviv University archaeologists tried the same trick themselves.
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Review: Pattinson and Dafoe shine in ‘The Lighthouse’

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Enter ”The Lighthouse ” at your own risk.This is a stark, moody, surreal and prolonged descent into seaside madness that will surely not be for everyone. But those who do choose to go on this black-and-white journey with Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe will ultimately find it a rewarding one, even if the blaring fog horn rings in your ears for days to come. Director Robert Eggers has made something truly visionary — stripped down and out of time — that asks the viewer to simply submit to his distinctive, strange, funny and haunting tale of a pair of “wickies” in 1890 New England tasked with keeping the lighthouse running.Pattinson and Dafoe make for inspired casting choices for this two-hander, with Pattinson as the rookie, Winslow, a former timber man who was looking for a different life, and Dafoe as the greying veteran, Wake, who is determined to keep things in order. Winslow is not exactly an eager student or subordinate. He wants the lighthouse to be his as soon as he gets to the island. He does not have a seafarer’s attention to detail and is ill-equipped to handle the endless drudgery of keeping the house tidy and shoveling rocks back and forth across the island. Plus, he’s been having some increasingly demonic and disturbing dreams, has made an enemy of a taunting sea bird and also has to deal with Wake’s constant badgering and flatulence (seriously).
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These ‘super soft and cuddly’ caterpillars can poison you. Here's what you should know

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Don't be fooled by caterpillars with colorful and fuzzy exteriors: They might be poisonous.Stinging, venomous caterpillars have plagued the South and parts of the Midwest.In Michigan, the Clare County Chamber of Commerce issued a warning Oct. 10 for residents to avoid the American dagger moth caterpillar, which was spotted on a college campus.The puss caterpillar – one of the most venomous of its kind in the USA – has appeared in Florida, Texas and South Carolina. A Florida woman posted on Facebook that she was hospitalized after receiving a painful sting from one of these critters.Generally, stinging caterpillars – mainly the puss caterpillar, also known as the Southern flannel moth or the asp – are rare north of the Mason-Dixon line, says David Wagner, an entomologist at the University of Connecticut. Even in the South, where they'remost frequently spotted, they're uncommon, he says.
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House approves resolution opposing Trump's troop withdrawal

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Washington (CNN)The House of Representatives on Wednesday approved a resolution opposing the Trump administration's move to withdraw US forces from Syria. The vote was 354-60 with four members voting present.The resolution states that "an abrupt withdrawal of United States military personnel from certain parts of Northeast Syria is beneficial to adversaries of the United States government, including Syria, Iran, and Russia."It goes on to say that Congress "opposes the decision to end certain United States efforts to prevent Turkish military operations against Syrian Kurdish forces in Northeast Syria." The measure has bipartisan support in both the House and Senate. In the House, it was sponsored by House Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel and the committee's top Republican, Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas.
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Rick Perry doesn't know if he'll comply with congressional subpoena

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Energy Secretary was tight-lipped Wednesday about whether or not he'd cooperate with a House subpoena regarding his role in 's phone call with Ukraine. The call has since led to an impeachment inquiry in the House of Representatives. On Fox Business Wednesday morning, Perry said "the House has sent a subpoena over for the records that we have, and our general counsel and the White House counsel are going through the process right now.""I’m going to follow the lead of my counsel on that," Perry added.Then, later in the morning, Perry refused to answer an impeachment-related question on a press call. Perry's response isn't all that surprising, as the White House has said repeatedly that it would not cooperate with the House Democrats' impeachment inquiry.  that Perry became of interest to the House when the whistleblower report stated that Perry was the head of the U.S. delegation to Ukraine for President
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Astros-Yankees ALCS Game 4 postponed

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(CNN)Game 4 of the American League Championship Series between the Houston Astros and New York Yankees will have to wait at least one more day.Major League Baseball announced that Game 4 at Yankee Stadium has been postponed Wednesday because of inclement weather. The announcement comes as a potential bomb cyclone is getting ready to wallop the Northeast. There is a forecast of rainfall in New York throughout the rest of the night."We are mindful of two things," MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said, according to MLB.com, ahead of Game 3. "We don't want to affect the competitive complexion of the series, and we want to be mindful of our fans who have to get out. We don't want to bring them here if we know we are not going to be able to play."
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Democratic leaders walk out of meeting with Trump on Syria, claim president had 'meltdown'

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WASHINGTON – Congressional Democrats walked out of a White House meeting on Syria Wednesday, claiming President Donald Trump was demeaning to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. "“He was insulting, particularly to the speaker. He called her a ‘third-rate politician,'" said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. "This was not a dialogue, it was sort of a diatribe."Pelosi said Trump was “shaken up” by having lost most Republicans in a Wednesday vote condemning Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria,“What we witnessed on the part of the president was a meltdown, sad to say," Pelosi said.The move came soon after the House overwhelmingly passed bipartisan resolution condemning Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, all but clearing the way for Turkey to invade territory held by the U.S.-allied Kurds. 
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The Latest: EU negotiator: Brexit talks make “good progress”

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BRUSSELS (AP) — The Latest on Brexit (all times local):9:15 p.m.EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier says Brexit talks with the UK are making “good progress” as both sides try to finalize a last-minute deal ahead of a meeting of EU leaders.Barnier spoke briefly to reporters as he arrived at the European Parliament on Wednesday evening to brief members of the EU’s Brexit Steering Group.He said: “Good progress, and work is ongoing.”EU leaders will gather Thursday at a two-day summit in Brussels with hopes they can finally agree on a Brexit deal. The UK is set to leave the bloc on Oct. 31.___8:45 p.m.Ireland’s president says it’s paramount that any Brexit deal safeguards the Good Friday agreement that brought peace to Northern Ireland.
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Former U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul on Trump Diplomacy and Ukraine

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President Trump's norm-busting diplomatic style has been a hallmark of his administration's foreign policy from day one. Now, those practices are at the heart of House Democrats' move to impeach him. President Donald Trump's July phone call with the President of Ukraine was only the latest in a series of unusual approaches to foreign policy in the region, including, of course, allegations of collusion with Russia and a too-cozy relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul has some thoughts on all that.A lecturer, author and diplomat who worked in Moscow starting in the early 1990s, McFaul served five years in the Obama White House including as the ambassador to Russia from 2014 to 2016. A staunch ally of pro-democracy Russians, McFaul is only the second U.S. ambassador to be declared persona non grata by the Russian government (the first was Cold War era diplomat George Kennan). Putin even suggested to Trump he would like to have McFaul sent to Russia for questioning about interference in Russian affairs. Trump's former press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, declined to rule it out.
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It's now or never for Castro, Gabbard, Klobuchar and O'Rourke

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Westerville, Ohio (CNN)For four Democrats, the CNN/New York Times presidential debate on Tuesday night could have been their last.Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, former Rep. Beto O'Rourke of Texas, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii walked onstage here at Otterbein University with a stark reality looming: This could be their last debate, as none of them have yet qualified for the November contest.To make the November debate stage, candidates will have to reach 3% in at least four Democratic National Committee-approved polls of Democratic voters nationally or in one of the four early-voting states -- Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina -- and raise money from 165,000 separate donors -- including a minimum of 600 donors each in at least 20 states or territories.
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Inside the 7 'sugar daddy' relationship types, from the lurid to the wholesome

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When it comes to having a sugar daddy, a new study finds that things are far more complex than a little tit for tat.The arrangements, which often involve a wealthy benefactor showering gifts, attention or money on a hot young thing in exchange for sex or affection, are often equated with prostitution.But au contraire. Research now finds there are actually seven types of sugar daddy-baby relationships, from the purely sex-for-money types to the totally platonic. The study, published last month in the journal Sociological Perspectives, interviewed 48 current and former US sugar babies found through Craigslist, Backpage and at the 2016 annual Sugar Baby Summit in LA.And while there is one type that trades sex for cash, many of these relationships can be downright wholesome, the study found.For instance, one type of sugaring relationship, which the author calls “pragmatic love,” involves women who see “their benefactor as a potential mate whom they expect to provide for them.”
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Dad of Sandy Hook victim wins $450K suit against conspiracy theorist

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The father of a boy killed in the Sandy Hook school shooting has been awarded $450,000 in a lawsuit against a conspiracy theorist who claimed the massacre never happened.Leonard Pozner, whose 6-year-old son, Noah, was the youngest of 26 killed in the Connecticut slaughter, successfully sued the authors of “Nobody Died at Sandy Hook” for claiming he faked copies of his son’s death certificate.The book accused him of being a central part of a conspiracy staged by the Obama administration to enforce tighter gun restrictions. Pozner’s attorney, Genevieve Zimmerman, called the conspiracy “alt-right opium” that “went around the internet like a virus.”James Fetzer, a retired University of Minnesota Duluth professor, was ordered Tuesday to pay $450,000 by the Wisconsin jury that took almost four hours to decide the amount.
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'Vile, reprehensible': Feds charge S. Korean, 337 others worldwide with running dark web child porn site

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Federal authorities said Wednesday that a South Korean national and hundreds of other individuals worldwide have been charged with operating or using a major dark web child sexual exploitation site that  included videos of adults abusing children as young as 2 years old.A nine-count indictment said 337 people in 24 U.S states and 11 countries, including eight individuals in the Washington, D.C.-area alone, were arrested and charged with operating or using the site.The Department of Justice said two users of the site died by suicide after the execution of search warrants.The dark web, also known as "darknet," refers to encrypted online content that is not indexed by conventional search engines.
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These teachers are about to strike, leaving 360,000 kids in limbo

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(CNN)The country's third biggest school district has canceled classes as 25,000 educators plan to walk off the job Thursday.The Chicago Teachers Union's demands reflect what teachers across the country have been clamoring for: smaller class sizes, more support staff, higher raises. But in Chicago, the dynamics are different -- and in some cases, dire.About 75% of students qualify for free or reduced lunch. In some neighborhoods, gangs and violence permeate the streets. School social worker Emily Penn fought back tears when describing how badly students need more support staff."Our students suffer from trauma. They suffer from so many things they need help coping with," Penn said.Many child deaths are "by suicide and by guns. This is a fact in Chicago," she said.
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College Football Picks: Pac-12 contenders in spotlight

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The Pac-12 has slipped into the background of the college football season. Again.The conference is still providing plenty of highlights and intrigue. No conference is more unpredictable from top to bottom.In the College Football playoff era, those are not necessarily good qualities. Being the only Power Five conference without a top-10 team makes it difficult to command the spotlight, but this weekend the Pac-12 has two games with championship implications and maybe even playoff ramifications.No. 12 Oregon (5-1, 3-0), the only team in the Pac-12 still unbeaten in conference play, faces No. 25 Washington (5-2, 2-2). The Ducks might be the Pac-12′s best hope to reach the College Football Playoff. Of more immediate importance, Oregon could build a huge lead in the North by beating the Huskies for the second straight season.
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People Now: PEOPLE Editor Shares Details About Michael and Cameron Douglas' Cover Story - Watch the Full Episode

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PEOPLE Now airs live, Monday through Friday, from the Meredith offices in New York City.Catch PEOPLE Now every weekday at 12:00 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT on People.com or on the PeopleTV app on your favorite streaming device. Want even more? Check out clips from previous episodes of PEOPLE Now.
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Trump smacks down Graham after latest Syria broadside

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President Donald Trump on Wednesday lashed out at Sen. Lindsey Graham, marking the latest salvo in the pair’s clash over Trump’s sudden withdrawal of U.S. troops from northern Syria. “Lindsey Graham would like to stay in the Middle East for the next thousand years with thousands of soldiers fighting other people's wars. I want to get out of the Middle East,” Trump charged during a news conference at the White House alongside Italian President Sergio Mattarella. Trump and Graham have been engaged in a war of words for the last week and a half over Trump’s abrupt decision and his subsequent defenses, with Graham accusing the president of essentially helping facilitate the revival of the Islamic State terrorist group. Trump's decision prompted an across-the-board backlash, paving the way for Congress to formally rebuke the president for the move.
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Teva to donate over $15 billion worth of drugs in opioid settlement: source

Headlines
(Reuters) - Teva Pharmaceuticals (TEVA.N) is in talks to contribute over $15 billion worth of drugs as part of a settlement to resolve lawsuits alleging it helped fuel the U.S. opioid crisis, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday. The news follows media reports that major drug distributors McKesson Corp (MCK.N), AmerisourceBergen Corp (ABC.N) and Cardinal Health (CAH.N) are discussing with governments to settle thousands of opioid-related lawsuits for $18 billion. The companies, including Teva, are all defendants in a landmark trial set to begin in federal court in Cleveland, Ohio, on Oct. 21, which will be presided over by U.S. District Judge Dan Polster, who has long pushed for a global settlement of the litigation.
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Trump trades barbs with Graham over Syria decision

Headlines
President Trump on Wednesday hit back against Sen. Lindsey Graham for criticizing him over pulling US troops out of Syria, claiming the Republican lawmaker would have Americans fighting in the region for the “next thousand years.”“Lindsey Graham would like to stay in the Middle East for the next thousand years with thousands of soldiers and fighting other people’s wars. I want to get out of the Middle East,” Trump said at a joint press conference in the White House with Italian President Sergio Mattarella.The president said Graham, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, should use the power of his panel to investigate corruption during the 2016 presidential election, including Obama administration officials.“That’s what Lindsey ought to focus on,” the president said. “That’s what the people of South Carolina want him to focus on.”
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Fitzpatrick to start for Dolphins at Buffalo on Sunday

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DAVIE, Fla. (AP) — The winless Miami Dolphins have again changed starting quarterbacks because coach Brian Flores changed his mind.Ryan Fitzpatrick will make his first start since Week 2 when the Dolphins play at Buffalo on Sunday. Flores had previously said Josh Rosen would remain the starter after Fitzpatrick came off the bench and nearly rallied Miami to its first victory last Sunday against Washington.“We moved the ball better with Ryan in the game, and I think we need to stay with that,” Flores said Wednesday. “Came to that conclusion over the last couple of days. We feel that was the best thing for this team, and it’ll give us the best opportunity for this team to go up into a tough environment and try to pull out a win.”
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FCC approves T-Mobile-Sprint merger

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Wednesday voted along party lines to approve the $26 billion merger between T-Mobile and Sprint, the final move needed for the deal to secure the U.S. government's full blessing. Two sources familiar confirmed to The Hill that the merger has been approved, with the three Republicans on the commission voting in favor and the two Democrats dissenting. But the merger is still facing a significant obstacle as a group of 17 state attorneys general forge ahead in their lawsuit to block the deal. The multistate lawsuit, announced over the summer, claims that the combined telecom giant would ramp up prices for consumers and result in significant job losses. Both Democratic FCC commissioners, Jessica Rosenworcel and Geoffrey Starks, said Wednesday that they voted against the deal, arguing that the merger will come at a steep price to consumers.
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Michael Douglas thought he was 'going to lose' son Cameron to addiction

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There was a point in Cameron Douglas' battle with addiction where his father thought he was going to lose him forever. "There were moments when hope dwindled … and then it’s just a train out of the station," Michael Douglas told People in an interview published Tuesday. "Life became a series of crises. I thought I was going to lose him."The veteran actor lost his brother, Eric, in 2004 to a drug overdose.Cameron said that he saw the damage the drugs were doing to his life, but he said he couldn't quit."It’s the sneaky power, the stranglehold that addiction has when you’re in the throes of it," Cameron told the outlet. "When you get that far down the rabbit hole, there are a couple options: there’s prison and then there’s death."
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Watch Trump criticize Graham at press conference

Headlines
President Donald Trump slammed one of his key allies on Capitol Hill, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), over his handling of Turkey's incursion into Syria.
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Obama tweets support for Canadian PM Trudeau in reelection campaign

Headlines
(Reuters) - Former U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday voiced his support for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who faces a tough battle for reelection next week. “I was proud to work with Justin Trudeau as President,” Obama said in a tweet. “He’s a hard-working, effective leader who takes on big issues like climate change. The world needs his progressive leadership now, and I hope our neighbors to the north support him for another term.” The two progressive leaders formed a close friendship which continues to be a popular topic on social media several years after Obama left the White House. They were spotted having dinner together at an Ottawa restaurant earlier this year.
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Meet the squirrel that went to a Tennessee football game — in a Vols uniform

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As fans of the human variety crowded into Neyland Stadium to watch the University of Tennessee play Georgia, one special critter got a front row seat. Sinan the squirrel sat back in his own squirrel-sized chair to catch all the action. We have a lot of questions, but none of them matter. It's a squirrel in a UT football helmet, and we’re all for it.Sinan is the team's biggest (and smallest) fan. His love for the Vols all started when his owner and rescuer, Saed Awad, took him fishing at a marina in Oak Ridge. Sinan was only a few months old when Awad, who lives in Oak Ridge, saw Tennessee rowers practicing in the water. Since rowers scared away the fish, Sinan just sat on Awad's shoulder to watch. It didn't take long for the rowers to notice.
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Third-quarter fundraising sets Sanders, Warren, Buttigieg apart

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Democratic presidential candidates raised a combined $186 million during the third quarter, setting a breakneck pace even as President Trump stockpiles a massive campaign account. Three of the candidates who hope to fa
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U.S. to require Chinese officials to report American contacts

Headlines
WASHINGTON -- The Trump administration said Wednesday that it will soon require Chinese officials in the U.S. to notify the State Department ahead of any contacts they plan to have with American educators, researchers and local and state governments. The release of the new rules was accompanied by notices to American educational and research institutions and local governments informing them of the reporting requirement. The change is effective Wednesday. State Department officials say the change is made to reciprocate for similar rules faced by U.S. diplomats in China. But, they said the rules are less onerous than China's because the Chinese must approve such contacts. In contrast, the American government will not be requiring any Chinese official to receive permission from the State Department for any of the meetings.
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Half a million students would lose free school lunches under food stamp rule changes, USDA says

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(CNN)The Trump administration has acknowledged that its proposed changes to the food stamp program could leave nearly 500,000 children without access to free school lunches.The US Department of Agriculture released an analysis late Tuesday afternoon that showed the agency's proposed rule would mean nearly 1 million children would no longer be directly certified for free school meals based on their participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, the formal name for food stamps.About half of those children would continue to be eligible to receive free meals because they come from families with annual household incomes of no more than 130% of the federal poverty level, or $33,475 for a four-person family in 2019.
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McConnell: Senate will hold impeachment trial

Headlines
Senate Majority Leader (R-Ky.) said on Wednesday that the Senate will hold an impeachment trial if the House votes to impeach ."Under the impeachment rules of the Senate, we'll take the matter up. The chief justice will be in the chair ... We intend to do our constitutional responsibility," he said.McConnell noted that, under Senate rules during an impeachment trial, the chamber would have to convene on most days and that "senators will not be allowed to speak, which will be good therapy for a number of them."McConnell had previously indicated that he would have "no choice" but to take up impeachment if the House passes articles, though he has also ran a Facebook ad over the recent two-week recess positioning himself and the GOP-controlled Senate as a roadblock to Trump being removed from office.
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'Vile and reprehensible': Feds charge 337 worldwide with running dark web child porn site

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Federal authorities said Wednesday that a South Korean national and hundreds of other individuals worldwide were charged with operating or using a major dark web child sexual exploitation site that  included videos of adults abusing children as young as 2 years old.A nine-count indictment says 337 people in 24 U.S. states and 11 countries, including eight individuals in the Washington, D.C., area, were arrested and charged with operating or using the site.The Department of Justice said two users of the site died by suicide after the execution of search warrants.The dark web, also known as "darknet," refers to encrypted online content that is not indexed by conventional search engines.
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Pakistani and Indian Troops Exchange Gunfire in Kashmir, Killing 4 Civilians

Headlines
(ISLAMABAD) — Pakistani and Indian troops exchanged gunfire in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, killing four civilians and wounding nearly a dozen others, officials from both sides said Wednesday, as tensions remain high between the two South Asian countries.Kashmir is split between Pakistan and India and claimed by both countries in its entirety. They have fought two wars over the province.India sparked a new round of tensions in August, when it downgraded the autonomy of its side of Kashmir and imposed tighter controls on the area.On Wednesday, Pakistan’s foreign ministry said it summoned an Indian diplomat to lodge its protest over the previous day’s “cease fire violations” that killed three civilians, including two children, on the Pakistani side of the contested Kashmir border.
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Convicted ex-Honolulu police chief files for divorce

Headlines
A retired Honolulu police chief convicted of conspiracy in Hawaii's biggest corruption case wants a divorce from his wife and co-defendant, a former city prosecutor. Louis Kealoha filed for divorce Tuesday, according to court records. A jury in June convicted him and Katherine Kealoha of conspiracy in a plot to frame her uncle to keep him from revealing fraud that financed their lavish lifestyle. The Kealohas are facing another trial for bank fraud and identity theft. Prosecutors say Katherine Kealoha bilked banks, relatives and children whose trusts she controlled. The Kealohas have pleaded not guilty, and a trial is scheduled for January. An attorney for Katherine Kealoha says they are negotiating a plea deal with prosecutors.
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Graham on Syria: Trump appears 'hell-bent' on repeating Obama's mistakes in Iraq

Headlines
Sen. (R-S.C.) said Wednesday that appears "hell-bent" on repeating former President 's mistakes in Iraq after . "President Trump is being told EXACTLY what President Obama was told before he withdrew from Iraq. He appears to be hell-bent on making the same mistakes in Syria as President Obama made in Iraq," Graham tweeted. "The worst thing any Commander in Chief can do is to give land back to the enemy that was taken through blood and sacrifice. I fear those are the consequences of the actions being taken right now," he added. Trump on Wednesday said Graham shouldn't focus on the Middle East and said the senator would like troops to remain there "for the next thousand years." "Lindsey Graham would like to stay in the Middle East for the next thousand years with thousands of soldiers and fighting other people's wars. I want to get out of the Middle East," Trump said at a press conference. 
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Brooke Baldwin: Stop what you're doing and look at this Kim Jong Un photo

Headlines
North Korean state media released pictures of Kim Jong Un riding a white horse up a mountain in what is considered a politically significant act. CNN's Brooke Baldwin discusses the possible ramifications.
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Pompeo: Trump makes decisions and then absorbs facts

Headlines
Washington (CNN)Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday deflected when asked whether there was a broader strategy behind President Donald Trump's actions in the ongoing conflict in Syria, saying Trump "makes decisions and then absorbs data and facts." "Is there any reason to believe that there's a strategy beyond what we see here in terms of hitting back at Turkey?" Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo asked Pompeo, saying later: "Is there any reason to believe the President would ... leave these couple thousand troops on the ground (in Syria)?""My experience with the President is that he makes decisions and then absorbs data and facts, evaluates situations, if we need to adjust our policy to achieve our goals," Pompeo replied.
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Chelsea Clinton says she will not run for retiring House Democrat's seat

Headlines
(CNN)Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton on Wednesday dispelled rumors of a potential run for Congress to replace retiring Democratic New York Rep. Nita Lowey."I'm not considering running for Congresswoman Lowey's seat," Clinton, a Manhattan resident, said during a Wednesday appearance on the talk show "The View," adding that she did, however, "understand why people are asking."When asked if she would ever run for office, the former first daughter replied, "I don't know, but right now, the answer's no.""Maybe, maybe, but not now," she added.View co-host Meghan McCain pointed out that Clinton had recently had a baby, a son.Lowey, who became the first woman to chair the powerful appropriations panel earlier this year after Democrats took the House in the 2018 midterms, announced her retirement last week.
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During White House Meeting, Trump Surprised Family of Dead U.K. Teen by Offering to Introduce Them to Woman Suspected of Killing Him

Headlines
President Donald Trump surprised the family of a British teen killed in a road accident by offering to introduce them to the diplomat’s wife who is allegedly responsible for his death.Harry Dunn’s mother, Charlotte Charles, told Sky News that the “bombshell” offer was dropped on them during their 15-minute meeting with Trump at the White House on Tuesday.The parents told the U.K. news outlet that they were surprised when Trump told them Anne Sacoolas, the woman suspected of hitting their son in the fatal road accident in the U.K. in August, was also at the White House, and willing to meet. Sacoolas, the wife of a U.S. diplomat, left the U.K. after the fatal crash and the State Department has blocked British investigators by claiming diplomatic immunity.
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Dad shot in front of 4 children during 'road rage' incident

Headlines
(CNN)Two brothers have been charged in what police are calling a road rage incident that saw a father shot as his four children watched from just feet away, police said.Scott Thomas, 46, was shot in south St. Louis on Monday while his four children sat inside his car, according to a police report.His four children range in age from 3 to 11. They were unhurt.Thomas had pulled over to get the license plate of another vehicle when both the driver and passenger pulled out guns and pointed them at Thomas, according to police.It's unclear what caused Thomas to pull over, but a probable cause statement says the suspects and victim were involved in a "road rage incident."Police say that Thomas was shot three times and taken to a local hospital for treatment.
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Trump causes havoc as his aides scramble to clean up Syria mess

Headlines
The Trump administration is scrambling to contain the damage wrought by Turkey’s invasion of northern Syria, with top officials headed to Ankara as U.S. troops beat a hasty and chaotic retreat from their positions near the Turkish border. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump is fighting a rearguard action of his own. In two media appearances at the White House on Wednesday, the president sought to justify his decision to pull American forces amid a Turkish onslaught that has been widely condemned by the leaders of both political parties and the international community. He even downplayed the Islamic State threat and derided America’s Kurdish allies in the fight against ISIS as “no angels.” “I view the situation on the Turkish border with Syria to be, for the United States, strategically brilliant. Our soldiers are out of there. Our soldiers are totally safe,” Trump said, contradicting the statements of his own government and putting him at odds with exasperated Republican allies on Capitol Hill.
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Factbox: All the president's men - Supporting actors in Trump's Ukraine scandal

Headlines
(Reuters) - President Donald Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine into investigating a top rival in the 2020 U.S. presidential election prompted Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats in the House of Representatives to move ahead with an impeachment inquiry, threatening his presidency. The scandal has also featured an extensive cast of Ukrainian officials. Here are some of the other main American players in the drama. Trump’s personal attorney, a former New York mayor and 2008 presidential candidate, is a central figure in a scandal that has led to the impeachment inquiry. Acting independently of the U.S. government, Giuliani has urged Ukrainian officials to investigate one of Trump’s main Democratic rivals in the 2020 election, former Vice President Joe Biden.
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US to require Chinese officials to report American contacts

Headlines
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration said Wednesday that it will soon require Chinese officials in the U.S. to notify the State Department ahead of any contacts they plan to have with American educators, researchers and local and state governments.The release of the new rules was accompanied by notices to American educational and research institutions and local governments informing them of the reporting requirement. The change is effective Wednesday.State Department officials say the change is made to reciprocate for similar rules faced by U.S. diplomats in China. But, they said the rules are less onerous than China’s because the Chinese must approve such contacts. In contrast, the American government will not be requiring any Chinese official to receive permission from the State Department for any of the meetings.
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Fiat Chrysler faces $79 million U.S. penalty for fuel economy shortfall

Headlines
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCHA.MI) faces a $79 million U.S. civil penalty for failing to meet 2017 fuel economy requirements, the automaker confirmed Wednesday. The Italian-American automaker paid $77.3 million last year for a 2016 model year fuel-economy shortfall and a company spokesman confirmed Wednesday the company has received a letter on the 2017 penalty and has 60 days to respond. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which administers the program, said in a report Wednesday that Fiat Chrysler had failed to meet the 2017 minimum “domestic passenger car” requirements. Fiat Chrysler said Wednesday it still plans to spend $10 billion through 2022 to develop more than 30 hybrid and electric vehicles.
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Matt Lauer's ex-wife was reportedly in 'hell' during marriage

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Matt Lauer‘s ex-wife, Annette Roque, suffered her own “hell” during her marriage to the former “Today” anchor, according to a report.The Netherlands model and the one-time NBC star’s relationship faced challenges from the beginning of their 20-year marriage, Us Weekly reported.“There were cracks in the marriage from very early on,” an insider told the outlet. “Matt has always been a ladies’ man, and there were affairs in the beginning.”But the source said 52-year-old Roque “chose to believe Matt’s denials,” and stuck by him.“She stayed for Matt’s career — and, more important, for their kids,” the insider said.She and the 61-year-old disgraced ex-host are parents to sons Jack, 18, and Thijs, 12, as well as daughter Romy, 16.During the final five years of her marriage, Roque had “been through hell,” especially after the host was fired by NBC for sexual misconduct.
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House passes resolution rebuking Trump over Syria pullout

Headlines
The House on Wednesday approved a resolution formally rebuking over his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria.The measure passed in a 354-60 vote, with four lawmakers voting present. All 60 votes against the resolution came from Republicans, with the present votes coming from three GOP lawmakers and Rep. (I-Mich.). The top three House Republicans supported the motion in a rare split from the president. The resolution — which was sponsored by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman (D-N.Y.) and the panel’s top Republican, Rep. (Texas) — "opposes the decision to end certain United States efforts to prevent Turkish military operations against Syrian Kurdish forces in Northeast Syria."The measure also calls on Turkey to end its military action, calls on the United States to protect the Kurds and calls on the White House "to present a clear and specific plan for the enduring defeat of ISIS."
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Yankees are no closer to Giancarlo Stanton answers

Headlines
Giancarlo Stanton will have an extra day to get ready for Game 4, but the Yankees still have no idea about his status.Stanton injured his quad in Game 1 of the ALCS against the Astros and has missed the past two games. Manager Aaron Boone is unsure if Stanton will be able play play in Game 4.Stanton was available off the bench in Game 3, but did not pinch-hit in the 4-1 loss that put the Astros up 2-1 in the series. If the Yankees were to pull Stanton off the ALCS roster it would make him ineligible for the World Series.“Even though Stanton hasn’t been able to go yet, I do view him as a potential option off the bench in a hitting situation if we like something, so I don’t view it as we’re entirely a 24-man (team) right now,” Boone said.“I do believe we have his bat off the bench right now. Whether a situation arises for that we’ll see.”
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The More Active Your Brain, the Shorter Your Lifespan May Be, a New Study Says

Headlines
There are many factors that influence how long somebody lives. Some, like their genes, are out of their control. Others, like their lifestyle and environment, are a bit easier to alter.A new paper published in Nature finds another factor that falls somewhere in between those extremes. It suggests that excessive neural activity in the brain is linked to a shorter lifespan, and that suppressing that extra activity could prolong it. The finding is preliminary, and will require far more research before it results in any concrete health recommendations—but it opens up the possibility of using either drugs or behavioral interventions, such as meditation, to alter the brain’s activity, and possibly slow the effects of aging.
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Mormon church opposes Utah LGBTQ conversion therapy ban

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A proposed conversion therapy ban in Utah is in danger of being derailed after the influential Church of Jesus of Christ of Latter-day Saints came out Tuesday night in opposition, just months after it said it wouldn’t stand in the way of a similar measure under consideration.The church said in a statement that the regulatory rule prohibiting Utah psychologists from engaging in LGBTQ conversion therapy with minors would fail to safeguard religious beliefs and doesn’t account for “important realities of gender identity in the development of children.”State regulators crafted the rule at the request of Republican Gov. Gary Herbert, a member of the church, who in June asked for a set of rules after a similar bill died in the Legislature despite the church not taking a position.
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New Brunswick premier critical of Trudeau comments on abortion services

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FREDERICTON -- The premier of New Brunswick says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is playing politics with the issue of abortion services in the province. The comments from Blaine Higgs come a day after Trudeau promised that a re-elected Liberal government would come to the rescue of an abortion clinic in Fredericton.Clinic 554 says it could be forced to shut down without provincial funding. Trudeau said he would sit down with Higgs to remind him his province has an obligation to fund out-of-hospital abortions -- and of the fact that Ottawa has the power to enforce such requirements under the Canada Health Act. But the Tory premier says New Brunswick provides abortion services at hospitals in Bathurst and Moncton and does not fund private clinics -- as was the case under the previous Liberal government of Brian Gallant.
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Trump rule may mean 1 million kids lose automatic free lunch

Headlines
NEW YORK (AP) — Nearly a million children could lose their automatic eligibility for free school lunches under a Trump administration proposal that would reduce the number of people who get food stamps.The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released details of an analysis that found that as many as 982,000 children could be affected by the change. About half would have to pay a reduced price of 40 cents for school lunch and 30 cents for breakfast. Around 40,000 would need to pay the full price, which varies depending on the district.The rest — 445,000 — would remain eligible for free meals, but their families would have to apply to qualify.Children automatically qualify for free lunches if their families receive food stamps, but the Trump administration has proposed tightening eligibility for food stamps under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.
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Syria talks broke down today after congressional leaders say Trump hurled insults and called Nancy Pelosi a 'third-rate politician'

Headlines
Washington (CNN)Congressional Democratic leaders offered a remarkable readout of a meeting with President Donald Trump on Wednesday, saying that the President called House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a "third-rate politician" in what they described as a "meltdown." "He was insulting, particularly to the speaker. She kept her cool completely, but he called her a third-rate politician," Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer told reporters, describing the interaction. "This was not a dialogue, it was sort of a diatribe. A nasty diatribe, not focused on the facts." Pelosi added, "What we witnessed on the part of the President was a meltdown, sad to say."The Democratic leaders were at the White House for a meeting on Syria.
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Weak U.S. retail sales cast shadow over slowing economy

Headlines
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. retail sales fell for the first time in seven months in September, suggesting that manufacturing-led weakness could be spreading to the broader economy, keeping the door open for the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates again later this month. The downbeat report from the Commerce Department on Wednesday came on the heels of data this month showing a moderation in job growth and services sector activity in September. Signs of cracks in the economy’s main pillar of support, ahead of the holiday season, could further stoke financial market fears of a sharper slowdown in economic growth. The economy is being hamstrung by a 15-month trade war between the United States and China, which has soured business sentiment, leading to a decline in capital expenditure and a recession in manufacturing.
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Officials eye explosion at California fuel site after quake

Headlines
Officials were trying to determine Wednesday if a 4.5 magnitude earthquake triggered an explosion at a fuel storage facility in the San Francisco Bay Area that started a fire and kept thousands of people in their homes for hours because of potentially unhealthy air. The earthquake struck about 15 miles (24 kilometers) southeast of the NuStar Energy fuel storage facility in Crockett. It occurred 15 hours before the fire Tuesday that consumed thousands of gallons of ethanol, a gasoline additive. Video footage of the fire showed an explosion so strong that it blew the lid from one tank high into the air. The fire badly damaged or destroyed two tanks containing about 250,000 gallons of ethanol. Contra Costa County Fire Protection District spokesman Steve Hill said it was too early to say what caused the explosion, and a team of government and industry firefighters were investigating. One firefighter had minor injuries.
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Parents of killed teen reject Trump’s attempted introduction

Headlines
WASHINGTON (AP) — The grieving parents of a British teenager who was killed in a car crash involving an American diplomat’s wife felt ambushed when President Donald Trump tried to get them to meet with the woman in front of the press, attorneys for the couple said Wednesday.Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn traveled to Washington on Tuesday seeking to have the woman’s diplomatic immunity lifted. Instead, Trump and national security adviser Robert O’Brien surprised the family by inviting Anne Sacoolas to the White House and suggesting Dunn’s parents meet with her in front of the White House press corps.Attorney Mark Stephens told The Associated Press the couple had no idea Sacoolas would be in the building when they were there Tuesday and were stunned by the proposition. He said the couple wants to meet with Sacoolas at some point, but not in a surprise meeting staged for reporters.
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Biden to Trump: 'Release your tax returns or shut up'

Headlines
Former Vice President lashed out at at a campaign stop in Columbus, Ohio, on Wednesday, calling on him to “release your tax returns or shut up.”Biden’s comments come after the president has against Biden and his son, . Trump has called for an investigation into Hunter Biden’s business ventures in Ukraine.House Democrats in their impeachment inquiry are investigating whether Trump tried to pressure Ukraine into opening an investigation into the Bidens. Trump has not provided any evidence of criminal wrongdoing by either Biden. “My son’s comments speak for themselves. Let’s keep the focus here. The president of the United States says he wants to talk about corruption. Well, let’s talk about corruption. He is running the most corrupt government in the history of the United States of America, number one. Number two, he also is in a position where, as he talks about corruption, he is engaged in practices that, in fact, everyone around the world is looking and saying ‘how in God’s name can this man be doing that while he’s president?’” Biden said.
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Trump rips ABC News reporter over network’s Syria screw-up

Headlines
President Donald Trump called on ABC’s chief White House correspondent at Wednesday’s news conference and then proceeded to call out his network for a recent error covering Syria. During the Q&A portion, Trump selected ABC’s Jonathan Karl, who asked the president about his decision to abandon Kurdish allies in Syria. “Even after all you have seen — ISIS prisoners freed, all the humanitarian disaster — you don’t have any regret for giving Erdogan the greenlight to invade?” Karl asked, referring to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey. While Trump routinely lobs accusations of “fake news” at journalists, the president shot back on Wednesday with a specific screw-up that he recently described as a “big scandal” on Twitter. “When you ask a question like that, it’s very deceptive, Jon,” Trump said. “It’s almost as deceptive as you showing all of the bombings taking place in Syria and it turned out the bombing you showed on television took place in Kentucky.”
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Cyntoia Brown-Long on realizing she was a sex trafficking victim

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Cyntoia Brown-Long, who was granted clemency earlier this year after serving 15 years of a life sentence for killing a man, sat down with CBS News for a sweeping interview on redemption, finding love in prison and her message to abuse victims. Brown-Long, now 31, was released from prison in August after Tennesse Governor Bill Haslam commuted her sentence for murdering 43-year-old Johnny Allen, who allegedly hired her for sex when she was 16. Her lawyers argued that she fatally shot Allen in self-defense.Brown-Long was tried as an adult and convicted of first-degree murder and aggravated robbery in 2006 without the possibility for parole until 2055. In Tennessee, a juvenile sentenced to life in prison must spend at least 51 years behind bars before they are eligible for review — the highest minimum requirement in the U.S.
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Hogan details Bay Bridge repair urgency and traffic action

Headlines
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan on Wednesday ordered expedited work on repairs to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge that are causing major traffic backups, saying the project can't be postponed because previous delays for more than a decade have caused "tremendous safety problems." Hogan said the deck surface of a westbound lane is "severely deteriorated" and beyond its service life, creating "a number of very major safety risks." In one section, 75% of the lane's surface is deteriorated, Hogan said. For nearly all the lane, half of the area is deteriorated. "The condition is worsening every single day," Hogan said a Board of Public Works meeting. "If neglected any longer, the crisis could go from terrible and unbearable to catastrophic and life threatening."
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Facebook's Libra facing 'core' legal, regulatory challenges before launch

Headlines
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard said on Wednesday that Facebook’s (FB.O) efforts to launch a Libra cryptocurrency must overcome a “core set of legal and regulatory challenges” before facilitating a single payment. Brainard added that central banks’ efforts to conduct monetary policy could be “complicated” by widespread adoption of an external stablecoin like Libra. But she suggested the Fed is in no rush to issue its own digital currency, saying it raises “profound legal, policy and operational questions.” “It should be no surprise that Facebook’s Libra is attracting a high level of scrutiny from lawmakers and authorities,” she said at an event in Washington, according to prepared remarks. “Libra, and indeed any stablecoin project with global scale and scope, must address a core set of legal and regulatory challenges before it can facilitate a first payment.”
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Federal investigation of Rudy Giuliani includes counterintelligence probe

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(CNN)For months, investigators looking into Rudy Giuliani's business dealings in Ukraine have dug into everything from possible financial entanglements with alleged corrupt Ukrainian figures to counterintelligence concerns raised by some of those business ties, according to people briefed on the matter. The counterintelligence part of the investigation indicates that FBI and criminal prosecutors in Manhattan are looking at a broader set of issues related to Giuliani, President Donald Trump's personal attorney, than has been previously reported. Kenneth McCallion, a New York attorney, says that investigators first approached him earlier this year to ask about Giuliani's ties to Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, two Giuliani associates indicted last week on campaign-finance related charges.
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Shonda Rhimes, iHeartMedia strike 3-year podcast deal

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Television powerhouse Shonda Rhimes is moving aggressively into the burgeoning podcast world.Rhimes’ company, Shondaland, said Wednesday that she will serve as executive producer for podcasts to be distributed by iHeartMedia.Shondaland says it signed a three-year podcast deal with iHeartMedia and is launching Shondaland Audio.In a statement, Rhimes said she welcomed the opportunity to expand Shondaland’s storytelling into the growing medium, which she praised for a unique sense of boldness and intimacy.Shondaland has already ventured into podcasting with the weekly “Katie’s Crib,” in which actress Katie Lowe discusses motherhood with guests. New episodes will be distributed by iHeartMedia in 2020.
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Model spends $25K on surgery to increase breast size to N cup

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For Amber Alena, bigger is better.The 24-year-old cam model and adult film actress says she increased her breast size from a B cup to a whopping N cup and has never felt happier — despite spending a fortune.Alena says her decision to go under the knife for breast implants was not for her profession, but rather for her own “benefit and happiness.”“I got them done for myself and no other reason,” she says. “My chosen professions could easily be done without surgical enhancements.”The Seattle resident says her N-cup breasts do not cause her any pain or discomfort, and she has found ways to support the massive implants.“I do a lot of exercises to help,” she says. “My breast size is considered very large, but there are other women who have much bigger breasts.”Alena says she had a series of three breast augmentation surgeries — first to a D cup, then a J before eventually reaching the N cup — which cost around $25,000 total.
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A year after pot legalization in Canada, it's a slow roll

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The weed is expensive, the selection is limited, the black market persists, and licensed stores are scarce. It's one year into Canada's experiment in legal marijuana, and hundreds of legal pot shops have opened. While many residents remain proud of Canada for bucking prohibition, a lot still buy cannabis on the sly, because taxes and other issues mean high-quality bud can cost nearly twice what it did before legalization. Much of the drug's production and distribution over the years has been controlled by outlaw groups, including the Hells Angels, and replacing such criminality with safe, regulated sales is a key goal of legalization. Yet legal sales in the first year are expected to total just $1 billion, an amount dwarfed by an illegal market still estimated at $5 billion to $7 billion.
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Trump denies knowledge of Barr meeting in Italy, says it would be appropriate

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said Wednesday that he didn’t know the details of Attorney General ’s recent trip to Italy but insisted such outreach would be appropriate in connection with the Justice Department’s review of the FBI’s 2016 election interference probe.Trump said the Justice Department is investigating corruption at the FBI, suggesting without evidence that former President Obama may have engaged in wrongdoing in connection with the investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia in 2016.“Well, I don’t know the details. I just know our country is looking into the corruption of the 2016 election,” Trump said at a joint news conference with Italian President Sergio Mattarella when he was asked whether he personally arranged Barr’s meetings in Italy.“It was a corrupt election, whether it’s [James] Comey or [Andrew] McCabe or [Peter] Strzok or his lover, Lisa Page,” Trump said, referring to former top FBI officials involved in the bureau's Russia investigation who have become targets of criticism among Trump and his Republican allies.
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GOP frustration mounts during 'heated' meeting

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(CNN)Defense Secretary Mark Esper faced tough questions Wednesday during a meeting on Capitol Hill with Republican lawmakers who have grown frustrated with the Trump administration's policy in Syria, according to multiple people familiar with the meeting.The sources said the back and forth at the meeting -- hosted by House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, a Louisiana Republican -- was tense at times as members demanded to know what was being done to protect Kurdish allies in Syria and block the resurgence of ISIS."There are a lot of Republicans who don't agree with that policy," one Republican member who was in the meeting told CNN adding that "it was a little heated" at times. According to another source familiar with the meeting, multiple members challenged Esper on Syria, saying things like, "This is the worst foreign policy decision of my lifetime."
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Top US diplomat Bill Taylor scheduled to testify in impeachment probe

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William Taylor, a top U.S. diplomat to Ukraine, is scheduled to testify next week as part of House Democrats' ongoing impeachment inquiry examining 's contacts with Ukraine.A source familiar with the matter confirmed Taylor, who has served as chargé d'affaires for Ukraine since June, is set to testify on Tuesday, though another person told The Hill the appearance is tentative.Taylor will follow a string of other witnesses, both current and former employees of the Trump administration, who have testified on Capitol Hill despite the White House vowing not to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry.Democrats have moved quickly to examine a whistleblower complaint that included allegations Trump and his personal attorney pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate the president's political opponent, former vice president and current 2020 Democratic frontrunner 

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