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Wednesday, Feb 22nd

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Anti-Defamation League’s Manhattan headquarters targeted by bomb threat

ADl CEO Mark GreenblatCops converged on the national headquarters of the Anti-Defamation League in Murray Hill Wednesday after somebody phoned in a bomb threat, officials said.

The threat came into the Jewish advocacy group’s offices on Third Ave. near E. 39th St. about 11 a.m., League officials said.

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New EPA head Scott Pruitt's emails reveal close ties with fossil fuel interests

Scott Pruitt emails reveal ties with fossil fuel interestsThe close relationship between Scott Pruitt, the new administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and fossil fuel interests including the billionaire Koch brothers has been highlighted in more than 7,500 emails and other records released by the Oklahoma attorney general’s office on Wednesday.

The documents show that Pruitt, while Oklahoma attorney general, acted in close concert with oil and gas companies to challenge environmental regulations, even putting his letterhead to a complaint filed by one firm, Devon Energy. This practice was first revealed in 2014, but it now appears that it occurred more than once.

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Thrilling discovery of seven Earth-sized planets orbiting nearby star

Secen earth siaze planets discoveredA huddle of seven worlds, all close in size to Earth, and perhaps warm enough for water and the life it can sustain, has been spotted around a small, faint star in the constellation of Aquarius.

The discovery, which has thrilled astronomers, has raised hopes that the hunt for alien life beyond the solar system can start much sooner than previously thought, with the next generation of telescopes that are due to switch on in the next decade.

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NH eliminates license requirement to carry concealed gun

NH ends concealed carryPeople It’s now legal to carry a concealed gun in New Hampshire without a license. Republican Gov. Chris Sununu signed so-called “constitutional carry” into law Wednesday morning, his first signing since taking office in early January.

“It is common-sense legislation,” he said during a ceremony in the Executive Council chambers. “This is about making sure that our laws on our books are keeping people safe while remaining true to the live-free-or-die spirit.”

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White House to roll back transgender protections: report

WH to roll back transgender bathroomsThe Trump administration is set to roll back federal protections for transgender students, according to The Associated Press.

The Obama-era guidelines require public schools to allow children to use bathrooms and other facilities that correspond to their gender identities.  But the directive is opposed by religious conservatives, who call it a form of improper social engineering. They say students should use bathrooms that match their gender at birth.

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Trump's new security advisor differs from him on Russia, other key issues

Lt. General McMasterU.S. President Donald Trump has shown little patience for dissent, but that trait is likely to be tested by his new national security adviser, Army Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster.

McMaster is joining the White House staff with views on Russia, counterterrorism, strengthening the military and other major security issues that diverge not only from those of the Trump loyalists, but also from those the president himself has expressed.

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U.S. appeals court upholds Maryland's ban on assault rifles

Marylang assault weapon ban upheldA federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld Maryland's ban on assault rifles, ruling gun owners are not protected under the U.S. Constitution to possess "weapons of war," court documents showed.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit decided 10-4 that the Firearm Safety Act of 2013, a law in response to the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, by a gunman with an assault rifle, does not violate the right to bear arms within the Second Amendment.

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Supreme Court blocks death sentence over racial bias

SCOTUSThe Supreme Court blocked the execution of a Texas murderer Wednesday because of racially discriminatory testimony presented by his own defense team.

The 6-2 ruling was the second in the court's new term to overturn a death sentence, and it could be a harbinger of things to come. The justices heard another death penalty case from Texas in November that hinges on a prisoner's intellectual disability.

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Principals to bar immigration agents from Chicago schools

Chicago Public SchoolsChicago Public Schools has instructed its principals not to let federal immigration agents inside district buildings without a criminal warrant.

Chief Education Officer Janice Jackson also urged principals Tuesday to have parents update student emergency contact forms and include backup contacts in case parents are detained.

The action came as the Trump administration announced a sweeping rewrite of immigration enforcement policies for an estimated 11 million people living in the United States illegally.

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