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Tuesday, Jul 25th

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The War on the Freedom of Information Act

War on FOIA

The health-care clusterfudge continues. Senator John McCain has brain cancer. President Trump throws another public tantrum. Russia, Russia, Russia.

That about covers the Big Political Headlines of the week. Now for something really sexy: the creeping assault on the Freedom of Information Act.

Stop right there! No clicking over to that Tucker Carlson YouTube rant. This is another one of those ticky-tacky, below-the-radar issues that may sound like a nonprescription substitute for Ambien but is, practically speaking, super important—especially in the Age of Trump.

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Fukushima: robot images show massive deposits thought to be melted nuclear fuel

Fukishima robot imagesImages captured by an underwater robot on Saturday showed massive deposits believed to be melted nuclear fuel covering the floor of a damaged reactor at Japan’s destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant.

The robot found large amounts of solidified lava-like rocks and lumps in layers as thick as 1m on the bottom inside a main structure called the pedestal that sits underneath the core inside the primary containment vessel of Fukushima’s Unit 3 reactor, said the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co.

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Chuck Schumer Says Senate Democrats Are Open To Single-Payer Health Care

Chuck SchumerSenate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) argued Sunday that it’s time for the Democratic party to take a “bold” approach on economic issues, adding a single-payer health care system is “on the table.”

Appearing on ABC’s “This Week,” Schumer previewed the economic agenda his party plans to roll out this week. He acknowledged that Democrats failed to win over voters in the 2016 election with a clear economic message, and said his coalition plans to change that.

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Another lawsuit seeks Trump's tax returns

Trump tax returns sought in law suitPresident Donald Trump is facing a new legal demand for his tax returns in a lawsuit from protesters who say they were roughed up at Trump’s instigation at a campaign rally last year.

Lawyers for the demonstrators recently made a formal request for the tax returns as part of the discovery process in a suit over altercations at a Trump campaign event in Louisville, Kentucky, in March 2016.

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Mystery deepens after African teens vanish from U.S. robotics fair

African teens disappearSix African high school students who vanished from an international robotics fair in Washington remained missing — sort of — Sunday as investigators tried to determine where they are and whether their own families conspired in their disappearance.

The Burundi team attended the three-day FIRST Global Challenge that kicked off July 16. The event was supposed to be a celebration of global community and science, and it brought together competitors from more than 150 nations.

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Israeli embassy shooting in Jordan leaves one man dead, another injured

Jordanian protestersAt least one person has been killed and another injured during a shooting at the Israeli embassy in Jordan Sunday evening, according to multiple reports.

The shooting happened in the Rabiyeh neighborhood of the country's capital of Amman, which left a Jordanian man dead and an Israeli man in serious condition, Sky News reported.

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Yemen crisis 'an absolute shame on humanity'

Yemen crisis a shame on humanityInternational human rights organisation CARE has denounced the humanitarian crisis in war-torn Yemen, which is also suffering from a cholera epidemic, as "an absolute shame on humanity".

Wolfgang Jamann, the head of the NGO, raised alarm over the country's deteriorating situation since March 2015 when Saudi-led forces launched a military operation in support of the government against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

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8 found dead in packed, blistering hot truck in Texas Walmart parking lot

8 dead in trailer truckAn apparent smuggling operation involving undocumented immigrants came to a tragic conclusion early Sunday morning when emergency responders found eight people dead in the back of a semi-trailer at a Walmart in southwest San Antonio.

Police say it’s a horrific human trafficking case and the driver has been arrested.

Dozens were found in the truck, which didn’t have a working air-conditioning system despite blistering temperatures that topped 100 degrees, and they were taken to hospitals, authorities said.

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Jim Vance, veteran NBC Washington anchor, dead at 75

Jim Vance, dead at 75Jim Vance, a longtime Washington reporter for NBC4, died on Friday. He was 75.

Vance — who anchored the news desk for more than 45 years — recently revealed to his colleagues and viewers in May that he was battling cancer, but not did not reveal what type of cancer. He died on Saturday, the network confirmed.

"For more than 45 years, Jim Vance was not only the soul of NBC4 but of the entire Washington area," NBC4 president Jackie Bradford said in a statement. "His smooth voice, brilliant mind and unforgettable laugh leaves each of us with a tremendous void."

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