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Wednesday, May 24th

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Judge blocks Trump order on sanctuary city funding

Judge blocks Trump's sanctuary cities defunding orderA federal judge on Tuesday blocked a Trump administration order to withhold funding from communities that limit cooperation with U.S. immigration authorities, saying the president has no authority to attach new conditions to federal spending.

U.S. District Judge William Orrick issued the temporary ruling in a lawsuit against the executive order targeting so-called sanctuary cities. The decision will stay in place while the lawsuit works its way through court.

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Ivanka Trump gets booed, hissed at during Berlin event

Ivanka Trump in BerlinIvanka Trump arrived in Berlin on Tuesday morning armed with facts and figures to recite at what was expected to be a highbrow international summit to discuss women's entrepreneurship, alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

But on her first international trip as an official representative of the United States, the first daughter was put on the spot about her father's attitudes toward women, booed and hissed at by the crowd, and grilled by the moderator about what, exactly, her role is in President Donald Trump’s administration.

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Former U.S. officials to testify at May 8 Senate hearing on Russia probe

Former US officials to testify in Moscow probeTwo former U.S. officials, intelligence director James Clapper and deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, will testify next month in a Senate investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the Senate Judiciary Committee said on Tuesday.

Four congressional committees are investigating the issue after U.S. intelligence agencies concluded in January that Russian President Vladimir Putin had ordered hacking of the Democratic political groups to try to sway the election toward Republican Donald Trump. Moscow has denied any such meddling.

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U.S. State Department appoints Fox News anchor as spokeswoman

Heather Nauert to be State Dept. spoleswomanFormer Fox News anchor and correspondent Heather Nauert will be the new U.S. State Department spokeswoman, the State Department said in a statement on Monday.

Nauert was most recently an anchor for Fox News' morning news show "Fox and Friends," and previously was a correspondent at ABC News.

"Heather's media experience and long interest in international affairs will be invaluable as she conveys the administration's foreign policy priorities to the American people and the world," the statement said.

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Marijuana may be a miracle treatment for children with autism

Marijuana may help autistic hcildrenWhen Noa Shulman came home from school, her mother, Yael, sat her down to eat, then spoon-fed her mashed sweet potatoes — mixed with cannabis oil.

Noa, who has a severe form of autism, started to bite her own arm. “No sweetie,” Yael gently told her 17-year-old daughter. “Here, have another bite of this.”

Noa is part of the first clinical trial in the world to test the benefits of medicinal marijuana for young people with autism, a potential breakthrough that would offer relief for millions of afflicted children — and their anguished parents.

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Trump's first tariffs: Canada's lumber imports

US puts tariffs on Canadian lumberPresident Donald Trump imposed the first tariffs of his administration, up to 24.1 percent aimed at Canada's lumber industry, the Commerce Department announced.

Trump announced tariffs on Canadian softwood on Monday, prior to a Commerce Department statement indicating tariffs of between 3 percent and 24.1 percent would be imposed on five Canadian importers of lumber into the United States: West Fraser Mills, Tolko Marketing and Sales, J.D. Irving, Canfor Corporation, and Resolute FP Canada and West Fraser Mills. Smaller Canadian softwood importers will be charged an import duty of about 20 percent.

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Arkansas carries out first double executions in U.S. since 2000

Arkansas executions - first double in 17 yearsArkansas put to death condemned murderers Jack Jones and Marcel Williams on Monday night, the first double legal injection of prisoners carried out in the United States since 2000 in Texas.

Jones, convicted in the 1995 killing of Mary Phillips, was pronounced dead at 7:20 p.m., said Arkansas Department of Correction spokesman Solomon Graves.

Williams, who confessed to raping and killing Stacy Errickson in 1994, died at 10:33 p.m.

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Netanyahu cancels meeting with German FM

Sigmar gabriel, German Foreign MinisterPrime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday canceled a meeting with the visiting German foreign minister over the latter's plans to sit down with Israeli rights groups, sparking a rare diplomatic feud with one of Israel's closest and most important allies.

The last-minute cancellation cast a cloud over a visit that had been meant to draw attention to years of friendship between the two countries and coincided with Israel's annual Holocaust memorial day.

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Coal miners’ health care and pensions collide with budget showdown

coal miners to lose healthcare at end of AprilFor decades, being a coal miner has come with a deal: Work in dangerous, unpleasant conditions for years, and in exchange, get lifelong health-care benefits and a decent pension. Now, though, part of that deal is jeopardy, as the funds that provide those benefits have dwindled.

When Congress returns next week, legislators will be under intense pressure to fund health-care benefits and pension plans for coal miners that are otherwise set to expire at the end of April.

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