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Thursday, May 25th

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Bill Paxton Dead: 'Titanic' and 'Aliens' Actor Dies at 61

Bill Paxton diesBill Paxton, the actor best known for his roles in movies including Titanic, Aliens and Twister, has died, a representative for the family confirms to Us Weekly. He was 61.

"It is with heavy hearts we share the news that Bill Paxton has passed away due to complications from surgery," the rep says in a statement to Us. "A loving husband and father, Bill began his career in Hollywood working on films in the art department and went on to have an illustrious career spanning four decades as a beloved and prolific actor and filmmaker. Bill's passion for the arts was felt by all who knew him, and his warmth and tireless energy were undeniable. We ask to please respect the family's wish for privacy as they mourn the loss of their adored husband and father."

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Survey: Historians rank Obama 12th best president

Obama 12th best presidentHistorians have ranked Barack Obama the 12th best president of all time, the highest rated since President Ronald Reagan, in a new C-SPAN survey released Friday.

Less than a month after exiting the White House, Obama received high marks from presidential historians for his pursuit of "equal justice for all" and for his commanding "moral authority," ranking third and seventh among all former presidents in each respective category. The 44th president also cracked a top 10 ranking for his "economic management" and public persuasion.

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State Dept. Officials Draft Dissent Memo After Trump’s Ban

Dept.pf StateConsider this a major bureaucratic uprising on the part of career foreign service officers against the President on his executive order on refugees.

Numerous Foreign Service officers and other diplomats have drafted a dissent memo expressing opposition to President Donald Trump’s executive order banning refugees and immigrants from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the United States. ABC reported this morning on the draft, which is likely to be submitted today.

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Iraqi refugee, one of two held at JFK, is released

Refugees detained at JFKOne of two Iraqi refugees being held at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York under President Donald Trump's new order barring refugees from several Muslim countries was released Saturday, though his future status in the United States remains unclear.

The man, Hameed Khalid Darweesh, worked for the U.S. military as an interpreter during the Iraq war. The U.S. government had approved his asylum request and issued him a green card to move to the United States prior to Trump's executive order, but he was detained upon arrival.

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U.S. downgraded to flawed democracy for the first time

US falls from full to flawed democracyThe United States of America is now a more imperfect union.

The Democracy Index has downgraded the U.S. from a full democracy to a flawed one, marking the first time the nation has fallen into the lower ranking.

Other flawed democracies include Botswana, India, Japan and Ghana, while much of Western Europe stayed in the full democracy category.

Americans’ growing distrust in their government, elected officials and the media prompted the demotion, the Economist Intelligence Unit — the UK-based economic firm that produces the annual index — wrote in a Wednesday report.

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Drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman extradited to US

El chapo extradited to USMexico's government extradited drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman to the United States where he is wanted on drug trafficking and other charges.

Guzman landed in New York late on Thursday to face federal narcotics trafficking and other charges.

A US law enforcement official told The Associated Press news agency that Guzman arrived following a flight from the Mexican border town Ciudad Juarez.

Guzman is expected to appear in a federal court in Brooklyn on Friday.

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Report says Chicago police violated civil rights for years

Chicago police reportChicago police have violated the constitutional rights of residents for years, permitting racial bias against blacks, using excessive force and shooting people who did not pose immediate threats, the Justice Department announced Friday after a yearlong investigation.

Officers endangered civilians, caused avoidable injuries and deaths and eroded community trust that is "the cornerstone of public safety," said Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department's civil rights division.

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