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WASHINGTON (AP) — Criticized for inaction, President Donald Trump and top officials stepped up their defense of the administration’s response to intelligence assessments that Russia offered bounties for killing U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Trump’s national security adviser said he had prepared a list of retaliatory options if the intelligence proved true.

Trump, meanwhile, called the assessments a “hoax” and insist...


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U.S. President Donald Trump, who has avoided being seen in public wearing a face covering, said on Wednesday he would wear a mask if he were in close quarters with other people in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. “I’m all for masks,” Trump told Fox Business Network. “If I were in a tight situation with people I would absolutely” wear a mask, he added. Trump said, however, he did not think mask-wearing needed to be made mandatory nationwide “because you have many places in the country where people stay very long distance.” Trump has become increasingly isolated within the Republican Party for not promoting the use of a mask by Americans against the virus with the number of infections going up in a number of states.


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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Hundreds of officials who worked for former Republican President George W. Bush are set to endorse Democratic White House hopeful Joe Biden, people involved in the effort said, the latest Republican-led group coming out to oppose the re-election of Donald Trump. The officials, who include Cabinet secretaries and other senior people in the Bush administration, have formed a political action committee - 43 Alumni for Biden - to support the former vice presi...


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SEATTLE (Reuters) - Seattle authorities moved on Wednesday to dismantle a protest zone that the city’s police chief derided as “lawless and brutal” and which had prompted U.S. President Donald Trump to call for action against demonstrators. Officers, clad in helmets and extra protective gear, entered the “autonomous zone” early and by midmorning had arrested 31 people for failure to disperse, assault and other alleged crimes, according to the police department


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NEW YORK (Reuters) - The New York City Council voted to pass the 2021 budget on Tuesday night with cuts to police funding after weeks of fraught negotiations with Mayor Bill de Blasio, but some lawmakers complained it fell short of a $1 billion cut they and protesters demanded. The austere, coronavirus-era budget tightens spending across city agencies, including a cut of nearly $484 million from the New York Police Department’s $6 billion operating budget if the departm...


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WASHINGTON/MEXICO CITY/OTTAWA (Reuters) - The revamped trade pact between the United States, Canada and Mexico taking effect on Wednesday was meant to create a kind of fortress North America, boosting the region’s competitiveness - but cracks are already starting to show in the foundation. As the deal kicks in, the Trump administration is threatening Canada with new aluminum tariffs, and a prominent Mexican labor activist has been jailed, underscoring concerns about crucial labor reforms in the replacement for the 26-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement. The risk of disputes among the three trading partners is growing, analysts say.


AP News | Equities.com |

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — They didn’t like it when then-candidate Donald Trump criticized John McCain for being captured in combat. They were angrier when Trump, as commander in chief, abandoned Kurdish allies in the Middle East. And they were upset again last month when he threatened to deploy troops against American protesters. Trump’s relationship with the nation’s military community has been frequently strained. But just four months before t...


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DENVER (AP) — Five-term Colorado U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton was upset in Tuesday’s Republican Party primary by Lauren Boebert, a pistol-packing businesswoman, ardent defender of gun rights and border wall supporter who wants to abolish the U.S. Department of Education. Boebert won after a campaign in which she accused Tipton of not being sufficiently pro-Donald Trump even though the president had endorsed Tipton, and even though Tipton is the Trump campaign’s co-chair for Colorado. Trump co...


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By Patricia Zengerle, Mark HosenballWASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States should weigh new sanctions on Russia to deter its “malign” actions, a senior Democratic lawmaker said on Tuesday after a White House briefing on a reported Russian effort to pay the Taliban to kill U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. Democratic members of Congress emerged from the briefing critical of U.S. President Donald Trump, who the New York Times reported had received a written intelligence briefing on the suspecte...


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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court narrowed the separation of church and state in a major ruling on Tuesday by endorsing Montana tax credits that helped pay for students to attend religious schools, a decision paving the way for more public funding of faith-based institutions. In a 5-4 decision with the conservative justices in the majority and the liberal justices dissenting, the court backed a Montana program that gave tax incentives for people to donate to a scholarship fund that provided money to Christian schools for student tuition expenses.