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Sunday, Jan 21st

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North Korea agrees to talks with South at Panmunjom

North and South Koreans to meet-- North Korea accepted a South Korean offer of talks, to be held on Tuesday, a month before the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

The talks, to be held at the House of Peace in Panmunjom, would mark the first time senior officials of the two Koreas are to meet in 25 months, South Korean television network JTBC reported Friday.

North Korea's acceptance of the South's proposal comes four days after Seoul made the offer, and Pyongyang's reply came by fax.

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The CDC is preparing for a nuclear blast

CDC prepares for nuclear blast

As tensions between North Korea and the U.S. rise, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention want Americans to be prepared in case of a nuclear event.

The agency scheduled a briefing Jan. 16 titled "Public Health Response to a Nuclear Detonation," where federal, state and local officials will detail what preparations have been made in case of such an event.

"While a nuclear detonation is unlikely, it would have devastating results and there would be limited time to take critical protection steps," reads an excerpt from the CDC's website detailing the briefing. "For instance, most people don’t realize that sheltering in place for at least 24 hours is crucial to saving lives and reducing exposure to radiation."

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Obstruction Inquiry Shows Trump’s Struggle to Keep Grip on Russia Investigation

Trump tried to get Sessions not to recuse himselfPresident Trump gave firm instructions in March to the White House’s top lawyer: stop the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, from recusing himself in the Justice Department’s investigation into whether Mr. Trump’s associates had helped a Russian campaign to disrupt the 2016 election.

Public pressure was building for Mr. Sessions, who had been a senior member of the Trump campaign, to step aside. But the White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, carried out the president’s orders and lobbied Mr. Sessions to remain in charge of the inquiry, according to two people with knowledge of the episode.

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Tell-all book on Trump to be released early despite White House legal effort

Trump tries to stop  publication of tell all book

Lawyers for Donald Trump moved on Thursday to try to shut down an explosive new book which has exposed chaos behind the scenes at the White House. In response, the book’s US publisher brought publication forward to Friday.

The book’s author, Michael Wolff, tweeted: “Here we go. You can buy it (and read it) tomorrow. Thank you, Mr President.”

Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House was due to be released on Tuesday. But after extracts were made public by the Guardian, the White House was thrown into a frenzy.

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Washington's growing obsession: The 25th Amendment

Lawmakers briefed by Yale psychiatrist

Lawmakers concerned about President Donald Trump’s mental state summoned Yale University psychiatry professor Dr. Bandy X. Lee to Capitol Hill last month for two days of briefings about his recent behavior.

In private meetings with more than a dozen members of Congress held on Dec. 5 and 6, Lee briefed lawmakers — all Democrats except for one Republican senator, whom Lee declined to identify. Her professional warning to Capitol Hill: “He’s going to unravel, and we are seeing the signs.”

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Uncertainty roils American marijuana industry over feared federal crackdown

Sessions to go after pot industryMarijuana stocks tanked, investors balked and cannabis users across the country shuddered as the Trump administration signaled its willingness to clamp down on a marketplace that’s grown exponentially over the past three years.

In Michigan, would-be dispensary owner Jerry Millen said he’s not panicking -- yet. Michigan permits medical marijuana, and voters this fall may be asked to legalize recreational cannabis.

“Trump’s approval rating is so low that I don’t think he’s stupid enough to mess with patients,” said Millen, of Walled Lake, Mich. “What’s going to happen when they start rolling out children and senior citizens who have been helped by marijuana?”

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Winter storm slamming Northeast with hurricane-strength winds

Winter storm slamming A powerful winter storm is blasting the Northeast with hurricane-force winds after delivering a mix of sleet, snow and freezing rain to the Southeast.

About 1/10-inch of snow fell on Tallahassee, Fla. on Wednesday -- the first measurable snowfall there since 1989. Nearly a quarter-inch of ice was measured in Lake City, Fla.

Ellabell, Ga., saw 6 inches of snow. South Carolina saw its third heaviest snowfall in one day on record in Charleston, where 5.3 inches of snow was measured Wednesday.

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Trump administration plans to allow drilling off all U.S. waters

Trump moves to vastly increase offshore drillingThe Trump administration unveiled a controversial plan Thursday to permit drilling in all U.S. waters, including protected areas of the Arctic and the Atlantic, where oil and gas exploration is opposed by governors from New Jersey to Florida, nearly a dozen attorneys general, more than 100 U.S. lawmakers and the Defense Department.

More than 3 billion barrels of oil is recoverable on the outer continental shelf, along with more than 30 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, according to the Interior Department, which announced the plan. States stand to gain royalties from extraction of these natural resources, and drilling could create hundreds of jobs.

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Virginia Republican's lucky win solidifies GOP House control

GOP candidate wins draw in VirginiaBy luck of the draw, incumbent Republican David Yancey won a Virginia state House of Delegates race so close that its outcome was determined Thursday when an elections official pulled his name out of a ceramic bowl.

The drawing of lots happened after the race between Yancey and Democratic challenger Shelley Simonds ended in tie. The win allows Republicans to maintain a slim majority in the House, though a final tally is still uncertain because Simonds could ask for another recount. Adding another wrinkle: Another close legislative race is in doubt because it's locked in a court battle.

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