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Tuesday, May 22nd

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U.S. Slips Again in World Press Freedom Index

US Slips again in World Press Freedom Index

The U.S. has fallen from 43rd to 45th out of 180 countries on the World Press Freedom Index—due in no small part to President Donald Trump and his routine attacks on the press, according to a report released on Wednesday by Reporters Without Borders.

“In 2017, the 45th President of the United States helped sink the country to 45th place by labeling the press an ‘enemy of the American people’ in a series of verbal attacks toward journalists, attempts to block White House access to multiple media outlets, routine use of the term ‘fake news’ in retaliation for critical reporting, and calling for media outlets’ broadcasting licenses to be revoked,” the report from RWB read.

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Third judge rules against Trump move to end DACA

Third judge rules against Trump move to end DACA

A third federal judge has rejected the Trump administration’s justification for winding down the program protecting immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally as children.

U.S. District Court Judge John Bates said on Tuesday that the Department of Homeland Security’s legal explanation for the decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, was too flimsy and, ultimately, unpersuasive.

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Ben Carson proposes that poor should pay more rent

Ben Carson: the poor should pay for rent

HUD Secretary Ben Carson on Wednesday unveiled a major overhaul of the rental-housing system, proposing to increase the share of rent that low-income households must pay without assistance and give public housing authorities the option to impose work requirements.

The proposal reshaping the way HUD helps 4.5 million people meet their rent is part of a broader Trump administration push to link anti-poverty programs to employment.

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French President's pointed speech to Congress takes aim at Trump agenda

Macron speaks to CongressEmmanuel Macron may be known in the US for his close relationship to President Donald Trump, but in his address to Congress on Wednesday, the French President took aim at several key points of Trump's agenda.

Speaking before US lawmakers from both the Senate and the House, Macron pressed the United States to engage more in global affairs, contrasting with the steps the Trump White House has taken toward isolationism since he came into office. Macron also pushed the US to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement, which Trump announced his country would leave last year, and made the case for supporting the Iran nuclear deal, which Trump has sharply condemned.
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Mulvaney to bankers: Lobbying lawmakers pays off

Mulvaney: Lobbying pays off

Mick Mulvaney, the acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, has a message to people seeking to gain access to Congress: A lawmaker’s constituents should always get a hearing, no matter what.

But outside lobbyists, he said, may have to pay to get in the door.

Speaking at an American Bankers Association event on Tuesday, Mulvaney discussed the “hierarchy” in his former congressional office as he urged bankers to lobby their representatives in Congress.

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Sean Hannity's real estate venture linked to fraudulent property dealer

Sean Hannity real estate venture linked to fraudulent property dealer

Sean Hannity’s real estate venture bought houses through a property dealer who was involved in a criminal conspiracy to fraudulently obtain foreclosed homes, according to records reviewed by the Guardian.

In 2012, a shell company linked to the Fox News host bought 11 homes in Georgia that had been purchased by the dealer, Jeff Brock, following foreclosures. Brock transferred the properties to corporate vehicles that sold them on to the Hannity-linked company at a profit.

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Trump glares at reporter who asks if he will pardon Michael Cohen: 'Stupid question'

Trump on Michael Cohen question : Stupid question

President Donald Trump was visibly displeased Tuesday when a reporter asked him whether he would consider pardoning Michael Cohen, his longtime personal lawyer who is the focus of a criminal investigation but has not been charged with any crime.

Jonathan Karl, ABC News' White House correspondent, asked the question during an Oval Office meeting between Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron.

"Stupid question," Trump responded.

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Israel Says It Won’t Deport African Immigrants After All

African Immigrants will not be deported
The Israeli government said on Tuesday it had abandoned a plan to forcibly deport African migrants who entered the country illegally after failing to find a willing country to take in the migrants.
The government had been working for months on an arrangement to expel thousands of mostly Eritrean and Sudanese men who crossed into Israel through Egypt’s Sinai desert.

“At this stage, the possibility of carrying out an unwilling deportation to a third country is not on the agenda,” the government wrote in a response to Israel’s Supreme Court, which has been examining the case.

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Karaoke bar blaze kills 18 in China

Karaoke bar fire kills 18 in China

A fire at a karaoke bar killed 18 people Tuesday in the Chinese province of Guangdong, police said.

The fire took nearly 30 minutes to put out. Little was left of the three-story structure once firefighters got the blaze under control, The New York Times reported.

In addition to the deaths, five people were injured.

"According to a preliminary investigation, the blaze was arson," Qingyuan police said in a statement. "Currently, the public security authorities are stepping up their investigation."

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