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Friday, Feb 22nd

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Mueller: Manafort deserves 19.5 to 24.5 years in prison for Virginia convictions

Manafort deserves 19 to 24 year sentence: Mueller

Robert Mueller’s office recommended on Friday that Paul Manafort get up to 24-and-a-half years in prison for his conviction last summer for financial malfeasance.

The special counsel’s suggestion is the opening move in what will be a two-step sentencing process for the 69-year-old former Trump campaign chairman, who appears to be on track to spend the rest of his life in prison absent a presidential pardon.

A jury in Northern Virginia convicted Manafort after a three-week trial in August on eight felony counts, including filing false tax documents, failing to register foreign bank accounts and bank fraud. A month later, on the eve of another trial in Washington, D.C., Manafort pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges in exchange for the special counsel dropping foreign-lobbying and money-laundering charges.

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Police: Shooter dead after killing 5 civilians, wounding 5 Aurora cops

Five dead in Aurora shootingThe suspect in a mass shooting in Aurora that killed five people and wounded five police officers and multiple civilians in an industrial area near Prairie and Highland avenues is dead, authorities said.

Police Chief Kristen Ziman identified the shooter as Gary Martin, 45, of Aurora. She said police believe he was an employee of a 29,000-square-foot manufacturing warehouse at 641 Archer.

Sources with knowledge of the case said the suspect began firing during an afternoon meeting in which he was being terminated.

Ziman said police responded to multiple calls about an active shooter at 1:24 p.m. and arrived four minutes later and were immediately fired upon.

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Aurora police responding to reports of active shooter

Henry Platt shootingAn active shooting situation has been reported at the Henry Pratt Company in southwest suburban Aurora in Kane County.

Officials have asked that residents on the west side of Aurora to remain sheltered until the search for the shooter has ended.

The Henry Pratt company is located in the 400 block of South Highland Avenue. The shooting was confirmed by the Kane County Sheriff.

Note: This is breaking news.  Check for updates.  As of 3:35 pm, ET, unconfirmed reports claim that one police officer is down.

4:05 pm: Aurora police say that they have aprehended a suspect.

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U.S. judge issues gag order in trial of former Trump adviser Roger Stone

Roger Stone given gag order A federal judge has issued a gag order in the criminal case of Roger Stone, a longtime confidant of Donald Trump.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson on Friday ordered both sides to refrain from making statements to the media or the public that could prejudice the case.

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Ginsburg back at Supreme Court

Ginsburg back at Supreme CourtJustice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was back at the court on Friday for the justices’ private conference.

The Supreme Court’s Public Information Office told The Hill that Ginsburg was attending the regular closed-door meeting in which the justices consider requests to review cases. Ginsburg has been absent from the court since undergoing surgery in late December to remove two cancerous nodules from her lower left lung.

The 85-year-old justice missed oral arguments last month while recovering at home from the surgery. Her absence marked the first time in more than 25 years on the bench she was forced to miss arguments due to her health.

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National emergency: Trump's 'clear abuse of power' faces torrent of lawsuits

Dems act aggainst Trump National Emergency

As state attorneys general across the country threaten to sue the White House over Donald Trump’s declaration of a national immigration emergency on Friday, Democrats and Republicans insisted Trump was overstepping his powers, while legal analysts warned of a dangerous new phase of the Trump presidency.

But the potentially huge fallout from the emergency declaration – which might upset the constitutional balance of powers or divert funding from natural disasters crises – could be contained if an anticipated avalanche of lawsuits succeeds in blocking Trump in court, or if Congress passes a resolution terminating the declaration.

Trump is expected to fight back against such potential obstacles, in what many observers warned would be a direct challenge to the explicit assignment in the US constitution of the power of the purse to Congress – not the president.

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State department issues Haiti travel warning as protests turn violent

Haiti riots cause travel warning to AmericansThe U.S. State Department issued a travel warning Thursday ordering all non-emergency U.S. personnel and their family members home.

"Do not travel to Haiti due to crime and civil unrest," the advisory said, adding "protests, tire burning and road blockages are frequent and unpredictable. Violent crime, such as armed robbery, is common."

The warning comes as protests in Port-au-Prince have turned deadly this week, with at least two people killed and dozens more injured, some severely, as police and anti-government protesters clash, Haiti Libre reported.

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Congress approves deal to avert shutdown with Trump poised to declare emergency

Trump to declare emergency

Congress overwhelmingly approved a border security agreement that would prevent a second painful government shutdown, as Donald Trump vowed to declare a national emergency to fund his long-promised border wall with Mexico.

The House passed the spending package late Thursday night in a vote of 300-128, following the Senate’s approval in a vote of 83-16. The bill next goes to the president, who said he would sign it on Friday, and at the same time declare a national emergency.

The border security compromise, tucked into a sweeping, 1,159-page spending bill, would appropriate $1.375bn for 55 miles of new fencing along the border with Mexico, which is far less than the $5.7bn Trump sought for a concrete or steel wall.

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DOJ warns White House that national emergency will likely be blocked

Department of JusticeThe Department of Justice (DOJ) has warned the White House that the courts are likely to block a national emergency declaration to build a wall along the southern border, according to ABC News.

The White House, however, remains confident that it can win on appeal and ultimately have such a declaration approved by the courts, ABC News reported.

The White House and DOJ did not immediately return requests for comment from The Hill.

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