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Appeals court rules House chaplain can reject secular prayers

House Reverend Patrick ConroyA  federal appeals court handed a legal victory to House Rev. Patrick J. Conroy on Good Friday when it ruled he cannot be forced to let an atheist offer a secular prayer on the chamber floor.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit dismissed a claim brought by Dan Barker, co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation and a former minister, that his rights were violated when Conroy said he could not serve as a guest chaplain.

Judge David S. Tatel, writing on behalf of the three-judge panel, focused the court’s ruling not on Barker’s atheism but rather on the content of the prayer.


Court orders EPA to make final decision on banning controversial pesticide

Chlorpyrofin ban decision ordered by courtA U.S. appeals court is forcing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to make a final decision on whether it will ban the use of a common pesticide linked to developmental disorders in children.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit on Friday ordered the EPA to make a final decision on whether it will ban the use of chlorpyrifos across the country. The agency has until mid-July to make its determination.

Chlorpyrifos is an agricultural chemical commonly used on apple, orange, strawberry, corn and wheat crops. It was first developed in World War II for use in chemical warfare. The chemical’s use on foods has had a long, embattled history in the U.S. Many scientific studies have shown that the insecticide is linked to alterations in brain structure and cognition, and that children are especially susceptible.


Sarah Sanders admits she lied about FBI trust in Comey — and other false statements revealed in Mueller report

Sarah Sanders lied

Lies, damned lies and presidential aides' misstatements.

The Mueller report on Thursday revealed several instances when aides to President Donald Trump, while under oath, acknowledged that statements they once stood by were based on something other than facts or truth.

Take, for instance, the afternoon of May 10, 2017, when White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters that former FBI Director James Comey had been fired because he’d lost the confidence of President Trump, the Department of Justice and members of both parties in Congress. And, for good measure: “Most importantly, the rank and file of the FBI had lost confidence in Comey.”

Sanders went on to say that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had decided “on his own” to examine Comey’s performance and then expressed his concerns to Trump about them on May 8.

TVNL Comment: Read the entire redacted Mueller report HERE.


Nadler subpoenas DOJ for full version of the Mueller report

Nadler subpoenas full Mueller reportHouse Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler on Friday issued a subpoena to the Justice Department for an unredacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, in addition to the underlying grand jury evidence and testimony.

The subpoena, which demands the material by May 1, escalates the House’s confrontation with Attorney General William Barr, whom Democrats have accused of whitewashing Mueller’s findings and misleading the public about the nature of the special counsel's conclusions in order to protect President Donald Trump.


Mueller whacks Trump with evidence of obstruction

Mueller report whacks Trump

The Justice Department on Thursday released a redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on whether Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with Russian officials and whether the president obstructed justice.

While the investigation did not find hard evidence of collusion, the report detailed numerous instances in which Trump tried to interfere with the probe.

We’re annotating the document in real time, pulling out the excerpts we find most interesting, and giving you the analysis you need to understand Mueller’s findings.

Obstruction of Justice: Trump raises pressure on Jeff Sessions

Read the annotated guide to the redacted report...



NKorea says it tested new weapon, wants Pompeo out of talks

North Korea test fires tactical missileNorth Korea said Thursday that it had test-fired a new type of “tactical guided weapon,” its first such test in nearly half a year, and demanded that Washington remove Secretary of State Mike Pompeo from nuclear negotiations.

The test, which didn’t appear to be of a banned mid- or long-range ballistic missile that could scuttle negotiations, allows North Korea to show its people it is pushing ahead with weapons development while also reassuring domestic military officials worried that diplomacy with Washington signals weakness.


More store closings coming: Pier 1 Imports could close up to 145 more stores

Pier I Imports to close 146 stores

Home goods retailer Pier 1 Imports could close as many  145 more stores in the fiscal year, the Texas-based home goods retailer said Wednesday when it reported financial results.

The news comes a week after Bed Bath & Beyond said 40 locations could be shuttered this year.

“As anticipated, our fourth-quarter sales and profitability were disappointing and reflect the execution issues we identified earlier in the year and have been working with urgency to correct," said Cheryl Bachelder, interim Pier 1 CEO, in a statement.

After closing 30 stores in its fiscal year that ended in March, there were 973 stores in the chain, which sells furniture, home decor and other accessories.


Mueller Report Live Updates: 10 Episodes of Possible Obstruction Examined

Mueller Report releasedThe redacted report by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, has been released. He investigated Russian election interference, any ties to the Trump campaign and possible presidential obstruction of justice.

Mr. Mueller’s report has been released publicly. Our reporters are reading it and are posting major findings and analysis.

  • Mr. Mueller examined 10 actions by President Trump to determine whether he sought to obstruct justice but could not reach a conclusion “based on the facts and the applicable legal standards.”

  • Attorney General William P. Barr offered a strong defense of Mr. Trump before releasing Mr. Mueller’s report, saying that investigators “found no evidence” that any member of the Trump campaign conspired with Russia in its effort to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

TVNL Comment: Keep refreshing the NYT page for updates.

What We Learned From William Barr’s Mueller Report Press Conference

Barr press conference

Ninety minutes before a redacted version of the Mueller report was set to be delivered to Congress, Attorney General William Barr held a press conference to discuss Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference and, once again, offer his own summary of the special counsel’s report.

Barr said he will deliver a copy of the “public” version of the report to Congressional leaders at 11 A.M. A copy of the report will be posted to the Justice Department’s website shortly thereafter.

Barr began the presser by summarizing the Mueller report. While Russia sought to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, he said, they did “not have the cooperation of President Trump or the Trump campaign.”


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