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Egyptian-American Aid Worker, Released From Cairo Jail, Returns To U.S.

Aya Hijazi released from Egyptian prisonAn Egyptian-American aid worker and her Egyptian husband have returned to the U.S. after being imprisoned for nearly three years in Egypt, over charges of child abuse that were widely regarded as specious.

U.S. officials had unsuccessfully advocated for Aya Hijazi's release for years. When Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi visited President Trump at the White House earlier this month, officials said Hijazi's case would be among the topics of discussion between the two governments. (Former President Barack Obama never invited Sissi to Washington, over objections to Sissi's human rights record.)

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AmeriCorps now fighting for own survival under Trump

Americorps struggling under TrumpNearly a decade after former President Barack Obama provided a major shot in the arm for the U.S. government's premier civil service program with a healthy infusion of cash, it now faces the end of the road under the Trump administration.

Exactly eight years ago Friday, Obama pledged an additional $6 billion for AmeriCorps, the government's 23-year-old civil society program that provides much-needed work on a number of fronts from coast to coast.

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WFP says food shipment for Burundi is blocked at border

WFP stopped at Burundi borderThe U.N's World Food Program says a food shipment meant to feed about 112,000 people has been stopped at the Burundi border.

Spokeswoman Challiss McDonough said Friday the shipment was blocked while trying to enter from Rwanda. She says WFP believes it is a misunderstanding.

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Arkansas carries out first execution in 12 years

Arkansas carries out first execution in 12 years; more to followArkansas has carried out its first execution in 12 years, according to local news media reports.

The southeastern US state executed Ledell Lee on Thursday at its Cummins Unit in Grady, which houses the state's death chamber.   Lee was pronounced dead four minutes before his death warrant was due to expire at midnight.

The US Supreme Court had cleared the way earlier in the day for Arkansas to conduct the execution by removing holds on the lethal injection, just 30 minutes before the state's death warrant expired.

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Leader Of Justice Department National Security Division On The Way Out

Mary McCord leaves post probing Russian election connectionThe woman leading the Justice Department's investigation of foreign meddling into the 2016 election and possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia has told staff members she will leave the department in May.

Mary B. McCord has served at the highest levels in the national security unit, either as its leader or chief deputy, for the past three years. A longtime federal prosecutor based in Washington, McCord easily won the confidence of both career lawyers and her supervisors inside the Justice Department.

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Massachusetts Throws Out More Than 21,000 Convictions In Drug Testing Scandal

Annie DookhanMassachusetts formally dropped more than 21,000 tainted drug convictions Thursday that were linked to a disgraced state chemist who in 2013 admitted to faking test results.

It's the largest single dismissal of convictions in U.S. history, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

Thursday's dismissals by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court had been expected after several district attorneys on Tuesday submitted lists of 21,587 cases they said they would be unwilling or unable to prosecute, The Associated Press reports.

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Trump blows his deadline on anti-hacking plan

Trump blows his deadline on anti-hacking probePresident-elect Donald Trump was very clear: “I will appoint a team to give me a plan within 90 days of taking office,” he said in January, after getting a U.S. intelligence assessment of Russian interference in last year’s elections and promising to address cybersecurity.

Thursday, Trump hits his 90-day mark. There is no team, there is no plan, and there is no clear answer from the White House on who would even be working on what.

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Venezuela's government donated $500G to Trump's inauguration, report shows

Venezuela donated to Trump inaugurationA Venezuelan state-owned oil company, heavily indebted to the Russian oil giant Rosneft, made a $500,000 donation to Donald Trump’s inauguration festivities, it has emerged.

Foreign donations are banned under US law, but the Venezuelan company, PdVSA, made the donation through a US affiliate, Citgo Petrol, soon after offering a nearly 50% stake in Citgo to Rosneft as collateral for a $1.5bn loan.

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Sources: US prepares charges to seek arrest of WikiLeaks' Julian Assange

Julian Assange to be arrestedUS authorities have prepared charges to seek the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, US officials familiar with the matter tell CNN.

The Justice Department investigation of Assange and WikiLeaks dates to at least 2010, when the site first gained wide attention for posting thousands of files stolen by the former US Army intelligence analyst now known as Chelsea Manning.

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