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Anti-abortion groups ask SCOTUS to stop abortion pills

Anti-abortion crazies ask SCOTUS to stop abortion pillsAnti-abortion groups on Friday filed a lawsuit asking a court to overturn U.S. regulators' approval of the drug mifepristone for medication abortion, which could hobble access to medication abortion nationwide.

The lawsuit, filed in Amarillo, Texas, federal court by the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists and others, said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration lacked authority to approve the drug for abortion when it did so in 2000 and that it failed to study its risks for minors adequately.

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Twitter ‘closes offices’ after Elon Musk’s loyalty oath sparks wave of resignations

Twitter closes offices

The crisis at Twitter reached new heights after hundreds of employees were reported to have rejected Elon Musk’s ultimatum to keep working for the business, threatening its ability to keep operating.

As the company temporarily closed its offices to staff on Friday, Twitter users began saying their goodbyes and linking to accounts on other platforms.

#RIPTwitter, #TwitterDown, Mastodon and Myspace were all trending on the platform after the deadline passed on Musk’s ultimatum for the remaining workforce to sign up for “long hours at high intensity” by Thursday, or leave. It has been estimated that hundreds of the remaining staff, already cut from 7,500 to around 3,750 in the wake of Musk’s takeover of Twitter last month, opted to go.

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Iranian protesters set fire to Ayatollah Khomeini’s ancestral home

Protesters set fire

Protesters in Iran have set on fire the ancestral home of the Islamic republic’s founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini as two months of anti-regime demonstrations show no let up.

The house in the city of Khomein in the western Markazi province was shown ablaze late on Thursday with crowds of jubilant protesters marching past, according to images posted on social media, verified by AFP.

Khomeini is said to have been born at the house in the town of Khomein – from where his surname derives – at the turn of the century.

He became a cleric deeply critical of the US-backed shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, moved into exile and then returned in triumph from France in 1979 to lead the Islamic revolution.

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Hakeem Jeffries Announces Bid For House Democratic Leader

Hakeem Jeffries

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) officially announced his bid for House Democratic leader on Friday.

If chosen to succeed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Jeffries would make history as the first Black lawmaker to lead a party in Congress. In a letter to colleagues, Jeffries outlined his vision for the Democratic Party, including pushing for policies to combat crime and gun violence, and retaking the House majority in the 2024 elections.

“House Democrats are actually the party that defends freedom, promotes economic opportunity and values families by uplifting them,” he said in his letter. “We must make sure that the perception of the Democratic brand matches up with the reality that we do in fact authentically share values that unite the Heartland, Urban America, Rural America, Suburban America and Small Town America.”

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Garland names Jack Smith special counsel for Trump criminal probes

Garland bames Jack Smith

Attorney General Merrick Garland on Friday appointed a special prosecutor to oversee criminal investigations related to former President Donald Trump.

Jack Smith, a former chief of the Justice Department’s unit that investigates public corruption — the Public Integrity Section — will take on the new role which operates largely independent of Justice Department control under decades-old federal regulations. The announcement represents a new phase in the extraordinary investigations into an ex-president and his allies and comes as Trump mounts a new bid to reclaim the presidency.

“Based on recent developments, including the former President’s announcement that he is a candidate for President in the next election, and the sitting President’s stated intention to be a candidate as well, I have concluded that it is in the public interest to appoint a special counsel,” Garland said in a statement. “Such an appointment underscores the Department’s commitment to both independence and accountability in particularly sensitive matters. It also allows prosecutors and agents to continue their work expeditiously, and to make decisions indisputably guided only by the facts and the law.”

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DOJ to announce special counsel for Trump-related Mar-a-Lago and January 6 investigations

Garland

Attorney General Merrick Garland plans to announce Friday that he has appointed a special counsel to oversee the criminal investigations into the retention of national defense information at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago report and parts of the January 6, 2021, insurrection, according to a senior Justice Department official.

Both investigations implicate the conduct of Trump, who on Tuesday declared his candidacy in the 2024 presidential race, making him a potential rival of President Joe Biden.

Justice Department officials have been debating for weeks whether to appoint a special counsel, CNN previously reported.

Trump has sought to paint the investigations as politically motivated, including at his Tuesday presidential announcement, where he said he was the victim of a “weaponization” of the justice system.

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Key Evangelical Figures Turn On Trump: 'He Used Us'

Robert JeffressEvangelical figures who previously supported Donald Trump are backing off now that he’s announced his third bid for the presidency.

Donald Trump can’t save America,” Mike Evans told The Washington Post. “He can’t even save himself.”

Evans was part of a group of evangelicals who met with Trump at the White House, and at one point gave him an award.

Now, he says he’s done with Trump.

“He used us to win the White House. We had to close our mouths and eyes when he said things that horrified us,” Evans told the newspaper. “I cannot do that anymore.”

Robert Jeffress, one of Trump’s evangelical advisers during the 2016 campaign and a longtime supporter, said he’s not ready to endorse him again.

“The Republican Party is headed toward a civil war that I have no desire or need to be part of,” Jeffress told Newsweek, adding that he would “happily” support Trump again if he wins the nomination.

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The largest dam demolition in history is approved for a California river

California river to save salmonU.S. regulators approved a plan Thursday to demolish four dams on a California river and open up hundreds of miles of salmon habitat that would be the largest dam removal and river restoration project in the world when it goes forward.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's unanimous vote on the lower Klamath River dams is the last major regulatory hurdle and the biggest milestone for a $500 million demolition proposal championed by Native American tribes and environmentalists for years. The project would return the lower half of California's second-largest river to a free-flowing state for the first time in more than a century.

Native tribes that rely on the Klamath River and its salmon for their way of life have been a driving force behind bringing the dams down in a wild and remote area that spans the California and Oregon border. Barring any unforeseen complications, Oregon, California and the entity formed to oversee the project will accept the license transfer and could begin dam removal as early as this summer, proponents said.

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Trump Org. cleaned up illegal practices when Trump became president, ex-CFO testifies

Ex Trump CFO testifies about illegal practicesThe Trump Organization engaged in an effort to clean up its act and stop fraudulent tax practices to avoid scrutiny when Donald Trump became president, the company’s former chief financial officer told a jury Thursday.

Allen Weisselberg, a longtime top executive at the Trump Organization, took the stand for his second day of testimony at the company’s criminal tax fraud trial in state Supreme Court in Manhattan.

“We were going through an entire clean up process to make sure that since Mr. Trump was now president, that everything was done properly,” Weisselberg contended.

The company is accused of giving Weisselberg and other executives off-the-books perks including apartments, luxury cars and private school tuition, a scheme Weisselberg detailed on the stand.

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