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August 19 2018

Science Says: Hotter Weather Turbocharges U.S. West Wildfires

Trump Denounces Probe Into Russian Election Meddling As 'McCarthyism At Its Worst'

U.S. President Donald Trump has denounced an investigation into ties between Russia and his 2016 election campaign, calling the probe "McCarthyism at its WORST!"

Judge Says ACLU, Government Must Reach Agreement On Reunifications

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A federal judge wants the Trump administration and the ACLU to reach an agreement on how to address the situation of immigrants who have been deported while their children are still the U.S.

NBC News reports hundreds of migrant parents are still separated from their children after being deported under the administration's "zero-tolerance" policy. 

Government lawyers say the federal order to reunite families who were separated at the border did not include parents who had already been deported.

An ACLU attorney agreed but says some parents were misled into believing they would only be reunited with their children, or that they'd be reunited more quickly, if they agreed to give up their asylum cases.

He says those parents should be able to come back to the U.S. to seek asylum with their children.

The judge's request that the two sides reach an agreement comes shortly after a freeze on family deportations was extended last week. 


Fans around the world celebrate as Akira turns 30

On July 16, 2018 netizens around the world marked the thirtieth anniversary of the release of Akira, a groundbreaking film that revolutionized animated movies forever.

Qatar Accuses Saudi Arabia Of Barring Its Citizens From The Hajj

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There are more than 2 million Muslims in Saudi Arabia for the annual Hajj pilgrimage, but Qatar is accusing the country of blocking some of its citizens from participating. 

Every year, some 1,200 Qatari citizens are allowed to register to participate in the religious pilgrimage, but this year residents are saying that registration is impossible. 

Saudi Arabia, along with other surrounding countries, have placed Qatar under land, sea and air blockade, meaning Qataris can't enter those countries without proof of registration. 

Last year, Saudi Arabia reportedly opened its border with Qatar to let the pilgrims in, but didn't do it this year. 

Saudi Arabia denies anyone is being barred from registering.

Muslims must complete the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their lifetime, as long as they're physically and financially able.

Al Jazeera reports around 54 million pilgrims have participated in the Hajj in the last 25 years. It lasts five days and culminates with the holiday Eid al-Adha.

Brennan Weighs Legal Action to End Revoking of Security Clearances
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Afghanistan's President Calls For Cease-fire With Taliban

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Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has called for a cease-fire with the Taliban.

It would take effect on Monday and last at least through the Eid al-Adha holiday this week.

In a series of tweets on Sunday, Ghani said, "We call on the leadership of the Taliban to welcome the wishes of Afghans for a long lasting and real peace, and we urge them to get ready for peace-talks based on Islamic values and principles." 

He said he hoped the cease-fire could be extended until Nov. 20, the holiday associated with the Prophet Muhammad's birth.

The Associated Press reports the cease-fire comes a day after the leader of the Afghan Taliban said there wouldn't be peace in the country "as long as 'foreign occupation' continues." 

The Taliban didn't immediately respond to the request. 

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EPA Proposal Would Roll Back Standards Meant To Curb CO2 Emissions

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The Trump administration is proposing a plan that would allow the release of at least 12 times the amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere over the next decade than would be allowed under current regulations. 

The Environmental Protection Agency wants to let states create their own emissions standards for coal-fired power plants. The agency estimates that would still lead to a decline in emissions over a decade, but it would be comparatively small.

The plan would roll back Obama-era climate change policies. The Washington Post reports emissions drops under the proposed rules would be equivalent to taking up to 5.3 million cars off the road. The Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan would have been equivalent to taking 75 million cars off the road. 

President Donald Trump reportedly plans to announce the proposal as soon as Tuesday.

Chemical Plant Disaster Agency in Trump’s Crosshairs

Afghan President Ghani Announces 'Conditional' Three-Month Cease-Fire With Taliban

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has called a "conditional" cease-fire with the Taliban to mark the Eid al-Adha holiday.
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Fearless Beauty: Ukrainian Photography Project Aims To Erase Stigma Of Cancer

Ukrainian photographer Tetyana Krukovets has created the Fearless Beauty project to break through the isolation that cancer patients often experience.

White House Counsel Don McGahn Is Reportedly Cooperating With Mueller

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White House counsel Don McGahn has reportedly been cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.

 A report by The New York Times says McGahn has given over 30 hours of testimony over the past nine months.

The report notes that it's unusual "for a lawyer to share so much with investigators scrutinizing his client ... but Mr. McGahn views his role as protecting the presidency, not the president."

President Donald Trump said on Twitter Sunday that he "allowed" McGahn to testify and that he has "nothing to hide."

Additional reporting by Newsy affiliate CNN.

Israeli Questioning of U.S. Jews at Border Expose Deeper Rift
Mueller Probe Looks at Trump Fundraiser Pay-to-Play With China, Malaysia

Hunger-Striking Russian Opposition Activist Hospitalized While Serving Jail Term

The jailed leader of Russia's opposition Levy Front (Left Front) movement, Sergei Udaltsov, has been hospitalized, observers and his social media channels say.
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