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Quotes

“TRUTH IS A FORCE OF NATURE!”

President Trump via Twitter after former special counsel Robert Mueller's back-to-back hearings before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees Wednesday. During the hearings, Mueller reiterated that his team did not make a determination as to whether Pres. Trump committed a crime and that their investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election was not a "witch hunt."
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“False.”

Former special counsel Robert Mueller testified that Pres. Trump's assertions that Russian election interference in the 2016 election was a "hoax" were false. He went on to say that 2016 was not a "single attempt" and that "they're doing it as we sit here and they expect to do it during the next campaign." Later in the day, Senate Republicans blocked two election security measures.
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“The magnitude of the $5 billion penalty and sweeping conduct relief are unprecedented in the history of the FTC.”

Federal Trade Commission Chairman Joe Simons announcing Facebook will pay a record-breaking $5B in civil penalties to to settle charges it violated a 2012 agreement with the FTC by misleading user about its control over personal data. $5B represents nearly a quarter of Facebook's 2018 profits.
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“The Justice Department upholds the rule of law and we owe it to the victims and their families to carry forward the sentence imposed by our justice system.

Attorney General William Barr directing federal prisons to resume executing death-row inmates. The last federal execution took place in 2003. From 1927 to 2003, it carried out 37 executions. There are 62 inmates on federal death row; five executions have been scheduled for 2019 and 2020.
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“We can never repay all that the 9/11 community has done for our country, but we can stop penalizing them… I’m hopeful that today begins the process of being able to heal without the burden of having to advocate.”

Comedian Jon Stewart after the Senate passed a House bill Tuesday that will prevent the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund from expiring next year. The bill, which Pres. Trump is expected to sign, guarantees health care funding for victims & first responders through 2092.
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“You should always push yourself.”

Gymnast Simon Biles
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Gymnast Simon Biles made history this weekend at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships as the first woman to land a double-double dismount on balance beam and a triple-double on floor routine. On Friday, Biles said she felt like “scratching” the meet because of a disappointing performance. She didn’t and on Sunday, she won a sixth all-around title – the first woman to do so in nearly 70 yrs.

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“The room lights up when everyone knows we’ve got new items that are coming.”

Dir. of Child Nutrition Scott Clements
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Dir. of Child Nutrition Scott Clements who works for Mississippi’s Education Dept., one of many school districts receiving free food from the U.S. gov’t this year because of the trade war with China. The Dept. of Agriculture is buying $1.2B in extra crops & food products from farmers hurting from the trade dispute, and giving the “extras” to school districts as well as food banks.

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“Our job is to enforce the law.”

Acting Dir. of U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement Matt Albence
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Acting Dir. of U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement Matt Albence to the Washington Post on a recent flight returning deportees to Guatemala – one of nine weekly flights currently organized by the U.S. gov’t. This comes after ICE organized the largest workplace “sting” in more than a decade Wednesday at seven Mississippi food processing plants. The operation resulted in 680 arrests.

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“There is nothing for me here. The only choice I have is to go back.”

28-yr-old Luis de Leon
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28-yr-old Luis de Leon who was deported on an ICE flight to Guatemala after being arrested in a Kentucky traffic stop. He has lived in America for seven years & has two U.S.-born children. Last month, more than 82,000+ people were apprehended for illegally crossing the U.S. southern border – a 20,000 drop since June, but double the number compared to last year at the same time.

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“The urgency of this is not lost on any of us.”

Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
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Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on the Senate’s focus on gun laws upon returning from summer recess in Sept. after the two mass shootings in El Paso, TX & Dayton, OH. Sen. McConnell says aides from both parties are working to find common ground for legislation that could get bipartisan support. The Senate’s highest ranking democrat, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) appealed to Sen. McConnell to call lawmakers back to D.C. early.

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“It really does taste like beef.”

Burger King North America President Chris Finazzo
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Burger King North America President Chris Finazzo on the company’s plant-based Impossible Whopper, available at more than 7,000 U.S. locations this week as it follows competitors like Carl’s Jr. that already added plant-based burgers to their menu. This year, sales of plant-based burgers at fast-food chains have increased 10% nationwide.

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“It will take the kind of leadership that currently doesn’t exist in Washington to fix.”

Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget
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Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, on the budget deal signed into law Friday, which allocates $1.3B in gov’t spending & suspends the debt ceiling until July 2021, pushing off any major budget debates until after the 2020 election. Critics like MacGuineas say it fails to address our $22 trillion+ debt.

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“It’s not the beginning of a long series of rate cuts… You would do that if you saw real economic weakness.”

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell
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Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on the first cut (a quarter of a % point) to the federal funds rate since the 2008 financial crisis. The Fed is an independent gov’t agency that sets the rate that determines borrowing costs for many loans. The Fed noted recent “solid” job gains and “soft” business growth.

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“We look forward to continuing our positive dialogue with China on a comprehensive Trade Deal, and feel that the future between our two countries will be a very bright one!”

President Trump
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Pres. Trump threatening a new 10% tariff on $300B of Chinese-made goods on Sept. 1 amid ongoing trade talks. In 2018, the administration set a 25% tariff on $250B in Chinese imports.

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“Target has forever changed the retail landscape by doing what once was considered impossible – offering great design at an incredible price.”

Target executive vice president Mark Tritton
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Target executive vice president Mark Tritton on a limited-edition collection of nearly 300 products featuring 20 of its previous designer collaborations with names like Lilly Pulitzer and Isaac Mizrahi to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its designer partnerships on Sept. 14.

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“I feel as if an angel must be looking after me.”

Writer Lee Hall
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Writer Lee Hall, who is collaborating with Paul McCartney on a stage-version of “It’s A Wonderful Life.” The former Beatle will write the songs for the production, expected to debut next year. This is the first stage musical for McCartney.

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“The heat is forecast to be oppressive and dangerous everywhere, with possibly some of the hottest conditions since 2012.”

Chicago's Weather Service Office
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Chicago’s Weather Service Office. Over the next 7 days, more than half the United States is expected to experience temperatures of 95 degrees or higher. Heat kills more Americans on average than any other form of extreme weather.

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“I wish that all of you would ask me about prescription drugs.”

Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI)
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Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) responding to reporters Wed. as the House voted not to impeach the Pres. after voting to censure him for controversial remarks. The House also voted Wed. to hold the Attorney Gen. & Commerce Sec. in contempt for not complying with an investigation. Some Democrats have voiced concerns about the perception that they are hyper-focused on the administration & not on other legislation.

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“We know that Trump isn’t a sweetheart sometimes. But we’re not going for that.”

North Carolina resident Esther Jimenez
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North Carolina resident Esther Jimenez who attended a rally for Pres. Trump with her husband. Both come from immigrant families and support the President’s border wall proposal. At one point the crowd chanted to “send her back” – a reference to an immigrant congresswoman who has criticized the President. This is the President’s 6th visit to the state he narrowly won in 2016.

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“Quite honestly, once our officers got there they found it quite ingenious.”

Lt. Tony Ferderber
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Lt. Tony Ferderber describing the reaction as local police in Brigham City, Utah responded to a call about a young man holding up a sign that said, “ICE COLD BEER” – only to realize he was selling ROOT beer. Setting up drink stands (for lemonade or root beer) without city permits is only allowed in 14 states – Utah is one of them.

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“…the earliest, sharpest, and most accurate surviving video images of man’s first steps on the moon.”

Sotheby's
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Sotheby’s on 3 NASA film reels to be auctioned Saturday, the 50th anniversary of the first moon walk. A former NASA intern (now 65-years-old) bought them in the 1970s. The original recordings of the moon walk likely have been destroyed or erased during a NASA film shortage.

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“I am leaving because the new board chairs and I have philosophical differences over the direction and future of Planned Parenthood.”

Dr. Leana Wen
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Dr. Leana Wen was forced out of her role leading Planned Parenthood on Tuesday after 8 months. A former ER doctor, Wen was the first physician to lead the largest “reproductive rights” organization in decades. Wen indicated she wanted to address abortion as a healthcare issue, rather than a political one.

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“The Rule is a part of an unlawful effort to significantly undermine, if not virtually repeal, the U.S. asylum system at the southern border, and cruelly closes our doors to refugees fleeing persecution, forcing them to return to harm.”

Lawsuit filed Tuesday by civil rights groups
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Lawsuit filed Tuesday by civil rights groups in response to a new rule announced Monday requiring asylum seekers traveling to the U.S. southern border to apply in another country first before applying in America.

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“With the U.S. unilaterally reneging on its commitments, we are gradually losing our justifications to follow through on the commitments we made with the U.S. as well.”

North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency
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North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency Tuesday, threatening to resume nuclear tests if the U.S. and South Korea don’t delay their military drills planned for next month. This only weeks after Pres. Trump made an unplanned visit to North Korea’s border as a show of commitment to diplomacy.

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“Ryan was a beloved warrior who epitomized the quiet professional.”

Col. Brian R. Rauen
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Col. Brian R. Rauen on the news Sgt. Maj. James Ryan Sartor was killed in action in Afghanistan. The Dept. of Defense provided no further details. The Taliban claimed responsibility. The U.S. has recently called peace talks with the Taliban “the most productive to date.” Sgt. Maj. Sartor, a decorated Green Beret, is the 12th American soldier killed in combat this year.

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“This is indeed a national security issue.”

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin
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Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Facebook’s plans to unleash a digital currency. Facebook has more than 2 billion users worldwide (approx. 2/7 of the world’s population) and many officials have expressed concerns about cryptocurrencies negatively impacting the global economy. Facebook has said it believes the cryptocurrency, “Libra,” may offer a “profound change for the entire world.”

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“(T)here are no shortcuts and this nominee, like every nominee to this critical post, must be thoroughly vetted and carefully evaluated.”

Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI)
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Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) on the expedited confirmation hearing Tuesday for Sec. of Defense. Pres. Trump nominated Mark Esper for the cabinet position. Esper has been acting SecDef since June; he is a Marine & former Wall Street exec. Since the resignation of Sec. James Mattis in December, the U.S. has experienced the longest period in its history without a permanent SecDef.

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“I tell them to be quiet, you don’t want to wake her.”

New Yorker Robert Dixon
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New Yorker Robert Dixon who works as a visitor services representative at the iconic Belvedere Castle in Central Park. Dixon says this is what he tells children who are looking for princesses in the tower of the building that just received a $12M renovation. The castle, built in 1872, has served as the “home” of The Count on Sesame Street and the backdrop to numerous movies (and an “illegal” wedding or two).

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“miss us?”

A tweet by Twitter after the social media platform experienced an hour-long global outage Thursday. Twitter said "an internal configuration change" was to blame for the outage, which took place as the White House hosted its Social Media Summit. Reportedly, Twitter was not invited.
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“There is a significant chance #Barry could become a hurricane before landfall.”

The National Weather Service (NWS) office in New Orleans warning that Tropical Storm Barry, which formed in the Gulf of Mexico Thursday, could become a Category 1 hurricane before making landfall Saturday morning. NWS New Orleans also warns of possible tornadoes in Barry's outer bands.
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“We will defend the right of the American people to know the full facts about the population size of citizens and non-citizens in America.”

President Trump announcing what could be a possible end to his fight to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census - an executive order directing every federal gov't agency to share citizenship data with the Department of Commerce.
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“Drug manufacturers marketing products to help opioid addicts are expected to do so honestly and responsibly.”

DOJ Civil Division Asst. Attorney General Jody Hunt announcing the largest opioid-related settlement to date. British company Reckitt Benckiser, maker of Suboxone - marketed to treat opiate addiction - agreed to pay the U.S. gov't $1.4B to end criminal and civil probes into its marketing practices.
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“They’re grasping for my attention, they’re grasping for my money, they’re grasping for my time, and there’s only maybe three or four of them I find to be remotely interesting.”

Iowa resident and Democrat Stephanie Newell on the 2020 election season thus far in the first caucus state. The Des Moines Register shows more campaign events in the first 6 months of this year than ever held in that time frame previously, raising questions about pre-election exhaustion.
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“This system has the potential to become a dangerous hurricane.”

National Weather Service in Lake Charles, Louisiana on a storm brewing in the Gulf of Mexico. Predictions continue to change, but as of this writing, the storm is expected to make landfall Saturday in Louisiana. The LA governor has declared a state of emergency due to rain causing flash flooding in New Orleans & the threat of more flooding to come.
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“The straight answer to your question is a no.”

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on whether or not the stronger-than-expected June jobs report made him feel more optimistic about the economy. Powell said he is still concerned about global growth and trade policy. The Federal Reserve sets the rate that determines how expensive or cheap it is to borrow money for many loans. Powell's comments signal the Fed may be open to lowering rates again, making loans cheaper to get.
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“…this case readily provokes the question of whether this action against the president is an appropriate use of the courts, which were created to resolve real cases and controversies.”

A ruling by a three-judge panel of a Virginia federal appeals court dismissing a case brought by Maryland and District of Columbia against Pres. Trump, accusing him of violating the Constitution for profiting from the Trump International Hotel, which is located blocks from the White House.
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“The First Amendment does not permit a public official who utilizes a social media account for all manner of official purposes to exclude persons from an otherwiseaopen online dialogue because they expressed views with which the official disagrees.”

A ruling by a three-judge panel of a New York federal appeals court finding that it is unconstitutional for Pres. Trump (and likewise any public official) to block users who criticize him.
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“We are concerned by this action and continue to urge the Iranian authorities to de-escalate the situation in the region.”

The UK gov't on reports Iranian vessels attempted to intercept the passage of a British commercial vessel through the Strait of Hormuz. The British Navy recently seized an Iranian oil tanker headed for Syria, in violation of EU sanctions. Approx. 20% of the world's oil moves through this waterway. Disruption in oil trade there can impact prices for everyone, everywhere.
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“It’s an interesting marriage because what Kohl’s needs is store traffic, and what Amazon needs is to make customers happier with a place to return their items.”

Retail analyst Oliver Chen on news 1,100 Kohl's stores will pack, label and ship your Amazon returns for free in the hopes your store visit will turn into business for them - a new strategy for how brick and mortar stores are trying to benefit from the digital shopping revolution.
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“I think a huge part of that is because those hour-long commutes are soul-sucking.”

Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox on the success of a pilot program that allowed some state employees to work from home. Results showed productivity increased and pollution went down. On Monday, the Utah gov't said it will expand the program to other state employees.
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“…every candidate in this race will at some point have to conduct a reality check and do an assessment of whether he or she can break out in such a large pack.”

Democratic strategist Brian Brokaw on news that Congressman Eric Swalwell (D-CA) is the first candidate to drop out of the race for the White House. Swalwell faces a Congressional challenger in his home district: councilwoman Aisha Wahab, one of the nation's first elected Afghan-American officials.
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“The alleged behavior shocks the conscience.”

Manhattan U.S. attorney Geoffrey Berman on indicting billionaire hedge fund manager Jeffrey Epstein on charges of sex trafficking and sex trafficking conspiracy. Allegations against Epstein, a friend of the rich, famous and powerful of all political stripes, have swirled for decades. Questions remain on what else the investigation will uncover or who else it will implicate.
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“The joy and the excitement of being in the bullring quickly turned into a scare, into real fear for my life.”

46-year-old Californian Jaime Alvarez who became one of 3 Americans injured during the annual running with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. The tradition lasts 9 days and dates back at least 100 years. Alvarez was gored in the neck after returning to the ring to take a 5-second video scene to say "here I am, I did it."
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“This number provides comfort that while job growth may be slowing, it’s not plummeting off a cliff.”

Research Dir. Martha Gimbel of job search site Indeed's Hiring Lab, reacting to the latest jobs report. The U.S. economy added 224,000 jobs in June - providing some reassurance about the economy after low job growth in May. The unemployment rate jumped slightly from 3.6% to 3.7% - in part because more Americans are looking for work.
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“It’s an extraordinarily challenging situation…we’ve been talking about this, we’ve been asking for help.”

Acting DHS Sec. Kevin McAleenan responding to reports U.S. gov't facilities do not provide adequate care for those apprehended after illegally crossing the U.S. southern border. He says sheer numbers, including hundreds of children daily, have overwhelmed resources, but that those in gov't custody have adequate food, water and clean cells.
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“It is not easy for me to sit across from people who have killed my father. But we have to end this.”

Afghan cabinet member Abdul Matin Bek as the first ever meeting between the Taliban & Afghan gov't took place in Qatar Sunday in an effort for a peace agreement. Meanwhile, the Taliban claimed responsibility for a car bomb Sunday in Afghanistan that killed at least a dozen & injured nearly 200, including school children.
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“It’s a really simple thing for them to do.”

Dr. Houston Wood of the University of Virginia, on Iran's ability to enrich uranium closer to weapons-grade material levels. Iran says it will increase uranium enrichment, a threat to develop nuclear weapons, if it does not get immediate sanctions relief. The Trump administration increased sanctions and withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal that limited enrichment because of Iran's "malign" behavior as a state sponsor of terror.
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“Sometimes, the long shot becomes the legend.”

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper on his chances to win the Democrat nomination for President. He recently lost some top staffers as he hasn't been able to raise his profile or donations, but affirms he wants to continue his run for the White House.
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“It will be the battle cry as how we go forward to protect children in a way that truly honors their dignity and worth, their spark of divinity that they are all children of God.”

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) as the House reluctantly passing a GOP-led Senate $4.6B emergency border bill that includes money for law enforcement - an item some House Dems opposed. Now the bill heads to the President.
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“Altogether, the evidence tells a story that does not match the explanation …”

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts in an opinion blocking - at least for now - the Trump admin's plan to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, saying the reason (protect minority voters) seemed "contrived," sending the case back to the lower court. The fate of the question is unknown. Census counting starts January 2020.
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“For the first time ever, this Court refuses to remedy a constitutional violation because it thinks the task beyond judicial capabilities.”

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan dissenting in the court's opinion on the question of how much is too much when it comes to manipulating election district boundaries for political gain. The court refused to answer, noting that it is not the job of the federal courts to decide, but rather that of the states & Congress.
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“It’s amazing the number of people who are looking to take on a new life into their families … and we got somebody who tried to throw one away.”

Forsyth County Georgia Sheriff Ron Freeman on the 1,000+ people who have offered to adopt a newborn baby girl found wrapped in a plastic bag in a wooded area in Georgia. The discovery of "Baby India" was captured on video earlier this month.
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“Someday we will finish building a country where migration is an option and not an obligation. Meanwhile, we will do as much as we can. God help us.aa

Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele on the drowning deaths of two of his citizens, a father & his toddler daughter, attempting to cross the Rio Grande to enter America. High poverty/crime rates and the desire for a better life have led to a flood of Central American asylum seekers to the U.S. southern border.
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“I’m not happy with it because there’s no money for protection.”

Pres. Trump reacting to the emergency spending bill passed by the Democrat-led House Tues., which he believes doesn't include necessary security measures. The Senate passed a similar bill Wednes. with bipartisan support and money for ICE & Dept of Defense. The path towards a compromise bill the president would sign before Congress' July 4th recess is unclear. Agencies addressing the humanitarian crisis at the border are running low on funds.
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aItas the moment to be truly in time in the face of history and to fulfill our responsibilitya|a

French Pres. Emmanuel Macron as the G20, a summit of the worldas 20 largest economies, begins Thursday in Japan. Macron wants climate change center stage. World leaders, including Pres. Trump, gather as the threat of a typhoon looms. The Associated Press calls the weather "a possible metaphor for the four days of high-stakes diplomacy.a
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aWeare obviously thrilled about being able to bring another option to patients.a

Dr. Julie Krop, chief medical officer of AMAG, the pharmaceutical company behind a new drug approved by the FDA to treat low sex drive in women. The dose, injected into the stomach or thigh 45 minutes before desired effects, is only the second such drug for women on the market. Drugs treating low sex drive in men first appeared nearly 2 decades ago.
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aThat might explain why the ransom is going up: The bad guys can get away with it.a

City Manager of Lake City, Florida Joe Helfenberger. The city paid more than $460,000 in ransom to hackers, becoming the second small Florida city to pay ransom to hackers in the last two weeks. This follows a major hacking crippling the city of Baltimore's computer system, where hackers also demanded ransom; Baltimore did not pay.
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“The absence of Trump in this discussion actually surprised me a lot.”

Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson reflecting on the first democratic primary debate, featuring 10 candidates who mainly focused on each other or the issues, rather than the current president. Another round of 10 candidates will face off tonight.
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