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  • Ex-Trump aide Gates pleads guilty in deal with special counsel

    Ex-Trump aide Gates pleads guilty in deal with special counselA former senior official in Donald Trump's 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, Rick Gates, pleaded guilty on Friday to conspiracy against the United States and lying to investigators, and is cooperating with a federal probe into Russia's role in the election. The office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller told a federal court that Mueller would consider petitioning for Gates, a former deputy campaign manager for Trump, to serve a shorter sentence if he cooperates with the investigation.




  • New York City law survives gun rights group's legal challenge

    New York City law survives gun rights group's legal challengeA federal appeals court on Friday rejected a gun rights group's constitutional challenge to strict New York City limits on how licensed handgun owners may use their weapons outside the home. By a 3-0 vote, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan said the restrictions on people who have licenses to have guns at home, known as "premises" licenses, did not violate the Second Amendment.




  • Trump extends funding for Puerto Rico following storms: White House

    Trump extends funding for Puerto Rico following storms: White HouseWASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday extended federal funding for Puerto Rico to help remove debris and provide emergency protections following last year's devastating storms that battered the U.S. territorial island.




  • U.S. firm accused of plagiarizing bid for Puerto Rico food supply contract

    U.S. firm accused of plagiarizing bid for Puerto Rico food supply contractThe allegation marked the latest twist in the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency’s contract with Tribute, which the agency known as FEMA eventually canceled. Democrats on the U.S. House Oversight Committee earlier this month revealed Tribute had signed up to deliver 30 million meals in Puerto Rico, but provided just 50,000 before FEMA scrapped the deal.




  • Fees case may enable U.S. Supreme Court to curb union power

    Fees case may enable U.S. Supreme Court to curb union powerBy Robert Iafolla and Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday will consider for the second time in two years whether to choke off a critical funding stream for public-employee unions, potentially reducing organized labor's influence in the workplace and at the ballot box. The nine justices will hear a challenge backed by anti-union groups to the legality of fees that workers who are not members of unions representing teachers, police, firefighters and certain other government employees must pay to help cover the costs of collective bargaining with state and local governments. Two dozen states require payment of these so-called agency fees, covering roughly 5 million public-sector workers, that provide millions of dollars annually to unions.




  • Florida governor proposes tighter gun restrictions in wake of school shooting

    Florida governor proposes tighter gun restrictions in wake of school shootingBy Zachary Fagenson PARKLAND, Fla. (Reuters) - Florida Governor Rick Scott announced a proposal on Friday to increase restrictions on buying guns and to strengthen school safety measures after a gunman killed 17 people at a high school in the state last week. Scott said he would work with state lawmakers during the next two weeks to raise the minimum age for buying any kind of gun in Florida to 21 years old, with some exceptions for younger military members and law enforcement officers. Scott, who has been endorsed by the National Rifle Association and has received its highest rating for supporting gun rights, called for a mandatory law enforcement officer in every public school and for mandatory "active shooter training" for students and faculty.




  • Corporate America under pressure to cut ties with NRA

    Corporate America under pressure to cut ties with NRASome of the biggest names in corporate America are coming under mounting pressure on Friday to cut ties with the National Rifle Association as gun safety activists intensified calls for a boycott in the wake of last week's Florida high school massacre. The social media-fueled campaign has already led a range of corporations, from a major insurer to three car rental brands, to severe their relationships with the NRA gun rights advocacy group. Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, founded after the December 2012 Newtown, Connecticut, school shooting that killed 20 first-graders, sent letters to Apple Inc , AT&T Inc , Amazon, Alphabet Inc's Google division and Roku Inc on Friday, asking them to drop NRATV from their products.




  • Pentagon makes recommendations to White House on transgender individuals

    Pentagon makes recommendations to White House on transgender individualsU.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has made his recommendations to the White House on transgender individuals serving in the military, the Pentagon said on Friday, after President Donald Trump's call last year for a ban on such service. Major David Eastburn, a Pentagon spokesman, said the recommendations had been made earlier on Friday and the White House would make any policy decisions. The Pentagon did not give details on the recommendations, but the top U.S. general has said transgender troops should not be removed from the military.




  • Trump administration considering rise in gas tax: Mnuchin

    Trump administration considering rise in gas tax: MnuchinWASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration is considering a hike in the gasoline tax, but no decision has been made, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said on Friday.




  • Symantec halts NRA discounts for identity theft product

    Symantec halts NRA discounts for identity theft product(Reuters) - Symantec Corp said on Friday it has stopped a program with the National Rifle Association that offered discounts for its LifeLock identity theft product.




  • Insurer Chubb says will stop underwriting NRA insurance for gun owners

    Insurer Chubb says will stop underwriting NRA insurance for gun owners(Reuters) - Insurer Chubb Ltd on Friday said that it will stop underwriting a National Rifle Association-branded insurance policy for gun owners. Chubb gave notice three months ago of its plan to stop participating in the NRA insurance program, known as "NRA Carry Guard," a Chubb spokesman said. (Reporting by Suzanne Barlyn)




  • Two top White House advisers may leave over tensions with Trump: sources

    Two top White House advisers may leave over tensions with Trump: sourcesBy John Walcott WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Longstanding friction between U.S. President Donald Trump and two top aides, the National Security Adviser and the Chief of Staff, has grown to a point that either or both might quit soon, four senior administration officials said. Both H.R. McMaster and John Kelly are military men considered by U.S. political observers as moderating influences on the president by imposing a routine on the White House. Asked about sources saying that either National Security Adviser McMaster or Chief of Staff Kelly, or both, might be leaving, White House spokesman Raj Shah on Thursday did not address the possibility.




  • Exclusive: U.S. official focused on election security will be replaced

    Exclusive: U.S. official focused on election security will be replacedBy Dustin Volz WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The head of a federal commission who has helped U.S. states protect election systems from possible cyber attacks by Russia or others is being replaced at the behest of Republican House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan and the White House. Matthew Masterson, a member of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission who currently serves as its chairman, has been passed over for a second four-year term as one of the agency's four commissioners.




  • Texas, Alabama halt executions, Florida puts inmate to death

    Texas, Alabama halt executions, Florida puts inmate to deathTexas Governor Greg Abbott commuted the death sentence of a convicted murderer less than an hour before he was set to be executed on Thursday, after the death row inmate's family begged for mercy and won a rare clemency recommendation. Florida executed a man convicted of the 1993 rape and murder of a college student, the state's Department of Corrections said. Alabama halted its planned execution on Thursday of a convicted murderer who has spent more than three decades on death row after his lawyers warned his failing health left him with veins that were unusable for a lethal injection.




  • Missouri governor indicted on felony invasion of privacy charge

    Missouri governor indicted on felony invasion of privacy chargeMissouri Governor Eric Greitens was briefly taken into custody on Thursday after being indicted on a felony invasion of privacy charge in connection with an extramarital affair and a blackmail allegation involving the Republican politician, officials said. Kimberly Gardner, the top prosecutor in the city of St. Louis, said in a statement that the indictment involves an incident that took place on March 21, 2015. Greitens photographed a woman identified as K.S., who was fully or partially nude, without her knowledge or consent in a place where she could expect privacy, according to the indictment and Gardner's spokeswoman Susan Ryan.




  • Armed deputy who failed to confront gunman at Florida school resigns

    Armed deputy who failed to confront gunman at Florida school resignsThe armed sheriff's deputy assigned to the Florida high school where 17 people were shot dead has resigned rather than face suspension after an internal investigation showed he failed to enter the school to confront the gunman during the attack, the county sheriff said on Thursday. Deputy Scot Peterson, who was on duty and in uniform as the resource officer posted at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, was the only law enforcement officer present on Feb. 14 when the rampage started, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said. Peterson's actions were caught on video during the massacre, which ranks as the second-deadliest shooting ever at a U.S. public school, carried out by a lone gunman wielding a semiautomatic AR-15-style assault rifle.




  • Puerto Rico governor announces independent probe into Maria death toll

    Puerto Rico governor announces independent probe into Maria death tollPuerto Rico's governor said on Thursday he has tapped researchers at the George Washington University, in Washington, D.C., to lead an independent probe into his administration's controversial tally of deaths caused by Hurricane Maria. Governor Ricardo Rossello said in a statement it was "of great interest to the state to identify how many lives were lost" in Maria, announcing an investigation led by Carlos Santos-Burgoa, director of the Global Health Policy Program at GWU's Milken Institute School of Public Health.




  • White North Carolina man convicted of murdering unarmed black man

    White North Carolina man convicted of murdering unarmed black manChad Copley, 40, was found guilty of fatally shooting 20-year-old Kouren Thomas outside his Raleigh home, said attorney Justin Bamberg, who was in the Wake County courtroom for the two-week trial. An email message left for Copley's attorney was not immediately returned. Copley faces life without the possibility of parole when he is sentenced on Friday.




  • Easy fixes to school security prove elusive after Florida shooting

    Easy fixes to school security prove elusive after Florida shooting"It's not a matter of if, but when," he wrote in the Orlando Sentinel on Jan. 29, urging legislators to boost spending on school security after two school shootings in other states in January. Following last week's mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Lee has renewed calls for more funding for matters ranging from mental health counseling to emergency lockdown systems. State lawmakers, facing pressure from angry students, have signaled they will boost security funding after failing to do so for years.




  • Pennsylvania Republicans file second challenge to new congressional map

    Pennsylvania Republicans file second challenge to new congressional mapThe lawsuit, filed in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, accused the state's Supreme Court of violating the U.S. Constitution, first by invalidating the old map and then by drawing its own lines after Republicans and Democratic Governor Tom Wolf could not reach an agreement. "We are unwilling to acquiesce to the court's attempt to hijack the functions of the legislative and executive branches," Pennsylvania Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman, a Republican, said in a statement. The complaint came one day after Republican legislative leaders filed a separate emergency appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.




  • BlackRock puts gunmakers on notice after Florida school shooting

    BlackRock puts gunmakers on notice after Florida school shootingBOSTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - The world's largest asset manager put U.S. gunmakers on notice on Thursday that it is no longer business as usual in the wake of a shooting that killed 17 at a Florida high school. BlackRock Inc said it will speak with weapons manufacturers and distributors "to understand their response" to the second-deadliest shooting at a public school in U.S. history, putting pressure on companies such as Sturm Ruger & Company Inc and American Outdoor Brands Corp. It stopped short of saying it would divest its funds of gun companies, however.




  • Florida lawyer sentenced to more than two years for insider trading scheme

    Florida lawyer sentenced to more than two years for insider trading schemeA Florida lawyer was sentenced to two years and three months in prison on Thursday for engaging in insider trading based on information that he improperly obtained from his law firm's databases and also passed on to a friend. Walter "Chet" Little, 44, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Katherine Polk Failla in Manhattan. A friend accused of receiving tips from him, Andrew Berke, was also charged.




  • Exclusive: U.S. official focused on election security being replaced

    Exclusive: U.S. official focused on election security being replacedThe head of a federal commission who has helped U.S. states protect election systems from possible cyber attacks by Russia or others is being replaced at the behest of Republican House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan and the White House. Matthew Masterson, a member of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission who currently serves as its chairman, has been passed over for a second four-year term as one of the agency's four commissioners.




  • Armed deputy at Florida school resigns after failing to engage shooter

    Armed deputy at Florida school resigns after failing to engage shooterThe armed deputy assigned to the campus of a Florida high school during a deadly shooting last week stayed outside the building during the attack and failed to engage the shooter, the county sheriff said on Thursday. As a consequence, Scott Peterson, on duty as the school resource officer at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, resigned from the department, said Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, who earlier has suspended the officer from the force. Israel said he decided to suspend Peterson after viewing a video that showed the deputy's actions during the rampage that killed 17 people.




  • California state senator resigns after sexual misconduct accusations

    California state senator resigns after sexual misconduct accusationsA California state senator accused of engaging in "unwelcome flirtation and sexually suggestive behavior" with several women, including subordinates, resigned on Thursday as colleagues were due to vote on whether he should be expelled. Tony Mendoza, a Los Angeles-area lawmaker, became the third member of the California legislature, all Democrats, to resign over allegations of sexual misconduct since the #MeToo movement took root last fall, toppling powerful men in politics, the media and other realms of American life. "None of these women alleged they had a sexual relationship with Mendoza or that he had been physically aggressive or sexually crude towards them," the report said.




  • Missouri governor indicted on felony invasion of privacy charge: prosecutor

    Missouri governor indicted on felony invasion of privacy charge: prosecutor(Reuters) - Missouri Governor Eric Greitens was indicted on a felony invasion of privacy charge, a St. Louis prosecutor said in a statement on Thursday. Kimberly Gardner, city of St. Louis circuit attorney, cited an incident that took place on March 21, 2015, in St. Louis.




  • U.S. special counsel files new charges against Trump former campaign aides

    U.S. special counsel files new charges against Trump former campaign aidesBy Sarah N. Lynch WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller filed a new set of criminal charges on Thursday against President Donald Trump's former campaign aides Paul Manafort and Rick Gates that include bank and tax fraud, escalating a legal battle that started last year. The charges were contained in a 32-count indictment against the two men that was filed in the Eastern District of Virginia in Alexandria. Manafort and Gates are already facing criminal charges by Mueller's office in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that include conspiracy to launder money, conspiracy to defraud the United States and failure to register as foreign agents for political work they did for a pro-Russian Ukrainian political party.




  • U.S. gun lobby slams anti-gun 'elites' after Florida school massacre

    U.S. gun lobby slams anti-gun 'elites' after Florida school massacreThe head of the National Rifle Association lashed out at gun control advocates on Thursday, saying Democratic elites are politicizing the latest mass school shooting in the United States to try to erode constitutionally guaranteed gun rights. NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre echoed President Donald Trump's call to arm teachers to prevent school shootings, and weighed in on a long-running political and cultural divide over access to weapons that has been inflamed by last week's massacre at a Florida high school that killed 17 students and staff. "The elites don't care not one whit about America's school system and school children," LaPierre told a friendly audience of conservatives outside Washington.




  • First National Bank of Omaha won't renew NRA contract for Visa card

    First National Bank of Omaha won't renew NRA contract for Visa card(Reuters) - First National Bank of Omaha will not renew a contract with the National Rifle Association (NRA) to issue an NRA-branded Visa card, the bank said on Thursday. "Customer feedback has caused us to review our relationship with the NRA," said First National Bank of Omaha spokesman Kevin Langin.




  • Trump's call for more gun regulation boosts firearm stocks

    Trump's call for more gun regulation boosts firearm stocksBy Noel Randewich SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Shares of gunmakers American Outdoor Brands and Sturm Ruger & Company rallied on Thursday after U.S. President Donald Trump advocated tightening background checks for guns in response to last week's high school massacre in Florida. The Republican president's tweets and comments were seen as increasing the possibility of greater curbs on gun ownership, fueling expectation that people might seek to stock up on guns in advance of any changes. Both of those sentiments had dipped since Trump was elected in November 2016 - illustrating a paradox under which a president viewed as more favorable to gun ownership can depress gun sales and shares in gunmakers.




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