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Bridging The Gap
Missouri playground at center of Supreme Court church-state dispute Missouri playground at center of Supreme Court church-state dispute
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court has waited 15 months to take a swing at what may be the premier case of its lackluster term — but at the last moment, the church-state dispute over a Lutheran church's playground may be slip-sliding away. On the surface, the case is about just that: the unforgiving, pea gravel surface of the playground at Trinity Lutheran Child Learning Center in Columbia, Mo. Chi...
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Trump team remains low-key about failed North Korean missile launch Trump team remains low-key about failed North Korean missile launch
WASHINGTON — The Trump administration took a low-key approach to this weekend's failed missile test in North Korea, and continued to express the hope that China would rein in its nuclear-armed neighbor. The test "fits into a pattern of provocative and destabilizing and threatening behavior on the part of the North Korean regime," said Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, Trump's national security adviser, o...
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The President Trump effect? Democrats see early fundraising surge The President Trump effect? Democrats see early fundraising surge
WASHINGTON — President Trump has occupied the White House for less than three months, but his administration has fueled an early boom in Democratic fundraising and activism, according to liberal groups at the forefront of upcoming political fights. ActBlue, an online fundraising conduit for Democratic candidates and causes, has processed more than $111 million in contributions during the first ...
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Trump administration blocks access to White House visitor logs Trump administration blocks access to White House visitor logs
WASHINGTON — The Trump administration said Friday that records of visitors to the White House will stay secret until at least five years after Trump leaves office, a reversal of policy quickly denounced by advocates of transparent government. "Given the grave national security risks and privacy concerns of the hundreds of thousands of visitors annually, the White House Office will disclose Secr...
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Afghanistan strike may boost Trump, send message to North Korea Afghanistan strike may boost Trump, send message to North Korea
WASHINGTON — Even though President Trump didn't authorize dropping of a 21,000-lb. bomb in Afghanistan on Thursday, he may still get a political boost from it. After U.S. military announced the attack on an Islamic State tunnel complex, Trump said he endorsed the strike, and he said he wasn't trying to send a message to another troublesome nation, North Korea. "It doesn’t make any difference if...
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Trump administration lifts hiring freeze, gives future budget direction Trump administration lifts hiring freeze, gives future budget direction
WASHINGTON — The federal hiring freeze imposed by President Trump in January is slated to be lifted Wednesday, but agencies won’t be allowed to hire willy-nilly, the president's chief budget officer said. Instead, White House officials expect them to staff up only in areas slated for expansion under the president’s budget proposal released last month, for example at the Departments of Defense a...
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Defense chief Mattis says Syria will pay a big price if it uses gas again Defense chief Mattis says Syria will pay a big price if it uses gas again
WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Syria will pay a "very, very stiff price" if it uses chemical weapons again. The remarks from Mattis and Army Gen. Joseph Votel, the chief of Central Command, were the strongest yet from the Pentagon on the April 4 chemical attack U.S. officials say Syrian President Bashar Assad ordered that killed as many as 100 civilians. The Pentagon responded b...
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Trump, Republicans in Supreme Court driver's seat Trump, Republicans in Supreme Court driver's seat
WASHINGTON — It's as if Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia never left — for now. By confirming federal appeals court Judge Neil Gorsuch to the high court Friday, the Senate restored the status quo — a slim conservative majority missing from the court since the death of the legendary Scalia 14 months ago. But it's unlikely to stay that way for long — and therein lies a huge opportunity for ...
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President Trump's budget would cut Superfund toxic cleanup program by 30% President Trump's budget would cut Superfund toxic cleanup program by 30%
WASHINGTON — When the Trump administration’s preliminary budget came out last month, the news was not good for those living near Wappinger Creek in New York’s Dutchess County, or the former SBA shipyard in Jefferson Parish, La., or the Anaconda aluminum reduction facility in Columbia Falls. Mont. All three sites were so contaminated with toxic substances and posed such a threat to public health...
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Syria strikes draw Capitol Hill support, calls for greater congressional role Syria strikes draw Capitol Hill support, calls for greater congressional role
WASHINGTON — Congressional leaders expressed strong support on Friday for President Trump’s decision to launch airstrikes against Syria, but many lawmakers also called on the president to outline a more cohesive strategy to address that conflict and warned the White House against taking broader military action without congressional approval. "America is back in terms of playing a leadership rol...
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