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Trump Administration Won't Defend ACA

Jun 9, 2018

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A special prosecutor says she will not resurrect a felony invasion-of-privacy charge against former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens.

The charge was filed after a woman with whom Greitens acknowledges having an affair accused him of taking a semi-nude photo of her without her consent. Greitens denied taking the photo.

Downed power lines owned by utility giant Pacific Gas and Electric are being blamed for a dozen Northern California wildfires last fall. The findings by state officials could have a significant financial impact on PG&E.

In half a decade, the number of U.S. adults who are reading poetry has nearly doubled.

That's according to the results of a new survey by the National Endowment for the Arts, which announced Thursday that "as a share of the total U.S. adult population, this poetry readership is the highest on record over a 15-year period."

Comedian Dave Chappelle was the star attraction at a campaign event in suburban Washington on Friday, where he took part in a rally for longtime friend and Maryland Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous.

"So you know, I'm out of my element," the stand-up comic told an enthusiastic crowd at Olde Towne Inn in Largo, Md., a short drive from Washington, D.C. "You know politics has never been my thing."

The commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, Gen. Robert Neller, stopped by a mosque outside Baltimore on Thursday evening for Iftar, the fast-breaking meal during the month of Ramadan, when practicing Muslims don't eat or drink during daylight hours.

"I don't consider coming to your mosque to be anything extraordinary," Neller said, in his brief remarks.

But such a visit wasn't ordinary, either.

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The Trump administration is refusing to defend key parts of the Affordable Care Act, essentially arguing that federal courts should find the health law's protections for people with pre-existing conditions unconstitutional.

The federal lawsuit hinges on the ACA's individual mandate, or the requirement to get health coverage or pay a penalty. The mandate has long been a sticking point for conservatives, who argue that the government should not be telling individuals what coverage they must have.

Matthew Haverly said he had "no clue." The Pennsylvania man appeared to be truly puzzled by the horrific events that occurred across the street from the home he shared with his mother in Wyalusing Township, about 50 miles northwest of Scranton.

"I'm like, 'What the h*** is going on?,'" Haverly told ABC's WNEP station when they arrived on the scene. "And now I realize that's what they were actually doing."

Updated at 10:35 p.m. ET

Prosecutors unsealed more charges on Friday against Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and also accused a new defendant of conspiring with Manafort to obstruct justice.

Prosecutors allege that a Russian partner of Manafort's, Konstantin Kilimnik, helped him try to persuade witnesses to lie to the jury when Manafort's case comes to trial in Washington, D.C., this autumn.

The Trump administration's decision to abandon the Affordable Care Act in an ongoing court challenge could affect some of the most popular pillars of the law — further intensifying the fight over health care in the middle of an election year.

Updated at 1:25 p.m. ET.

President Trump is signaling he's willing to support a move toward the legalization of marijuana, which would be a departure from the position of his attorney general, Jeff Sessions.

Certain rituals have grown up around the use of the presidential pardon.

The most common is a lengthy review by the Justice Department on the merits of any such petition for a pardon.

But for President Trump, the pardon seems to have become the ultimate symbol of presidential power — the ability to use this exclusive authority as an act of benevolent largess and as the ultimate political perk.

T.J. Oshie shares his father's name.

The Washington Capitals winger, born Timothy Leif Oshie, won his first NHL title Thursday night in Las Vegas — more than five years after his father, Tim, was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says it has acquired new space in federal prisons to house immigrant detainees — more than 1,600 beds.

Because of a "current surge in illegal border crossings" and the Trump administration's "zero-tolerance policy," ICE entered into agreements with the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), the agency said Thursday.

Editor's Note: In 2016, Anthony Bourdain visited Senegal and spoke with NPR's Africa correspondent Ofeibea Quist-Arcton. Their meal and conversation were filmed for his travel-food show Parts Unknown on CNN. With the news of Bourdain's death, we wanted to revisit our interview with Quist-Arcton about that day.

A new study shows that since 2008, more white people in the United States oppose welfare programs, in part because of increasing "racial resentment."

One of the reasons for this opposition, according to the report, is white Americans' perceptions that they might be losing their financial and social status while people of color make gains in those areas.

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Updated at 4:41 p.m. ET

The former director of security for the Senate intelligence committee appeared in federal court on Friday to face charges he lied to the FBI about his contacts with reporters.

In an indictment unsealed late Thursday, prosecutors charged James Wolfe with three counts of making false statements to federal authorities. Wolfe, 57, worked for the committee for nearly three decades under both Republican and Democratic leadership.

Wolfe did not enter a plea. He is expected to appear at another hearing next week in Washington.

National Transportation Safety Board investigators say the driver of a Tesla using autopilot did not have his hands on the steering wheel in the moments before a fatal crash in the Silicon Valley area of Northern California in March.

Investigators also found that the Tesla was accelerating, with the cruise control engaged, when it crashed into a highway barrier. Walter Huang, the 38-year old driver, was killed.

It. Just. Doesn't. Stop.

Facebook is embroiled in a snafu that exposed users' private postings and made them public, the company admitted Thursday.

For four days, between May 18 to 22, Facebook tested a new feature that inadvertently switched the default settings for 14 million users from private to public allowing anyone on the Internet view status updates that were intended only for private audiences.

The Minneapolis Police Department is ending undercover enforcement of laws against low-level marijuana sales. Mayor Jacob Frey directed the department to end the sting operations over concerns that black men were being disproportionately targeted.

The Minneapolis Police Department said violent crime in a targeted two-block stretch of downtown has dropped by nearly a third compared to the same time last year.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has extended a significant peace overture to the Taliban, unilaterally declaring an unconditional cease-fire with the militant Islamist group on Thursday. Ghani said the peace in Afghanistan will begin June 12 and will last for roughly a week as Muslims mark the end of Ramadan.

The cease-fire does not include al-Qaida or the Islamic State.

The Justice Department's internal watchdog is set to release a hotly anticipated report next week that is expected to condemn department leaders and the FBI over the investigation during the 2016 presidential campaign into Hillary Clinton's private email server.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

A former restaurant manager from Conway, S.C., admitted that he used physical violence, threats and intimidation to compel an intellectually disabled black man to work for more than 100 hours a week for years.

Bobby Paul Edwards, 53, has pleaded guilty to one count of forced labor and faces up to 20 years in prison, according to the Justice Department. He also will have to pay a fine and restitution to the victim.

The superintendent of Yellowstone National Park says he's being forced out of his job. Daniel Wenk was informed on Tuesday that the National Park Service will replace him this August.

"I'm feeling like I devoted 43 years of my life, I think I have a record of achievement with the National Park Service that at the end of the day doesn't matter and that I'm no longer wanted at Yellowstone National Park," Wenk told Yellowstone Public Radio.

Go to hell, Mom!

That was the essential and overriding sentiment in a death notice for a Minnesota woman published this week.

The 105-word "memorial" in a small-town newspaper in Minnesota was unquestionably blunt. The Redwood Falls Gazette in Redwood Falls, Minn. — population 5,254 — removed the notice from its website this week after it sparked an outcry from many readers who argued it went too far.

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