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House passes short-term spending bill, Senate fight erupts

House passes short-term spending bill, Senate fight eruptsBy Richard Cowan and Amanda Becker WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Legislation to stave off an imminent federal government shutdown encountered obstacles in the U.S. Senate late on Thursday, despite the passage of a month-long funding bill by the House of Representatives hours earlier. The Republican-controlled House approved funding through Feb. 16 on a mostly partisan vote of 230-197, sending the stopgap bill to the Senate for consideration as President Donald Trump pushed hard for a measure to sign before Friday's deadline.


U.S. to dismiss charges against 129 people in Trump inaugural protests

U.S. to dismiss charges against 129 people in Trump inaugural protestsThe U.S. Justice Department intends to dismiss criminal charges against 129 defendants in connection with the protests that took place during President Donald Trump's Jan. 20, 2017 inauguration, according to a court filing on Thursday. More than 200 people were arrested in connection with the protests in downtown Washington, during which black-clad activists smashed store windows, blocked traffic and fought with police. A jury had already cleared six people of rioting charges in December, but the government said on Thursday it still intended to prosecute 59 remaining defendants.


Trump move on healthcare religious freedom prompts discrimination fears

Trump move on healthcare religious freedom prompts discrimination fearsThe Trump administration's move on Thursday to protect healthcare workers who refuse to perform abortions and other medical procedures on religious or moral grounds is raising fears among some civil rights and medical groups that it will provide legal cover for otherwise unlawful discrimination. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services created a new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division within its Office of Civil Rights to enforce the rights of doctors, nurses and others who invoke such objections. James Blumstein, a professor at Vanderbilt Law School in Tennessee, said the administration's plan could remedy what he described as years of overreach by the federal government fighting discrimination against patients at the expense of the religious freedom of healthcare professionals.


Trump administration appeals against 'Dreamer' immigrant ruling to top court

Trump administration appeals against 'Dreamer' immigrant ruling to top courtBy Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department asked the Supreme Court on Thursday to quickly overturn a lower court ruling that blocked President Donald Trump's move to end a program that protects hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children. Solicitor General Noel Francisco said in a court filing "time is of the essence" and asked the high court to rule on the case before its current term ends in June. The Republican president in September rescinded, effective in March, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program put in place in 2012 by his Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama.


Starving California children taunted with pie, beaten by parents: prosecutor

Starving California children taunted with pie, beaten by parents: prosecutorBy Tori Richards RIVERSIDE, Calif. (Reuters) - The 13 children imprisoned for years by their parents in their squalid California home were beaten, shackled, starved and even taunted with food that they were forbidden to eat, a prosecutor said on Thursday. Several had cognitive impairment and nerve damage from extreme and prolonged physical abuse, the prosecutor said.


Shutdown threat prompts U.S. agency warnings to federal workers

Shutdown threat prompts U.S. agency warnings to federal workersGovernment agencies were warning U.S. employees on Thursday of a possible federal shutdown at midnight on Friday, as the Republican-controlled Congress and the White House scrambled to pass legislation to keep the lights on in Washington. President Donald Trump, answering reporters' questions at the Pentagon, said on Thursday the U.S. government "could very well" shut down and that would be harmful to the military. The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday night approved a short-term funding extension through Feb. 16, although the bill's prospects looked uncertain in the Senate.


Texas 'tourniquet killer' becomes first U.S. inmate executed in 2018

Texas 'tourniquet killer' becomes first U.S. inmate executed in 2018In the first U.S. execution of 2018, Texas on Thursday put to death a man convicted of raping and murdering five girls and young women, using a tourniquet to torture and strangle his victims. Anthony Shore, 55, was executed by lethal injection in the state's death chamber in Huntsville, dying at 6:28 p.m., Robert Hurst, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, said by telephone. It was the 546th in the state since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976, the most of any state.


Factbox: What happens during a U.S. government shutdown

Factbox: What happens during a U.S. government shutdownDuring government shutdowns, employees in all three branches of government are vulnerable to furlough, or temporary unpaid leave. After previous government shutdowns, Congress passed measures to ensure that essential and nonessential employees received retroactive pay.


 
 
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