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U.S. home foreclosure filings rise

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US home foreclosure filings rose in the second quarter for the first time in two years, according to a report released Thursday.

During the April-June period, 311,010 properties started the foreclosure process, a 9 percent increase from the previous quarter, said RealtyTrac, a publisher of foreclosure data.

The foreclosure starts were up 6 percent compared with the second quarter of 2011, the first annual quarterly rise since the fourth quarter of 2009, RealtyTrac said.

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In June, foreclosure filings rose annually for the second consecutive month.

In the first six months of the year, homes in some stage of the foreclosure process — default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions — topped one million, RealtyTrac said.

One in 126 homes in the country had at least one foreclosure filing. Nevada had the highest state foreclosure rate: one in 57 homes. Arizona, Georgia, California and Florida rounded out the top five.

First-half filings were up two percent from the second half of last year, but they were down 11 percent from the same period a year ago.

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The report underscored the persistent deep strains in the housing market six years after a price bubble collapsed.

The wave of foreclosures has been a key factor holding down home prices as buyers snap up distressed properties at bargain prices.

“The increases in foreclosure starts in the first half of the year will likely translate into more short sales and bank repossessions in the second half of the year and into next year,” said Brandon Moore, chief executive of RealtyTrac.

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Former Trump pal Donny Deutsch explains the president’s gamble on impeachment

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MSNBC's Donny Deutsch has a theory about his old pal President Donald Trump and his latest strategy to wriggle out of trouble.

The "Morning Joe" contributor suspects the president, whom he used to know from their days in New York City, believes impeachment is inevitable, but he's confident that Republican senators won't remove him from office.

"Rev, I'm seeing a little bit of a different show here," Deutsch told the Rev. Al Sharpton. "You and I know Trump pretty well, or used to know Trump pretty well. I don't think there's any chance Mick Mulvaney went out there on his own."

Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, admitted during a press briefing that he held up congressionally approved aid to Ukraine in an effort to press the country to investigate a conspiracy theory about Democrats and the 2016 election.

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Mick Mulvaney is Trump’s new fall guy on corruption — and Republicans just play along

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It's getting increasingly more difficult to keep track of all the new impeachable acts President Trump commits every day. And perhaps even more difficult to imagine the most outrageous thing he can do that the Republican Party would still defend.

This article first appeared in Salon.

It took almost two weeks, but the White House has finally admitting what everyone knew from day one: Trump demanded a quid pro quo from the Ukrainian government before releasing military aid authorized by Congress. Republicans have been denying the obvious, remaining willfully blind to a brazen scheme. That suddenly seems quaint, now that acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney has confessed on live television that there was a quid pro quo.

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The week Donald Trump’s presidency crashed and burned — and Republicans noticed

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It feels as though every week during the Trump administration is a year and every year a decade. Every day there is a crisis or an outrage or a revelation that takes your breath away. But the underlying dynamics always seem to be the same no matter what. The press reports the story, the Democrats get outraged, the pundits analyze it, the president rages and then Fox and the Republicans all line up like a bunch of robots and salute smartly. Then we reset until the next crisis, outrage or revelation. It's an exhausting cycle that never seems to get us anywhere and it's bred a fatalistic response in many of us: "Nothing matters."

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