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Joan Rivers dies at 81: family

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Joan Rivers, the acerbic US stand-up comic and television presenter, died on Thursday, a week after being rushed to a New York hospital, her family announced. She was 81.

“It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers. She passed peacefully at 1:17 pm surrounded by family and close friends,” daughter Melissa Rivers said in a statement.

The Brooklyn-born Rivers had been at Mount Sinai Hospital since she reportedly stopped breathing during a medical procedure on her vocal cords at a private clinic on August 28.

Her daughter Melissa and grandson Cooper flew immediately from Los Angeles and kept a vigil at her bedside ever since.

They thanked hospital staff for the “amazing care” they provided the Emmy award-winning comedian and TV host.

“Cooper and I have found ourselves humbled by the outpouring of love, support and prayers we have received from around the world. They have been heard and appreciated,” Melissa Rivers said.

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“My mother’s greatest joy in life was to make people laugh. Although that is difficult to do right now, I know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon.”

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Lock him up? Democrats are pushing prosecution for Trump — but those calls alarm some law enforcement vets

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President Donald Trump -- whose rallies are still punctuated with "lock her up" chants" -- may face turnabout from his Democratic rivals.

Some Democratic candidates are openly threatening Trump with prosecution once he's out of office, and those taunts are alarming to some law enforcement veterans, reported Politico.

“Presidents aren’t supposed to suggest there be investigations or prosecutions of particular people, let alone their political rivals,” said Matt Axelrod, a former Justice Department senior official under Obama. “President Trump has flagrantly and repeatedly violated that norm, but that doesn’t mean the norm has been obliterated.”

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WATCH: Alabama GOP official berates reporter about Sodom and Gomorrah after she questions his anti-LGBT rant

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Republican Mobile County Treasurer Phil Benson defiantly told a reporter from a local news station to read the biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah when she came to ask him about his recent anti-LGBT rant that he posted on Facebook.

The controversy surrounding Benson started when he reacted angrily to a story about a bakery getting sued for refusing to serve an LGBT wedding.

"Freaking queers have gotten too much sympathy," Benson wrote on Facebook in response to the story.

Local news station NBC 15 sent out reporter Andrea Ramey to question him about his remarks, and he tried to insist that she read Chapter 19 of Genesis, which details the destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah over their tolerance of homosexuality.

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Charitable giving drops after GOP tax ‘cut’: report

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On Tuesday, the Washington Post reported that charitable giving dropped 1.7 percent last year, adjusted for inflation, even as the economy surged.

The likely culprit? The GOP tax law, according to a report from Giving USA.

Although corporate donations rose 2.9 percent and foundation gifts rose 4.7 percent in the previous year, charitable donations from individuals — which is where the bulk of actual charity takes place — dropped 3.4 percent, the first time this has happened since the financial crisis.

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