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Police trials in Freddie Gray death to stay in Baltimore: judge

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A Baltimore judge on Thursday denied a request for a change of venue for the trials of six police officers charged in the death of a black man who died from an injury in police custody.

Defense lawyers for the officers had argued before Circuit Court Judge Barry Williams that intense publicity made it impossible to hold a fair trial in Baltimore. The death of Freddie Gray Jr. in April triggered protests and fueled a U.S. debate on police treatment of minorities.

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The hearing came a day after the city’s financial control board approved a $6.4 million civil settlement to the Gray family.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said the settlement would help avoid a drawn-out legal process and resolve any civil claims against Baltimore and the officers.

The Fraternal Order of Police criticized the settlement because it had been reached before the officers’ cases were heard. Trial has been set for next month.

Police arrested Gray, 25, on April 12 after a foot chase in crime-ridden West Baltimore. He was bundled into a police transport van while shackled and handcuffed and was not placed in a seatbelt. Officers ignored his request for medical aid.

He died a week later from a spinal injury, sparking protests and rioting in the largely black city of about 620,000 people. National Guard troops were sent in to restore order and Rawlings-Blake imposed a curfew.

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The officers face charges ranging from second-degree

depraved heart murder to assault and misconduct. Three of the officers are white and three are black, including one woman.

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Trump official who doesn’t want poor people to have publicly-funded healthcare wants public to pay for stolen Ivanka jewelry

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President Donald Trump's official in charge of Medicare and Medicaid, Seema Verma, came under fire after Politico reported Saturday that she submitted a $47,000 claim for reimbursement on the taxpayers' dime for stolen, uninsured items items.

https://twitter.com/RepJayapal/status/1203673974867210240

The bulk of the claim—for which the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) ultimately reimbursed her $2,852.40—was for roughly $43,000 worth of jewelry. Among the roughly two dozen pieces was an Ivanka Trump brand pendant whose estimated value was $5,900, according to documents obtained by Politico. A $325 claim for moisturizer was also among the items included.

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Injuries feared as popular New Zealand volcano erupts

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New Zealand's White Island volcano erupted suddenly on Monday, prompting fears for a group of visitors seen walking on the crater floor moments before.

The country's National Emergency Management Agency said a "moderate volcanic eruption is occurring at White Island and is hazardous in the immediate vicinity of the volcano."

Cameras providing a live feed from the volcano showed more than half a dozen people walking inside the rim at 2:10 pm local time (0110 GMT), before images went dark when the eruption occurred minutes later.

The local mayor said she feared there had been "injuries" in the eruption.

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Why Colbert got serious — and why Donald Trump isn’t funny

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In her new book, “Irony and Outrage: The Polarized Landscape of Rage, Fear, and Laughter in the United States,” Dannagal Goldthwaite Young advances the argument that the ironic satire of "The Daily Show" and the outrage programming of Fox News — which debuted within months of each other — play remarkably similar roles for their respective audiences, speaking to their distinctively liberal and conservative psychological orientations to motivate not just voter loyalty, but political engagement.

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