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Planned Parenthood sues group behind deceptively edited videos

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Planned Parenthood filed a federal lawsuit on Thursday arguing that a group acted illegally when it secretly recorded videos alleging the women’s health organization profited from selling fetal tissue from abortions.

The lawsuit filed in federal court in San Francisco against anti-abortion group the Center for Medical Progress alleges conspiracy and fraud among other violations in connection with the videos.

The videos, which were released by the Center for Medical Progress in July 2015, sparked widespread controversy by purporting to show Planned Parenthood officials trying to sell aborted fetal tissue.

Under federal law, donated human fetal tissue may be used for research, but profiting from its sale is prohibited.

“This case is about a network of anti-abortion extremists and the laws they broke in order to spread lies and harm Planned Parenthood,” Dawn Laguens, vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said on a conference call.

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The Center for Medical Progress and several of its officials named as defendants in the lawsuit could not be immediately reached for comment.

No Planned Parenthood staff were involved in any wrongdoing, Laguens said, and the organization has not profited from its tissue donation programs.

“This entire smear campaign is a fraud built on illegal acts and a web of lies,” she said.

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(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Cynthia Osterman)


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Nicolle Wallace explains Trump’s racist attacks are covering his cozy relationship with Jeffrey Epstein and Michael Cohen scandal

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MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace began her Wednesday show saying that President Donald Trump has made it official by making his brand one of "racism." But it prompted her to wonder if his racist attacks against four congresswomen of color could be more about deflecting from other scandals.

Wednesday morning, MSNBC released a video of Trump partying with alleged child molester and rapist Jeffrey Epstein. Trump is seen groping women and slapping their posterior. The first round of Epstein's alleged crimes were downgraded by Labor Secretary Alex Acosta and he was given 13 months in a county jail for just 8 hours, six days a week.

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Trump wasn’t the first president to confront the Supreme Court – and back down

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A key presidential election is approaching. The U.S. Supreme Court hears a case with powerful political implications. The court rules, but the populist president doesn’t care. Our national commitments – to the Constitution, to morality, to the rule of law – seem at risk.Then, the president backs down. The nation survives.

This might be the story of President Trump’s short-lived threat to get a citizenship question on the census in defiance of the Supreme Court. Instead, it’s the story of President Andrew Jackson and Worcester v. Georgia, decided in 1832.

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Fatal drug overdoses drop in US for first time in decades

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Fatal drug overdoses in the US declined by 5.1 percent in 2018, according to preliminary official data released Wednesday, the first drop in two decades.

The trend was driven by a steep decline in deaths linked to prescription painkillers.

"The latest provisional data on overdose deaths show that America's united efforts to curb opioid use disorder and addiction are working," Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said, though he cautioned the epidemic would not be cured overnight.

The total number of estimated deaths dropped to 68,557 in 2018 against 72,224 the year before, according to the figures released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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