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Conservative group calls for boycott of Target over transgender policy

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The conservative American Family Association is urging its members to boycott Target Corp for the retailer’s decision to allow transgender employees and customers to use bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity.

The group accused Target of exposing women and girls to voyeurs and sexual predators with its restroom and dressing room policy, and said it had gathered 172,494 signatures on a boycott petition by mid-morning on Friday.

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Target’s policy “means a man can simply say he feels like a woman today and enter the women’s restroom … this is exactly how sexual predators get access to their victims,” AFA said on its website.

Earlier this week, Minneapolis-based Target became the first big retailer to weigh in on the bathroom policy issue, which is at the center of a heated national debate pitting social conservatives against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their supporters.

The retailer said on Friday it stood by that policy.

“As a company that firmly stands behind what it means to offer our team an inclusive place to work – and our guests an inclusive place to shop – we continue to believe that this is the right thing for Target,” company spokeswoman Molly Snyder said.

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Last month, North Carolina became the first U.S. state to require transgender people to use restrooms and changing rooms in schools and other public facilities that match their sex at birth rather than their gender identity.

Companies including PayPal Holdings and Deutsche Bank have halted projects in North Carolina over the issue and urged the state to repeal the legislation.

(Reporting by Nandita Bose in Chicago; Editing by Paul Simao)

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Trump told Rick Perry to ‘visit with Rudy’ when he asked why he called off meetings with Ukraine’s president: report

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On Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Energy Secretary Rick Perry was ordered by President Donald Trump to get in touch with his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani about "corruption" in Ukraine — at the same time that he and Giuliani were attempting to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to help him dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden.

Speaking to the Journal, Perry denied knowing anything about Trump going after Biden specifically, but said the Trump told him he was not "comfortable" that the Ukrainians had "straightened up their act" — an apparent reference to Trump's belief that Ukraine tried to interfere in the 2016 presidential election for Hillary Clinton.

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Sondland was going to testify Trump gave the impression they should coordinate with Giuliani on Ukraine: report

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European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland is slated to give testimony Thursday to the House committees on President Donald Trump's Ukraine scandal.

Sondland was slated to tell investigators that Trump gave him the impression that he and two other officials should coordinate with the president's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, The New York Times said in an explosive report Wednesday.

"That command effectively created a foreign policy back channel that cut the State Department and National Security Council out of deliberations involving a pivotal ally against Russia," The Times reported.

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Trump’s lawyers are trying to tell Appeals Court they actually won the taxes lawsuit — but are still appealing

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President Donald Trump's lawyers sent out a bizarre letter to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, making the case that they actually won their case to keep the president's taxes a secret. It's an odd take given that they're filing for an appeal.

Oct. 7, a federal judge dismissed Trump's efforts in a 75-page opinion calling the White House claim "extraordinary."

U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero explained that no occupant of the White House enjoys "absolute immunity from criminal process of any kind." Such a position "would constitute an overreach of executive power."

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