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Kentucky judge rules Louisville can remove 70-foot-high Confederate monument

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The city of Louisville can remove a 121-year-old monument to Confederate soldiers that critics have objected to as an emblem of slavery, a state judge ruled on Wednesday.

In a ruling from the bench, Jefferson Circuit Judge Judith McDonald-Burkman dissolved her temporary order from three weeks ago that had blocked the city and a local university from taking down the monument.

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Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said he would work on relocating the 70-foot-high monument after getting the judge’s written order, according to a statement from his office.

A diversity committee at the University of Louisville had pushed for the monument to come down, joining a national push to remove public symbols of the Confederacy seen by critics as fostering racism.

Some local residents and descendants of Confederate soldiers sued to keep the monument at its location near the University of Louisville, calling it a symbol of the South’s history and culture.

Ed Springston, one of the individuals who sued the city, said he would appeal the ruling.

“At the end of the day, yes, we’ll go forward with appeals or whatever we need to do to make sure that this monument is protected,” Springston said in a telephone interview.

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Fischer and University of Louisville President James Ramsey said in April they would move the monument commemorating Kentuckians who died serving the Confederacy, the slaveholding states that seceded from the United States, leading to the 1861-1865 American Civil War.

Kentucky, the birthplace of both U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, who led the Union, and Confederate President Jefferson Davis, did not secede from the Union, but Kentuckians fought on both sides.

(Reporting by Steve Bittenbender in Louisville, Ky. and Fiona Ortiz in Chicago; Editing by David Gregorio and Peter Cooney)

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From their balloons, the first aeronauts transformed our view of the world

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Near the beginning of the new film “The Aeronauts,” a giant gas-filled balloon called the “Mammoth” departs from London’s Vauxhall Gardens and ascends into the clouds, revealing a bird’s eye view of London.

To some moviegoers, these breathtaking views might seem like nothing special: Modern air travel has made many of us take for granted what we can see from the sky. But during the 19th century, the vast “ocean of air” above our heads was a mystery.

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For months, the names of Michael Horowitz and John Durham have figured in the pounding rhythms of right-wing media in which a heroically afflicted president faces down his perfidious enemies. A steady drumbeat of reports from Fox News, echoed by President Trump and Republican loyalists in Congress, proclaimed these two obscure Justice Department officials would get to the bottom of an alleged conspiracy against the Trump presidency.

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