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Widow of nightclub gunman pleads not guilty in Florida court

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The widow of the gunman who killed 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to aiding her husband in the June 2016 killings.

Noor Salman, 30, the wife of Omar Mateen, appeared in federal court in Orlando for less than five minutes. It was her first court appearance in Florida since she was transferred by U.S. marshals from California where she had been held.

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She faces charges of obstruction of justice and aiding and abetting Mateen in his attempt to provide material support to a terrorist organization. Prosecutors have said she made up a cover story for her husband that she told to police officers and FBI agents.

Salman has said she was herself a victim of domestic abuse by Mateen and was unaware of his intentions to attack the nightclub.

Her trial is scheduled to begin in June before U.S. District Judge Paul Byron in Orlando.

Salman’s attorney waived the reading of the indictment against her and entered pleas of not guilty to the charges.

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Police killed Mateen, a U.S. citizen of Afghan descent, after the shooting rampage at the Pulse nightclub. After the killings began, Mateen called emergency dispatchers to profess allegiance to a leader of the Islamic State militant group.

Salman was arrested in February at her mother’s residence in the San Francisco area, and she appeared several times in federal court in Oakland, California. She lived in an apartment in Fort Pierce, Florida, with Mateen and their son prior to the rampage.

Last month, Byron ordered that Salman remain in jail, revoking a bail order issued by a federal magistrate in Oakland.

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(Reporting by Bernie Woodall; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)


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The View explodes in confusion after Meghan McCain makes Trump’s Ukraine debacle all about herself

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Meghan McCain managed to place herself at the center of a debate about a whistleblower complaint filed against President Donald Trump.

"The View" grappled with reports that Trump dangled U.S. military aid to Ukraine in exchange for damaging information against Joe Biden, and co-host Abby Huntsman agreed that was an impeachable offense -- but expressed doubts about the accuracy.

"This is a blown-up story and we have no facts, there's no gray area," Huntsman said. "It's black and white, and that would give Trump all the more ammunition if this isn't even true to say, this is what the media does."

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Dem lawmaker encourages acting-DNI to ignore White House and deliver the whistleblower report directly to Congress

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Appearing on CNN on Friday morning to discuss an alarming whistleblower report on Donald Trump's actions that the president's administration is withholding from Congress, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) encouraged the acting Director of National Intelligence to hand the report over and ignore the administration.

Speaking with CNN host Jim Sciutto, Swalwell made a direct appeal to acting-DNI head Joseph Maguire.

"This is an opportunity for Republicans and Democrats to unite and say, we don't want this in our democracy," Swalwell explained. "You know, that's why I wrote the Protecting Our Democracy Act, to, you know, have a bipartisan commission look at this."

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‘Young people have had enough’: Global climate strike youth activists on why they are marching today

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Today is the Global Climate Strike, inspired by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg. As people took to the streets in Africa, Asia, Europe and Australia, we host a roundtable discussion with youth activists organizing marches in the United States — in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Minneapolis — ahead of next week’s U.N. Climate Action Summit. We are joined by Xiye Bastida, a 17-year-old climate justice activist originally from Mexico who is an organizer with Fridays for Future New York and a student at Beacon High School in New York; Katie Eder, a 19-year-old climate justice activist who founded the Future Coalition, where she is currently the executive director; Juwaria Jama, a 15-year-old and first-generation Somali from Minneapolis, Minnesota, who is with U.S. Youth Climate Strikes and is the co-state lead for the Minnesota Youth Climate Strike; and Isra Hirsi, a high school junior and executive director of the U.S. Youth Climate Strike, daughter of Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar.

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