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US to appeal ruling blocking Trump funding cuts on sanctuary cities

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  The U.S. Justice Department on Monday said it would appeal a court order blocking President Donald Trump’s executive order that sought to restrict federal funds for so-called sanctuary cities.

U.S. District Judge William Orrick III of San Francisco earlier this year ruled that Trump’s sanctuary cities order was likely unconstitutional and stopped it from taking effect.

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Trump issued the order in January, shortly after he was inaugurated, directing that funding be slashed to all jurisdictions that refuse to comply with a statute that requires local governments to share information with U.S. immigration authorities.

Sanctuary cities generally offer safe harbor to illegal immigrants and often do not use municipal funds or resources to enforce federal immigration laws.

Dozens of cities and other local governments, including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, have joined the growing “sanctuary” movement.

The Trump administration contends local authorities endanger public safety when they decline to hand over for deportation illegal immigrants arrested for crimes.

California’s Santa Clara County – which includes the city of San Jose and several smaller Silicon Valley communities – sued over Trump’s order, saying it was unconstitutional. San Francisco filed a similar lawsuit. They argued Trump’s order could improperly choke off vast swaths of federalfunding for sanctuary cities.

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(Reporting by Dan Levine and Jim Christie in San Francisco; editing by Grant McCool and Steve Orlofsky)


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President helped ‘increase anti-Trump turnout’ in red-state governor’s races — which could spell disaster for the GOP

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President Donald Trump was once the Republican Party's greatest asset in an election, mobilizing thousands of supporters to rush to the polls. Recently, however, it seems he's now driving anti-Trump votes up so much that it may no longer be worth the Trump trouble.

“So you’ve got to give me a big win, please,” Trump told a Louisiana crowd this week before the GOP candidate lost the governor's race in a red state.

“What Trump did in Louisiana was increase voter participation. While he increased the pro-Trump turnout, he also increased the anti-Trump turnout. That’s kind of the lesson here,” polling analyst Ron Faucheux told The Washington Post in an interview.

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Fire holds off Hong Kong police at campus as democracy protests escalate

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A large fire held off an apparent police advance on the Hong Kong campus where hundreds of pro-democracy protesters were holed up early Monday, hours after officers warned they may use "live rounds" if confronted by deadly weapons in a dangerous escalation of the near six-month crisis engulfing the city.

Protests have rocked the global financial hub since June, with many in the city of 7.5 million people venting fury at eroding freedoms under Chinese rule.

China has repeatedly warned that it will not tolerate the dissent, and there have been concerns that Beijing could send in troops to put an end to the spiralling unrest.

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Ambassador Sondland was updating Trump officials on progress of ‘push for investigations’ — including Mulvaney

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The Wall Street Journal obtained emails showing that ahead of President Donald Trump's call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Ambassador Gordon Sondland was updating officials on the strive for investigations.

Chief of staff and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney was one of the main points of contact, and he replied to the email saying he would schedule the call with Zelensky.

“I talked to Zelensky just now. He is prepared to receive Potus’ call. Will assure him that he intends to run a fully transparent investigation and will ‘turn over every stone,’” Sondland wrote in an email on July 19.

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