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Trump to visit Utah next week, expected to announce land decision

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President Donald Trump is set to visit Utah on Monday and is expected to announce his decision on whether to reduce the size of two national monuments where drilling and mining are banned, an administration official said on Tuesday.

Trump is expected shrink the Bears Ears National Monument, set aside by former Democratic President Barack Obama, and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, preserved by former Democratic President Bill Clinton. The trip was first reported by the Salt Lake Tribune.

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Trump has pushed to roll back regulations that prevent development. To that end, he had ordered a review of the size of 27 monuments: land with cultural, historical or scientific importance preserved from development by past presidents under the Antiquities Act.

Last month, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Trump would travel to Utah in early December, and U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican, said Trump would reduce the size of the monuments.

Industry groups like the oil lobbying organization the American Petroleum Institute have said in the past that both Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante were unfairly designated as monuments and needed to be reviewed.

The decision is expected to touch off a legal battle with environmental groups and Native American tribes.

(Reporting by Steve Holland and Roberta Rampton; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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DOJ investigating why consumers are paying record prices for beef during pandemic: report

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On Monday, Politico reported that the Justice Department and Agriculture Department are looking into what they consider to be suspicious price increases of beef for American consumers — on the suspicion that the recent spike in prices may be a result of price-fixing.

"Supermarket customers are paying more for beef than they have in decades during the coronavirus pandemic," reported Leah Nylen and Liz Crampton. "But at the same time, the companies that process the meat for sale are paying farmers and ranchers staggeringly low prices for cattle."

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Democrats win another voting rights victory as absentee restrictions struck down in South Carolina

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On Monday, voting rights attorney Marc Elias reported that a federal court has blocked a restriction on absentee ballots for the upcoming South Carolina primary.

The ruling undoes a requirement that mail-in ballots be accompanied by a witness.

BREAKING: @DCCC, @TheDemocrats, and @scdp score major voting rights victory in South Carolina. Federal Court blocks witness requirement for absentee ballots in June primary.

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GOP ripped for refusing to remove Trump from office: ‘Folly of that failure becomes clearer by the day’

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Republicans seeking to keep control of the United States Senate were harshly criticized by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for failing to remove President Donald Trump from office during impeachment.

"For four years now, as both a candidate and president, Donald Trump has repeatedly attacked America’s voting system, falsely claiming voter fraud any time it suited his needs. In a new low, last week he threatened the federal funding of two states over their reasonable moves to facilitate mail-in voting," the newspaper noted in an editorial published online on Memorial Day. "What does it say that the head of the world’s leading democracy is so intent on undermining that democracy?"

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