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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.

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


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WATCH: Trump delivers incoherent rant about Obama during fact-free announcement on Syria withdrawal

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President Donald Trump delivered an incoherent rant about former President Barack Obama on Wednesday as he announced that he would lift sanctions on the Turkish government.

Even though America's Kurdish allies are still furious after the president gave Turkey a green light to invade their territory in northern Syria, Trump nonetheless portrayed his policies as an unqualified success.

"It’s too early for me to be congratulated, but we have done a good job," Trump said. "We’ve saved a lot of lives. Most importantly, we have avoided another costly military intervention that could have led to disastrous far-reaching consequences. Many thousands of people could have been killed."

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‘Serious harm and suffering’: Jared Kushner’s apartment management company sued for ‘hundreds of thousands of violations’

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An apartment management company owned by Jared Kushner is being sued by Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, who says the company “victimized consumers, many of whom are financially vulnerable” and committed “hundreds of thousands of violations” of consumer protection laws, the Baltimore Sun reports.

The lawsuit was filed this Monday against Westminster Management and alleges that the company utilizes "unfair and deceptive" rental practices in its Baltimore apartment complexes, which were reportedly infested with rats. In a statement, Kushner Cos. CEO Laurent Morali said that the company refuses to be "extorted by an ambitious attorney general who clearly cares more about scoring political points than fighting real crime and improving the lives of the people of Maryland."

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Rudy Giuliani’s henchmen claim executive privilege concerns in first court appearance

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Rudy Giuliani's henchmen appeared in court on campaign finance violations, and they may attempt to claim evidence in the case is protected by executive privilege.

Ukrainian-American businessmen Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who were arrested earlier this month on their way out of the country on one-way tickets, pleaded not guilty Wednesday in their first court appearance, according to Courthouse News.

Prosecutors told the court they had issued subpoenas for 50 bank accounts related to the pair.

But an attorney for Parnas told the judge there may be concerns to sort out related to executive privilege due to their relationship with Giuliani, who serves as President Donald Trump's personal attorney.

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