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2-year-old girl dies after parents treat her pneumonia with prayers and anointing oil instead of medicine

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A jury has been seated in the trial of a Pennsylvania couple whose 2-year-old daughter died after they tried to treat her pneumonia with prayer and religious oils.

Jonathan and Grace Anne Foster have been charged with involuntary manslaughter and endangering the welfare of a child in the Nov. 8, 2016, death of Ella Grace Foster, reported the Reading Eagle.

The couple did not seek medical care for the sick child due to their religious beliefs, and instead asked Pastor Rowland Foster — the girl’s grandfather — to pray over her and anoint her with oils.

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The toddler had a sore throat and struggled to sleep the night before she died, and she stopped breathing in her father’s arms after her mother called him to their Upper Tulpehocken Township home from work.

A forensic pathologist who performed the autopsy testified in a previous hearing that Ella Grace would have been fighting to breathe and coughing uncontrollably due to pneumonia, and he told the court any reasonable person would have concluded she needed medical care.

Defense attorneys have argued that the child’s illness developed rapidly, and the parents made a judgment call.

The 35-year-old Jonathan Foster and his 33-year-old wife previously gave up custody of their other six children, who are aged 1 to 12, after prosecutors tried to add condition to their bail that would have mandated proper medical care for them.

Authorities said at the time that the children would be kept together and placed with a family that believes in medicine.

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Prosecutors sought charges against the grandfather, who is pastor of Faith Tabernacle Church, for failing to report child abuse, but a judge dismissed the case in December for lack of evidence.

Assistant District Attorney Katie Lehman asked the judge not to allow any singing or humming in front of the jury, after supporters from the couple’s church hummed during previous hearings.

Judge M. Theresa Johnson agreed to instruct courtroom observers not to make any noise from the gallery while the trial was in session.

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GOP senator: I may not support more stimulus because of the ‘great’ 11 percent unemployment

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On Friday, NBC News reported that although President Donald Trump remains interested in a second round of stimulus payments, many Senate Republicans are not.

One of these skeptical Republicans is Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), who told reporters that he wanted to wait and see in light of the "great" new unemployment numbers.

"Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., said the 'direct stimulus checks are going to depend on how the economy is doing' and noted the 'great unemployment numbers' of June, when the rate fell to 11.1 percent," reported Sahil Kapur and Haley Talbot. "'So if it turns out the economy is recovering, that's a good thing and direct stimulus checks may not be necessary,' he added."

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The nation’s first reparations package to survivors of police torture included a memorial — survivors are sill waiting

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ProPublica Illinois is an independent, nonprofit newsroom that produces investigative journalism with moral force. Sign up for The ProPublica Illinois newsletter for weekly updates.

It took some time for Vincent Wade-Robinson to come around to the idea of having his name inscribed on a memorial. His experience had been painful. He didn’t want to dwell upon it.

“How can you describe torture?” he asked me. “Every day I look in the mirror I have that scar across my nose. That’s my reminder of what happened to me.”

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2020 Election

Republicans handed a road map for dumping ‘dangerous’ Trump before the GOP convention

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In an appeal to fellow Republicans who have not yet turned their backs on Donald Trump after a disastrous three and a half years, longtime conservative gadfly Bill Kristol made the case that it is still possible for the GOP to salvage the 2020 election by dumping the president from the top of the ticket before it is too late.

With multiple polls showing the president falling farther and farther behind presumptive 2020 presidential opponent Joe Biden, and the president under siege over reports he knew and remained silent about Russia placing a bounty on the lives of American military personnel in Afghanistan, Kristol, writing at the Bulwark, suggested two approaches that would take Trump out of the mix -- voluntarily or not.

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