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Prince vaults open up with jazzy ‘Piano & A Microphone’

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A nine-track album from Prince’s vast vault of unreleased material goes on sale on Friday, along with a new video highlighting gun violence.

“Piano & A Microphone” is compiled from a 1983 home studio cassette of the late musician playing jazz piano versions of some of his own songs and those of others, record company Warner Bros. said on Thursday.

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Prince, 57, died of an accidental overdose of the opioid fentanyl in 2016, leaving behind thousands of recordings and videos in the vaults of his home studio in suburban Minneapolis.

The new video, shot recently in New York City, accompanies the album track “Mary Don’t You Weep,” a 19th century spiritual. It is intended to pay tribute to the hundreds of people who are killed or wounded by gun violence in the United States, the record company and the singer’s estate said in a statement.

Prince in 2015 performed at a Rally 4 Peace concert in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray from injuries suffered in police custody. The “Mary Don’t You Weep” video begins with a quote the musician made at that rally, “The system is broke. It’s going to take young people to fix it.”

“Piano & A Microphone” hears Prince working through his songs “Purple Rain” and “17 Days,” as well as a version of Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You.”

It is one of a handful of recordings released posthumously by Prince’s estate, including an expanded edition of his “Purple Rain” album and “Anthology: 1995-2010,” a selection of 37 of his biggest hits.

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Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Chris Reese


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Mississippi Republican who lost to Democrat by 14 votes files request for state House to void the election and declare her the winner

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On Thursday, Mississippi Today reported that state Rep. Ashley Henley, who lost her bid for re-election to Democrat Hester Jackson-McCray by just 14 votes in November, has filed a request for the GOP-controlled state legislature to overturn the results of the election and seat Henley for another term.

Henley cites what she claims are several irregularities in voter signature collection, and "missing" ballots. "There were irregularities that happened, absolutely, documented, very much so that bring into question the legitimacy of the election results," said Henley said. "That is without question."

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Trump’s campaign manager mocked for proudly sharing poll that suggests Dems will keep the House in 2020

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On Thursday, President Donald Trump's campaign manager Brad Parscale posted a poll that was meant to warn Democrats off of their impeachment efforts, by showing how it was hurting their prospects in a competitive House race.

Specifically, the "confidential" poll showed freshman Rep. Kendra Horn (R-OK) down seven points against a generic Republican, and impeachment opposed 52 percent to 45 percent:

Nancy Pelosi is marching members of her caucus off the plank and into the abyss.

Impeachment is killing her freshman members and polling proves it.

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Two House Democrats push a clever plan that calls Republicans’ bluff on their Biden attacks

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Democratic Reps. Katie Porter of California and Max Rose of New York introduced a clever plan this week that will expose whether Republicans’ criticisms of former Vice President Joe Biden in the Ukraine scandal reflect good faith — or if, as many assume, they are just a shameful distraction and a bluff.

The lawmakers announced a bill on Wednesday called the Transparency in Executive Branch Officials’ Finances Act. It has two key components:

First, it would require all politically appointed executive branch officials, as well as the president and the vice president, to “disclose any positions they or any members of their extended families hold with foreign-owned businesses, any intellectual property they own that is protected or enforced by a foreign country, and whether any members of their families have stakes in companies that engage in significant foreign business dealings.”Second, it will “require the President and Vice President to disclose their tax returns for the previous five taxable years and prohibit political appointees from accepting payments from foreign entities.”

What’s clever about the proposal is that it latches on to two important issues, creating a wedge for Republicans. As part of the GOP’s defense of President Donald Trump in the Ukraine scandal, Republicans have argued that the president’s patently corrupt efforts to get a foreign country to investigate Biden, a political rival, were legitimate because the former vice president’s son created a conflict of interest by taking part in business in Ukraine.

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