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White man who wanted race war pleads guilty to New York stabbing

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A white Baltimore man who traveled to New York City in 2017 and killed a black man with a sword in hopes of sparking a race war in the United States pleaded guilty to murder as an act of terrorism, prosecutors said on Wednesday.

James Jackson, a 30-year-old U.S. Army specialist, stabbed Timothy Caughman, 66, to death on March 20, 2017, and turned himself in at a police station the next day after police circulated surveillance video of the killing.

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He told detectives that he had chosen to commit the crime in New York because it is the U.S. media capital and he believed that the killing would start a race war, the Manhattan district attorney’s office said in a statement.

His guilty plea marks the first conviction of murder as a crime of terrorism in New York state, the district attorney’s office said, under terrorism laws that increase sentences for the underlying crimes.

Jackson faces life in prison without parole at his sentencing hearing on Feb. 13, the district attorney’s office said.

“If you come here to kill New Yorkers in the name of white nationalism, you will be investigated, prosecuted, and incapacitated like the terrorist that you are,” Cyrus Vance, the district attorney, said in a statement.

Jackson told detectives in 2017 that he saw Caughman’s killing as “a call to arms” and that he hoped the U.S. government would pursue a “global policy aimed at the complete extermination of the Negro race,” according to the district attorney’s office.

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Jackson also pleaded guilty to murder in the first degree in furtherance of an act of terrorism, murder in the second degree as a hate crime and criminal possession of a weapon.

A lawyer for Jackson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Jackson served as a specialist in the U.S. Army until 2012, and was deployed in Afghanistan for nearly a year beginning in December 2010. He was awarded several medals for his conduct.

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Reporting by Jonathan Allen; Editing by Scott Malone and James Dalgleish

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Arkansas church vows to continue services: ‘Jesus died with COVID-19 so that you didn’t have to bear it’

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An Arkansas church intends to hold church services despite recommendations from state officials to limit gatherings as part of the fight against the coronavirus.

Awaken Church, in Jonesboro, vowed in a Facebook post to continue holding services in defiance of a Health Department directive banning gatherings of 10 or more, and after churches in other parts of the country were the source of community outbreaks, reported Newsweek.

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2020 Election

Trump’s path to re-election ‘smashed to splinters’ as his only achievement is swallowed up by the pandemic: report

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In a piece for Politico, Ben White writes that Donald Trump was going into November's election with only one achievement under his belt -- a healthy economy -- and now he has nothing left to run if he wants to be re-elected.

With all of the gains made in the stock market long gone due to the coronavirus pandemic and the collapse of oil prices, White claims that the president's campaign strategy lies in tatters.

"The fundamental pillars of Donald Trump’s presidency — a hot economy, strong job growth and a rocking stock market — are all being smashed to splinters by the ravaging coronavirus, which has shuttered much of the nation and now officially ended a streak of 113 months of job gains dating back to the end of the Great Recession a decade ago," he wrote before noting the explosion of unemployment claims -- over ten million so far -- that has the country reeling.

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Top South Dakota Republicans face investigation for appearing to be drunk during crucial coronavirus session

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Lawmakers in South Dakota are investigating whether or not Senate Majority Leader Kris Langer (R) was drunk during a meeting earlier this week -- a meeting that dealt with new legislation regarding the coronavirus outbreak, the Rapid City Journal reports.

Another South Dakota Republican, Brock Greenfield, is also under investigation for his conduct during the meeting.

"Langer and Greenfield oversaw the Senate proceedings from a conference room in the Capitol as lawmakers convened through teleconference to decide on a series of emergency bills for the coronavirus outbreak," the Journal reports. "As the Senate prepared to adjourn Tuesday morning, Sen. Phil Jensen, a Rapid City Republican, said he had heard Langer was intoxicated and had interrupted meetings in the House and Senate. He then attempted to move to create a disciplinary committee."

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