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US seeks to lift endangered species protection for gray wolf

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The Trump administration is seeking to lift Endangered Species Act protections for the gray wolf, arguing the predators found mainly in the western United States have been brought back successfully from the brink of extinction.

“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will soon propose a rule to delist the gray wolf in the lower 48 states,” the agency said in an emailed statement on Wednesday. “Recovery of the gray wolf under the Endangered Species Act is one of our nation’s great conservation successes.”

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The Center for Biological Diversity called the proposal “a death sentence for gray wolves across the country,” because it would open the animals to public hunting.

The public will have an opportunity to comment on the proposal once it is published in the Federal Register.

Wolves were hunted, trapped and poisoned to near extinction in the lower 48 states before being added to the endangered species list in the 1970s. Today there are estimated to be more than 5,600 gray wolves in the contiguous United States, according to the Fish and Wildlife Service, far exceeding its population targets.

Sportsmen and ranchers, who make up a powerful constituency in Western states, have argued that larger numbers of wolves diminish herds of big-game animals like elk and prey on livestock.

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Efforts to delist the gray wolf began under the administration of former U.S. President Barack Obama. Federal protections were lifted for gray wolves in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming in recent years, though a move to delist the species in the Great Lakes region was halted by a court order in 2014.

Reporting by Nichola Groom in Los Angeles, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien

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Kanye ripped for latest Trump defense: Always someone willing to write a check to ‘a black person defending white supremacy’

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Kanye West hugging Trump

A panel discussion on recent concerts put on by Kanye West in Salt Lake City and Howard University turned to his new recent comments he made defending his support for Donald Trump -- with one panelist saying the rapper is getting paid on the side for siding with the president.

Speaking with host Kendis Gibson, guests Danielle Moodie-Mills and Clay Cane were harshly critical of West trying to drum up black support for the president as well as his recent comments on slavery.

"What is going on here?" Gibson began. "So you saw the pictures of Kanye West in the middle of Salt Lake City. He drew about 10,000 people here at Howard University, it was a smaller crowd because they didn't get the e-mail about it until 6:00 a.m. on homecoming weekend. Largely, a lot of people who are going to these shows are black folks. These are some of the scenes in Salt Lake City, so people are wondering: is he sort of like Trump's secret weapon, a secret outreach to the black community? "

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WATCH: White House protesters chant ‘impeach Trump’ loud enough for aides to hear

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Protesters gathered in front of the White House on Sunday to call on President Donald Trump to be removed from office.

Videos circulated online showed protesters chanting "impeach Trump" close enough to the White House for staff to hear the demonstration.

In other videos, protesters were blowing loud whistles.

Meanwhile, demonstrators also greeted Trump as he visited his New Jersey golf course. Pro-impeachment protesters were also reportedly out on the streets in Boston and New York City.

Watch some of the video clips below.

Outside the White House right now:

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Here are 3 moves a desperate Trump will likely attempt in order to cling to power

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In a column for the Daily Beast, political observer Micheal Tomasky speculated -- and not without good reason -- that a frantic Donald Trump will do anything to remain in office and thereby avoid being slammed with criminal indictments once he departs the Oval Office for good..

As the columnist explained, impeachment seems inevitable and the president will likely take desperate measures and that he has already given hints about three paths he may take -- if not all of them.

Tomasky wrote, "It’s foolish to say that Trump thinks ahead about anything. The late journalist Wayne Barrett said many true things about Trump, but the truest ever was when he observed that Trump says whatever will get him through the next 10 minutes," before adding, "People around him of course are more strategic and are thinking ahead. And they’re all saying and doing and writing things right now that will, if the opportunity presents itself, pave the way for Trump to burn the Constitution."

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