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US fake meat firm mounts challenge to legal restrictions

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A US firm that sells turkey-flavored tofu has taken legal action against a law that prohibits use of the word “meat” to describe its products, amid a political backlash to the growing popularity of meat substitutes.

Tofurky is contesting a law, due to take effect in the southern state of Arkansas this week, which would fine companies $1,000 per violation for plant-based food products that were labeled as alternatives to meat.

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In a lawsuit filed Monday and backed by the powerful American Civil Liberties Union, the firm said the move violated its constitutional rights to freedom of speech.

“When consumers choose plant-based foods, it is not because they are confused or misled, it is because they are savvy and educated about the health and environmental consequences of eating animal products,” said Tofurky chief executive Jaime Athos in a statement Monday.

Livestock farmers have seen the rise of meat substitutes as a threat to their bottom line, and have successfully pushed for labeling restrictions in at least half a dozen states.

The US Cattlemen’s Association, for instance, has insisted that the word “meat” should be reserved for flesh from an animal conventionally born, raised and slaughtered.

Athos said Arkansas legislators had passed the law to protect the state’s livestock industry.

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Sales of meat alternatives jumped 23 percent in the US last year, according to the Good Food Institute, amid concerns about the environment, animal welfare and health.

The growing numbers of people turning to plant-based meat alternatives include vegans, who shun all animal products, and flexitarians, who advocate moderate consumption of meat.

Silicon-valley company Impossible has linked up with Burger King to offer a plant-based version of its signature Whopper, while food giants Nestle and Unilever are also aiming to cement their presence in the sector.

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GOP senator blows off new evidence against Trump — days after whining that there was no new evidence

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An explosive report from ABC News on Friday morning detailed an audio recording purportedly of President Donald Trump demanding the firing of Marie Yovanovitch, in which the president instructs his henchmen to "get rid of her" and "take her out."

Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), when asked by reporters about this new evidence Friday afternoon, blew it off as not a big deal.

"There will be new evidence every day!" he said in shrugging off the purported recording of the president. "There will be something new that comes out every day!"

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McConnell is running a ‘scam’ to keep Bolton from testifying so Trump’s trial can end without any more damage: columnist

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According to Greg Sargent at the Washington Post, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is trying to pull one over on the Democrats in his attempt to make sure former national security adviser John Bolton doesn't speak during the impeachment trial of Donald Trump -- and that Democrats should call his bluff.

Noting a CNN report that states, "A growing number of Republicans are pointing to President Donald Trump's threat to invoke executive privilege in order to make their case against subpoenas sought by Democrats for key witnesses and documents, a development that could bolster Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's goal of a swift end to the impeachment trial," as an excuse to keep Bolton at arms-length from testifying, the Wapo columnist said executive privilege may not be the stop-gap Republicans think it is.

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‘Jury tampering’: Internet explodes after WH threatens that senators’ heads ‘will be on a pike’ if they vote to convict

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The news was so shocking some thought it was fake. But as CBS News reports, the White House is threatening Republican Senators to not vote to convict President Donald Trump in his impeachment trial, or else.

That "or else" was revealed by CBS News' Chief Congressional Correspondent Nancy Cordes, who reports, "One Trump confidant tells CBS News that GOP senators have been warned: 'Vote against the president and your head will be on a pike.'"

The revelation comes at the 1:17 mark:

In opening statements, House managers examined the debunked conspiracy theories invoked by Pres. Trump.

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