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FBI Fires Agent Peter Strzok In Wake Of Anti-Trump Text Messages

Peter Strzok, a longtime FBI agent who was removed from the Russia investigation over anti-Trump text messages, has been fired by the agency, it was announced on Monday. The FBI had been reviewing Strzok’s employment after the politically charged text messages were discovered last year. President Donald Trump’s allies have seized on the texts, saying they show the investigation into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia is tainted by political bias. Strzok was fired late Friday by FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich, said his lawyer, Aitan Goelman. ...Read more

2 Strong Earthquakes Hit Central And Northern Alaska Regions

Alaska’s North Slope was hit Sunday by the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in the region, according to the state’s seismologist. At 6:58 a.m. Sunday,  magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck an area 42 miles east of Kavik River Camp and 343 miles northeast of Fairbanks, the state’s second-biggest city. The U.S. Geological Survey says the earthquake had a depth of about 6 miles. State seismologist Mike West reported that the earthquake was the biggest recorded in the North Slope. Later Sunday, another magnitude 6.1 earthquake hit at 1:15 p.m. near the city of Kaktovik on Alaska’s North Slope, the U.S. Geological Survey said. The epicenter was southwest of Kaktovik, which has about 290 people. Several aftershocks were reported across northern Alaska. The Alaska Earthquake Center said there were no reports of damage. ...Read more

“Unite The Right” Rally Draws White Nationalists And Counter-Protesters To Washington, D.C.

White nationalists and counter-protesters gathered in front of the White House Sunday to mark one year since the violent clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia. Police in Washington, D.C. ordered tight security for the “Unite the Right” rally. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has declared a state of emergency in Charlottesville ahead of the anniversary. Last year, one woman, Heather Heyer, was struck and killed by a car driven by a white supremacist. That rally began as a protest against a plan to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, which still stands in Charlottesville. Also on Sunday morning, more than 200 people gathered at Charlottesville’s Washington Park to protest racism, gathering to recite poetry, sing songs and hold a moment of silence. ...Read more

Denver Nuggets’ Isaiah Thomas Apologizes For Comments Criticizing Cleveland

Denver Nuggets guard Isaiah Thomas quickly apologized Saturday night after a video posted on social media surfaced in which he called the city of Cleveland “as—h—.”  Thomas later posted an apology on Twitter, and then posted an additional video on Instagram saying, “Cleveland wasn’t that bad. … The situation just wasn’t the best.”  Thomas also tweeted, “I apologize for my choice of words about Cleveland. I was on my live playing around. They don’t show you everything for a reason smh. Right after that I clarified what I said…. All love to everybody who had love for me in Cleveland.”  Thomas was traded last offseason to the Cavaliers in the deal that sent Kyrie Irving to Boston. However, he was recovering from a hip injury and did not play for the Cavaliers until Jan. 2. In February, the Cavaliers traded Thomas to the Los Angeles Lakers, and just last month Thomas signed a minimum contract with the Nuggets. ...Read more

All Eight Harry Potter Movies Are Returning To Theaters For A Limited Time

To mark the 20th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the Cinemark theater chain is re-releasing all of the Harry Potter films at locations across the country from Aug. 31-Sept. 6. The lineup for the company’s “Wizarding World XD Week” includes all eight original films based on J.K. Rowling’s beloved saga, plus 2016’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Tickets on sale now at Cinemark.com and run $5 per movie, or fans can purchase a $25 “festival pass” for all nine films, which includes a “collectible keychain, a specially designed cup that is refillable for $3.50 through the end of the year and a commemorative festival badge,” according to a press release. The series’ return to theaters comes just over two months before another film will debut — Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald opens in theaters on Nov. 16. ...Read more

Jason Statham’s “The Meg” Tops Box Office With $40M Debut Weekend

“The Meg” hit theaters this weekend and is set to nab the No. 1 spot at the box office with an estimated $40 million from 4,118 North American locations. The estimate is significantly higher than earlier predictions. The Warner Bros. film took in $16.5 million on Friday and stars Jason Statham as a scientist who, along with his team, tries to stop a prehistoric 75-foot Megalodon shark from terrorizing a beach. “The Meg” has received mixed reviews from critics and carries a 50% score on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie is based on the 1997 book “Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror” by Steve Alten and was in development for over two decades. “The Meg” carries a $150 million price tag, so it will need substantial overseas business from China, Russia, Spain, and the U.K.  This weekend it earned $26.7 million on Friday from 42 overseas markets and opened to $16.2 million in China on Friday. ...Read more

U.S. Appeals Court Orders EPA To Ban Pesticide Said To Harm Children

 A federal appeals court on Thursday ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to ban a widely-used pesticide that critics say can endanger children and farmers. The 2-1 decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Seattle overturned former EPA commissioner Scott Pruitt’s March 2017 denial of a petition by environmental groups to halt the use of chlorpyrifos on food crops such as fruits, vegetables and nuts. Pruitt’s ruling had reversed a 2015 Obama administration recommendation to extend to food a 2000 ban on chlorpyrifos that covered most household settings. “This shows that the EPA can’t just ignore the science that this pesticide damages children’s brains,” Marisa Ordonia, a lawyer for Earthjustice, which represented the petitioners, said in an interview. “The Trump administration has to follow the law, as does everyone else.”  ...Read more

Vice President Pence Outlines Plan For New Space Force By 2020

Vice President Mike Pence has announced plans for a new, separate U.S. Space Force as sixth military service by 2020. Pence says it’s needed to ensure America’s dominance in space amid heightened competition and threats from China and Russia. He says that while space was once peaceful and uncontested, it is now crowded and adversarial.President Donald Trump has called for a “separate but equal” space force. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has endorsed plans to reorganize the military’s space warfighting forces but has previously opposed launching an expensive separate new service. However, any proposal to create a new service would require congressional action. ...Read more