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Free Press staff, wire reports

Stories by Free Press staff, wire

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Cornell Brooks out as head of national NAACP

“We’ll continue to move forward, we’ll continue to organize and we’ll continue to seek to recruit young people to carry on the work, ” said James E. “J.J.” Minor III president of the Richmond Branch NAACP.

Trump’s budget plan raises hackles, skepticism with deep cuts to social programs

Angry Democrats and skeptical Republicans are fighting back against attempts by administrative officials to defend President Trump’s proposed $4.1 trillion budget that slashes safety net programs for the poor, targeting food stamps, Medicaid and student loan forgiveness, while relying on rosy projections about the nation’s economic growth to balance the budget within 10 years.

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Russian roulette

Feds pull out big gun to oversee Trump investigation

Did President Trump fire FBI Director James Comey for refusing to shut down a criminal investigation against the president’s crony, retired Gen. Michael T. Flynn, who briefly served as national security adviser?

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Charlottesville City Council votes to sell Lee statue

Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee has taken one more step toward leaving the city of Charlottesville. Despite a pending court case, the Charlottesville City Council voted 3-2 Monday to sell the city’s statue of the Confederate general which now stands in the center of the city.

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Obamacare lives; Trumpcare DOA

Obamacare lives! That was the jubilant cry last week as President Trump’s attempt to roll back health insurance for millions of Americans suffered a stunning defeat.

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Va. redistricting cases winding through state, federal courts

In a slap at Virginia’s Republican-led majority in the General Assembly, the U.S. Supreme Court has directed a lower federal court to reassess whether lawmakers unlawfully tried to dilute the clout of African-American voters when it drew a series of state legislative districts six years ago.

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Sessions seeks to revive federal anti-crime program that targeted African-Americans

New U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions vowed to revive 1990s law-and-order strategies that pumped up the nation’s prison population to the highest level in the world to fight the recent surge in urban violence.

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Report forecasts millions would lose health insurance under Trumpcare

Fears that the Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, would wipe out health insurance for millions of mostly low-income people appear to be highly accurate.

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‘Trumpcare’ health plan would strip insurance from millions

Impressed by President Trump’s campaign promises to make health care more affordable, Mavis Reivis crossed her fingers and voted for him.

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Out like Flynn

Concerns grow amid reports that Trump campaign aides were in frequent contact with Russian officials before Nov. 8 election

President Trump is facing a deepening crisis over the relationship between his aides and Russia, with senior Republicans vowing on Wednesday to get to the bottom of the matter and Democrats demanding an independent probe.

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Charlottesville votes to remove Lee statue

A divided Charlottesville City Council voted this week to move a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from the city’s Downtown and to rename Lee Square where it stands.

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Trump inaugurated amid hail of protests

Republican Donald J. Trump launched his presidency with a blunt inaugural address, a fist pump and promises to give power to the people and put “America first.”

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House Democrats set to boycott Trump inauguration on Friday

Donald Trump made his name with opulent hotels and a dramatic reality TV show. But his inauguration on Friday, Jan. 20, as the nation’s 45th president is shaping up as a more understated affair, with big names in entertainment staying away. Also staying away are more than 50 Congressional Democrats who plan to boycott in protest of the New York

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Civil rights coalition to hold pre-inaugural march in D.C. on MLK weekend

The Rev. Al Sharpton, head of the National Action Network, has announced that a coalition of civil rights and advocacy organizations will lead a march and rally at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington on Saturday, Jan. 14 — less than a week before the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump.

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Progress marked some results in Nov. 8 elections

While Hillary Clinton didn’t break the glass ceiling last week to become the nation’s first female president, other barriers were broken in races around the country.

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‘They kilt us, but they ain’t whupped us yet’

Democrat Hillary Clinton defeated in one of nation’s most stunning political upsets in history

Emboldened Republicans claimed a mandate Wednesday for Donald Trump after his stunning election as the 45th president of the United States.

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Delta Air Lines snubs black women physicians

When Tamika Cross tried to help another passenger in distress on a recent Delta Air Lines flight, she said she was dismissed by a flight attendant who doubted that the black woman was actually a physician. Dr. Cross, an OB-GYN based in Houston, chronicled the incident on Facebook on Oct. 9. The post has since gone viral, with more than 15,000 comments, and sparked the Twitter hashtag #whatadoctorlookslike.

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Howard University renames school for Cathy Hughes

Howard University has renamed its School of Communications the Cathy Hughes School of Communications, after the founder of Radio One Inc., the largest African-American owned multimedia company in the United States. Dr. Wayne A.I. Frederick, president of Howard University, announced in early October a multimillion-dollar gift to the communications school from the Catherine L. Hughes and Alfred C. Liggins III Foundation.

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Japan’s ‘bolt’ turns heads, wins silver

Japan’s 4x100 relay team brought a “bolt” of it’s own to the 2016 Olympics in the form of “Aska” Cambridge.

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Crusading journalist George E. Curry dies at 69

George E. Curry, a pioneering journalist and publisher whose civil rights advocacy helped free a Henrico County woman from federal prison while calling national attention to the disparity in federal drug sentences for African-Americans, died Saturday, Aug. 20, 2016, at a Takoma Park, Md., hospital.

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Family dispute over Dr. King’s Bible, Nobel Prize medal ends

A Fulton County, Ga., judge has signed an order ending an ownership dispute over Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s traveling Bible and Nobel Peace Prize medal that had pitted the slain civil rights leader’s two sons against their sister. The consent order signed Aug. 15 by Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney says the items are to be released to Martin Luther King III as chairman of the board of his father’s estate, but does not indicate what will happen to them after that.

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Romance in Rio

Richmond’s Queen Harrison says ‘yes’ to silver medalist at Olympics

Queen Harrison of Richmond didn’t qualify for the 100-meter hurdles in the Olympics, but she’s bringing back bling from Rio — an engagement ring.

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Scathing DOJ report finds discriminatory, unconstitutional police practices in Baltimore

African-American residents in Baltimore are routinely subjected to unconstitutional stops, arrests and excessive force by the Baltimore Police Department, a scathing federal report released on Wednesday states. The 163-page U.S. Justice Department report details an investigation launched after the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray last year that found the Baltimore Police Department engages in a pattern of conduct that violates the Constitution and federal law.

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Recent court rulings strike down discriminatory voting laws in several states

In a heated election year, federal and state courts are rejecting Republican-backed voting restrictions after finding their sole purpose is to limit voting by African-Americans, Latinos, the poor and other minority groups that lean Democratic. In rulings last Friday that could pave the way for bigger turnouts on Election Day, courts struck down such laws in the key election states of North Carolina, Kansas and Wisconsin.

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Kaine’s history readies him for VP role

He has been Richmond’s mayor, Virginia’s governor and a U.S. senator. Now Sen. Timothy Michael Kaine — whom everyone calls “Tim” — has leaped to the national stage as Democrat Hillary Clinton’s running mate.

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That’s the ticket

Hillary Clinton shatters glass ceiling with historic presidential nod

Hillary Rodham Clinton swept into history Tuesday as Democrats, eager to present a face of unity to a national television audience, chose her to be the party’s standard-bearer in the Nov. 8 presidential election.

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Anguish of a nation

From memorial services to protests, numerous questions arise after senseless killings

“Can we all get along? Can we get along? Can we stop making it, making it horrible …?” The late Rodney King spoke those memorable words as he called for calm in 1992 after the acquittal of four white police officers who were videotaped savagely beating him triggered riots in Los Angeles.

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Decision removes guns from domestic abusers convicted of misdemeanors

The U.S. Supreme Court expanded protection for victims of domestic violence Monday by ruling that every misdemeanor conviction for domestic violence triggers the loss of gun ownership rights. The justices, in a 6-2 ruling issued amid fierce debate about reducing firearms violence in America, rejected arguments that a federal gun ownership prohibition should apply only to knowing or intentional conduct, but not to impulsive or reckless conduct.

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No jail

U.S. Supreme Court overturns corruption convictions of former Gov. McDonnell

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell insisted that he never sold his office in exchange for the $177,000 in loans and gifts that a businessman seeking to promote a dietary product showered on him and his family.

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House sit-in

Scores of Democratic lawmakers, led by civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis, refuse to leave the U.S. House of Representatives until gun control measures are passed

Democratic lawmakers, using 1960s tactics to press their point, staged an surprise sit-in on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday, demanding the chamber remain in session until the Republican leadership agrees to a vote on gun control legislation.

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Richmonder debuts his film June 22

While growing up in Richmond, Jai Jamison knew that he wanted to be a film director. Next week, the 30-year-old’s award-winning feature film, “Tri,” will premiere in Richmond. The film, chronicling the efforts of two female triathletes, will be shown 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 22, at Bow Tie Cinemas, 1310 N. Boulevard.

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Trump rally sinks under weights

Donald Trump was expected to pack the Richmond Coliseum when he visited the city last week. After all, he has packed arenas in other cities.

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Grief unifies nation

Richmond mourns in solidarity following Orlando massacre

In what has become all too common, several Richmond churches and community groups gathered this week to hold vigils and pray for victims of gun violence. This time, the songs of solace and tears of despair were for the slaughter unleashed Sunday morning when 29-year-old gunman Omar Mateen killed 49 people and wounded 53 others at an Orlando, Fla., nightclub frequented by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender patrons.

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VSU grad crowned Miss USA

Deshauna Barber has brains and beauty, and she’s a commander in the Army Reserve to boot. The 2011 Virginia State University graduate now adds another title: Miss USA 2016. Miss Barber, 26, who represented the District of Columbia in Sunday’s pageant at the T-Mobile Arena on the Las Vegas strip, beat contestants from 50 states to win the crown.

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Farewell to the champ

Muhammad Ali fought for justice, equality and title

More than 62 years ago, an anonymous bicycle thief in Louisville, Ky., unknowingly set in motion the amazing career of a boxing legend and remarkable world figure who would live up to his self-billing as “The Greatest.”

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Goodnight, sweet Prince

Fans in the Richmond area and around the world are listening to their favorite Prince songs, watching his iconic movie “Purple Rain” and partying like it’s 1999 in memory and honor of the pop icon who died Thursday, April 21, 2016, in his hometown of Minneapolis.

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Verizon strike could impact local service

Members of Henrico County-based Local 2201 of the Communications Workers of America walked off the job early Wednesday in a strike against Verizon.

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Breakfast with Bernie

Bernie Sanders had breakfast in New York with the Rev. Al Sharpton just hours after trouncing Hillary Clinton in the New Hampshire Democratic presidential nominating contest Tuesday. His meeting with the iconic civil rights leader marked the recognition by Mr. Sanders that his campaign must swiftly broaden its base of support if he has any chance of mounting a long-term challenge to Mrs. Clinton, who consistently polls better among African-American voters.

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Obama cheered

President Obama took aim on Tuesday at Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump and accused critics of playing into the hands of the Islamic State in a speech meant to cement his legacy and set a positive tone for his final year in office. Delivering his last annual State of the Union speech to Congress as president, he called for leaders to “fix” U.S. politics and criticized candidates such as Mr. Trump for using anti-Muslim rhetoric that betrayed American values.

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Obama wept

His executive order aims to halt gun killings

Wiping back tears as he remembered children killed in a mass shooting, President Obama on Tuesday ordered stricter gun rules that he can impose without Congress and urged American voters to reject pro-gun candidates.

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‘Bobby Jones Gospel’ signing off the air

For more than 34 years, people have watched “Bobby Jones Gospel” on the BET network for their Sunday morning inspiration. The show, led by the 76-year-old Grammy Award winner, features stirring performances and in-depth interviews. It has served as a springboard to fame for some of today’s leading gospel artists, including Yolanda Adams, Hezekiah Walker, Smokie Norful, Mary Mary and Kirk Franklin.

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Amelia Boynton Robinson, civil rights activist, dies at 104

Free Press staff, wire reports MONTGOMERY, Ala. Amelia Boynton Robinson helped change America. The first African-American woman to run for Congress served on the front lines during the Civil Rights Movement. Almost beaten to death in a march for voting rights in 1965, she was among those who pushed the country to pass a strong law to finally ensure African-Americans could cast a ballot without facing literacy tests, poll taxes and vicious attacks.

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McDonnell remains free while high court considers his case

Free Press staff, wire reports Bob McDonnell’s date with prison has been delayed again. The former Virginia governor, convicted of 11 counts of corruption, won a temporary reprieve Monday from the U.S. Supreme Court.

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McDonnell remains free while high court considers his case

Bob McDonnell’s date with prison has been delayed again.

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Loss of a legend

Julian Bond, warrior in the struggle for equality, dies at 75

Through the relentless struggles of the Civil Rights Movement, Julian Bond always kept his sense of humor. His steady demeanor helped him persist despite the inevitable difficulties involved, his wife recalled. Mr. Bond “never took his eyes off the prize — and that was always racial equality,” his wife, Pamela Horowitz, said Sunday. “He always ... in that hard struggle kept a sense of humor, and I think that’s what allowed him to do that work for so long — his whole life really,” his wife added.

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$87.6M

Wilson inks contract extension with Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has millions of reasons to be wearing one of the biggest smiles in the team’s training camp this week in Renton, Wash.

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Richmond native, renowned conductor Paul Douglas Freeman dead at 79

Paul Douglas Freeman left segregated Richmond in 1953 to pursue his musical dreams. Now in his death more than six decades later, the trailblazer is recognized as one of the world’s preeminent conductors. During his career, the amazing maestro with the engaging persona conducted more than 100 orchestras in 30 countries. With more than 200 recordings to his credit, he also won numerous awards for his unique interpretations of the classical, romantic and modern repertoire.

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Mo’ne Davis wins ESPY Award

Mo’ne Davis continues to add to her already crowded trophy shelf. The teen sensation’s latest accolade?

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President calls for criminal justice reforms at NAACP convention

“Mass incarceration makes our country worse off, and we need to do something about it,” President Obama told 3,000 cheering people at the 106th annual NAACP National Convention in Philadelphia this week.