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Free Press wire reports

Stories by Free Press wire

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Former First Lady Barbara Bush dies

A private funeral for former First Lady Barbara Bush, the only American woman to see her husband and son both sworn in as president, will be held on Saturday, April 21, at a Houston church where her family has been members since the 1950s, officials said.

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Bridal designer Amsale Aberra dies at 64

Bridal Fashion Week this time around will include a tribute to couture designer Amsale Aberra, who died of cancer just days before her scheduled show.

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Gospel music stars shine at 33rd Stellar Awards ceremony

Gospel singer, composer and choir director James “JJ” Hairston was the top winner last weekend at the 33rd Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards, winning six awards.

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Lerone Bennett Jr., noted historian of black America, dies at 89

Perhaps no other voice — or pen — captured the real life of Africans and African-Americans like Lerone Bennett Jr., the former editor of Ebony and JET magazines.

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Symbolism fills official portraits of Obamas

They have been called “stunning,” “compelling,” “powerful” and “unexpected.” And now, the official portraits of former President Obama and his wife, former First Lady Michelle Obama, will be on view at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington.

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8.7M people signed up for Obamacare

More than 8.7 million people nationally signed up for coverage for 2018 under the Affordable Care Act, the health care law that was a hallmark of the Obama administration, the government reported last week.

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Warren ‘Pete’ Moore, original vocalist, songwriter with The Miracles, dies at 79

Warren “Pete” Moore, a vocalist and songwriter with Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, died Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017, in Las Vegas on his 79th birthday.

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Chadwick Boseman in ‘Marshall’ is bulletproof

Thurgood Marshall, a titan of 20th century law and a civil rights pioneer, has until now largely eluded Hollywood’s notice. Despite its title, “Marshall,’’ too, is wary of taking on the Supreme Court justice in full, sticking to a minor case from Mr. Marshall’s early career as counsel for the NAACP. That makes, for better and worse, a sometimes slight, sometimes serious courtroom drama, shot through with bright certainty in the coming triumphs for Mr. Marshall and the civil rights movement. It’s a superhero-style origin story: Thurgood, pre- “Brown v. Board of Education,’’ pre-black robe.

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Johnson named interim president of national NAACP

The national NAACP announced a new interim leader, along with a nationwide listening tour that will allow the organization’s leaders to talk to local members and figure out the future direction of the nation’s oldest civil rights organization.

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Virginians to be impacted by new laws now in effect

New state laws went into effect Saturday, July 1, that could impact how Virginians drive, what kind of alcohol they buy and what they wear when they go hunting.

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Pivotal church versus state legal battle urged to proceed in high court

Missouri officials and a church embroiled in a closely watched dispute over public money going to religious entities urged the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday to decide the case despite a pivotal policy change by the state’s Republican governor.

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Calls mount for independent investigation of Russia’s ties to Trump administration

President Trump is finding its easy to play golf, but harder to get his way as the nation’s chief executive.

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Gorsuch sidesteps tough questions in Supreme Court confirmation hearings

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch said on Wednesday presidents must obey court orders and expressed uncertainty about language in the U.S. Constitution barring government officials from taking payments from a foreign country as Democrats grilled him on issues involving President Trump.

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Dying with debt: Advice from experts

You’re probably going to die with some debt. A majority of people do. In fact, 73 percent of Americans had outstanding debt when they died, according to December 2016 data reported by Credit.com.

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Horror-satire film ‘Get Out’ makes box office history

Jordan Peele’s hugely popular debut horror-satire film “Get Out” has made box office history. It is the first film by an African-American writer-director to earn more than $100 million.

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Faith leaders, politicians: New immigration order still anti-Muslim

Federal judges may find President Trump’s new executive order on immigration more acceptable than the last. But many religious groups and faith leaders see no meaningful difference in the new measure, which President Trump signed privately last Monday.

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Trump decries anti-Semitism, racism after D.C. museum visit

President Trump called anti-Semitic violence “horrible” and vowed on Tuesday to take steps to counter extremism.

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Grammy Award-winning singer Al Jarreau dies

LOS ANGELES Alwin Lopez “Al” Jarreau delighted music fans for nearly 50 years with his eclectic soulful, genre-blending style.

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Athletes may be impacted by Muslim travel ban

President Trump’s ban on visitors from seven predominantly Muslim nations could have a wide impact on international sports if the ban is ultimately upheld by the courts, according to Jere Longman, a sports writer for The New York Times.

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DeVos, Sessions confirmed

Two of President Trump’s controversial picks for his cabinet have been confirmed by the Senate and are ready to take office.

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‘Hidden Figures,’ ‘Fences’ win big at SAG Awards

Free Press wire reports HOLLYWOOD, Calif. The cast of “Hidden Figures” rocketed to the Screen Actors Guild top award at a fiery, protest-laden ceremony last Sunday that was dominated by words of defiance and dismay about President Trump’s sweeping immigration ban.

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Oscars not so white at least in this year’s nominations

This year’s Oscar nominations honor the largest ever group of actors of color, along with a diverse range of stories, a year after Hollywood was slammed for excluding diverse talent.

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Controversial Bishop Eddie L. Long dies at 63

During a 30-year tenure, Bishop Eddie Lee Long transformed the once tiny New Birth Missionary Baptist Church near Atlanta into a megachurch that peaked at 25,000 members before he became embroiled in a sex scandal. A controversial figure who lived a lavish lifestyle and earned millions of dollars from real estate investments and book royalties while pastor, Bishop Long died Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017. His church attributed his death to an aggressive form of cancer.

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Jury sentences white supremacist to death in S.C. church massacre

Unrepentant white supremacist Dylann Roof was sentenced to death Tuesday for fatally shooting nine African-American church members during Bible study at a landmark Charleston, S.C., church, becoming the first person ordered executed for a federal hate crime.

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Prosperity preachers to pray at Trump inaugural

Bishop Wayne T. Jackson, who hosted President-elect Donald Trump with his Detroit congregation in September, is among the religious leaders chosen to offer prayers at the new president’s swearing-in next week in Washington. The inaugural committee announced that prosperity gospel preachers Bishop Jackson, who leads Great Faith Ministries International, and Pastor Paula White, a friend of the president-elect, will join four others selected to participate in the inauguration on Friday, Jan. 20.

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Trump denounces intel reports of damaging info from Russian hacking

A defiant President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday adamantly denied reports that Russia had compromising personal and financial information about him, calling it a “tremendous blot” on the record of the intelligence community if material with any such allegations had been released.

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It’s a boy for 50-year-old Janet Jackson

Pop singer Janet Jackson has had her first child at the age of 50, Billboard magazine reported Tuesday, citing the pop singer’s publicist.

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Simone Biles, LeBron James named AP Athletes of the Year

She won a record-tying four gold medals to go along with a bronze during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

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Plans advance to build memorial, museum to U.S. lynching victims

The Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit organization that provides legal representation to indigent defendants and prisoners denied fair and just treatment in the legal system, plans to open the first national memorial to African-American victims of lynching.

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Prosecutor vows to retry S.C. ex-officer after mistrial in death of motorist

A South Carolina prosecutor said she would retry the former South Carolina police officer, a white man, who shot and killed a black motorist as he ran during an April 2015 traffic stop.

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Trump changes course

President-elect Donald Trump vowed on Wednesday to step back from running his global business empire to avoid conflicts of interest, as concern over his dual role mounts ahead of the Republican’s inauguration on Jan. 20.

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Newest Rhodes Scholars are Richmonder at Howard, U.Va. students

A Howard University senior who lives in Richmond and a University of Virginia senior from Maryland are among 32 Americans chosen as 2017 Rhodes Scholars.

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Virginia ends hospital-style regulation for abortion clinics

Virginia’s Board of Health voted on Monday to remove contested regulations on abortion clinics that included meeting hospital-like building standards.

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Paisley Park opens as museum Oct. 28

Paisley Park, the estate and studio of the late musician Prince, will operate permanently as a museum after a rezoning request was approved by the Chanhassen City Council on Monday night. The 65,000 square-foot estate where Prince died on April 21 of an accidental, self-administered overdose at the age of 57 is located in the Minneapolis suburb and will be open to the public on Friday, Oct. 28.

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Trump creates chasm in GOP with lewd tape

Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump ignited his base — and opened a chasm with the GOP leadership and many supporters — with a second debate performance in which he threatened to jail his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, if he is elected.

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Kaine comes out swinging

U.S. Senator challenges GOP vice presidential contender over Donald Trump’s record

Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine aggressively challenged Republican candidate Mike Pence over a long list of Donald Trump’s controversial positions and statements Tuesday night, drawing a vigorous defense of Mr. Trump’s tax history.

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New National Museum of African American History and Culture opens to fanfare, tears

Black history officially has a new, prominent place in America’s story. With hugs, tears and the ringing of a church bell, the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture opened its doors last Saturday to help this nation understand, reconcile and celebrate African-Americans’ often-ignored contributions toward making this country what it is today.

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‘Queen of Katwe’ opens Friday

She grew up in one of the poorest spots on earth. She couldn’t read or write. As a child, she scrounged for food and water each day for herself, her mother and her brother.

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Emmy Awards filled with color, politics

Diversity ruled at Sunday’s Emmy Awards, where a record 21 nominees of color were up for the annual awards for television and cable shows in contrast to this year’s all-white Oscars acting lineup. Several took home Emmys, many for the first time.

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McDonnell, wife free; facing $10M legal bill

Former Gov. Bob McDonnell is officially a free man, but he paid a heavy price to get there. Federal prosecutors announced late last week they will not pursue a second trial against Mr. McDonnell or his wife, Maureen McDonnell, on corruption charges. The decision, announced Sept. 8, comes more than two months after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned his conviction.

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Retrial for former governor?

The U.S. Supreme Court overturned federal corruption convictions against former Gov. Bob McDonnell in June.

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Georgetown begins atonement for role in slavery

Georgetown University apologized for its historical links to slavery and said last week it would give an admissions edge to descendants of slaves whose sale in the 19th century helped pay off the school’s debts.

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President Obama nominates Muslim American to federal judiciary

President Obama nominated a Washington attorney for the federal bench Tuesday. If confirmed, he would be the first Muslim American to serve as a federal judge. President Obama nominated Abid Riaz Qureshi of Maryland for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

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49ers quarterback under fire for sitting during national anthem

NFL Quarterback Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers refused to stand for the national anthem before a preseason game last Friday, drawing boos from some fans and criticism on social media, but his team said they backed his right to protest.

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Archbishop Desmond Tutu hospitalized

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu is responding well to treatment for a recurring infection, his daughter, Thandeka Tutu-Gxashe said this week.

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Trump defends wall in meeting with Mexico’s president

Once referring to Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump as comparable to Benito Mussolini and Adolph Hitler, Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto expressed optimism that he and Mr. Trump could work together.

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FBI detects breaches in two state voter systems

The FBI has found breaches in Illinois’ and Arizona’s voter registration databases and is urging states to increase computer security ahead of the Nov. 8 presidential election, according to a U.S. official familiar with the probe.

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Lochte loses sponsors after Olympic embarrassment

U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte lost the last of his four major sponsors, Japanese mattress maker Airweave, days after he admitted to exaggerating his story about being robbed at gunpoint in Rio during the Olympics. The incident embarrassed the host city, angered the local police and government and dominated news coverage of South America’s first Olympics, leading the U.S. Olympic Committee to issue an apology.

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Venus Williams captures silver in mixed doubles

You can’t keep the Williams sisters down.

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NYC reaches $4.1M settlement in fatal police shooting

New York City reached a settlement of more than $4 million with the family of an unarmed man fatally shot by a police officer in a darkened stairwell nearly two years ago, the attorney for the family said Tuesday.

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