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EPA chief Pruitt tells lawmakers ethics charges are distractions, lies

EPA chief Pruitt tells lawmakers ethics charges are distractions, liesBy Valerie Volcovici and Richard Cowan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt told lawmakers during a heated congressional hearing on Thursday that allegations of ethical missteps plaguing his tenure are untrue and are intended to derail President Donald Trump's agenda. "Facts are facts and fiction is fiction," the embattled agency chief told a House of Representatives panel in the first of two hearings at which he was due to appear. "And a lie doesn't become true just because it appears in the front page of the newspaper." The hearings, ostensibly to discuss the EPA budget, pose a critical test for Pruitt as he seeks to avoid becoming the latest in a long list of Cabinet members and senior White House officials who have either quit or been fired by Trump.



U.S. judge rules seized Trump lawyer documents to be independently reviewed

U.S. judge rules seized Trump lawyer documents to be independently reviewedBy Brendan Pierson and Doina Chiacu NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A federal judge ruled on Thursday that a court-appointed independent official should be the first to examine documents seized by FBI agents from U.S. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen. The agents raided Cohen's office and home on April 9, an action that infuriated the president. Prosecutors said in a court filing several days later that they have been investigating the lawyer for months, largely over his business dealings rather than his legal work. ...



At least 20 hurt in blast at Wisconsin Husky refinery: media

At least 20 hurt in blast at Wisconsin Husky refinery: mediaAt least 20 people were injured in the incident, the local ABC affiliate reported. A local fire official confirmed the blast. Roads around the refinery have been blocked and employees evacuated, local media reported.



White House doctor steps back from Trump veterans job after controversy

White House doctor steps back from Trump veterans job after controversyBy Steve Holland and Roberta Rampton WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump's physician Ronny Jackson on Thursday withdrew from consideration to head the Veterans Affairs department after allegations that he had been lax with prescription drugs and drank alcohol on the job. The allegations, which Jackson categorically denied as false, had prompted the Senate to put a hold on his hearing for the job of leading the federal government's second largest department. The upset was the latest chaotic personnel decision to rock Trump's White House, which has been roiled by an unusually high number of firings and resignations.



U.S. judge blocks cuts to teen pregnancy prevention grants

U.S. judge blocks cuts to teen pregnancy prevention grantsA federal judge has blocked President Donald Trump's administration from terminating grants issued through a teen pregnancy prevention program, marking the third time in a week that a court has held that the administration's 2017 decision was unlawful. U.S. District Judge Catherine Blake in Baltimore ruled on Wednesday that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services improperly moved to terminate five-year grant awards issued to the city and a non-profit two years early. Blake said HHS failed to comply with at least one of four conditions before it terminated the grants, such as showing that Baltimore or Healthy Teen Network failed to comply with the terms of their awards.





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