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Fox News veteran Shepard Smith quits; hopes ‘facts will win the day’

(Reuters) - Shepard Smith, the chief news anchor of Fox News and a sometime critic of U.S. President Donald Trump, abruptly quit the network on Friday after 23 years. In an unexpected on-air statement at the end of his daily “Shepard Smith Reporting” show, Smith said he had asked to leave the conservative-leaning cable news network, which is the most-watched in the United States. His farewell message ended with the hope that “the truth will always matter.” “Recently I asked the company to allow me to leave Fox News. After requesting that I stay, they obliged. Under our agreement I won’t be reporting elsewhere, at least in…

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Judge blocks Trump immigration rule, calls it ‘repugnant to American Dream’

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. federal judge in New York on Friday temporarily blocked a Trump administration rule that would deny residency to aspiring immigrants deemed likely to require government assistance, calling it “repugnant to the American Dream.” FILE PHOTO: Migrant families from Honduras turn themselves to U.S. Border Patrol to seek asylum following an illegal crossing of the Rio Grande in Hidalgo, Texas, U.S., August 23, 2019. REUTERS/Loren Elliott/File PhotoThe rule, finalized in August, vastly expanded who could be considered a possible “public charge,” applying to anyone who might in the future need temporary government help such as food stamps, Medicaid or housing aid. Previously…

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Exclusive: U.S. migrant policy sends thousands of children, including babies, back to Mexico

TIJUANA, Mexico (Reuters) - Since January, the U.S. government has ordered 16,000 migrants under 18, including nearly 500 infants, to wait with their families in Mexico for U.S. immigration court hearings, a Reuters analysis of government data found. Along the U.S.-Mexico border, babies and toddlers are living in high-crime cities - often in crowded shelters and tents or on the streets - for the weeks or months it takes to get a U.S. asylum hearing. The risk of violence and illness runs high and is of particular concern for families with young children or those with chronic health conditions, according to interviews with health professionals, migrants, aid…

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U.S., China agree ‘Phase 1’ trade deal; Trump suspends October tariff hike

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and China agreed on Friday to the first phase of a deal to end a trade war, prompting President Donald Trump to suspend a threatened tariff hike, but officials said the agreement had to be put on paper and more work was required to get it finalized. The partial accord, covering agriculture, currency and some aspects of intellectual property protections, represented the biggest step toward resolution of a 15-month tariff war between the world’s two largest economies that has hit financial markets and slowed global growth. The announcement did not include many details, however, and Trump said it could take up…

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Facebook’s Libra Cryptocurrency Faces Exodus of Partners

Facebook’s troubled cryptocurrency initiative, Libra, suffered new blows on Friday as the departures of key partners became an exodus.Stripe, Mastercard, Visa and eBay said they were all pulling out of Libra, a week after PayPal became the first company to drop out. While they continue to support the idea of Libra, the companies said, they will no longer be part of the coalition that is backing the effort.“EBay has made the decision to not move forward as a founding member,” a company spokesman said. Mastercard said it was focused on its own strategy “and our own significant efforts to enable financial inclusion around the world,” and Visa…

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U.S. House Foreign Affairs leaders seek protection of Kurds in Syria

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Representative Eliot Engel (D-NY) speaks during the introduction of the Climate Action Now Act on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S., March 27, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua RobertsWASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. lawmakers introduced a resolution on Friday opposing President Donald Trump’s decision to clear the way for Turkey to attack Kurdish fighters, underscoring unhappiness from both Democrats and Trump’s fellow Republicans in the U.S. Congress over his Syria policy. Representatives Eliot Engel, the Democratic chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, and Mike McCaul, the committee’s ranking Republican, introduced the resolution expressing strong support for Kurdish forces in Syria and recognizing their contribution…

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China’s Political Correctness: One Country, No Arguments

Hong Kong’s protests have disrupted Yang Yang’s family life. Though the 29-year-old lives in mainland China, he was inspired by the demonstrations to write a song about freedom and upload it to the internet. When censors deleted it, he complained to his family.They weren’t sympathetic. “How can you support Hong Kong separatists?” they asked. “How can you be anti-China?” His mother threatened to disown him. Before Mr. Yang left on a trip to Japan in August, his father said he hoped his son would die there.Hong Kong’s protests have inflamed tensions in the semiautonomous Chinese city, but passions in the mainland have been just as heated —…

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The Week in Tech: Navigating the Chinese Minefield

Each week, we review the week’s news, offering analysis about the most important developments in the tech industry.Hello, Bits readers, I’m Erin Griffith, a tech reporter filling in from New York. Here’s what happened this past week in tech:The Chinese government has increased pressure on foreign companies that don’t toe the party line on protests in Hong Kong. That has created a minefield for American companies, Amy Qin and Julie Creswell wrote. First, the National Basketball Association apologized to China after a team executive tweeted support for the Hong Kong protesters. Despite the apology, some Chinese sponsorships, broadcasts and preseason games were canceled.Then Activision Blizzard, the gaming…

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U.S. appeals court blocks Ohio ban on Down syndrome abortion

(Reuters) - A divided federal appeals court on Friday said Ohio cannot enforce a 2017 law banning abortions when medical tests show that a fetus has Down syndrome. Upholding a preliminary injunction, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati said the law was invalid under Supreme Court precedents because it had the purpose and effect of preventing some women from obtaining pre-viability abortions. Circuit Judge Bernice Bouie Donald wrote in a 2-1 decision that the injunction also served the public interest by ensuring “access to constitutionally protected health care services.” The law known as House Bill 214 subjected doctors to as much as 18 months…

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Pompeo says Orwell’s ‘1984’ coming to life in China’s Xinjiang region

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday likened China’s treatment of more than one million Uighur Muslims to George Orwell’s “1984” novel, saying the Communist Party was detaining and abusing them in internment camps. Speaking at an American Association of Christian Counselors event in Nashville, Tennessee, Pompeo also said he wished the National Basketball Association (NBA) had acknowledged the situation in the Xinjiang region. NBA has been grappling with the backlash from a tweet by Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey last weekend in support of Hong Kong anti-government protests. Morey deleted his tweet but Chinese state media has characterized it as the latest…

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