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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has visited the Pentagon and discussed U.S. efforts to defeat the Islamic State group. Afterward, Obama offered new operational details about the campaign. He said American special operations commandos have begun working with local fighters to "tighten the squeeze" in Raqqa (RAQ'-uh). That's a city in Syria that the extremists have made their nominal capital.
UNDATED (AP) — U.S. authorities say a 30-year-old Maryland man is in federal custody after being charged with trying to provide support to militants in the Islamic State group and receiving money allegedly intended for carrying out an attack on U.S. soil. Mohamed Elshinawy appeared before a federal magistrate in Baltimore today after being arrested Friday. Charges against him include providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization."
BALTIMORE (AP) — Jurors in Baltimore are deliberating the fate of the first of a half-dozen police officers to be tried in the death of Freddie Gray, a black man whose neck was broken in a police van. Members of the jury wrestled with various legal terms as they commenced deciding whether Officer William Porter is guilty of any of the charges brought against him. Porter is accused of manslaughter, assault and reckless endangerment and faces up to about 25 years in prison if convicted on all counts.
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Paul Ryan has told fellow lawmakers that budget negotiators on Capitol Hill are close to agreement on a number of spending and tax measures. That could set up votes later in the week in the House and Senate on a year-end budget bill that would avert a partial government shutdown. Republican demands to end a longtime federal ban on exporting crude oil has emerged as one of the key sticking points.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A member of the Missouri legislature is pushing legislation that would take scholarships away from Missouri student athletes if they refuse to play. Republican Rep. Rick Brattin pre-filed the bill last week in response to a threatened strike in November by the University of Missouri football team. The bill would require colleges and universities to fine coaches for helping student athletes strike.
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