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Pushing back against Russia links...Dow record again...Takata air bag plea, fine

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican lawmaker who heads one of three Congressional panels looking into President Donald Trump's ties to Russia says Congress should not begin a McCarthy-style investigation of a few Americans based on news reports. House Intelligence chairman Devin Nunes told reporters today that he knows of no evidence that Trump aides had contacts with Russian agents. Nunes' comments came on the same day that Trump said he hadn't called Russia "in 10 years."

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — in a dramatic reversal, the Justice Department plans to drop longstanding opposition to a key portion of Texas' toughest-in-the-nation voter ID law. Under the Obama administration, the government spent years arguing that the 2011 law that Texas' Republican-controlled Legislature passed was intended to disenfranchise poor and minority voters. The Washington-based Campaign Legal Center calls the decision an "extraordinary disappointment" and says there's no new evidence for making the switch.

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Federal prosecutors want a stiff sentence for a friend of Dylann Roof who didn't report Roof's plans to kill black church worshippers in South Carolina. That attack left nine people dead, including the pastor who had been leading a Bible study. In court papers filed today, prosecutors said Joey Meek knew the full scope of Roof's hatred and desire to start a race war by killing people inside an AME church in Charleston.

NEW YORK (AP) — For the 12th day in a row, the Dow has finished at a record high. The S&P, the benchmark favored by professional investors, also closed at an all-time high today. The tiny gains came after an indecisive day for U.S. stocks that sent indexes wavering between small gains and losses. The Dow gained 15 points, while the S&P is up by just two points. The Nasdaq increased 16 points.

DETROIT (AP) — Japanese auto parts maker Takata has been slapped with a $1 billon fine and has pleaded guilty to fraud for concealing a deadly defect in millions of its air bags. The bags' inflators can explode with too much force, hurling shrapnel into drivers and passengers. Takata hid the threat. The inflators are blamed for at least 16 deaths worldwide — 11 of them in the U.S. — and more than 180 injuries.

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