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Sessions recusal, calls for resignation...Carson, Perry confirmed...Baltimore PD task force indictments

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he'll step aside from an investigation into Russian meddling in the presidential election. In a news conference today, Sessions was it was not his intent to mislead anyone about during his confirmation hearings about undisclosed contacts he had with the Russian ambassador. Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley says Sessions is sending a letter to the panel to explain testimony under oath following revelations he twice met with the Russian ambassador and didn't say so when pressed by lawmakers. Some Democrats say a recusal isn't enough and that Sessions should resign.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The top Republican and Democrat on the House intelligence committee have conflicting takes on a closed-door briefing with FBI Director James Comey on Russian activities during the presidential election. Chairman Devin Nunes says Comey was "forthright" and that the meeting was a "good first step." But Democrat Adam Schiff says the FBI is stonewalling the committee and it will have to contemplate subpoenas. Despite differing views about the briefing, Nunes says the committee is moving forward in bipartisan fashion.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two of President Donald Trump's former rivals for the GOP White House nomination -- Ben Carson and Rick Perry -- have won Senate confirmation to join his administration. Carson was confirmed as secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Perry was confirmed as energy secretary. Carson has never held public office and has no housing policy experience. Republicans have praised the life story. Perry is the former governor of Texas and once pledged to eliminate the Energy Department.

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas' attorney general says a state Supreme Court ruling suggests that lawmakers should concentrate on helping underperforming students by boosting spending on public schools. The high court said the state's funding for public schools is not adequate but did not say how much more lawmakers must provide. In its decision, the court noted that about a quarter of the state's students aren't proficient in reading and math with higher percentages for minorities.

BALTIMORE (AP) — The U.S. Justice Department has filed a slew of criminal charges against seven Baltimore police officers who were member of a task force tasked with getting illegal guns off the streets. They face theft, fraud and conspiracy charges. Prosecutors say the officers detained people on false charges, stole money and defrauded the department. They're also accused of turning off body cameras to hide their conduct. Prosecutors say witnesses are terrified and hundreds of cases may have to be thrown out.

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