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WASHINGTON (AP) — A close associate of President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani is claiming Trump was directly involved in the effort to pressure Ukraine to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden. Lev Parnas' account undercuts a key Republican defense of Trump during the impeachment investigation — that Trump's withholding of vital military aid to Ukraine wasn't a quid pro quo for Biden investigations. Parnas' potentially explosive claims, made in an extended interview with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, also involve Vice President Mike Pence, Attorney General William Barr, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former Energy Secretary Rick Perry. All have denied wrongdoing.
MEXICO CITY (AP) — A 5.3 magnitude earthquake has shaken southern Mexico, causing some damage in part of the southern state of Oaxaca. The U.S. Geological Survey says the temblor occurred at 8:07 p.m. Thursday and was centered 3.6 miles (5.9 km) southwest of Santiago Ixtaltepec in Oaxaca. It struck at a depth of 16 miles (27 km). The Oaxaca state civil defense agency says there was damage in the isthmus region, but has not offered any specifics.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense officials say the Department of Homeland Security has asked the Pentagon to fund the construction of 270 miles of border wall this year as part of a counter-drug effort. The officials say the request came in Wednesday, and the Pentagon is beginning what will be a two-week assessment to determine what will be approved. The officials would not provide any cost estimates.
EL CINCHADO, Guatemala (AP) — Police in Guatemala accompanied by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents have swept up most of a group of some 300 migrants and bused them back to Honduras. The action effectively dashes their plans to travel together in a “caravan” toward the U.S. Adults, teens and young children were in the group. They had walked about six hours before stopping to rest. At that point they were asked for entry documents they didn't have and told they could not continue. Police said they had no choice. Guatemala's tactics mirrored those employed last year by Mexico to discourage and disrupt caravans following intense pressure from Washington.
McHENRY, Ill. (AP) — Police say a pickup truck has slammed into an Illinois Starbucks, injuring five people and causing massive damage to the coffee shop. Patrick Polidori, public affairs officer for McHenry police, told The Associated Press that the driver and four people at the cafe were injured. Four were taken to the hospital, including one in critical condition. Polidori said it wasn't known why the full-sized pickup ran off the roadway in McHenry, about 50 miles northwest of Chicago, and collided with the building after striking a vehicle at the drive-thru window.
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