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Biden Rallies for Democrats, Slams ‘Semi-Fascism’ in GOP

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By ZEKE MILLER and AAMER MADHANI, Associated Press

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ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP) — President Joe Biden known as on Democrats Thursday “to vote to actually save democracy as soon as once more” in the midterm elections — and in contrast Republican ideology to “semi-fascism” — as he led a kickoff rally and a fundraiser in Maryland.

Addressing an overflow crowd of 1000’s at Montgomery High School in Rockville, Biden stated: “Your proper to decide on is on the poll this 12 months. The Social Security you paid for from the time you had a job is on the poll. The security of your youngsters from gun violence is on the poll, and it’s not hyperbole, the very survival of our planet is on the poll.”

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“You have to decide on,” Biden added. “Will we be a rustic that strikes ahead or a rustic that strikes backward?”

The occasions, in the safely Democratic Washington suburbs, had been meant to ease Biden into what White House aides say can be an aggressive season of championing his coverage victories and aiding his celebration’s candidates. He is aiming to show months of legislative accomplishments into political power as Democrats have seen their hopes rebound amid a legacy-defining burst of motion by Biden and Congress.

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From bipartisan motion on gun management, infrastructure and home know-how manufacturing to Democrats-only efforts to deal with local weather change and well being care prices, Biden highlighted the achievements of the celebration’s unified however razor-thin management of Washington. And he tried to sharpen the distinction with Republicans, who as soon as appeared poised for sizable victories in November.

Just months in the past, as inflation soared, Biden’s ballot numbers soured and his agenda stalled, Democrats braced for important losses. But the extraordinary voter response to the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade and a productive summer season on problems with core concern to Democrats have the celebration feeling like it’s lastly on the offensive heading into the Nov. 8 vote, even because the president stays unpopular.

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Democrats, stated Biden pollster John Anzalone, are “in a greater place to compete as a result of Joe Biden put us there.”

“It doesn’t imply that the wind’s at our again,” he added. “But we’ve got extra of a breeze than what felt like a gale hurricane in our face.”

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Ahead of the rally, Biden raised about $1 million at an occasion with about 100 donors for the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Grassroots Victory Fund in the yard of a lavish Bethesda residence.

Biden’s Thursday occasions come a day after the president moved to meet a long-delayed marketing campaign pledge to forgive federal scholar loans for lower- and middle-income debtors — a transfer that Democrats consider will animate youthful and Black and Latino voters.

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Republicans, although, noticed their very own political benefit in the transfer, casting it as an unfair giveaway to would-be Democratic voters.

“President Biden’s inflation is crushing working households, and his reply is to provide away much more authorities money to elites with larger salaries,” stated Senate GOP chief Mitch McConnell. “Democrats are actually utilizing working Americans’ money to attempt to purchase themselves some enthusiasm from their political base.”

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Biden expanded on his effort to color Republicans because the “ultra-MAGA” celebration — a reference to former President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” marketing campaign slogan — opposing his agenda and embracing conservative ideological proposals, and Trump’s false claims about the 2020 election.

“What we’re seeing now could be both the start or the demise knell of an excessive MAGA philosophy,” Biden advised donors on the fundraiser. “It’s not simply Trump, it’s the whole philosophy that underpins the — I’m going to say one thing, it’s like semi-fascism.”

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“I respect conservative Republicans,” Biden stated later. “I don’t anticipate these MAGA Republicans.”

The Republican National Committee known as Biden’s feedback “Despicable.”

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“Biden pressured Americans out of their jobs, transferred money from working households to Harvard attorneys, and despatched our nation right into a recession whereas households can’t afford fuel and groceries,” stated spokesperson Nathan Brand. “Democrats don’t care about struggling Americans — they by no means did.”

Since the June Supreme Court ruling, Democrats have seen a lift in donations, polling and efficiency in particular elections for open congressional seats. The latest got here Tuesday in a Hudson Valley swing district that, in a Republican wave 12 months, ought to have been a simple GOP win. Instead, Democratic Ulster County government Pat Ryan, who campaigned on a platform of standing up for abortion rights, defeated his Republican counterpart from Duchess County, Marc Molinaro.

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“MAGA Republicans don’t have a clue about the ability of ladies,” Biden stated, noting the resonance of the abortion situation with ladies voters as some in the GOP push a nationwide ban on the process in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling. “Let me inform you one thing: they’re about to search out out.”

The shift is giving Democrats a brand new sense {that a} Republican sweep of the House is now not such a certain guess, notably as polling higher than Biden and battle-tested incumbents work their districts

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Meanwhile, Democrats have benefited from Republican candidates who received primaries however are struggling in the final marketing campaign. Trump-backed Senate candidates have difficult the GOP’s probabilities in battleground states like Pennsylvania, Georgia and Arizona, whereas a number of Trump-aligned candidates in House races weren’t all the time the celebration’s first selection.

Trump’s grip on the GOP stays sturdy and has maybe even turn into tighter in the aftermath of the FBI search of his Mar-a-Lago residence.

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JB Poersch, the president of Senate Majority Project, an out of doors group that’s working to elect Democrats to the Senate, stated the Republican candidates are “getting caught up in the Trump twister as soon as once more — that’s precisely what voters of each events don’t need.”

Biden’s political occasion, sponsored by the Democratic National Committee, comes because the president and members of his Cabinet are set to embark on what the White House has billed because the “Building a Better America Tour” to advertise “the advantages of the President’s accomplishments and the Inflation Reduction Act to the American folks and spotlight the distinction with Congressional Republicans’ imaginative and prescient.”

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Meanwhile, the White House has benefited from a gradual decline in gasoline prices, which, whereas nonetheless elevated, have dropped each day since mid-June.

“Our critics say inflation,” Biden stated, dismissing GOP assaults that his insurance policies resulted in inflation being at a 40-year excessive. “You imply the worldwide inflation attributable to the worldwide pandemic and Putin’s struggle in Ukraine?”

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In Maryland, Biden was joined by gubernatorial candidate Wes Moore and a bunch of different officers on the poll. Moore, introducing Biden, stated his Trump-backed rival “Dan Cox will not be an opponent. He’s a risk.”

Months in the past, Democratic lawmakers dealing with robust reelection fights sought to make themselves scarce when Biden got here to city, although White House aides stated Biden was nonetheless an asset to them by elevating points that resonate with voters and sharpening the excellence with Republicans.

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Now, allies see the fortunes starting to alter and the president as extra of a direct asset to campaigns.

“Joe Biden will not be the poll technically,” stated House Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer. “But Joe Biden is on the poll, and Joe Biden wants your help.”

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Cedric Richmond, the previous Louisiana congressman and Biden senior adviser who now advises the Democratic National Committee, stated if he had been a candidate, he’d rush to have Biden at his facet.

“I’d get in entrance of the van and turn into the drum main and speak about all of the accomplishments which have occurred underneath the management of Biden,” Richmond stated Wednesday. “You have a president who simply retains his head down and will get the work achieved and I feel voters, as we kick off this marketing campaign season, will see and recognize that.”

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He acknowledged some Democrats may decide in opposition to “bringing Washington to their district.”

“There are in all probability just a few circumstances the place that will make sense while you don’t even wish to be related to Washington,” Richmond stated. “That has nothing to do with the president. That has every part to do with the standard dysfunction of Washington.”

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He added, “The necessary level to emphasize is you don’t have that dysfunction proper now due to President Biden.”

AP Congressional Correspondent Lisa Mascaro and AP author Nicholas Riccardi contributed to this report.

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Follow AP’s protection of the 2022 midterm elections at https://apnews.com/hub/2022-midterm-elections.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This materials might not be printed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Warriors 0-6 on Road, Fall to Pelicans With 4 Starters Out

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By BRETT MARTEL, AP Sports Writer

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The defending champion Golden State Warriors fell to 0-6 on the street, shedding 114-105 to Brandon Ingram and the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night time with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins sidelined.

Ingram scored 26 factors in his return from a four-game absence due to a concussion and reserve Larry Nance Jr. scored 20 factors for the Pelicans, together with a number of fourth-quarter dunks that saved Golden State at bay. CJ McCollum scored 20 factors and Zion Williamson added 16 for New Orleans.

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Jordan Poole had 20 factors and 9 assists for the Warriors. Kevon Looney was the one common starter in uniform for Golden State’s second sport in two nights on the finish of a winless five-game journey.

The Warriors are 3-7 total. Among Western Conference groups, solely Houston (1-8) has extra losses.

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Curry, Thompson, Green and Wiggins all had been scratched after taking part in the earlier night time in a loss at Orlando.

The Warriors will not be taking part in Thompson on back-to-back nights due to his anterior cruciate ligament and Achilles tendon accidents in 2019 and 2020. Green is beneath related limitations due to a again damage final season. Curry was being rested due to elbow soreness and Wiggins due to a sore left foot.

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A beginning lineup that as an alternative included Poole and fellow guard Moses Moody, together with forwards Anthony Lamb and Jonathan Kuminga, made the sport aggressive into the fourth quarter.

Ty Jerome, who scored 18 factors, hit a 3 to pull the Warriors inside 99-96 earlier than the Pelicans steadily pulled away through the closing six minutes.

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Trey Murphy III’s 3-pointer capped a 7-0 Pelicans spurt that started with Nance’s dunk and layup and made it 111-101 with two minutes to go. Ingram, who additionally had 5 rebounds, 5 assists and two blocks, obtained a standing ovation when he checked out of the sport within the closing minute.

New Orleans led by as many as 11 within the second quarter when Jose Alvarado intercepted Poole’s go and located Williamson for a breakaway, windmill dunk.

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But the Warriors chipped away and trailed 50-49 on James Wiseman’s putback dunk.

Nance scored the ultimate 4 factors of the quarter on a finger roll and dunk, placing the Pelicans up 61-54 at halftime.

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Warriors: Kuminga completed with 18 factors, whereas Lamb scored 16 and Moody had 14. … Went 12 of 32 from 3-point vary. … In addition to the 4 starters who sat, G/F Andre Iguodala (hip) and G Donte DiVincenzo (hamstring) remained inactive. Iguodala has but to play this season, whereas DiVicenzo hasn’t performed since Oct. 23.

Pelicans: Alvarado and Murphy every scored 10 factors and every hit three 3s to assist New Orleans go 12 of 29 from lengthy vary … Shot 50.6% total (41 of 81) and outrebounded Golden State 51-36.

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Warriors coach Steve Kerr stated he appreciates that followers paid “good money” to see gamers on his staff who sat out with the objective of preserving their long-term well being.

“Ultimately the gamers’ well being is the No. 1 consider our staff’s success and even our followers’ satisfaction in the long term,” Kerr stated.

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He added that whereas some absences are unpredictable, “it will be smart” for followers to research schedules of groups they need to see and handle expectations when these groups are taking part in on consecutive nights on the finish of a visit, because the Warriors had been.

“Especially once you get a staff with gamers who’ve previous accidents like we do, or guys who’re superior age-wise,” Kerr stated. “I apologize to any followers on the market who had been hoping to see these guys.”

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Warriors: Host Sacramento on Monday.

Pelicans: Visit Atlanta on Saturday.

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AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This materials will not be revealed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Twitter Slashes Its Staff as Musk Era Takes Hold on Platform

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By BARBARA ORTUTAY and MATT O’BRIEN, AP Technology Writers

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Twitter started widespread layoffs Friday as new proprietor Elon Musk overhauls the corporate, elevating grave issues about chaos enveloping the social media platform and its capacity to struggle disinformation simply days forward of the U.S. midterm elections.

The pace and size of the cuts additionally opened Musk and Twitter to lawsuits. At least one was filed alleging Twitter violated federal regulation by not offering fired workers the required discover.

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The San Francisco-based firm informed staff by e mail Thursday that they’d study Friday if they’d been laid off. About half of the corporate’s employees of seven,500 was let go, Yoel Roth, Twitter’s head of security & integrity, confirmed in a tweet.

Musk tweeted late Friday that there was no alternative however to chop the jobs “when the corporate is dropping over $4M/day.” He didn’t present particulars on the each day losses on the firm and mentioned workers who misplaced their jobs have been supplied three months’ pay as a severance.

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No different social media platform comes near Twitter as a spot the place public businesses and different important service suppliers — election boards, police departments, utilities, faculties and news retailers — preserve individuals reliably knowledgeable. Many worry Musk’s layoffs will intestine it and render it lawless.

Roth mentioned the corporate’s front-line moderation employees was the group the least impacted by the job cuts.

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He added that Twitter’s “efforts on election integrity — together with dangerous misinformation that may suppress the vote and combatting state-backed info operations — stay a prime precedence.”

Musk, in the meantime, tweeted that “Twitter’s sturdy dedication to content material moderation stays completely unchanged.”

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But a Twitter worker who spoke with The Associated Press Friday mentioned it is going to be so much more durable to get that work executed beginning subsequent week after dropping so many colleagues.

“This will influence our capacity to offer help for elections, positively,” mentioned the worker who spoke on the situation of anonymity out of issues for job safety.

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The worker mentioned there’s no “concrete sense of route” aside from what Musk says publicly on Twitter.

“I comply with his tweets they usually have an effect on how we prioritize our work,” mentioned the worker. “It’s a really wholesome indicator of what to prioritize.”

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Several workers who tweeted about dropping their jobs mentioned Twitter eradicated their complete groups, together with one centered on human rights and world conflicts, one other checking Twitter’s algorithms for bias in how tweets get amplified, and an engineering crew devoted to creating the social platform extra accessible for individuals with disabilities.

Eddie Perez, a Twitter civic integrity crew supervisor who give up in September, mentioned he fears the layoffs so near the midterms may permit disinformation to “unfold like wildfire” in the course of the post-election vote-counting interval specifically.

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“I’ve a tough time believing that it doesn’t have a cloth influence on their capacity to handle the quantity of disinformation on the market,” he mentioned, including that there merely might not be sufficient workers to beat it again.

President Joe Biden, at a marketing campaign occasion in Illinois Friday night time, mentioned: “Now what are all of us anxious about? Elon Musk, who goes out and buys an outfit that sends and spews lies all the world over. … How can we count on children to have the ability to perceive what’s at stake?”

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Twitter’s workers have been anticipating layoffs since Musk took the helm. He fired prime executives, together with CEO Parag Agrawal, and eliminated the corporate’s board of administrators on his first day as proprietor.

As the emailed notices went out, many Twitter workers took to the platform to specific help for one another — typically merely tweeting blue coronary heart emojis to indicate its blue chicken brand — and salute emojis in replies to one another.

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A Twitter supervisor mentioned many workers discovered they’d been laid off after they may now not log into the corporate’s methods. The supervisor mentioned the way in which the layoffs have been carried out confirmed a “lack of care and thoughtfulness.” The supervisor, who spoke to the AP on the situation of anonymity out of issues for job safety, mentioned managers weren’t given any discover about who can be getting laid off.

“For me as a supervisor, it’s been excruciating as a result of I needed to discover out about what my crew was going to seem like by tweets and thru texting and calling individuals,” the worker mentioned. “That’s a very arduous approach to care in your individuals. And managers at Twitter care so much about their individuals.”

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A coalition of civil rights teams escalated their calls Friday for manufacturers to pause promoting buys on the platform. The layoffs are significantly harmful forward of the elections, the teams warned, and for transgender customers and different teams dealing with violence impressed by hate speech that proliferates online.

In a tweet Friday, Musk blamed activists for what he described as a “huge drop in income” since he took over Twitter late final week.

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Insider Intelligence analyst Jasmine Enberg mentioned there may be “little Musk can say to appease advertisers when he’s maintaining the corporate in a continuing state of uncertainty and turmoil, and seems detached to Twitter workers and the regulation.”

“Musk wants advertisers greater than they want him,” she mentioned. “Pulling advertisements from Twitter is a fast and painless resolution for many manufacturers.”

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A lawsuit was filed Thursday in federal court docket in San Francisco on behalf of 1 worker who was laid off and three others who have been locked out of their work accounts. It alleges Twitter violated the regulation by not offering the required discover.

The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification statute requires employers with not less than 100 staff to reveal layoffs involving 500 or extra workers, no matter whether or not an organization is publicly traded or privately held, as Twitter is now.

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The layoffs affected Twitter’s workplaces all over the world. In the United Kingdom, it could be required by regulation to offer workers discover, mentioned Emma Bartlett, a accomplice specializing in employment and partnership regulation at CM Murray LLP.

The pace of the layoffs may additionally open Musk and Twitter as much as discrimination claims if it seems, for example, that they disproportionally affected ladies, individuals of shade or older staff.

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AP Business Writers Mae Anderson, Alexandra Olson and Ken Sweet in New York, James Pollard in Columbia, S.C., Frank Bajak in Boston and Danica Kirka in London contributed to this story.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This materials might not be printed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Settlement Reached in Suits Over FBI Posing as AP Reporter

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By LINDSAY WHITEHURST, Associated Press

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press will get a $145,000 settlement following a pair of lawsuits filed after an FBI agent posed as a reporter for The Associated Press and created a faux story.

The long-running Freedom of Information Act instances led to appeals court docket selections that may assist bolster entry to public information, stated Adam Marshall, an lawyer for the group. The instances additionally make clear FBI brokers posing as members of the media, a tactic that free press advocates say undermines media credibility and blurs strains between legislation enforcement and the press.

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The company did not comply with its personal guidelines over such undercover operations when an agent posed as an AP reporter and despatched a link to a faux story in an investigation in Washington state in 2007, in keeping with paperwork uncovered in the lawsuit filed together with The Associated Press.

Then-FBI Director James Comey known as the approach “correct and acceptable” below FBI pointers on the time, although he stated it might require higher-level approvals when the incident got here to gentle seven years later, in 2014. No precise story was revealed and it led to an arrest, he maintained.

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The agent posing as an AP reporter despatched a link to the faux article to a 15-year-old suspected of creating bomb threats at a highschool. When the teenager clicked the link, a monitoring instrument revealed his pc’s location and helped brokers affirm his id.

The FBI declined to remark Friday.

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Kathleen Carroll, then government editor of the AP, stated in 2014 that the FBI’s “unacceptable techniques undermine AP and the important distinction between the federal government and the press.” A letter signed by two dozen news organizations known as the revelations “inexcusable” and the Reporter’s Committee particularly known as out using the AP’s title as “cowl for delivery of digital surveillance software program.”

Lauren Easton, an Associated Press spokeswoman, declined extra remark Friday.

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The lawsuits had been filed as a part of an effort to get information about FBI news-media impersonations, and finally resulted in vital court docket selections about how far businesses should go in looking for requested paperwork and the requirements they need to meet in order to withhold paperwork, Marshall stated. The settlement will cowl lawyer’s charges and prices.

“This has proven that there are important, regarding and ongoing points with respect to federal legislation enforcement impersonation of the press in the United States,” Marshall stated. The instances have additionally “proven that the Reporters Committee and The Associated Press had been dedicated to discovering out as a lot as we might about what occurred right here for the general public to know.”

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Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This materials might not be revealed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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