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June 22, 2018

First Line News Articles for Friday, June 22 2018

Top Stories

House Republicans threaten DOJ, FBI officials with contempt in documents fight

A long-running battle has now escalated to the point where House Republicans are threatening top federal law enforcement officials with contempt of Congress if the Justice Department and FBI do not comply by the end of the week with document requests related to the Hillary Clinton email and Trump-Russia investigations.

Supreme Court rules states can require online retailers to collect sales tax

The justices broke with 50 years’ worth of legal rulings that barred the states from imposing sales taxes on most of the purchases their residents make from out-of-state retailers.

House vote on “compromise” immigration bill delayed

Republicans’ efforts to overhaul immigration isn’t going as smoothly as they hoped. After a vote on the more conservative of two GOP proposals failed Thursday, a vote on the more moderate “compromise” bill was pushed off to Friday — and then possibly to next week.

White House announces plan to merge Education and Labor departments

The White House announced a plan on Thursday to combine the Education and Labor departments to form the Department of Education and the Workforce.

LDS News

After 45 years, the Rome temple can’t open soon enough for Church members in Italy

Native Romans Nicoletta and Umberto Pagnani have been married 41 years — all of them as members of the Church.

Guest conductor says he checks in with his musicians by asking ‘What would the Mormon Tabernacle Choir do?’

For Dr. John A. Romeri, standing in front of a talented choir with a conducting baton in hand is not much different than New England Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady dropping back to throw a football — it’s just what he does.

Elder Takashi Wada shares his conversion story to the LDS faith after growing up Buddhist

After embarking on a professional career that included prominent positions for multinational corporations in the United States and Japan, Takashi Wada had a decision to make.

Man Who Plays Nephi in Upcoming Book of Mormon Videos Receives Mission Call

Last summer, Jackson VanDerkwerken spent his summer across the country from his family in the desert of Goshen, Utah — not a typical summer for the then-17-year-old teenager — but when you’re cast as Nephi for the Book of Mormon videos, it’s necessary.

‘Angels are walking these hallways’: The ins and outs of the Brazil MTC

Fifty years ago, young Elder Ted Whitaker was basking in the final weeks of serving in the Brazilian Mission, having helped bring a family of eight — the Bittencourts, with two parents and six children — into the Church through baptism.

National

Charles Krauthammer, conservative commentator and Pulitzer Prize winner, dead at 68

Charles Krauthammer, a longtime Fox News contributor, Pulitzer Prize winner, Harvard-trained psychiatrist and best-selling author who came to be known as the dean of conservative commentators, died Thursday. He was 68.

Accused NSA leaker reaches plea deal with investigators

Accused National Security Agency (NSA) leaker Reality Winner has reportedly reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors and will change her not guilty plea.

House approves five-year farm bill

The House narrowly approved a five-year farm bill on Thursday that would impose new work requirements on people who receive food stamps.

Obama’s cybersecurity coordinator confirms Susan Rice ordered him to ‘stand down’ on Russian meddling

Michael Daniel confirmed Wednesday that former national security adviser Susan Rice ordered him and his staff to “stand down” in 2016 in regard to Russian attempts to meddle in the 2016 election.

DOJ employee among those heckling DHS boss Nielsen, report says

One of the socialist protesters who accosted Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen on Tuesday at a Mexican restaurant has been exposed as a Department of Justice employee.

Kilauea’s eruption is reshaping Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Say goodbye to the popular lava lake

When Hawaii Volcanoes National Park fully reopens to visitors, it will look drastically different. The recent quakes and lava flows from the Kilauea volcano are reshaping the landscape of the park. Tourists can say goodbye to one of the most popular draws: the flow of red-hot magma spewing to the surface at the volcano’s summit.

Supreme Court deems SEC in-house judge hiring unconstitutional

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday expanded presidential control over pivotal jobs in federal agencies, ruling that the way the Securities and Exchange Commission selected its in-house judges to enforce investor-protection laws was unconstitutional.

Mattis: Legislation needed to create ‘space force’

Defense Secretary James Mattis on Wednesday said President’s Trump’s recent direction to establish a “space force” will require work with Congress that has not yet started.

First lady Melania Trump visits child detention center in Texas

First lady Melania Trump on Thursday visited a child detention center in Texas that houses minors who entered the country illegally — in the wake of her husband’s executive order that ended the practice of separating families.

White House’s Kushner meets with Egypt’s Al Sisi about Middle East peace plan

White House adviser Jared Kushner met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi on Thursday, the White House said in a statement, as he continues to conduct meetings in the Middle East over a much-anticipated plan he is drafting for peace between Israel and the Palestinian territories.

World

Venezuela deploys soldiers to markets to check prices

Venezuela has deployed soldiers to almost 100 food markets in efforts to counter an “economic war” it says is being waged against it.

Brexit: Three ‘simple’ requirements for EU citizens to stay in UK

EU citizens will have to answer three “simple” questions online if they want to continue living in the UK after Brexit, the home secretary has said.

Germany’s Merkel calls for solutions to Iran’s ‘aggressive tendencies’

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday said European countries shared concerns over Iran’s ballistic missile program and called for solutions to its “aggressive tendencies” in the Middle East.

Thousands greet summer 2018 with sunrise over Stonehenge

Thousands have watched the sun glint over the horizon at Stonehenge, celebrating the summer solstice at the Neolithic stone circle. The sun rose behind the Heel Stone, which traditionally marks the spot on the horizon for the sunrise, at 4.52 a.m. Thursday (23:52 Eastern on Wednesday).

Trump says North Korea has returned remains of 200 U.S. war dead

President Donald Trump said North Korea had returned on Wednesday the remains of 200 U.S. troops missing from the Korean War, although there was no official confirmation of the move from military authorities.

Italy warns EU partners on migrant deal ahead of summit

The Italian government says it will not sign up to an EU plan for tackling illegal migration to Europe if it does not make help for Italy a priority.

Turkey election: Expats play decisive role in Erdogan vote

Eyebrows furrowed, feet hesitantly tapping, the Turkish choir of Berlin gets to grips with a new piece of music. They’ve been singing songs of heartbreak and history here for more than 30 years. Men and women for whom two countries, Germany and Turkey, will always feel like home.

Kim leaves China as South Korea urges ‘concrete’ plan on nukes

South Korea urged North Korea on Wednesday to present a plan with concrete steps toward denuclearization, raising the pressure on its leader Kim Jong Un as he met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in a visit designed to convey the countries’ growing closeness.

Business

Oil falls 2 pct as OPEC nears deal to raise production

Oil prices fell on Thursday as crude exporters in OPEC appeared to be nearing a deal to increase production.

Science

NASA unveils bold new plan to protect Earth from asteroids

NASA unveiled its plan to protect Earth and predict the chances for a threat from a near-Earth object (NEO), outlining five goals, including enhanced detection and improved modeling.

Epic Dust Storm on Mars Now Completely Covers the Red Planet

A massive dust storm on Mars that covered one-fourth of the planet just a week ago has grown into a global weather event, NASA officials said Wednesday (June 20).

Koko: Gorilla who mastered sign language dies in California

Koko the gorilla, who is said to have been able to communicate by using more than 1,000 hand signs, has died in California at the age of 46.

Health

Laser pointer burns hole in boy’s retina

A 9-year-old boy burned a hole in his retina by repeatedly looking into a green laser pointer, which doctors discovered after he began complaining of decreased vision. In a case report published in the New England Journal of Medicine, doctors said they discovered a large macular hole in his left eye during a funduscopic exam.