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Government Shutdown Fizzles On Spending, Immigration Deal In Congress

Gavel laying on judges bench in courtroom

Source: Robert Daly / Getty

Reuters- Congress voted on Monday to end a three-day government shutdown, approving another short-term funding bill as Democrats accepted promises from Republicans for a broad debate later on the future of young illegal immigrants.

The fourth temporary funding bill since October easily passed the Senate and the House of Representatives. That sent it to the White House, which said President Donald Trump was expected to sign the bill, a product chiefly of negotiations among Senate leaders.

Enactment by Trump of the bill will allow the government to reopen fully on Tuesday and keep the lights on through Feb. 8, when Congress will have to revisit the budget and immigration policy, two disparate issues that have become closely linked.

The House approved the funding bill by a vote of 266-150 just hours after it passed the Senate by a vote of 81-18.

Pa. Supreme Court Strikes Down Congressional Map As Unconstitutional, Orders Change Before May Primary


Source: MANDEL NGAN / Getty In a move certain to upend state politics and the critical 2018 elections, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled Monday that the state’s congressional map “clearly, plainly, and palpably” violates the state constitution and blocked its use in the May primaries.

The justices, a majority of whom are Democrats, sided with a group of voters who contended that the state’s 18 U.S. House districts were unconstitutionally drawn to discriminate against Democrats. The court ordered the Republican-led legislature to draw a new map immediately.

Senate Republicans vowed to request a stay from the U.S. Supreme Court.

Pennsylvania’s map has widely been considered an extreme example of gerrymandering. Republicans have consistently won the same 13 of 18 House seats since it was drawn in 2011, even as votes cast in the state were evenly split between the parties.

Bill Cosby Performs At Philadelphia Jazz Club Ahead Of Retrial In Sex Assault Case

Bill Cosby Preliminary Hearing

Source: William Thomas Cain / Getty

NBC News- Bill Cosby took the stage Monday at a jazz club in Philadelphia — in a rare public appearance just two months before jury selection is scheduled to begin in his retrial for a sexual assault case.

Cosby, 80, was going to return “to the stage for a special performance” Monday evening at the LaRose Jazz Club in Philadelphia for an event honoring the jazz musician Tony Williams, according to a statement from Cosby’s representatives.

The ticketed event was open to the public and featured a comedy performance from Cosby, according to the statement.

The appearance comes after a judge ordered on Friday that jury selection would begin on March 29 for Cosby’s retrial on charges that he drugged and sexually assaulted Andrea Constand in 2004, court records show.

Cosby’s first trial on the case ended with a hung jury in Pennsylvania in June. The jury was deadlocked on all counts after 52 hours of deliberations.

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