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Johnson has already served 21 years of a life sentence after she was convicted on charges of conspiracy to possess cocaine and attempted possession of cocaine, according to the nonprofit Can-Do, which advocates for clemency for non-violent drug offenders.She was released from prison later Wednesday."Ms. Johnson has accepted responsibility for her past behavior and has been a model prisoner over the past two decades. Despite receiving a life sentence, Alice worked hard to rehabilitate herself in prison, and act as a mentor to her fellow inmates," the White House said in a statement Wednesday afternoon."While this administration will always be very tough on crime, it believes that those who have paid their debt to society and worked hard to better themselves while in prison deserve a second chance," the statement added.Kardashian West hailed the commutation, tweeting, "BEST NEWS EVER!!!!" and expressing gratitude to Trump and senior adviser Jared Kushner.Johnson's commutation is the sixth act of clemency Trump has issued since taking office, and the second granted by Trump after a celebrity appealed to him. Last month, Trump posthumously pardoned the boxer Jack Johnson after the actor Sylvester Stallone raised his case with the President.Trump has pardoned Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, former Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the conservative author and filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza, and Kristian Saucier, a Navy sailor who pleaded guilty to an unauthorized possession of classified information and who argued he was held to a different standard than Hillary Clinton.Alice Marie Johnson: Why Kim Kardashian wanted President Trump to free me Kardashian West met with Trump in the Oval Office last Wednesday after she first reached out to Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump to help set up the meeting. Kushner has been leading a push on prison reform as part of his portfolio as a senior adviser to the President."I would like to thank President Trump for his time this afternoon. It is our hope that the President will grant clemency to Ms. Alice Marie Johnson who is serving a life sentence for a first-time, non-violent drug offense," Kardashian West said in a statement after meeting with Trump. "We are optimistic about Ms. Johnson's future and hopeful that she — and so many like her — will get a second chance at life."President Barack Obama did not intervene in the case during his eight years in office because the Justice Department recommended denying Johnson's request for a commutation. Three requests were made — one during his first term, two during his second — that were rejected, including a final plea on January 6, 2017, only days before Obama left office.The requests never reached Obama's desk, a senior Obama administration official tells CNN, because he followed Justice Department recommendations.The official said the Justice Department denied her petition because prosecutors maintain Johnson was involved in a drug cartel that was connected to violence and crime.US Attorney Michael Dunavant issued a statement late Wednesday: "Included in our Constitution is the absolute power and authority of the President to grant Executive Clemency relief, and I understand and respect the President's decision to grant a commutation of Ms. Johnson's sentence."But he added, "Vigorous and consistent federal prosecution of violations of the Controlled Substances Act, including major drug trafficking organizations and money laundering schemes, are a top priority of this office and the Department of Justice, and we will continue to promote public safety and enforce the rule of law in the Western District of Tennessee by aggressively pursuing such cases."CNN's Jeff Zeleny and Laura Jarrett contributed to this report.

This story has been updated.

Original Article

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Donald Trump will fly headlong into a confrontation with some of America's closest allies today, as the row over tariffs and fears of a trade war continue to intensify.

Prime Minister Theresa May is among the G7 leaders who have criticised the US president for not exempting the EU and Canada from his new tariffs on steel and aluminium imports.

The summit has already been dubbed the "G6 plus one" due to Mr Trump's isolation over trade and his decision to pull the US out of the Iran nuclear deal.

These summits are usually seen as a cheerful and informal demonstration of shared purpose and responsibility among the world's richest economies.

But some of those who Mr Trump will join for two days of talks at a luxury castle in the Canadian mountains have already abandoned the tradition of playing nice in public, whatever the differences behind the scenes.

French president Emmanuel Macron, who describes Mr Trump as a "friend", has taken a more confrontational approach ahead of the summit.

He told reporters: "Maybe the American president doesn't care about being isolated today, but we don't mind being six, if needs be.

"Because these six represent values, represent an economic market, and more than anything, represent a real force at the international level today."

In what's been seen a jab at Mr Trump, he added: "Nobody is forever."

Image: Macron and Trump seemed to hit it off earlier this year but the French leader has shifted

Mr Macron was speaking alongside Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, who is hosting the summit, and the pair signalled they would warn Mr Trump of the potential damage tariffs could cause the US.

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US celebrity chef and TV host Anthony Bourdain has died in an apparent suicide in a French hotel room, says CNN.

The US network – which hosts Bourdain's Parts Unknown programme – tweeted that the "chef, storyteller and Emmy-winning host" had killed himself.

Bourdain, 61, was found unresponsive in his hotel room in the French city of Strasbourg, where he was filming an episode of the show, said CNN.

Image: The chef was in a relationship with Italian actress Asia Argento

His friend, the chef Eric Ripert, found him.

A CNN statement said: "It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain.

"His love of great adventure, new friends, fine food and drink and the remarkable stories of the world made him a unique storyteller.

Bourdain with an Emmy Award for Parts Unknown in 2015
Image: Bourdain with an Emmy Award for Parts Unknown in 2015

"His talents never ceased to amaze us and we will miss him very much. Our thoughts and prayers are with his daughter and family at this incredibly difficult time."

Bourdain's bestselling book, Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, became a bestseller in 2000 and launched his TV career.

His early work on the Travel Channel won Emmy Awards and in 2013 he moved to news broadcaster CNN and began filming Parts Unknown.

Bourdain with Barack Obama after an interview in Vietnam in May 2016
Image: Bourdain with Barack Obama after an interview in Vietnam in May 2016

The show also picked up awards and featured Bourdain travelling the world to explore food and culture.

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The US embassy in China has issued a new alert over a mystery illness affecting some of its diplomats.

The alert urges US citizens across China to seek medical help if they experience any "unusual, unexplained physical symptoms or events, auditory or sensory phenomena, or other health concerns".

Symptoms include dizziness, headaches, tinnitus, fatigue, cognitive issues, visual problems, ear complaints and hearing loss, as well as difficulty sleeping, the warning said.

The unexplained health problems have already prompted the evacuation of a number of US government employees from the southern city of Guangzhou, where a US consulate is based.

In May, one worker there reported experiencing "abnormal sensations of sounds and pressure" – sparking fears of a "sonic attack".

The state department said the symptoms indicated a "mild traumatic brain injury" and they issued a first warning covering only Guangzhou.

The US government has brought a group of people from the consulate back to the US for evaluation.

Screening has also been offered to employees at the country's embassy in Beijing and other US consulates on request.

China has said it investigated the initial case and found no explanation.

An editorial in Beijing's state-run Global Times newspaper said: "Practically all Chinese people do not believe that this country's official organisations would carry out such sonic attacks against US diplomats.

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A woman has been gored by a bison at a national park in the US.

Kim Hancock, 59, had been with a group of tourists at the famous Yellowstone National Park on Wednesday when she got too close to the animal, park officials said.

She had been part of a crowd that got to within 10 yards of the animal while making their way along a boardwalk.

The bull bison "became agitated and charged the crowd before immediately leaving the area".

Ms Hancock, from Santa Rosa, California, was taken to a hospital in Montana with a hip injury.

She was reportedly in a good condition.

This is the second bison attack in the park this year. On 1 May, a woman from Idaho was slightly injured as she walked on a trail in the park.

The two women were among four people injured by various types of wildlife in the park in just over a month.

Another two women were injured by elks over a three-day period – and one of them was seriously hurt.

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Rangers said: "Animals in Yellowstone are wild and unpredictable, no matter how calm they appear to be.

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Melania Trump has made her first public appearance outside the White House in nearly a month at a hurricane response briefing in Washington.

It comes just hours after her husband President Donald Trump criticised the media over "fake" reports regarding her recent absence from public view.

The US first lady sat alongside Mr Trump at the head of a conference table during a visit to the Federal Emergency Management Agency headquarters in Washington.

"She had a little rough patch, but she's doing great," the president said of his wife.

Image: The Trumps with VP Mike Pence at the Federal Emergency Management Agency HQ

"We're very proud of her, she's done a fantastic job as first lady," he added.

"People love you. The people of our country love you. Thank you, honey."

Mrs Trump underwent a kidney procedure last month and was in hospital for five days.

Wednesday's appearance was her first outside the White House since 10 May.

The US leader said the media had been "vicious" towards the first lady during her recovery from surgery in a series of tweets.

"The Fake News Media has been so unfair, and vicious, to my wife and our great First Lady, Melania," Mr Trump tweeted.

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Evan Vucci/Associated Press

Colin Kaepernick and his lawyers are reportedly expected to seek a subpoena of President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence to force them to testify in his collusion case against the NFL.

According to Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports, Kaepernick's team is attempting to show any potential influence the Trump administration had on Kaepernick's free agency. CNN's Jill Martin, citing a source familiar with the ongoing grievance process, later confirmed Robinson's report in an email provided to Bleacher Report.

Kaepernick contends teams colluded to not sign him due to his protests against racial inequality and police brutality during the national anthem in the 2016 season.

Per Robinson, Kaepernick's team has learned that some NFL owners had direct conversations with Trump regarding player protests during the anthem. The purpose of subpoenaing Trump and Pence is to find if the Trump administration applied any pressure to NFL teams to avoid Kaepernick.

Trump and Pence have both been vocal opponents of protesting during the anthem.

Last year at a political rally in Alabama, Trump said: "Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a b—h off the field right now. Out. He's fired! He's fired!'"

In October, Pence attended a game between the Indianapolis Colts and San Francisco 49ers, but he tweeted he left early because he would "not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem."

Kaepernick was no longer with the Niners last season, but former teammate safety Eric Reid was among the players who protested.

Reid is currently a free agent and has filed a collusion grievance against the NFL.

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Donald Trump says he canceled the celebration event for the following reason: "(The Eagles) disagree with their President because he insists that they proudly stand for the National Anthem, hand on heart, in honor of the great men and women of our military and the people of our country," Trump said in a statement released Monday evening. Here is where the lying begins and ends with Donald Trump — none of the Eagles took a knee during the playing of the National Anthem during last year's regular season or playoffs. The Philadelphia Eagles almost always have the military unfurl a HUGE American flag with the team members at our home games, and sometimes an array of military jets flies over the stadium as we finish singing the National Anthem. My heart is always pounding hard and in my throat in those moments with the Philadelphia Eagles. THAT is our team, not the team Donald Trump is trying to describe to America. Donald Trump is a narcissistic, habitual fraud and liar, plain and simple.Meanwhile, this dust-up about a canceled celebration will pass, and Eagles fans generally do not care about what the President says and does regarding their beloved Eagles. The Philadelphia Eagles are one of the oldest and most respected NFL franchises in the league. Philadelphia sports fans are known as some of the best in the world for their enthusiasm and knowledge of their home teams' sports.What the fans do care about is the disrespect shown to their team, to their city and for many fans, to the issues that our leading players, like Malcolm Jenkins and Chris Long, are really speaking up and protesting about: racism, discrimination, police brutality, poor police and community relations and bad treatment in particular of black men. These are real issues in Philadelphia and all across America that Donald Trump has yet to acknowledge or address. Donald Trump will tweet about anything as long as it's not about something that disenfranchised, abused, discriminated-against and forgotten people of color care about. He can't handle those truths, that America can't be great until it accepts and acknowledges the many injustices and the pain America has inflicted and continues to inflict on many of its citizens and others who live here — some undocumented yet productive contributors to our society.Donald Trump is having the time of his life on the world's biggest stage, starring in the daily reality show that frightens many of us with its unreality, "What Are They Doing Today?" (starring Donald J. Trump as the Head Ringmaster). President Trump, please stop the hypocrisy, please stop lying, please stop the silliness and please try to govern and not ruin the greatest democracy the world has ever seen. Please just stop.Go Eagles, Super Bowl LII Champions!!

Original Article

US

A man suffered seizures and internal bleeding after the severed head of the rattlesnake he had just killed bit him and released its venom.

Jennifer Sutcliffe, from Corpus Christi in Texas, said her husband had spotted the 4ft snake in the garden, grabbed a shovel and decapitated it.

But when he went to pick up the head to dispose of it, he was bitten, local TV station KIII reported.

After the snake released its venom, he experienced loss of vision, in addition to the bleeding and seizures, and had to be flown to hospital by helicopter.

Image: A rattlesnake can still bite after death because of a reflex action

His hand also swelled up and two of his fingers were covered in purple bruising.

Doctors initially thought the attack might be fatal but he is now in a stable condition after being given 26 doses of an expensive anti-venom.

However, he is still experiencing weak kidney function more than a week after the incident.

A rattlesnake can still bite and release venom after its death because of a reflex action.

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The man's hand after he was bitten by the snake's severed head
Image: The man's hand after he was bitten by the snake

"The head end of a cut-up rattlesnake can continue to function, including the venom glands, for a long time afterward," anti-venom doctor Leslie Boyer told Gizmodo.

"In fact, the other half continues to work. It'll rise and rattle," the founding director of the University of Arizona VIPER Institute added.

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Jerry Maren, the last surviving munchkin from The Wizard of Oz, has died aged 99.

Boasting an entertainment career that spanned more than 70 years, Maren died at a nursing home in San Diego.

In one of his most well-known roles, the 4ft 3in actor welcomed Dorothy to Munchkin Land in the classic 1939 film.

He also played The Hamburglar and Mayor McCheese in McDonald's commercials, as well as appearing in scores of films and TV shows.

Maren was fond of his role as one of the Lollipop Kids in The Wizard Of Oz, and regularly appeared at film conventions and other events honouring the cast over the years.

"I've done so many things in showbusiness, but people say: 'You were in The Wizard of Oz?' It takes people's breath away," he said in an interview in 2011.

"But then I realised geez, it must have been a hell of a picture, because everyone remembers it everywhere I go."

Image: Maren attending a special screening of The Wizard Of Oz in California in 2009

Maren was one of more than 100 people recruited to play munchkins in the movie.

He stood out after ad-libbing a move handing an oversized lollipop to Dorothy, played by Judy Garland.

Maren said the director liked it so much he told him to keep doing it.