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January 1, AP: Measles Outbreak Grows in Northwest US, 31 Cases Reported



The number of confirmed measles cases near Portland, Oregon grew to 31 on Friday – an outbreak boosted by lower-than-normal vaccination rates in what has been called an anti-vaccination U.S. “hot spot.”

Twenty-six of the confirmed patients had not been vaccinated against measles, and the vaccination status of four others who were infected is unknown. One child has been hospitalized. Authorities say nine additional cases are suspected.

Acting Attorney General: Muller Investigation “Close to Being Completed”

Acting attorney general Matthew G. Whitaker, who is now supervising Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel investigation said Monday that the investigation into Russian collusion and interference with the 2016 presidential election is nearing an end, reported the Washington Post.

Whitaker’s statement is “the first official acknowledgment that the probe ensnaring President Trump may soon reach a conclusion”, the Post said.

“I have been fully briefed on the investigation and I look forward to Director Mueller delivering the final report,” Whitaker said. “I am comfortable that the decisions that were made are going to be reviewed. . . . Right now, you know, the investigation is, I think, close to being completed.”

Catholic Leaders: Excommunicate NY’s Gov. Cuomo

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-N.Y., celebration of the passage of a bill removing abortion from the state criminal code, has lead some high-level members of the Catholic Church to call for Cuomo’s excommunication.

After the signing the bill, Cuomo ordered state landmarks like One World Trade Center be lit pink in celebration, a move that upset many of his pro-life opponents.

“It goes way beyond Roe v. Wade in so many ways, so I don’t see it as something to celebrate,” Albany Bishop Edward Scharfenberger said in an interview on “Fox & Friends” on Saturday. “The kind of procedures that are now available in New York state, we wouldn’t even do to a dog or a cat…It’s torture.

Polls: Americans Unhappy with Trump, Pelosi, & Environment

*ABC News/Washington Post: Americans Not Happy with Trump, Pelosi

Nearly half of Americans have no confidence “at all” in President Donald Trump, and more than a third said they also don’t have confidence in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, according to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll released Monday.

The poll also found that Americans say Trump is under-performing when it comes to their expectations, with 50 percent saying they expected him to do a good job handling the deficit, but 33 percent said he is doing a good job with it.

*Gallup: Americans Unsatisfied with Environment

Satisfaction with the quality of the environment has hit an all-time low among Americans, with only 43% of respondents signaling they are pleased with the country’s handling of the issue, according to a Gallup poll published on Monday. 78% say they are satisfied with nation’s military and 68% they are satisfied with security from terrorism. Satisfaction with immigration levels is 34%, down from 40% in 2018, according to Gallup.

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