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(AP) – The federal government reported a $146.9 billion deficit in March, causing annual debt to rise 15% for the first half of the budget year compared to the same period in 2018.

The Treasury Department said Wednesday in its monthly report that the fiscal year deficit has so far totaled $691 billion, up from nearly $600 billion in 2018. The Treasury Department expects that the deficit will exceed $1 trillion when the fiscal year ends in September.

Militia Group to Guard Border Until ‘That Wall Is Up’

A militia group camped out along the United States’ border with Mexico plans to keep patrolling for illegal immigrants until the longer border wall is built.

According to AFP, around six of the group’s members — most of them aging veterans — are staying in tents. They plan to stay until President Donald Trump’s wall is finished.

The United Constitutional Patriots (UCP) is based in Flora Vista, New Mexico, which lies in the northwestern corner of the state. But some of its members, who are legally armed, have situated themselves along the Mexican border in Arizona, just to the west of El Paso, Texas. Their self-imposed mission is to keep watch and report any illegal border crossers to the Border Patrol.

Bill Banning Abortions After Heartbeat Sent to Ohio Governor

(AP) – No topic seemed off limits, including tales of back alleys and coat hangers, as abortion-rights supporters in Ohio fought perhaps the last battle over a twice-vetoed heartbeat abortion ban, which Gov. Mike DeWine has said he will sign.

After nearly 10 years of fighting, Democrats let loose during the run-up to final House and Senate approval Wednesday with lessons from slavery, predictions of economic harm, references to the book of Genesis, and testimonials about their own rapes. Faith groups brandished banners and made pleas for religious tolerance. An advocate for reproductive rights threatened Republicans with the loss of young voters’ support in 2020.

Opponents vowed to sue.

Amazon Workers Train Using Conversations Recorded by Alexa Customers

(Bloomberg) – Tens of millions of people use smart speakers and their voice software to play games, find music or trawl for trivia. Millions more are reluctant to invite the devices and their powerful microphones into their homes out of concern that someone might be listening.

National Enquirer Is Put Up for Sale in Wake of Bezos Scandal

American Media Inc on Wednesday said it is looking at strategic options for its U.S. tabloid newspaper the National Enquirer and may sell the publication.

AMI said in a statement that after a strategic operational review it began in August, it decided to explore “strategic options” for the National Enquirer in the United States and United Kingdom, as well as for the Globe and the National Examiner brands.

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