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2 killed in gas explosion at Minneapolis private school

A natural gas explosion caused part of a Minneapolis private school to collapse Wednesday morning, killing two people and injuring at least nine others, according to officials.

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Minnehaha Academy officials said on social media that there was a gas leak and explosion at the Upper School, which serves students in grades 9 through 12.

Anthony Scaramucci out as White House communications director

Anthony Scaramucci has resigned from his position as White House communications director just days into his tenure, officials said Monday.

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"Mr. Scaramucci felt it was best to give Chief of Staff John Kelly a clean slate and the ability to build his own team," White House officials said in a statement. "We wish him all the best."

North Korea fires intercontinental ballistic missile, Pentagon says

An intercontinental ballistic missile fired by North Korea on Friday traveled about 1000 km from Mupyong-ni before splashing down in the Sea of Japan, Pentagon officials said.

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The U.S. Department of Defense detected the launch around 10:40 a.m. EDT. Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said in a statement that officials were assessing the launch Friday.

"The North American Aerospace Defense Command determined the missile launch from North Korea did not pose a threat to North America," Davis said. "Our commitment to the defense of our allies, including the Republic of Korea and Japan, in the face of these threats, remain ironclad. We remain prepared to defend ourselves and our allies from any attack or provocation."

Joint Chiefs: Transgender policy won't change until Pentagon gets it in writing from Trump

The nation’s highest ranking military officer said in a letter Thursday to top military officials that there will not be changes to the military’s transgender policy until after President Donald Trump sends direction to the Pentagon.

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"I know there are questions about yesterday's announcement on the transgender policy by the president," Marine Gen. Joe Dunford wrote in the message, addressed to the chiefs of the services and senior enlisted leaders, according to Politico. "There will be no modifications to the current policy until the president's direction has been received by the secretary of defense and the secretary has issued implementation guidance.”

A photo of the letter was shared on Twitter Thursday by CNN reporter Barbara Starr.

Trump: Transgender people won't be allowed in the military

President Donald Trump on Wednesday said transgender people will be barred from serving “in any capacity” in the U.S. military, writing on Twitter that such service would cause “disruption” and burden the U.S. with “tremendous medical costs.”

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Current Department of Defense policy allows for transgender people to serve openly and says individuals “can no longer be discharged or otherwise separated from the military solely for being transgender individuals.”

Trump said the decision was made after he consulted his “generals and military experts.”

“Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail,” he wrote in a series of tweets.

Sean Spicer resigns, Sarah Huckabee Sanders named next White House press secretary

White House press secretary Sean Spicer resigned from his post Friday morning, six months and one day after taking the position.

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In a message posted to Twitter Friday afternoon, Spicer said he will continue to serve as press secretary through August.

>> Related: Sean Spicer resigns: A look at his 6 months as White House press secretary

“It's been an honor (and) a privilege to serve (President Donald Trump and) this amazing country,” he wrote.

Deputy White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will take over his duties, newly named White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci said at a news briefing Friday.

Spicer’s resignation came in opposition to Scaramucci’s appointment, The New York Times reported.

O.J. Simpson granted parole in Las Vegas robbery case

The Nevada Parole Board voted unanimously Thursday to grant former football star O.J. Simpson parole in his 2008 conviction on charges including kidnapping and armed robbery. 

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Simpson is expected to leave the Lovelock Correctional Center in Nevada this fall after nine years behind bars, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The decision came down Thursday after Simpson, 70, spoke before the Nevada Parole Board, telling the four-person panel he was remorseful for his actions in 2007.

“I haven’t made any excuses in the nine years I’ve been here, and I’m not trying to make an excuse now,” he said.

Simpson was sentenced to 33 years behind bars for his part in a 2007 armed robbery at a Las Vegas hotel room. He was found guilty on a dozen charges, including kidnapping.

Simpson claimed he confronted a pair of memorabilia collectors, Bruce Fromong and Alfred Beardsley, in 2007 in an attempt to recover items that had been stolen from him, according to The Associated Press. Among the mementos and memorabilia he hoped to recover were family photos and his first wife’s wedding ring.

Fromong spoke Thursday in favor of Simpson’s release and said he and Simpson had long ago made peace.

“We all make mistakes,” Fromong said. “O.J. made his. He’s been here and from what I’ve been told he’s been a model inmate. He’s been an example to others.”

Simpson had no disciplinary issues while behind bars and took numerous classes, according to testimony before the parole board. Simpson said he took a conflict resolution course that made a particular impact on him and said he had been called in to mediate issues between other inmates at the Lovelock Correction Center.

Nevada Board of Parole commissioner Susan Jackson held up thick stacks of letters at Thursday’s hearing, some of the hundreds of letters she said the board had received from Simpson’s supporters and detractors. Many of the letters mentioned Simpson’s 1995 acquittal in the murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown, and her friend, Ron Goldman.

Jackson said the case would not be considered in Thursday’s deliberations.

Parole board commissioner Connie Bisbee said Simpson has plans to resettle in Florida, where he was living before his 2008 conviction.

Officials in Florida said in a statement that “if Nevada’s request meets all criteria, Florida must accept the transfer.”

“As is the case with any offender who transfers under this routine procedure, he will be assigned a Florida probation officer and will be supervised in accordance with the conditions of his parole,” said Michelle Glady, director of communications for the Florida Department of Corrections.

Simpson in 2013 was granted parole on the armed robbery conviction. Thursday’s hearing addressed the other 11 charges from his 2008 conviction, according to USA Today.

Simpson, a former football running back who has appeared in nearly two dozen movies and television shows, was found not guilty of murder in 1995 after Brown and Goldman were found stabbed to death outside Brown’s Los Angeles townhouse. The case, which captivated TV audiences around the globe, was dubbed the “Trial of the Century.”

8th person at 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russian lawyer identified

An eighth person who attended a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower, in which Donald Trump Jr. was promised compromising information on his father’s then-rival for the presidency, Hillary Clinton, has been identified, according to multiple reports.

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The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday that Irakly “Ike” Kaveladze, 52, was asked to attend the meeting by Aras Agalarov, a billionaire Azerbaijani construction magnate.

>> Related: Donald Trump Jr. releases email exchange with Russian intermediary

An attorney for the Agalarovs, Scott Balber, told the Times that Kaveladze was asked to attend the Trump Tower meeting "purely to … make sure it happened."

'All clear' on Washington State Capitol Campus after 'suspicious noises' reported

The Washington State Capitol Campus in Olympia was on lockdown Wednesday morning  after authorities got reports of suspicious noises that sounded like gunfire, officials said.

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The Olympia Police Department told KIRO7.com that reports came in just before 10 a.m. PDT near the Department of Natural Resources building. Law enforcement officers have not found a gunman.

A Washington State Patrol spokesman said there was no reason to believe the capitol campus was under a continued threat and the lockdown was lifted before 11 a.m.

Donald Trump Jr. releases email exchange with Russian intermediary

Donald Trump Jr. released a series of emails Tuesday purportedly sent between him and Rob Goldstone, the man who told The Associated Press that he set up a June 2016 meeting between Trump Jr. and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.

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