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Mueller Report: Team Couldn't Rule Out Obstruction ... Or Firmly Establish It

Updated at 4:20 p.m. ET Special counsel Robert Mueller's doorstop report about Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election thumped to Earth on Thursday. It said the investigation could not establish that the Trump campaign "conspired or coordinated" with the Russian interference effort, which was described as "sweeping and systematic." However, the 448-page document, released after a nearly two-year-long inquiry, also says that "while this report does not conclude that the...

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ICE.gov

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials without a judicial warrant may no longer enter New York courthouses in order to observe or arrest immigrants, according to new rules from the Chief Administrative Judge of the New York Unified Court System.

Immigration advocates have pushed for the change for two years, after ICE began aggressively pursuing immigrants for arrest in and around state courts.

wbfo.org

A new effort aimed at reducing minors' use of flavored tobacco products downstate could also be expanding to the Rochester area and across New York.

The Flavors Hook Kids campaign is part of an effort to inform young people that flavored tobacco products are addictive and can hurt their health.

The effort to ban those products in New York City officially launched Wednesday, but the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network has also begun a push in Albany to ban those products statewide.

James Brown WXXI

The town of Brighton is New York’s latest “Climate Smart Community.”

The certification was presented Thursday at Brighton Town Hall by the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Town Supervisor Bill Moehle said the town has taken steps to cut energy consumption by 33 percent at town facilities over the last three years.

He said it makes sense for the planet and the taxpayers.
 

Invoking the idea of beating swords into plowshares, two men have written a book calling for us to beat guns into garden tools. The book, simply called "Beating Guns," is a layered approach to understanding gun violence. From the history of American gun enthusiasm, to the intertwining of gun culture with Christianity, the authors explore how we arrived as the most armed country.

In Rochester, they’ll host an event in which citizens can turn in guns that will be melted down and turned into tools. First, they join us on Connections:

  • Shane Claiborne, founder of The Simple Way and president of Red Letter Christians
  • Michael Martin, founder and executive director of RAWtools Inc.

As the world watches France attempt to rebuild Notre Dame, experts tell us that there are historical parallels. Katherine Clark Walter, from the College at Brockport, says, “The major Gothic cathedrals of Europe were often born of renovations necessitated by devastating fires just such as this one and their renovation often foregrounded the relics these churches held as key to their spirituality and identity, so there is a fascinating meeting of past and present as the whole world now watches to see what survived from Notre Dame.”

We talk about the meaning of those relics, the process of rebuilding, and more. Our guests:

  • Katherine Clark Walter, associate professor in the Department of History at The College at Brockport
  • Jean Pedersen, associate professor in the Department of Humanities at the Eastman School
  • Sarah Thompson, associate professor of art history at RIT

Local members of Congress respond to Mueller report

5 hours ago
www.visitthecapitol.gov

Reaction from local congressional representatives was mixed after the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report about Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Before the report was released, Attorney General William Barr held a news conference. He said Mueller detailed 10 "episodes" involving actions by Trump that might have constituted obstruction of justice, but the Justice Department has concluded they did not amount violations of the law.

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat, said in a statement that Barr’s news conference was "propaganda."

TEAMGALT.COM

As the number of houses for sale in the region continues its downward trend, so do the number of purchases. But the Greater Rochester Association of Realtors says the 5.2 percent drop in sales in the first quarter isn’t necessarily bad news.

The trade association reports that throughout much of the region, sales declined at a lesser rate than the houses for sale, and that indicates strong buyer demand continues, according to GRAR President Andy Kachaylo.

Attorney General William Barr has released a redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 election to Congress and the public.

The special counsel spent nearly two years investigating attacks on the 2016 presidential election and whether the Trump campaign coordinated with the Russians behind it.

First hour: Understanding the history and cultural significance of Notre Dame

Second hour: Previewing the "Beating Guns" tour

Updated at 4:20 p.m. ET

Special counsel Robert Mueller's doorstop report about Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election thumped to Earth on Thursday. It said the investigation could not establish that the Trump campaign "conspired or coordinated" with the Russian interference effort, which was described as "sweeping and systematic."

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We report on some of the issues that could arise if legal pot comes to New York

News from NPR

The United States has become a less safe place for journalists, and the threats they face are becoming the standard, according to a new report by an international press freedom organization.

Reporters Sans Frontières, or Reporters Without Borders, dropped the U.S. to No. 48 out of 180 on its annual World Press Freedom Index, three notches lower than its place last year. The move downgrades the country from a "satisfactory" place to work freely to a "problematic" one for journalists.

Former Vice President Joe Biden told a rally in Dorchester, Mass., Thursday that the 31,000 Stop & Shop workers on strike in New England are part of a movement to "take back this country."

"I know you're used to hearing political speeches, and I'm a politician. I get it," said Biden, who is mulling over a White House bid in 2020. "But this is way beyond that, guys. This is way beyond that. This is wrong. This is morally wrong, what's going on around this country. And I have had enough of it. I'm sick of it, and so are you."

A London water provider is asking people to please, please, stop pouring concrete down their drains.

The consequences are heavy: Thames Water says a "concreteberg" the weight of a blue whale is blocking three Victorian-era sewers. "It goes without saying that pouring concrete down the drains into our sewers isn't going to do any good," said Thames Water.

The mass is longer than a football field and weighs a whopping 115 tons (or 105 metric tonnes).

Washington state has moved a step closer toward making it more difficult for parents to receive exemptions from having their children receive a required immunization.

The state Senate passed a bill on Wednesday night that removes the personal belief exemption from vaccinations for measles, mumps and rubella. However, the bill retains medical and religious exemptions and leaves intact personal belief exemptions for all other required immunizations.

More news from NPR

From the Inclusion Desk

The town of Irondequoit is adopting a proclamation that will declare that it is an "Autism Friendly Community."

Town Supervisor Dave Seeley says Irondequoit already has implemented training for the police department and other town operations to be more inclusive and supportive, and the formalizing of that policy comes during the annual recognition of April as National Autism Awareness Month.

He said training for police officers helps them to be more supportive when they have interactions with someone who is on the autism spectrum.

Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

The Autism Council of Rochester’s fourth annual job and career fair took place Tuesday at the Memorial Art Gallery. 

Organizers said the event is important, given the nearly 80% rate of unemployment for individuals on the autism spectrum.

Lawana Jones, founder and executive director of the Autism Council, said that’s a waste of talent.

Emily Hunt for WXXI News

The Rochester Red Wings are hosting their second annual Autism Awareness Day at Frontier Field on Saturday. 

There will be some changes at the ballpark to create an environment that's more welcoming for people who have autism.

Volume levels will be lowered throughout the entire stadium, and in-game production using sound effects and video board displays will be kept to a minimum.  Fans will also be asked to use blue pom-poms instead of noisemakers. 

We preview a historic production of the August Wilson play, “Fences,” in Rochester. Members of the cast and crew of NTID’s production join us to discuss the first ever Deaf, black performance of “Fences,” which will be accessible to both Deaf and hearing audiences.

WXXI News streamed this conversation on Facebook Live with captions. To view the video, click here. In studio:

  • Aceyon Owens, speaker for the role of Troy
  • Marqwan Holmes, signer for the role of Troy
  • Malik Paris, signer for the role of Lyons
  • Giigii Gano, speaker for the role of Rose
  • Luane Haggerty, director of “Fences” and interpreter
  • Danica Zielinski, interpreter

This story is reported from WXXI’s Inclusion Desk

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