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Political News  

Backchannel with 'Dracula' helped free Utah man in Venezuela
(Holt family photo via AP)
By JOSHUA GOODMAN and MATTHEW LEE
From Associated Press
May 26, 2018 7:39 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — A secret backchannel led by a veteran Republican Senate staffer and a flamboyant Venezuelan official nicknamed "Dracula" broke through hostile relations between the two governments to secure the release of American prisoner Joshua Holt, who traveled to the South American country for love and ended up in jail, without a trial, for two years.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump accused The New York Times on Saturday of inventing a source for a story who, in fact, was a White House official conducting a briefing for reporters under the condition that the official not be named.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the release of a Utah man, Joshua Holt, who has been held in Venezuela (all times local): 8:10 p.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Joshua Holt, who traveled to Venezuela from Utah in 2016 to marry a Spanish-speaking Mormon woman but soon found himself jailed and later branded the CIA's top spy in Latin America, was set free by the anti-American Maduro government on Saturday in what his family called "this miracle."

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal court has ruled that the Education Department violated privacy laws with regard to students defrauded by the Corinthian for-profit college chain.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A flood of lawsuits over LGBT rights is making its way through courts and will continue, no matter the outcome in the Supreme Court's highly anticipated decision in the case of a Colorado baker who would not create a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Illegal border crossings, as President Donald Trump measures them, have gone up since he took office, even as he speaks to audiences about a drop of more than 40 percent.

EDMOND, Oklahoma (AP) — Vicki Toombs was watching the returns on election night 2016 when her phone buzzed — a text from her 22-year-old son Beau in Chicago.

PHOENIX (AP) — Until recently, Lilly Mucarsel has spoken Spanish just about everywhere since arriving in the United States from Ecuador three decades ago: at the library, the movies, the grocery store.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A White House team is heading to Singapore this weekend as previously planned to prepare for a possible summit between President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader, a further sign that the meeting Trump called off might get back on track.

SEATTLE (AP) — President Donald Trump's unwillingness to release his tax returns is helping renew a debate on whether the practice should be expected of elected federal office holders ahead of this year's midterms.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump and North Korea (all times local): 10:30 a.m. The White House says a team is still heading to Singapore this weekend to work on logistics for a possible summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Newly released emails show senior Environmental Protection Agency officials working closely with a conservative group that dismisses climate change to rally like-minded people for public hearings on science and global warming, counter negative news coverage and promote Administrator Scott Pruitt's stewardship of the agency.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Even if conciliatory rhetoric revives U.S.-North Korea summit plans, President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un must overcome a gaping disconnect over what a deal on the North's nuclear weapons would look like.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's legal team wants a briefing on the classified information shared with lawmakers about the origins of the FBI investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has long made immigration a top priority. He has spent recent weeks publicly hammering Congress to crack down on "legal loopholes" he says allow criminals to enter the country illegally.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senior Environmental Protection Agency officials have been working closely with a conservative group that dismisses climate change to rally like-minded people for public hearings on science and global warming.

WASHINGTON (AP) — From "Little Rocket Man" to the scheduling of a historic peace summit and back again, President Donald Trump's dizzying back-and-forth on North Korea is par for the course for a president who likes to keep his audience guessing.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's legal team wants a briefing on the classified information shared with lawmakers about the origins of the FBI investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election and may take it to the Justice Department as part of an effort to scuttle the ongoing special counsel probe.

WASHINGTON (AP) — "Everybody plays games," President Donald Trump declared Friday as he suggested the potentially historic North Korean summit he had suddenly called off might be getting back on track.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has spent recent weeks publicly hammering Congress to crack down on "legal loopholes" he says allow criminals to enter the country illegally.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Friday signed a trio of executive orders to overhaul the federal bureaucracy by making it easier to fire federal workers for poor performance and misconduct, requiring that departments and agencies negotiate better union contracts and limiting the amount of time certain federal workers can spend on union business.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration has told Congress that it's reached a deal that would allow Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE Corp.