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News Budget for Friday, July 12, 2019

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Updated at 10 a.m. EDT (1400 UTC).

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Additional news stories appear on the MCT-NEWSFEATURES-BJT.

This budget is now available at TribuneNewsService.com, with direct links to stories and art. See details at the end of the budget.

^TOP STORIES<

^Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta stepping down amid criticism over Epstein deal<

ACOSTA:LA _ Embattled Secretary of Labor R. Alexander Acosta is stepping down amid mounting criticism of a plea deal he struck with a convicted sex offender while Acosta was a federal prosecutor in Florida, President Donald Trump said Friday.

Trump told reporters that Acosta called him Friday morning. The president said, "It's his (Acosta's) decision."

In a White House known for unusually high turnover, Acosta is the latest member of Trump's top aides to leave under a cloud of ethical or legal problems.

350 by Caroline S. Engelmayer in Washington. MOVED

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^WASHINGTON<

^Former Sen. Harry Reid still has a few punches left<

REID:CON _ Former Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid retired from Congress back at the end of 2016, but the old boxer still has a few punches left for the institution he served in for 30 years, not to mention the New York Yankees.

The 79-year-old Nevada Democrat met with CQ Roll Call in his office off the casino floor at the Bellagio on the Las Vegas Strip last week to talk his health, politics and a little baseball.

1150 (with trims) by Niels Lesniewski in Las Vegas. (Moved as a Washington story.) MOVED

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^POLITICS<

^Democratic winners start pulling ahead in the 2020 money race<

DEMOCRATS-2020-FUNDRAISING:BLO _ In the crowded 2020 Democratic presidential field, campaign bank accounts are beginning to separate the contenders from the also-rans.

When the candidates report their second-quarter fundraising totals to the Federal Election Commission on Monday, the numbers will show who's catching fire _ and who's not.

While it's still early in the election cycle, the figures are likely to cement Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris as the big five _though political fortunes can change quickly. Former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke seemed like a rising star in the first quarter. But his poll numbers dropped before and after a shaky performance in the June 26 Democratic debate and his campaign hasn't released a number for the second quarter.

1300 (with trims) by Bill Allison in Washington. MOVED

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^With policy and outreach, Elizabeth Warren makes inroads with black voters<

WARREN-BLACKVOTERSS:BLO _ Elizabeth Warren's trademark pitch of her personal story blended with wonky policy proposals has helped her win over white liberals. Now, she's hoping her message will resonate with blacks, a crucial Democratic constituency that will play a large role in deciding who will challenge President Donald Trump next year.

More important, Warren is trying to avoid the missteps of her chief progressive rival Bernie Sanders in 2016, when his campaign was ultimately doomed by his inability to win over black voters.

"When you lay out these plans and you can connect those plans to people's everyday experiences, they tend to react to them," said South Carolina Rep.Jim Clyburn. "Bernie had a tremendous emotional following in some parts of the black community, but people listen to his words and they were never able to connect those 30,000-foot policies with everyday practical plans."

850 (with trims) by Tyler Pager in New Orleans. MOVED

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^UNITED STATES <

^Trump called Oakland mayor a 'disgrace' for revealing ICE raids. Then he did the same thing.<

^TRUMP-MAYOR-IMMIGRATION-RAIDS:LA_

A Republican congressman from Iowa proposed criminal penalties for officials in so-called sanctuary cities who make similar disclosures.

The acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement director at the time, Thomas Homan, said Schaaf was "no better than a gang lookout yelling 'police!' when a police cruiser comes in the neighborhood."

Then, in the last month, Trump himself announced impending immigration operations.

1150 by Brittny Mejia. MOVED

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^NEWS BRIEFS<

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