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Bill: Use drugs, buy your own food

Two years ago the Georgia Legislature wanted to ban drug users from getting welfare. Now, a state lawmaker wants to prevent anyone who fails a drug test from getting food stamps.

Rep. Greg Morris, R-Vidalia, chairman of the House Banks and Banking Committee, has prepared House Bill 772, which would require all food stamp applicants to take and pass a drug test to receive assistance.

In 2012, lawmakers passed, and Gov. Nathan Deal signed into law, HB 861, which had similar requirements for anyone requesting temporary assistance for needy families. But that law was never implemented after a federal court struck down a similar version in Florida.

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News

  • A hip-hop promoter arrested after a shooting involving hip-hop star Fetty Wap in his New Jersey hometown is also facing an armed robbery charge. Passaic County prosecutors say Raheem Thomas had a handgun and hollow point bullets when he was arrested on the armed robbery charge, so he's also facing weapons charges and a count of receiving stolen property. Thomas is due to appear in court Wednesday. It's unclear if he's retained an attorney. The shooting happened early Sunday on the street outside a Paterson deli. Police say Fetty Wap and several friends had become involved in a heated altercation with another group inside the deli. Three people were wounded, but Fetty Wap was OK. Thomas is also charged with aggravated assault and having a gun after previously being convicted of a felony.
  • Egypt's famed pyramids at Giza have a newcomer in their midst: the largest on-site antiquities laboratory meant to restore the location's second pharaonic boat. The vessel is believed to be the ceremonial boat of Pharaoh Cheops, known for building the largest of Egypt's pyramids. The project, funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency and the Higashi Nippon International University, is set to complete the initial phase of repairs of the 4,500-year-old vessel by 2020. Once reassembled, the vessel of the ancient Egyptian ruler will be displayed at the Grand Egyptian Museum, currently under construction on Cairo's outskirts and close to the pyramids at Giza. At the lab's inauguration on Wednesday, Eissa Zeidan, head of the project's Egyptian restoration team, told The Associated Press that the lab at the site of the Giza pyramids was necessary for some of the boat's 1,264 pieces, which are too fragile or large to move. According to Zeidan, the Japanese-Egyptian mission has completed the testing of material which will be used to restore the boat, a process that started in 2010. Kanan Yoshimura, a conservator on the Japanese team told the AP that they are using fillers and soft materials, and that the lab's temperature and humidity are adjusted to simulate the atmosphere in the pits where the pieces were stored for centuries. 'We will restore all of it, every piece is important,' Yoshimura said. The pieces of the vessel and its sister boat, recovered first, were found in five pits surrounding the Great Pyramid, which serves as Cheops' tomb, in 1954. Egypt reassembled the first boat with limited capacities which led to the replacement of some of its original parts. The boats are believed to have been buried with the pharaoh to carry him into the afterlife. The first vessel is currently displayed in a special, air-conditioned building where humidity is carefully monitored, on the grounds that includes all the three main pyramids — the Great Pyramid of Giza, which is also known as the Pyramid of Khufu or the Pyramid of Cheops, the Pyramid of Khafre and the Pyramid of Menkaure, all within a few hundred meters (yards of each other. A few steps down a slope from the complex lies the Great Sphinx. The Great Pyramid is the only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World that is still in existence.
  • The Trump administration has asked a federal appeals court to postpone ruling on the merits of President Barack Obama's sweeping plan to address climate change. The request late Tuesday came hours after President Donald Trump signed an executive order that seeks to roll back his predecessor's effort to curb carbon emissions. The regulations — known as the Clean Power Plan — have been the subject of long-running legal challenges by mostly Republican-led states and industry groups that profit from burning coal. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit heard arguments in the case last year and could issue a ruling any time. Environmental groups oppose any delay. A ruling in favor of the Obama-era rules could help environmental groups battle Trump administration efforts to undo them.
  • The Latest on congressional maneuvering around investigations into Russian meddling into United States politics (all times local): 10:45 a.m. A Democratic member of the Senate Intelligence Committee wants a thorough review of the financial relationships between Russia and President Donald Trump and his associates. Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon made his request in a letter Wednesday to the committee's Republican chairman, Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, and the ranking Democrat, Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia. Wyden says it's important for the committee to separate fact from speculation amid reports that several individuals received funds from Russia. In an interview last August, former national security adviser Michael Flynn acknowledged being paid by Russia's government-backed television network. Wyden also says that the president's son, Donald Trump Jr., stated in 2008 that Russians make up a 'pretty disproportionate cross section of a lot of our assets.' Burr and Warner planned a news conference later Wednesday. __ 3:34 a.m. The chairman of the House intelligence committee is refusing to step away from its investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Committee chairman Devin Nunes responded 'Why would I?' when asked Tuesday if he should recuse himself. The embattled House committee is conducting one of three probes into the election campaign, its aftermath and potential contacts between Trump officials and Russians. Democrats contend Nunes' loyalty to Trump is greater than his commitment to leading an independent investigation. The California Republican met with a secret source last week on White House grounds to review classified material. He says the material showed Trump associates' communications had been captured in 'incidental' surveillance of foreigners Trump has used Nunes' revelations to defend his unproven claim that Barack Obama tapped phones at Trump Tower.