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MONTANA - As we wait for a decision from Governor Greg Gianforte on the main recreational marijuana bill, lawmakers tried to make some last minute changes to the program through a different bill, which caused controversy as the session wrapped up.

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PARIS (AP) — Vaccination rates are picking up again in France as the government requires a virus pass for more and more activities — but social workers worry that the measure will further marginalize migrants and other poor populations.

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ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish authorities on Thursday began investigating the cause of a string of forest fires in Turkey's Mediterranean and southern Aegean regions, including two near the coastal resort town of Manavgat that killed three people and sent over 50 others to the hospital as ho…

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FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — German pharmaceutical and chemical company Bayer said Thursday it would take a provision of $4.5 billion against second-quarter earnings to put the company on what it said would be a path to closure of thousands of U.S. lawsuits over a weedkiller containing the chem…

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VALLETTA, Malta (AP) — An independent inquiry into the murder of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia released on Thursday has found that the Maltese state “has to bear responsibility” for the assassination due the culture of impunity emanating from the highest levels of government.

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CAIRO (AP) — A malaria outbreak among Libya’s national indoor soccer team has claimed the life of one player while several others have been sickened following the team’s participation in the African Minifootball Cup in Nigeria, Libya’s sports ministry and its minifootball federation said.

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LONDON (AP) — AstraZeneca said Thursday that it intends to seek U.S. approval for its COVID-19 vaccine later this year, further delaying the application even as the company announced it had already delivered more than 1 billion doses to other countries.

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TOKYO (AP) — Before American gymnast Jade Carey took the floor for her unexpected performance in the women’s Olympic all-around final on Thursday, she talked to her teammate, Simone Biles, whose exit from the competition meant Carey got the chance to fill her spot.

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Stocks rose in morning trading on Wall Street Thursday as the latest government data showed continued economic growth and investors reviewed another batch of mostly positive corporate earnings reports.

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BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union’s top migration official is urging member countries to help Lithuania beef up surveillance on its border with Belarus and not to give in to political pressure from Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.

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SKOPJE, North Macedonia (AP) — Frustrated with delays in obtaining European Union membership for their countries, three Balkan leaders signed agreements Thursday to open their national borders to each other's citizens and products in 2023 without restrictions.

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MADRID (AP) — The former lover of Spain’s King Emeritus Juan Carlos has filed a lawsuit with a British court accusing him of spying on her, the latest twist in a financial scandal plaguing the ex-monarch.

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QOBAYAT, Lebanon (AP) — Lebanese firefighters struggled for the second day on Thursday to contain wildfires in the country’s north that have spread across the border into Syria, civil defense officials in both countries said.

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JERUSALEM (AP) — Palestinian protesters and Israeli troops clashed on Thursday following the funeral of a child believed killed by army fire the previous day in the occupied West Bank. A Palestinian was critically injured in the violence.

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KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Flash flooding killed 150 people in a remote area in Afghanistan’s mountainous northeastern Nuristan province controlled by the Taliban, a spokesman for the insurgents said Thursday. The provincial government appealed to the Taliban to allow rescue teams into the ar…

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KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia's king on Thursday rebuked Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin's government for misleading Parliament over the status of coronavirus emergency measures, sparking renewed calls for the embattled leader to resign.

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TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Tunisia's president is proposing that hundreds of tycoons suspected of embezzlement reach a deal with the state to finance public hospitals, schools and development projects in poor regions to avoid convictions.

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BERLIN (AP) — A German federal court on Thursday faulted aspects of Facebook's handling of “hate speech," at least in the past. It ruled that the social network giant can't delete posts without at least informing users afterward, and must give users advance notice when it moves to suspend th…

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The United States is negotiating with Kuwait and other countries whether they can host Afghans who supported the American war effort and could face Taliban revenge attacks if they stay in Afghanistan, America’s top diplomat said Thursday.

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — A Spanish judge investigating alleged tax fraud by Colombian musician Shakira recommended on Thursday that the case go to trial after concluding there is evidence that the pop star could have avoided her fiscal obligations to the state.

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MOSCOW (AP) — A Moscow court ordered Google on Thursday to pay a fine of 3 million rubles (roughly $41,000) for refusing to store the personal data of Russian users on servers in Russia, a move that is part of the government's longstanding effort to tighten its grip on online activity.

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MONTANA - Governor Greg Gianforte signed off on two bills Monday morning that will bring some changes to the voting process in the state.

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MONTANA - Three bills on recreational marijuana implementation are headed to the Senate, all with a different vision for the industry. One extra task: lawmakers only had until Thursday this week to vote on the bills due to a procedural deadline.

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MONTANA - Representative Bill Mercer, from Billings, describes how HB 683 would use left-over marijuana tax money for pension programs. The bulk of it would be spent by the Department of Revenue for administration and enforcement expenses from running the marijuana program.  

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MONTANA - After a lot of activity Thursday, lawmakers decided to send three marijuana bills to the House floor. All of the bills present a different version of how recreational marijuana implementation could work in Montana. However, they now have less than a week to send the bills to the Senate.

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MONTANA - Thursday night, 19 U.S. Senators, led by Border Patrol, visited the Mexico border along the Rio Grande River. Among them was Senator Steve Daines. On a press conference call with reporters, Sen. Daines detailed what he saw, and talked about the current situation at the border.

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MONTANA - A bill on marijuana advertising has passed the House and is now in Senate committee hearings. If it becomes law, cannabis companies could advertise their products on websites and apps.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Deb Haaland took the oath of office to become the 54th Secretary of the Department of the Interior Tuesday in a small ceremony with family. The oath of office was administered by Chief of Staff Jennifer Van der Heide.

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U.S. SENATE — U.S. Senator Steve Daines voted against confirmation of President Biden’s Interior Secretary nominee Deb Haaland on Monday, according to a press release.

MONTANA - Many bills target recreational marijuana in this legislative session, with proposed restrictions and regulations on dispensaries, and even THC levels in plants. But what happens to Initiative 190 if no action is taken on these bills? Experts say it would still stand as the law, but…

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MONTANA - More challenges arise in climb toward commercializing recreational marijuana as a new bill proposes limiting the amount of dispensaries in each county and puts more restrictions on the marijuana business.

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MONTANA - House Bill 457 was heard in the House Business and Labor Committee Friday, and if passed, it would set back the sale of recreational marijuana in Montana to January 2023; a year later than what Initiative 190 outlined.  

Some proposed legislation could limit the business model for companies growing cannabis in Montana, restricting them to growing their product exclusively indoors. Proponents of the bill say this law would also protect the state's growing hemp industry.

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BILLINGS - Back in January, lawmakers turned down the Department of Revenue's $1.3 million request for the recreational marijuana program. Now, a subcommittee is recommending the program could survive on less money and staff.

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