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Five stories to know, Aug. 23, 2017

The paperwork for President Donald Trump to formally pardon former Sheriff Joe Arpaio has been prepared. (Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump focused on improving the lives of veterans and emphasized the need for the nation to seek unity in a speech at the American Legion's 99th National Convention in Reno, Nevada, on Wednesday. The speech struck a noticeably different tone than the remarks Trump gave the previous night at a rally in Phoenix, Arizona.

"We are one people, with one home, and one flag," Trump said. "We are not defined by the color of our skin, the figure on our paycheck or the party of our politics."


Sheriff Joe is about to be pardoned. Following through on something the president hinted at during the Phoenix rally, the legal paperwork to formally pardon former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio has been prepared. During the rally, Trump said of Arpaio "I think he's going to be just fine. But I won't do it tonight because I don't want to cause any controversy."

Arpaio, now 85 years old, forged a reputation as a relentless crusader against illegal immigration, but was found guilty of criminal contempt in July after he defied a 2011 court order to not racially profile Latinos during patrols.


Fired FBI Director James Comey has a new job. Howard University, a historically black university, has brought Comey on to deliver a keynote address during the school's welcoming convocation next month, and to serve in a one-year post as a part-time lecturer.

“I am pleased to welcome Mr. Comey to Howard,” Howard University President Wayne A.I. Frederick said in a statement. “His expertise and understanding of the challenges we continue to face today will go a long way in sparking rich discussion and advancing meaningful debates across campus.”


Texas's voter identification law was struck down again by a federal judge, on the grounds that the law was "enacted with discriminatory intent — knowingly placing additional burdens on a disproportionate number of Hispanic and African-American voters.” The original law would have required registered voters to present one of seven forms of government-issued photo identification before being allowed to vote.

The revised law, which was struck down Wednesday, would have loosened the standard to allow voters without photo ID to present alternate forms of identification, like utility bills or bank statements. Voters caught lying about not having photo ID could be charged with a felony.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton plans to appeal the ruling.


Coaches can be legally disciplined for praying with players according to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which released an opinion on the case of Washington state high school football coach Joe Kennedy. The Bremerton School District placed Kennedy on administrative leave in 2015 and recommended that his contract not be renewed after he didn't comply with strict rules regarding his freedom to pray on the football field after games.

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