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One year ago, Barack Obama was winding down his final term and Donald Trump was ... a candidate for President?

Listen closely to what U.S. officials like to say about America's long security alliance with South Korea, where 28,000 U.S. troops are stationed in bases around the country. Something in the language perpetually pops up:

"America's commitment to defending our allies ... remain[s] ironclad," Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said in Seoul in February.

In late May, several senators went to the floor of the Senate to talk about people in their states affected by the opioid crisis. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., talked about Chelsea Carter.

"She told me her drug habit began when she was 12 years old," said Capito.

Two years ago, Cheasanee Huette, a 20-year-old college student in Northern California, decided to find out if she was a carrier of the genetic mutation that gave rise to a disease that killed her mother. She took comfort in knowing that whatever the result, she'd be protected by the Affordable Care Act's guarantees of insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions.

Three years ago, the Islamic State overran large swaths of Iraq and Syria, and soon declared a caliphate that straddled the border between the two countries. Today, the group's physical caliphate is declining — and the group is preparing its base of fighters for a future under siege.

One of the ways it is doing that is through its musical propaganda.

A traditional drink is giving a boost to the economy of one of the poorest states in Mexico. It's called mezcal, a pungent booze made from the agave plant — the same plant used to make Mexico's biggest spirit export, tequila. Investors north of the border are taking notice of Mezcal's newfound popularity and are flocking to the southern state of Oaxaca, its main production hub.

President Trump plans to nominate Republican Brendan Carr, the general counsel of the Federal Communications Commission, to fill one of the organization's two empty leadership seats.

Carr is a former legal adviser to current FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and was a lawyer with the law firm Wiley Rein LLP, which has worked with telecommunications companies including AT&T and Verizon.

The White House announced the president's plan late Wednesday.

Updated at 4:30 a.m. ET

Police in the Australian state of Victoria say they have charged Roman Catholic Cardinal George Pell with "historical sexual offenses." The Archdiocese of Sydney says Pell will return from Vatican City, where he is the top financial adviser to Pope Francis, to fight the charges.

An FBI agent assigned to the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon last year is facing a five-count indictment for allegedly lying about his role in the shooting death of one of the occupiers.

USA Gymnastics announced Tuesday that it will adopt all 70 of the recommendations in an independent review of its policies about reporting abuse. An investigation by The Indianapolis Star last year found that at least 368 gymnasts have alleged they were sexually assaulted by adults working in the sport.

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