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Biden declares America's democracy 'rising anew'; Chauvin juror speaks out; NFL Draft tonight
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Biden declares America's democracy 'rising anew'; Chauvin juror speaks out; NFL Draft tonight

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Yesterday, Texas saw devastating damage from multiple hail reports. Today, the tornado and severe storm threat shifts East. CNN meteorologist Derek Van Dam has the latest.

Today is Thursday, April 29, 2021. Let's get caught up.

These headlines are in the news this morning: President Biden declares "America is rising anew" in his first address to Congress; juror in Chauvin trial says verdict was "easy part"; and the NFL returns to "normal" with tonight's draft.

Read on for these stories, other top headlines, celebrity birthdays and more.


TOP STORIES

APTOPIX Biden 100 Days Congress

Vice President Kamala Harris, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., stand and applaud as President Joe Biden addresses a joint session of Congress, Wednesday, April 28, 2021, in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. 

Biden's declaration: America's democracy 'is rising anew'

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden declared that “America is rising anew” as he called for an expansion of federal programs to drive the economy past the coronavirus pandemic and broadly extend the social safety net on a scale not seen in decades.

Biden's nationally televised address to Congress, his first, raised the stakes for his ability to sell his plans to voters of both parties, even if Republican lawmakers prove resistant. The Democratic president is following Wednesday night's speech by pushing his plans in person, beginning in Georgia on Thursday and then on to Pennsylvania and Virginia in the days ahead.

In the address, Biden pointed optimistically to the nation's emergence from the coronavirus scourge as a moment for America to prove that its democracy can still work and maintain primacy in the world. Complete coverage here:

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George Floyd Officer Trial

Brandon Mitchell, a juror in the trial of former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin for the killing of George Floyd, poses for a picture, Wednesday April 28, 2021, in Minneapolis. 

Chauvin juror: After intense trial, verdict was 'easy part'

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A juror who cast one of the unanimous votes to convict a white former Minneapolis police officer in George Floyd's death said Wednesday that deliberations were relaxed and methodical as he and 11 other jurors quickly talked their way to agreement in parts of just two days.

Brandon Mitchell was the first juror who deliberated to come forward publicly since Derek Chauvin was convicted April 20 of second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, following an alternate juror who wasn't part of deliberations. Mitchell, who is Black, said the jury room was a relief after three weeks of emotional testimony that he described as “like a funeral” day after day. Read more:

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Draft Scene Football

Workers continue preparing the NFL Draft Theatre for the 2021 NFL Draft, Tuesday, April 27, 2021, in Cleveland. 

NFL seeks return to normalcy with draft on Lake Erie shores

Return To Normalcy!

That's not exactly the slogan for the NFL draft being staged Thursday through Saturday in Cleveland.

It's more at the top of the league's wish list as it allows some prospects and fans to attend the festivities — yes, there are those going on by the shores of Lake Erie. Read more:

Click on the links below for full versions of these stories and scroll further for a look at today in history and celebrity birthdays.

Some top headlines this morning: April 29

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NEW YORK (AP) — Federal agents raided Rudy Giuliani’s Manhattan home and office Wednesday, seizing computers and cellphones in a major escalation of the Justice Department’s investigation into the business dealings of former President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy is quickly strengthening, inflation is showing signs of picking up and the nation is making progress toward defeating the viral pandemic.

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina law that gives local courts authority over the release of body camera video has come under a harsh glare after a judge refused to make public footage of deputies shooting and killing Andrew Brown Jr.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department brought federal hate crimes charges Wednesday in the death of Ahmaud Arbery, charging a father and son who armed themselves, chased and fatally shot the 25-year-old Black man after spotting him running in their Georgia neighborhood.

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CHICAGO (AP) — A 22-year-old Chicago man who was fleeing from police had his back turned and appeared to be holding a gun when an officer fatally shot him last month, according to a video released Wednesday in what has become an all too familiar occurrence for the city's embattled police department.

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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Police in Alameda, California, are under fire over the death of a Latino man who was pinned to the ground face down for more than five minutes on the same day a jury in Minneapolis began deliberating in the George Floyd case.

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MOSCOW (AP) — A top ally of imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny said Thursday that the network of the politician's offices in Russia is being closed as authorities seek to have it and Navalny's Foundation for Fighting Corruption outlawed as extremist groups.

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LONDON (AP) — The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge marked their 10th wedding anniversary Thursday by releasing photographs and a video offering an image of domestic bliss — a contrast to the tensions that have gripped Britain's royal family in recent weeks.

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NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Ethiopia has swept up thousands of ethnic Tigrayans into detention centers across the country on accusations that they are traitors, often holding them for months and without charges, the AP has found.

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NEW YORK (AP) — Twenty-time Grammy winner Al Schmitt, whose extraordinary career as a recording engineer and producer included albums by Bob Dylan, Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra and many other of the top performers of the past 60 years, has died at age 91.

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Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins, who orbited the moon alone while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made their historic first steps on the lunar surface, died Wednesday. He was 90.

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IMAGE OF THE DAY

APTOPIX Biden 100 Days Congress

Vice President Kamala Harris, left, greets House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., ahead of President Joe Biden addressing a joint session of Congress, Wednesday, April 28, 2021, in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. 

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ON THIS DATE

In 1992, a jury in Simi Valley, California, acquitted four Los Angeles police officers of almost all state charges in the videotaped beating o…

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