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Civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer

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Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) is undergoing treatment for Stage IV pancreatic cancer, his office announced Sunday.

The big picture: The 79-year-old Lewis is a civil rights icon who has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and is often referred to as “the conscience of the House.” He helped lead the 1963 March on Washington and has served in the House since 1987. Lewis’ decision to come out in favor of an impeachment inquiry in September was seen as one of several significant turning points in the impeachment of President Trump.

What he’s saying:

“I have been in some kind of fight — for freedom, equality, basic human rights — for nearly my entire life. I have never faced a fight quite like the one I have now.”

This month in a routine medical visit, and subsequent tests, doctors discovered Stage IV pancreatic cancer. This diagnosis has been reconfirmed.

While I am clear-eyed about the prognosis, doctors have told me that recent medical advances have made this type of cancer treatable in many cases, that treatment options are no longer as debilitating as they once were, and that I have a fighting chance.

So I have decided to do what I know to do and do what I have always done: I am going to fight it and keep fighting for the Beloved Community. We still have many bridges to cross.

To my constituents: being your representative in Congress is the honor of a lifetime. I will return to Washington in coming days to continue our work and begin my treatment plan, which will occur over the next several weeks. I may miss a few votes during this period, but with God’s grace I will be back on the front lines soon.

Please keep me in your prayers as I begin this journey.”

Go deeper … “It is not a day of joy”: Lewis gives emotional speech during impeachment debate

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Civil rights icon Rev. Joseph E. Lowery dies at 98

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The Rev. Joseph E. Lowery, who has been called the dean of the civil rights movement, died Friday, The King Center said.

Lowery, 98, was a co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with the Rev. Martin Luther King.

The Joseph and Evelyn Lowery Institute for Justice & Human Rights said he died peacefully at 10 p.m. surrounded by his daughters at home.

“Hailed as the ‘Dean of the Civil Rights Movement’ upon his receipt of the NAACP’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Dr. Lowery had assumed and executed a broad and diverse series of roles over the span of his nine decades: leader, pastor, servant, father, husband, freedom fighter and advocate,” the institute said in a statement.

Lowery, who delivered the benediction in President Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Obama later that year.

“Born and raised in Jim Crow Alabama, preaching in his blood, the Rev. Joseph Lowery is a giant of the Moses generation of civil rights leaders,” Obama said at the ceremony. “It was just King, Lowery and a few others, huddled in Montgomery, who laid the groundwork for the bus boycott and the movement that was to follow.”

Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Lowery attends Grounded in History, Soaring into the Future: Rev. Joseph E. Lowery’s 94th Birthday Celebration at Delta flight Museum in Atlanta, Georgia on Oct. 6, 2015.Paras Griffin / Getty Images file

He was born in Huntsville, Alabama, on October 6, 1921, and in the 1950s, he headed the Alabama Civic Affairs Association, the organization that led the movement to desegregate buses and public accommodations, according to the Joseph & Evelyn Lowery Institute.

In 1965, King picked Lowery to chair the delegation delivering the demands of the Selma-to-Montgomery march to Alabama’s governor, George Wallace.

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Coronavirus live updates: Italy’s death toll climbs over 9,000

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A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed over 26,000 people around the world.

Globally there are more than 576,000 diagnosed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

The United States has over 94,000 cases of COVID-19, the highest number in the world.

There have been at least 1,438 deaths in the U.S. More than 1,000 people have died in the past week alone.

At least 813 people in the U.S. have recovered.

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Rev. Jesse Jackson endorses Bernie Sanders

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Rev. Jesse Jackson, Civil rights activist and former Democratic presidential candidate endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders on Sunday.

Jackson listed 13 reasons why he’s supporting Sanders in a statement Sunday which includes funding for HBCU’s, national voting rights, a civil rights commission, a wealth tax, a two-state solution for Palestine and Isreal, and a single-payer health care system.

In 1988 Jackson went head to head with Biden when both ran for president. Jackson said that the former vice president’s campaign did not reach out to him or ask for his support.

Sanders endorsed Jackson’s campaign during the 1988 presidential election.

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