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US said to draft potential sanctions over China cyber hacking

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WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration is drafting an escalating series of actions, including economic sanctions and curbs on doing business in the U.S., to punish China and other nations that persist in hacking its corporate computer networks, according to two administration officials with knowledge of the planning.

The measures have not yet ...Read more

3 fallen firefighters remembered at Washington service

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WENATCHEE, Wash. -- They stood on Sunday morning in the parking lots of Denny's and Home Depot on the main drag here of North Wenatchee Avenue, holding U.S. flags and signs that said, "Thank you."

They stood at Leonard Evans Used Cars and the entrance to Toyota Town Center, where they waited for the procession of 120 fire trucks, aid cars, ...Read more

Several San Quentin prison inmates have tested positive for Legionnaires' disease

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Six San Quentin inmates have tested positive for Legionnaires' disease and more than 50 others are showing early symptoms after an outbreak discovered at the San Francisco Bay Area prison late last week, officials said.

The potentially life-threatening lung infection, a type of pneumonia, is contracted by inhaling mist from water contaminated ...Read more

Obama administration to rename Alaska's Mount McKinley as Denali

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WASHINGTON -- North America's tallest peak is getting a new name as the administration resolves a decades-long dispute between Alaska and Ohio.

President Barack Obama will announce Monday that his administration is officially redesignating Alaska's Mount McKinley as Denali, the original name for the 20,237-foot-high mountain given by the area's...Read more

Video of Israeli soldier scuffling with Palestinian boy, his family fuels debate

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JERUSALEM -- A video documenting a violent scuffle between an Israeli soldier and a Palestinian child and his family in the West Bank went viral over the weekend, becoming a sort of Rorschach test of the passions and perspectives of the Middle East conflict.

Shot on Friday by Palestinians in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, site of weekly ...Read more

Egypt to begin long-delayed parliamentary elections in October

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CAIRO -- Egypt is to elect its first parliament in over three years in a series of voting rounds starting Oct. 17, the electoral commission announced Sunday.

The country has been without a legislature since June 2012, when the constitutional court struck down the results of parliamentary elections after the 2011 overthrow of dictator Hosni ...Read more

Planned military parade unnerves region already wary of China

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HONG KONG –– As Xi Jinping presides over thousands of goose-stepping troops marching down Beijing's Changan Avenue -- or "Eternal Peace Street" -- on Thursday, the Chinese president will also proclaim his commitment to the world's peaceful development.

It's a message China's neighbors may find hard to swallow as it flexes its military ...Read more

Supreme Court can resolve Kentucky clerk's refusal to issue marriage licenses to gays

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WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court gets its first chance this week to respond to religious-liberty advocates who say the court's ruling in favor of same-sex marriage threatens the rights of some conservative Christians.

Lawyers for a Kentucky county clerk who opposes same-sex marriage on religious grounds are asking the justices to grant her a ...Read more

Islamic State blows up largest Palmyra temple

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CAIRO -- The Islamic State extremist group has demolished parts of the temple of Bel, the largest monumental complex in the ancient city of Palmyra, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Sunday.

The temple of Bel stands just outside the main area of the ancient city, whose column-lined principal street leads to its gate.

Its richly ...Read more

Trump takes a Sunday off from TV, but dominates discussion

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WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump was absent from the Sunday talk shows for the first time in weeks. But those Republican presidential candidates who did sit down for network interviews still had to grapple with the surprise Republican front-runner.

Perhaps no candidate has suffered from the Trump surge more than Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who was ...Read more

University of Texas takes down statues of Jefferson Davis, Woodrow Wilson

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AUSTIN, Texas -- Statues of Jefferson Davis and Woodrow Wilson were removed Sunday from the limestone pedestals at the University of Texas on which they have stood for 82 years.

"This is an iconic moment. It really shows the power of student leadership," said Gregory Vincent, UT's vice president for diversity and community engagement, referring...Read more

Myanmar's backsliding leads to doubt about U.S. diplomatic strategy

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WASHINGTON -- The State Department's second-ranking diplomat flew to Myanmar in May to urge the country's leaders not to adopt a tough "population-control" law apparently aimed at halting growth of persecuted ethnic minorities.

President Thein Sein listened politely to Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken. And hours after Blinken departed ...Read more

35 die in airstrike on factory in Yemen

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SANAA, Yemen -- Thirty-five workers were killed in a Saudi-led coalition airstrike Sunday on a factory in a northern Yemeni town, medical officials said.

The airstrike hit a drinking water factory in Abas, in the northwestern Hajja province, which is controlled by Houthi rebels, the officials said.

Coalition airstrikes also hit a military ...Read more

As wildfires rage and budgets dwindle, more funds sought for firefighting

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SEATTLE -- The record wildfire season scorching the West is prompting renewed calls for Congress to change how it funds firefighting, a push that comes as the head of the Forest Service said the agency would soon exceed its firefighting budget for the year -- again.

In a letter to regional foresters and other employees, Tom Tidwell, the chief ...Read more

With Obama to visit nearby, Alaskan villagers struggle as their island disappears

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KIVALINA, Alaska -- This is what climate change looks like.

In this town of 403 residents 83 miles above the Arctic Circle, beaches are disappearing, ice is melting, temperatures are rising, and the barrier reef Kivalina calls home gets smaller and smaller with every storm.

There is no space left to build homes for the living. The dead are now...Read more

Severe poverty affects brain size, researchers find

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A six-year study by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has added to the mounting evidence that growing up in severe poverty affects how children's brains develop, potentially putting them at a lifelong disadvantage.

The study -- which combined the expertise of neuroscientists and economists -- found that the parts of the brain ...Read more

Hype surrounds hearing as Freddie Gray case heads to court

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BALTIMORE -- After months of sharply worded motions by prosecutors and defense attorneys, legal questions surrounding the officers charged in Freddie Gray's arrest and death will be aired publicly for the first time Wednesday in Baltimore courtroom.

Six police officers stand accused in the case, which has captured the nation's attention due to ...Read more

Iranians hope to fill vacuum as US lowers its Mideast profile

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TEHRAN, Iran -- Iran's agreement to curb its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief by world powers was welcomed at every level of society here, but nowhere more warmly than in the foreign policy community, which foresees a big boost for the Islamic Republic's regional role, especially as the U.S. lowers its profile.

There is even ...Read more

Protest at India's film school is in part a showdown over the premier's agenda

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PUNE, India -- As battlegrounds go, the leafy campus of India's premier film school must count among the more graceful, with its rows of tidy bungalows gently shaded by neem and tamarind trees.

Yet there is no mistaking the ferment at the Film and Television Institute of India. Hand-painted slogans snake across building walls, quoting Albert ...Read more

Al Sharpton, still polarizing but no longer a political outlier

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NEW YORK -- It was a blazing hot day, but Al Sharpton didn't break a sweat as he waited to take the stage at a Brooklyn rally, dressed as usual in a perfectly cut suit and tie, his arms crossed and his leather-clad feet planted firmly, almost statue-like, on the ground.

The crowd was there to remember Eric Garner, an unarmed black man who died ...Read more