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Two students die in shootings at separate college campuses

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Two unrelated shootings at universities in Arizona and Texas on Friday left two students dead and four injured, continuing a skein of campus violence following last week's rampage at an Oregon community college that killed nine.

The shooter in the Texas Southern University slaying remains at large. In the Northern Arizona University attack, an ...Read more

Rumors of extramarital affair drove speaker's race drama

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WASHINGTON -- Why did House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., abruptly decide to pull out of the race for House speaker -- a race he was sure to win?

Speculation swirled throughout the House Friday, just a day after McCarthy's stunning announcement, that the speaker-in-waiting was felled by a persistent Internet report linking him to ...Read more

Former Honduran Cabinet member accused in US of laundering drug money

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A former Honduras Cabinet member and president of one of the most popular soccer teams in the Central American country appeared before a federal judge in Miami to face accusations of laundering drug money and public corruption.

Yankel Rosenthal Coello, who has headed the first-division Club Deportivo Marathon for more than a decade, made a ...Read more

Nation and world news briefs

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Pentagon bars University of Phoenix from adding new military students

WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon temporarily has barred the University of Phoenix from recruiting students at U.S. military bases and will not let new active-duty troops receive tuition assistance for the for-profit giant's courses.

The move is another blow to the University of ...Read more

3 deadlines loom over a Congress in disarray

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WASHINGTON -- No one Friday knew what the Republican leadership chaos would mean. But Congress is facing three major decisions, and while the White House and members of the House expressed optimism they would not be derailed by the lack of Republican unity on who the next speaker will be, the leadership drama added to anxiety.

"We have a ...Read more

California sets new rules for medical pot industry

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SACRAMENTO, Calif.--Nearly two decades after Californians legalized marijuana for medical use and a year before they may also approve it for recreational purposes, Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday approved statewide rules on the growth, transport and sale of the drug.

Signing a trio of bills, the governor created a regulatory system that could be ...Read more

Pentagon declares 'halt' to its disastrous Syrian training program

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WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration is ending a problem-plagued program to train and equip Syrians to fight the Islamic State, saying it will use the hundreds of millions of dollars from Congress to help Kurdish fighters and other groups that have had some success reclaiming territory from the militants.

The strategic shift represented an ...Read more

House Republicans plead with Paul Ryan to run for speaker

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WASHINGTON -- With the zeal of a college football coach trying to woo a blue-chip recruit, House Republicans are aggressively trying to persuade Rep. Paul Ryan to run for House speaker after Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy's surprising withdrawal from consideration.

Many House Republicans view Ryan, the 2012 GOP vice presidential candidate, as ...Read more

Judge drops multiple charges against Paul advisers

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WASHINGTON -- A federal judge in Iowa has tossed most of the charges against longtime Paul family advisers Jesse Benton and John Tate.

The case involves alleged misconduct in which associates of 2012 presidential candidate Ron Paul of Texas were said to have made improper payments to Iowa State Sen. Kent Sorenson, who switched his endorsement ...Read more

Violence spreads to Gaza, where Hamas leader calls for an uprising

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JERUSALEM -- A surge of Palestinian unrest punctuated by multiple stabbing attacks across Israel and in the West Bank spread on Friday to the Gaza Strip, where Israeli soldiers fired on crowds of stone-throwing protesters across a border fence, killing six, local health officials said.

The Israeli government has been struggling to quell a rash ...Read more

1 dead, 1 injured in shooting at Texas Southern University

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One student was killed and another person was seriously injured after someone opened fire outside a Texas Southern University dormitory on Friday morning, prompting a lockdown at the Houston school, officials said.

The gunfire outside the University Courtyard dormitory occurred at 11:35 a.m. local time, according to Eva Pickens, the school's ...Read more

House votes to end 40-year ban on sending American oil overseas

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WASHINGTON -- The House of Representatives voted Friday to end the 40-year-old ban on exporting American oil to foreign nations, launching a showdown with the Senate and the president in the nation's latest battle over energy and climate change.

The ban was a response to the 1970s Arab oil embargo, ostensibly to protect Americans from gasoline ...Read more

What we know (and don't know) about the race for House speaker

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U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy is out. What now?

--At least a dozen lawmakers have been mentioned as possible replacement candidates.

At least 12 names have been floated as possible replacements for Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, after Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., announced suddenly Thursday that he was dropping out of the race.

Few of ...Read more

Spencer Stone 'awake, able to get out of bed' day after life-threatening stabbing

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Spencer Stone, the U.S. airman who gained world fame for helping thwart an attack on a French train and recaptured it again as the victim of a Sacramento street brawl, is now "awake, able to get out of bed and in good spirits."

The press staff of the UC Davis Medical Center on Friday upgraded Stone's medical condition from...Read more

Violence between Israelis, Palestinians spreads to Gaza; 7 dead

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GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip -- The recent eruption of violence between Israelis and Palestinians saw its highest one-day death toll on Friday as the clashes spread for the first time to the Gaza Strip.

Six Palestinians were killed and 60 injured when Israeli soldiers fired across the border at protesters along the fence dividing the coastal enclave ...Read more

Bipartisan coalition forces House vote to reopen Export-Import Bank

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WASHINGTON -- A bipartisan group of House lawmakers joined Friday to force a vote in the coming weeks to reopen the Export-Import Bank, whose charter expired this summer because of opposition from key congressional leaders.

The move is a victory for supporters of the 81-year-old bank, which helps U.S. companies export their goods.

But even if ...Read more

Judge rejects Florida's redistricting maps, recommends challengers' plan

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Circuit Court Judge Terry Lewis on Friday rejected the Florida Legislature's third attempt at redrawing its congressional districts and recommended a map proposed by the challengers -- including a redrawn configuration of two Miami districts -- to the Florida Supreme Court for its final review.

Lewis adopted the bulk of the...Read more

Obama heads to Roseburg, a community divided over his visit

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ROSEBURG, Ore. -- Eight days after the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College, President Barack Obama has come to Oregon, where he'll meet privately with victims' families and survivors for the massacre that rocked the town of Roseburg.

A gunman with six weapons, including a rifle, killed nine people and wounded nine more before taking his ...Read more

Few precedents for a prolonged speaker battle

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WASHINGTON -- The Constitution is terse about the election of a new speaker: "The House of Representatives shall choose their Speaker and other Officers ..."

It doesn't address what might happen if the House is unable to choose a speaker, or if there's a prolonged vacancy.

In the confusion Thursday that followed House Majority Leader Kevin ...Read more

Tests showed rail defect 2 months before W.Va. oil train derailed

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WASHINGTON -- Two separate tests in the two months prior to a fiery oil train derailment in West Virginia earlier this year showed the presence of a rail defect, according to a report on the incident.

But neither the railroad nor its testing provider followed up on the test results in December 2014 and January 2015, and the rail broke under a ...Read more