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Plan to create white nationalist enclaves in Kansas, Nebraska roils residents

Current News / News & Features /

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A neo-Nazi who made headlines when he bought land in a small North Dakota town with plans to turn it into an all-white hamlet is now setting his sights on Kansas and Nebraska.

Craig Cobb has purchased property in two small south-central Nebraska towns and inquired about property in two north-central Kansas towns, including ...Read more

Senators drill into California water bill

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WASHINGTON -- Ever hopeful lawmakers on Thursday conjured the vision of a compromise California water bill that succeeds instead of fails.

It may be a mirage.

But in a long-awaited hearing, the chairwoman of a key Senate committee zeroed in on some specific, concrete details that could be the basis for real-world legislation. Water storage, ...Read more

In genetic study of homosexuality, evidence that nurture and nature conspire

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For men, new research suggests that clues to sexual orientation may lie not just in the genes, but in the spaces between the DNA, where molecular marks instruct genes when to turn on and off and how strongly to express themselves.

On Thursday, University of California, Los Angeles, molecular biologist Tuck C. Ngun reported that in studying the ...Read more

Downward dog duplication? Relax, yoga poses can't be copyrighted, court rules

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Yoga poses may not receive copyright protection, a federal appeals court decided Thursday.

The court ruled in a case brought by Bikram Choudhury, an Indian yoga guru who popularized "hot yoga" in the United States. He argued that a yoga studio violated his copyright to a sequence of poses and two breathing exercises he ...Read more

Global worries kept Fed from hiking rates in September

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WASHINGTON -- Many Federal Reserve officials appeared to be on the fence on whether to vote for a interest rate hike last month, but in the end they agreed to hold off largely because the slowing global economy had increased their worries about low inflation in the U.S.

An account of that meeting, released Thursday with the usual three-week lag...Read more

Rubio wins new fans, loses mentor

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CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Marco Rubio crisscrossed the harvested farm fields of northeastern Iowa, drawing enthusiastic crowds, standing ovations and warm reviews of his sunny message that the nation could see a "new American century" forged by new leadership.

So many people showed up to see the Republican presidential candidate at an automotive ...Read more

'Worrisome' trend of elephant poisoning on the rise in Zimbabwe

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HARARE, Zimbabwe -- Zimbabwean officials are investigating a "rising and worrisome" trend in poaching following the discovery of 11 dead elephants poisoned with cyanide, police said on Thursday.

The police have deployed a team to "comb the area" and are expecting to make arrests soon, spokeswoman Charity Charamba told dpa.

"Poaching seems to ...Read more

Kevin McCarthy bows out of speaker race, leaving House GOP in disarray

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WASHINGTON -- Rep. Kevin McCarthy stunned fellow lawmakers Thursday by abruptly announcing that he was withdrawing from the race to become the next House speaker.

The California Republican, who was having trouble convincing GOP conservatives to support him, said the party needs a fresh face to take over after current Speaker John. A. Boehner ...Read more

NATO chief vows to defend Turkey against Russian threats

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BRUSSELS -- Amid heightened regional tensions following Russia's armed intervention in Syria, the head of NATO vowed Thursday to help defend Turkey, if necessary, against Russian threats.

The two countries have come close to clashing in recent days in the escalating regional crisis, and Ankara called in the Russian ambassador to complain after ...Read more

VW's US chief pins blame for scandal on a 'couple of software engineers'

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WASHINGTON -- A top Volkswagen executive on Thursday blamed a handful of rogue software engineers for the company's emissions cheating scandal and told outraged lawmakers that it would take years to fix all of the nearly 500,000 vehicles affected in the U.S.

"This was a couple of software engineers who put this in for whatever reason," Michael ...Read more

Former Chicago Public Schools chief indicted in bribery scheme

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CHICAGO -- Former Chicago Public Schools Chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett was indicted Thursday on charges she pocketed bribes in return for steering a no-bid $20.5 million contract to a education consulting firm where she once worked.

Gary Solomon and Tom Vranas, co-owners of the SUPES Academy, and the business itself were also criminally charged.

...Read more

Easy Money: US welfare flows to Cuba

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Cuban immigrants are cashing in on U.S. welfare and returning to the island, making a mockery of the decades-old premise that they are refugees fleeing persecution at home.

Some stay for months at a time -- and the U.S. government keeps paying.

Cubans' unique access to food stamps, disability money and other welfare is...Read more

Easy Money: Cubans leave island to retire in Florida with US benefits

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- More Cubans are coming to Florida in their golden years to retire, able to tap U.S. government assistance even though they never lived or worked here.

The number of Cubans arriving over the age of 60 grew fivefold since 2010, according to state refugee data. At least 185 made the crossing in their 80s or 90s.

Unlike ...Read more

Anything goes with Las Vegas street performers, and that's the problem

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LAS VEGAS -- The Lost Baby is having a slow night.

Gerald Morrissen, 44, stands in the crowded downtown Las Vegas pedestrian mall known as the Fremont Street Experience, dressed in white diapers, baby bib, sneakers and an umbrella hat, a red plastic tip cup dangling suggestively at his waist. His face contorts like he's teething.

The self-...Read more

Syrians announce a second offensive backed by Russian warplanes

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BEIRUT -- Syrian government forces backed by Russian air power launched a major ground offensive Thursday targeting rebel positions in northern Syria, according to government and opposition accounts.

Syrian Gen. Ali Abdullah Ayoub announced the "large-scale assault" in a nationally televised address from what was said to be the joint Russian-...Read more

Elephants rarely get cancer; now scientists think they know why

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You've heard that elephants never forget, but did you know they almost never get cancer either?

It turns out that just 4.8 percent of known elephant deaths are related to cancer. For humans, cancer-related deaths are much higher -- between 11 percent and 25 percent, scientists say.

The elephant's low cancer rate is particularly interesting ...Read more

UCLA students protest after partygoers wear blackface at 'Kanye'-themed frat party

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LOS ANGELES -- A "Kanye Western"-themed fraternity party at UCLA is causing an uproar for its racial overtones after some partygoers showed up wearing blackface.

Thrown by Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and Alpha Phi sorority, students who attended the party Tuesday wore baggy clothes, dressed like the Kardashians and some wore blackface, the ...Read more

Spencer Stone, hero in French train attack, is stabbed in Sacramento

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Spencer Stone, one of three Americans hailed as heroes for stopping a terror attack on a French train in August, was stabbed Wednesday night in the Sacramento area and is in stable condition, Air Force officials said.

The Sacramento Police Department on Thursday morning declined to identify the victim, but described a stabbing incident that ...Read more

Svetlana Alexievich wins Nobel Prize in literature

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Belarusian journalist Svetlana Alexievich is the 2015 Nobel Prize winner in literature. She was commended by the Swedish Academy for "her polyphonic writing, a monument to suffering and courage in our time."

Alexievich, who lives in Minsk, is known for her close takes on the post-Soviet individual, conducting thousands of interviews for her ...Read more

Climate change hears a cattle call

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PESCADERO, Calif. -- Tom Steyer's crusade to force politicians to confront climate change is well known, manifesting itself in millions of dollars of campaign funding, including the windfall he raised for Hillary Rodham Clinton recently in his San Francisco home.

Less well known is the billionaire's crusade to force farmers to confront it.

At ...Read more

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