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Conn. Supreme Court rules against workers hurt in Kleen Energy plant explosion

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HARTFORD, Conn. -- The Connecticut Supreme Court, in a 6-1 decision Wednesday, upheld a Superior Court judge's dismissal of a lawsuit filed against O&G Industries by workers seriously injured in the 2010 Kleen Energy explosion that killed six people.

Two men who were working within 100 yards of the explosion on Feb. 7, 2010, during a pipe ...Read more

SpaceX will spend $300 million on Red Dragon Mars mission, NASA says

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LOS ANGELES -- SpaceX is likely spending about $300 million on its unmanned Red Dragon Mars mission, according to NASA estimates.

The topic came up at a NASA Advisory Council committee meeting Tuesday, when agency official Jim Reuter said SpaceX's spending on the mission was about 10 times that of NASA's, according to Space News.

NASA said it ...Read more

Boy convicted of killing abusive neo-Nazi dad while he slept has new hope

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WASHINGTON -- A California boy convicted of killing his abusive neo-Nazi father has allies in high places as he seeks a Supreme Court review of his case.

In a challenge to state Attorney General Kamala Harris, human rights activists and child abuse experts are rallying around the boy still known in court documents only as Joseph H. Everyone ...Read more

Rudy Giuliani parses Trump's Russia remarks

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PHILADELPHIA -- Hours after Donald Trump said he hoped Russia had hacked into Hillary Clinton's private server and obtained some of her email correspondence as secretary of state, GOP surrogates sought to reshape Trump's message.

"I'm sure what he means is they should be released to the FBI," former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said at a news ...Read more

Political news briefs

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Donald Trump invites Russia to hack into Hillary Clinton's emails

WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump dared a foreign government to commit espionage on the U.S. to hurt his rival on Wednesday, smashing yet another taboo in American political discourse and behavior.

"Russia, if you're listening, I hope you'll be able to find the 30,000 emails that are ...Read more

Obama to offer commander-in-chief test in his final DNC speech as president

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PHILADELPHIA -- President Barack Obama's pitch Wednesday for Hillary Clinton in front of a prime-time Democratic National Convention audience will home in on her temperament to do the job, drawing a contrast from what Obama sees as Donald Trump's lack of fitness to serve as commander in chief.

The night will also serve as the nation's ...Read more

Heads may need to roll at DNC, former chairman says

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PHILADELPHIA -- Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe urged the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign to get ahead of any potentially damaging emails that WikiLeaks' founder has vowed to make public.

McAuliffe, a former DNC chairman and a longtime friend and fundraiser for former President Bill Clinton and Democratic...Read more

Trump's minimum-wage reversal is latest headache for Republicans

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Donald Trump reversed himself on a major policy plank Wednesday as he told reporters he now backs a $10-an-hour federal minimum wage, breaking with years of Republican orthodoxy and his party's own platform.

"The minimum wage has to go up," he said at a tumultuous news conference, saying it should go up to $10 from $7.25. He did say that "...Read more

Many well-known hospitals fail to score 5 stars in Medicare's new ratings

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The federal government released its first overall hospital quality rating on Wednesday, slapping average or below average scores on many of the nation's best-known hospitals while awarding top scores to many unheralded ones.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services rated 3,617 hospitals on a one- to five-star scale, angering the hospital ...Read more

Baltimore FOP president: 'Justice has been done' in dropping charges against police officers

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BALTIMORE -- Representatives for the six officers who had been charged in the Freddie Gray case defended their clients and criticized State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby during a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

"Justice has been done," said Gene Ryan, president of FOP Lodge 3, which represents city police officers.

Ryan said Mosby's comments ...Read more

67 killed, 185 wounded in attack on Syrian town near Turkish border

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DAMASCUS, Syria -- At least 67 people were killed and 185 wounded Wednesday in an attack claimed by Islamic State in the northeastern Syrian town of Qamishli, medical sources in the Kurdish-controlled town said.

Rescue teams are still searching for victims under the rubble of the buildings hit by the attack, the sources added.

Earlier reports ...Read more

Chelsea Clinton tells LGBT delegates this is 'most important election in my lifetime'

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PHILADELPHIA -- At an LGBT delegate luncheon Wednesday, Chelsea Clinton lit into the Republicans, calling the rhetoric out of their convention in Cleveland "divisive, degrading, demeaning."

"I thought about what I found most offensive last week -- it's hard to pick just one part," the soft-spoken Clinton said, stepping into the convention ...Read more

Obama chooses historic Jackson Park in Chicago as library site

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CHICAGO -- President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama have selected historic Jackson Park, just east of the University of Chicago, as the site for the Obama Presidential Center, a source confirmed Wednesday. A formal announcement is expected next week.

Martin Nesbitt, chairman of the Obama Foundation, declined to confirm or deny that ...Read more

Despite fatigue, DNC protesters regroup, resolve to push key issues

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PHILADELPHIA -- A mixture of disappointment and fatigue seemed to mute some Bernie Sanders supporters on the third day of the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday while others returned for protests with renewed resolve.

"We have created a movement to that will transcend this presidency," Ali Kurnaz, 25-year-old Florida delegate who ...Read more

Trump asks Russia to find Clinton's missing email

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DORAL, Fla. -- In a surprising call for a foreign power to use its hacking abilities to get involved in the U.S. presidential election, Donald Trump on Wednesday called on Russia to find Hillary Clinton's missing emails from the time she was secretary of state.

"Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are ...Read more

Democrats said to ignore cybersecurity red flags before theft

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WASHINGTON -- The Democratic National Committee was warned last fall that its computer network was susceptible to attacks but didn't follow the security advice it was given, according to three people familiar with the matter.

The missed opportunity is another blow to party officials already embarrassed by the theft and public disclosure of ...Read more

Cleared Baltimore police officers in Freddie Gray case will still face Internal Affairs review

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BALTIMORE -- Six Baltimore police officers cleared of criminal charges in Freddie Gray's arrest and death will be investigated by Montgomery County police, who are leading the internal affairs reviews that could determine whether the officers can return to policing city streets.

Officers from the Washington suburb -- with help from Howard ...Read more

Donald Trump invites Russia to hack Hillary Clinton's emails

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Donald Trump dared a foreign government to commit espionage on the U.S. to hurt his rival on Wednesday, smashing yet another taboo in American political discourse and behavior.

"Russia, if you're listening, I hope you'll be able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing," he said, referring to deleted emails from the private account Hillary ...Read more

FBI chief warns 'terrorist diaspora' will come to the West

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NEW YORK -- Hundreds of terrorists will fan out to infiltrate western Europe and the U.S. to carry out attacks on a wider scale as Islamic State is defeated in Syria, FBI Director James Comey warned.

"At some point there's going to be a terrorist diaspora out of Syria like we've never seen before," Comey said Wednesday in New York. "We saw the ...Read more

Judge orders Reagan would-be assassin John Hinckley freed

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WASHINGTON -- A federal judge ordered on Wednesday that John Hinckley Jr., who shot Ronald Reagan and two others 35 years ago, be given a formal release from a mental hospital, according to news reports.

Hinckley has been a psychiatric patient at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington, D.C., for decades. The doctors at St. Elizabeth's told the ...Read more