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Clinton tries to hold off Sanders in a competitive Nevada

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LAS VEGAS -- By the time Bernie Sanders launched his challenge to Hillary Clinton in May, her campaign team had already been in Nevada for a month, knocking on doors, dialing voters and cajoling endorsements from local leaders.

Nevada was supposed to be Clinton's firewall, a state where she could stop Sanders' progress no matter what happened ...Read more

Abortion, immigration lead the list of cases facing Supreme Court

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WASHINGTON--The sudden death of Justice Antonin Scalia will have an immediate effect on numerous cases now pending before the court, including several that were expected to split along ideological or political lines with 5-4 votes.

Now instead, some of those votes could deadlock 4-4, meaning a lower court's last ruling on the issue will stand. ...Read more

Scalia's death likely to change outcome of key cases

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WASHINGTON -- With the death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, a narrowly divided Supreme Court now enters tricky terrain. Tie votes and tougher calculations will become the order of the day.

Scalia appeared ready this term to help a slender conservative majority upend such things as California teacher union fees and a University of Texas...Read more

Republican Senate may stall on Supreme Court until after election

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WASHINGTON -- The death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia sets up an election-year showdown in which the voters -- as much as or more than the president and Senate -- may decide the direction of the court.

President Barack Obama will face enormous pressure first to nominate a liberal, magnified by the surprisingly strong challenge of ...Read more

Francis' trip to Mexico may feel more intimate than his predecessors

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As archbishop of Buenos Aires, the future Pope Francis was a thorn in the side of the Argentine leadership, especially the husband-and-wife presidency of Nestor and Christina Kirchner.

"A major part of their platform was that they were in favor of the poor," said Father Arthur F. Liebscher, chairman of the history department at Santa Clara ...Read more

Republican Senate leader says next president should name Scalia's successor

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WASHINGTON –– The death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia throws the court's future into question and sets up a tense debate among Senate leaders about how to replace him.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the vacancy on the court should not be filled until there is a new president.

"The American people should have ...Read more

Antonin Scalia, conservative Supreme Court justice, dies at 79

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Antonin Scalia, the sharp-tongued U.S. Supreme Court justice who sought to limit constitutional protections to those envisioned by the nation's founders, has died, according to a statement from the Texas governor's office. He was 79.

The cause of death wasn't immediately known.

Known for his sarcasm and combative style, Scalia was a polarizing...Read more

Scalia's death changes balance of Supreme Court, alters presidential campaign

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WASHINGTON--Justice Antonin Scalia, the Supreme Court's most fiery conservative voice, has died while on a hunting trip in Texas, immediately changing the balance of nation's highest court and thrusting its future directly into the center of the presidential campaign.

Scalia's death at age 79 was reported by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and confirmed...Read more

Antonin Scalia, Supreme Court justice, dies at 79

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Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, the fiery conservative who used a sharp intellect, barbed wit and a zeal for verbal combat to fight against the tide of modern liberalism, has died. He was 79.

Scalia died while on a hunting trip in Texas, according to a statement issued Saturday by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

Scalia was a dominant figure at ...Read more

Newly released Clinton emails include 84 with upgraded classifications

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WASHINGTON –– The State Department released 551 more of Hillary Clinton's emails from her time as President Barack Obama's secretary of state, including about 15 percent that had been given updated security classifications after the fact.

More than 1,000 pages of documents sent from Clinton's private email account and released on Saturday ...Read more

Search at collapsed building ends as Taiwan earthquake death toll hits 116

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TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Rescue efforts at a 17-story building that collapsed in a 6.4-magnitude earthquake in southern Taiwan last week ended Saturday, with the quake's overall death toll reaching at least 116.

At least one person remains missing, authorities said.

Most of the deaths -- 114 -- came when the Weiguan Jinlong building collapsed Feb. 6,...Read more

Russia sees a new cold war as NATO criticizes nuclear threats

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Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said his country is in a new cold war with the U.S. and its allies, while NATO's chief said Russia is using its nuclear arsenal to intimidate Europe.

The clash played out at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday even as Russia, Europe and the U.S. say they're seeking to end Syria's civil war, resolve ...Read more

After the Oregon standoff, wildlife refuge is again for the birds

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The day four final holdouts ended the armed occupation of a remote wildlife refuge in eastern Oregon, a new occupation was just beginning.

According to two decades' worth of federal data, Feb. 11 is, on average, the earliest date that migrating tundra swans begin appearing at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, exiting the Pacific Flyway to ...Read more

Algorithm tries to determine whether couples should stay together or break up

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ST. LOUIS -- When Rashied Amini's girlfriend wanted to break up two years ago, he wondered if he could mathematically prove that they should stay together.

Amini was working as a systems engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the time. He knew how to build predictive models about space missions using algorithms.

Maybe he could apply ...Read more

10-term NC Rep. Walter Jones faces formidable primary challenge

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WASHINGTON -- North Carolina's longest-serving sitting congressman, U.S. Rep. Walter Jones, could face his most difficult re-election bid yet if his support continues to slide and an anti-establishment Republican voter mood plays out the way some political observers suspect it might.

Jones, 73, has had comfortable general-election wins since ...Read more

Trump's call to bring back torture alarms professional interrogators

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WASHINGTON -- Hard-nosed interrogators who say they've thwarted terror attacks in the United States by extracting key information from suspects have a message for Donald Trump, the Republican front-runner, who's vowing to bring back waterboarding and even harsher questioning techniques if elected president:

Don't do it.

Trump has become famous...Read more

With Los Angeles-area leak halted, gas company prepares for the legal battles

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LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles County district attorney slapped it with criminal charges. Los Angeles city and county officials filed accusations of ill-prepared crews and public injury. The state attorney general added claims of irreparable environmental damage. And the local air pollution agency alleged negligence in constructing the Aliso ...Read more

Even the Senate Banking chairman is slamming banks in campaign ads

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WASHINGTON -- When it comes to attacking Wall Street, no one can match Bernie Sanders's conviction. But the Vermont senator's eagerness to jail, fine, and tax bankers has overshadowed another group of politicians who have unexpectedly turned into vocal critics of the biggest banks: Republicans.

At events leading up to the Feb. 9 New Hampshire ...Read more

Analysis: Obama uses State of the Union to buff up resume for Democratic nominee

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- For one last time, President Barack Obama took to the rostrum of the House chamber, observing an old ritual with a new purpose: shaping history.

Obama's final State of the Union address Tuesday night was no nostalgia trip, though the president and many around him were mindful of its timing, nearly eight years to the day ...Read more

N. Carolina Legislature to begin work on new congressional maps Monday

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RALEIGH, N.C. -- The North Carolina Legislature will hold meetings starting Monday to draft new congressional maps in response to a court order, House Speaker Tim Moore announced Friday afternoon.

Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger said in a news release that they still hope the U.S. Supreme Court will issue a stay that allows them to avoid a ...Read more