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Man wearing animal outfit shot by police after incident at Baltimore TV station

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BALTIMORE -- A man who walked into a Baltimore television station wearing an animal jumpsuit and what police said was a "surgical-style mask" was shot by police Thursday.

The man is still alive, police said, but his condition is unknown.

Police spokesman T.J. Smith said officers were called Thursday afternoon about a person in the lobby ...Read more

Donald Trump and his supporters wonder how much being 'presidential' matters

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WEST CHESTER, Pa. -- A few minutes into a boisterous rally in which Donald Trump criticized one rival as a slob, yelled at a protester to "go home to Mom!" and implored his supporters to "wave to the dishonest media," the candidate paused for a moment to reflect.

"They want me to be presidential," Trump told the crowd of several thousand in a ...Read more

Senators unveil Veterans First Act

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WASHINGTON -- Senators took fresh steps this week in the slow effort to reform the beleaguered Veterans Affairs Department and hold it more accountable just as news broke of a new scandal -- cockroaches in food at a VA hospital in Chicago.

"Almost every morning there's a story on the news about some other failure at a VA hospital," said Sen. ...Read more

Workers begin cutting up whale carcass at Southern California surfing area

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LOS ANGELES -- Workers on Thursday began the process of cutting up and carting off a 40-foot whale carcass that washed up at San Onofre State Beach in Orange County earlier this week, a California state parks official said.

Kevin Pearsall, a public safety superintendent for California state parks in Orange County, said the vendor began working ...Read more

Political news briefs

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Boehner won't vote for 'miserable SOB' Cruz

Former Speaker John A. Boehner told a crowd at Stanford University that he would vote for Donald Trump for president if he's the GOP nominee, but not for Sen. Ted Cruz.

"Lucifer in the flesh," Boehner said of the Texan, according to the Stanford Daily. "I have Democrat friends and Republican friends....Read more

S. Carolina governor says she'll help Obama find the money to keep Guantanamo open

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WASHINGTON -- South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley came to Washington, D.C., on Thursday with one clear message -- keep Guantanamo detainees out of South Carolina, and if you need extra money to keep the prison open I'll help you find it.

"You could pay the state of South Carolina to host these terrorists, and we wouldn't take them. For any amount ...Read more

Pentagon disciplines 16 for airstrike on Doctors Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan

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WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon has disciplined 16 service members for mistakes that led to the deadly airstrike on a Doctors Without Borders hospital in northern Afghanistan last fall, but no one will face criminal charges, the Los Angeles Times has learned.

The punishments follow a six-month Pentagon investigation into the disastrous Oct. 3 attack...Read more

FBI arrests brother of San Bernardino terrorist and 2 others after searches

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LOS ANGELES -- Federal agents arrested three people, including the older brother of San Bernardino gunman Syed Rizwan Farook, on charges of marriage fraud conspiracy and lying to federal investigators on Thursday morning, according to a criminal complaint.

Syed Raheel Farook, the brother of Syed Rizwan Farook, Mariya Chernykh and Tatiana Farook...Read more

Obama says 'The Big Short' was wrong: Wall Street has changed

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WASHINGTON -- Looking back on his economic legacy, President Barack Obama disputes the conclusion in the movie "The Big Short" that nothing changed on Wall Street after the 2008 economic meltdown and maintains that his policies have helped stabilize the financial sector.

In a wide-ranging interview with the New York Times published Thursday, ...Read more

Obama picks up pace of filling watchdog vacancies

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WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama is moving to fill vacant inspector general positions at federal agencies, even though the watchdogs would only spend a short time overseeing his administration.

Obama in recent weeks nominated inspectors general for the Energy and Commerce departments, as well as the National Reconnaissance Office. There are...Read more

2 brothers arrested in connection with shooting deaths of parents in San Jose home

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Two brothers were arrested Thursday in connection with the slaying of their parents, who were found shot to death inside their San Jose, Calif., home beside a chilling message.

Police say Hasib Bin Golamrabbi, 22, and his 17-year-old brother are responsible for the deaths of their parents. Hasib Golamrabbi was arrested in Tracy, Calif., and his...Read more

Lawsuit by Hastert victim Individual A can proceed, judge rules

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CHICAGO -- The morning after Dennis Hastert was sentenced to a 15-month prison term in federal court, a lawsuit brought by the man at the center of the disgraced former U.S. House speaker's downfall took center stage in a Kendall County courtroom.

In his lawsuit, the man identified publicly only as Individual A argues Hastert still owes him $1....Read more

Biden arrives for unannounced visit to Iraq to help shore up wobbly government

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BAGHDAD -- Vice President Joe Biden arrived unannounced in Iraq on Thursday for the first time in five years to assess the ongoing U.S.-led military coalition's campaign against the Islamic State, amid political turmoil here threatening Prime Minister Haider Abadi's hold on power.

Biden's ninth trip to the country since being elected vice ...Read more

US economy grows at slowest pace in two years

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Growth by the U.S. economy fell off sharply in the first three months of 2016, posting its worst quarterly performance in two years amid a global slowdown, the Commerce Department said Thursday.

The broadest measure of the nation's economic output, known as gross domestic product, increased at an annual rate of 0.5 percent from January through ...Read more

Boehner won't vote for 'miserable SOB' Cruz

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Former Speaker John A. Boehner told a crowd at Stanford University that he would vote for Donald Trump for president if he's the GOP nominee, but not for Sen. Ted Cruz.

"Lucifer in the flesh," Boehner said of the Texan, according to the Stanford Daily. "I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost everyone, but I have...Read more

At least 30 killed in airstrikes on Syrian hospital, activists say

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BEIRUT -- A series of airstrikes on a hospital supported by Doctors Without Borders in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo has left at least 30 people dead, a local volunteer said Thursday.

"We have 30 bodies: 22 identified and eight others whose names are not known yet," Abdel-Rahman, a member of the non-governmental group the White Helmet ...Read more

Obama's push for court pick fizzles as Republicans stand firm

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WASHINGTON -- A media blitz by the White House and its allies has failed to crack Republican opposition to President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee, and it is all but certain the seat will remain vacant until after U.S. elections in November.

Television ad spending to support the nominee, appeals court judge Merrick Garland, has plummeted...Read more

In Indiana, the deal to stop Trump may be backfiring

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The silence in the parking lot of the Hamilton County fairgrounds is pierced only by a few songbirds, the ringing echo of a halyard slapping against a flagpole, and the gravel crunching beneath the footsteps of John Kasich's frustrated supporters.

A stream of voters arrived at the suburban Indianapolis fairgrounds on Tuesday to see the ...Read more

North Korea missile launch a failure, sources say

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SEOUL, South Korea -- North Korea made a failed launch of a medium-range ballistic missile Thursday, according to South Korean military sources cited by Yonhap news agency.

The rocket fired from the country's east coast crashed "a few seconds" after being launched, the sources said.

The test may have involved a mid-range Musudan missile, which...Read more

Puerto Rico risks historic default as Congress chooses inaction

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NEW YORK -- Even if Puerto Rico manages to strike a last-minute deal to defer bond payments, the commonwealth's financial collapse is about to enter an unprecedented phase.

Anything short of making the $422 million payment that Puerto Rico says it can't afford would be considered a technical default. More importantly, it opens the door to ...Read more