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States eye wallets of richest residents with income tax measures

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LOS ANGELES -- Voters in as many as four states in November will consider higher levies on their wealthiest residents as income inequality steers liberal activists and politicians toward more progressive taxation.

Colorado and Maine may raise taxes on top earners, while Minnesota is looking to apply the state's Social Security tax to high ...Read more

New label alerts consumers to beef that's been mechanically tenderized

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A new label on some of the steaks in your grocery store highlights a production process you may have never heard of: mechanical tenderizing.

This means the beef has been punctured with blades or needles to break down the muscle fibers and make it easier to chew. But it also means the meat has a greater chance of being contaminated and making ...Read more

Debt king Trump, bridge builder Clinton equal bigger deficits

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WASHINGTON -- The U.S. looks set to rack up bigger budget deficits in the coming years, no matter who is elected president.

With Donald Trump declaring himself the "king of debt" and Hillary Clinton promising to "build tomorrow's economy," the next administration seems likely to put more emphasis on fiscal largesse than on financial rectitude. ...Read more

Supreme Court allows secret debate in Wisconsin's John Doe filing

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MILWAUKEE -- The U.S. Supreme Court for now is allowing arguments partly in secret in a case over whether the high court should hear a dispute over the shutdown of an investigation into Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's campaign and conservative groups backing him.

In an order Monday, the court said the justices would accept filings made under seal...Read more

Without new state rule, some Wisconsin voters might have lost vote this fall

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MADISON, Wis. -- Some voters might not be able to cast ballots this fall if not for a new state rule put in place on the eve of a trial over Wisconsin's voter ID law, the official responsible for issuing ID cards testified Monday.

Her testimony came as the federal judge hearing the trial expressed serious concern about voters who have found ...Read more

Wall Street lobbyists decide against pushing Trump for specifics — for now

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WASHINGTON -- The banking industry is flummoxed on what to do about Donald Trump, even as its fears grow that his likely opponent has moved too far to the left.

Last week, Trump announced plans to unveil an alternative to the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Law in the coming weeks -- just as Rep. Jeb Hensarling, who chairs the House ...Read more

Brain-dead toddler is airlifted from California to undisclosed country

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- In a last-minute scramble involving passports, an air ambulance and hundreds of dollars in donated funds, tiny Israel Stinson was airlifted over the weekend to an undisclosed hospital in a foreign country.

The 2-year-old, declared brain-dead by three Sacramento-area physicians, has spent the last month on a ventilator at ...Read more

Woman slain in St. Louis carjacking; baby thrown out of car but unhurt

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ST. LOUIS -- Brandi Hill had a 9-month-old daughter, a hot car and a heart full of hope.

"I want to be loved," the 21-year-old wrote on Facebook recently. "I want a happy family I want all the good stuff."

But her short life was taken Sunday night in an apparent carjacking on Washington Avenue in downtown St. Louis.

Hill, 21, of O'Fallon, Mo....Read more

Facebook investigation reveals no evidence of bias against conservative topics, company says

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Facebook uncovered no evidence that it suppressed news about conservative issues in its "trending topics" feature, the social media firm wrote Monday in a letter to U.S. Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune, R-S.D.

"Our data analysis indicated that conservative and liberal topics are approved as trending topics at ...Read more

Defense in Islamic State trial questions star government witness

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MINNEAPOLIS--Abdirahman Bashiir's desire to join Islamic State and the change of heart that led him to work for the FBI -- and how much the agency paid him --fell under defense scrutiny Monday as a federal terrorist recruitment trial entered its third week.

Attorneys for three Minneapolis men accused of conspiring to join the terrorist group ...Read more

Response is subdued after non-guilty verdict in Freddie Gray case

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BALTIMORE -- In parts of the city that erupted in rioting last year over the death of Freddie Gray, the response was measured to the first verdict in the trial of an officer charged in the case.

"I kind of knew it was going to happen," said Mike Smith, 51, a limousine driver who was in the Penn-North area when he heard that Officer Edward Nero ...Read more

Sanders says he will be in 'strong position' headed into Democratic convention

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LOS ANGELES -- Bernie Sanders, whose continued quest for the Democratic presidential nomination against front-runner Hillary Clinton has caused concerns of division among some party leaders, said Monday that his campaign will be in a "strong position" to have influence during the July convention in Philadelphia.

Speaking to reporters after a ...Read more

More California jail guards arrested in on brutality charges

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SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Two Santa Clara County jail guards were arrested Monday on suspicion of beating a shackled inmate, the first new criminal charges to result from an investigation into excessive force allegations sparked by the fatal beating last summer of a mentally ill prisoner.

Guards Phillip Abecendario and Tuan Le surrendered Monday ...Read more

One hormone shot put diabetic mice into long-term remission, study says

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In research that may point the way to new treatments for Type 2 diabetes, obese and diabetic mice who got a single shot of a growth-promoting peptide directly into their brains experienced lasting remission from the disease without any sustained changes to their diet or their weight.

A week after researchers injected a low dose of synthesized ...Read more

Nation and world news briefs

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NJ lawmakers reach deal on Atlantic City financial future

TRENTON, N.J. -- New Jersey state lawmakers have reached an agreement on the financial future of Atlantic City, ending weeks of fighting as the resort heads into the crucial tourism season.

The Assembly Judiciary Committee on Monday unanimously passed an amended version of a state ...Read more

Rand Paul seeks Islamic State war debate

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WASHINGTON -- Might senators actually have to vote on using military force against the Islamic State?

They will if Sen. Rand Paul gets his way, as the former presidential candidate from Kentucky confirmed Monday he is pushing to have an amendment called up to declare that the 2001 and 2003 measures authorizing the use of military force do not ...Read more

Bill Clinton tells voters to 'just relax' about Hillary's chances

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STOCKTON, Calif. -- Bill Clinton, sprinting through California's Central Valley ahead of the state's looming primary, urged Democrats on Monday to "relax" about his wife Hillary's general election prospects, with recent polls showing Donald Trump running even with -- or ahead of -- the likely Democratic nominee.

Following the primary election, ...Read more

North Carolina House and Senate leaders want to combine HB2 lawsuits

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RALEIGH, N.C. -- North Carolina legislative leaders sought Monday to intervene in the lawsuit challenging House Bill 2 that the federal Justice Department filed against the governor, the state department of public safety and the University of North Carolina system and its board of governors.

Phil Berger, president pro tempore of the state ...Read more

Tutoring scam alleged in Detroit schools

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DETROIT -- Another corruption case has surfaced in Detroit Public Schools, this one involving a former grants administrator who is charged with pocketing nearly $1.3 million that was supposed to be used to tutor children.

Carolyn Starkey-Darden, 69, the former director of grant development at DPS, was charged by federal prosecutors with billing...Read more

Puerto Rico governor presents $9.1 billion fiscal 2017 budget

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NEW YORK -- Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla presented a $9.1 billion spending plan for the fiscal year starting July 1 during a televised broadcast.

Island lawmakers have until June 30 to approve a budget for fiscal 2017 or the government uses the current year's spending plan as a framework.

This is Garcia Padilla's final budget ...Read more