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Feds give thumbs-up to fracking off California coast

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SAN DIEGO--An environmental assessment from two federal agencies released Friday determined that fracking off the coast of California causes no significant impact, thus lifting a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing that was instituted earlier this year.

"The comprehensive analysis shows that these practices, conducted according to permit ...Read more

Coroner releases autopsies of San Bernardino terror victims: 'The room was in disarray'

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LOS ANGELES -- The scene inside the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino hours after the deadliest terrorist attack since 9/11 still had the hallmarks of the holiday festivities that brought the victims together and the bloodshed that followed.

There was the Christmas tree in the corner. The holiday decorations that covered more than a ...Read more

LA will convert motel units to 500 apartments for homeless vets

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LOS ANGELES -- The city of Los Angeles has approved a deal for nonprofit and private developers to convert "nuisance" motels into 500 permanent supportive apartments for homeless veterans.

Officials called it a major step forward toward developing large-scale housing for hundreds of homeless veterans. Advocates say about 2,700 homeless veterans...Read more

Kane spokesman quits: 'Tired of explaining the inexplicable'

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HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Saying he's "tired of explaining the inexplicable," Chuck Ardo, the spokesman for Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane, said Friday that he is quitting.

Like Kane's seven previous press secretaries, Ardo is leaving his job, widely thought to be one of the toughest in state government.

In an interview, Ardo said he ...Read more

In agricultural heartland, Trump sides with California farmers over environmentalists

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SAN DIEGO--Donald Trump waded into California's perennial water wars Friday, taking the side of agriculture and vowing to boost the state's farmers even if it means cutting back environmental protections.

"If I win, believe me, we're going to start opening up the water so that you can have your farmers survive, so that your job market will get ...Read more

Missouri senator to meet with CDC director on Zika response

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WASHINGTON -- Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., will meet Saturday with the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the midst of a simmering fight over how much the U.S. government should spend fighting the Zika virus.

Blunt has taken the lead on the issue in the Senate, a risky yet high-profile role in an election year in which he says ...Read more

Storm, moving north toward S. Carolina, expected to strengthen

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A storm moving north along the Florida coast has strengthened to a tropical depression, the National Hurricane Center said Friday.

It was expected to become Tropical Storm Bonnie in the next day or so.

With sustained winds of 35 mph about 450 miles southeast of Charleston, S.C., the storm was moving at about 13 mph but may slow as it nears the...Read more

Nation and world news briefs

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Kate Steinle's family files federal lawsuit blaming government for Bay Area slaying

The family of a woman allegedly killed by a Mexican immigrant deported five times from the U.S. has filed a federal lawsuit against San Francisco County's former sheriff, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the federal Bureau of Land Management.

The ...Read more

Under new rules, an American couple finally has a word for Haitian child: daughter

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The first time Dan and Julie Cruz met the little girl with the wide eyes and bright smile, she looked up, stretched out her arms and silently motioned to be picked up.

"It was an awesome moment," recalled Dan, 35, about meeting Angelene, who was abandoned by her parents before her fourth birthday, and can neither hear, speak nor sign. "It was ...Read more

GOP woos Marco Rubio to run for Senate re-election

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MIAMI--It's the nightmare political scenario for the five Republicans running for Florida's open U.S. Senate seat: What if Marco Rubio changes his mind and seeks re-election?

For months, Rubio denied any interest in remaining in Congress if he lost his presidential bid. Even after getting creamed in Florida's March 15 primary, Rubio insisted he...Read more

Kansas school funding still illegally inequitable, state Supreme Court rules

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WICHITA, Kan.--The Kansas Legislature's funding of schools remains constitutionally inequitable, the state Supreme Court ruled late Friday, reaffirming its July 1 deadline for lawmakers to fix the problem or have the state's school system shut down.

"In short, (disparities in funding) among the districts remain inequitable and unconstitutional,...Read more

Chicago officials to release videos from as many as 100 police shootings, other incidents

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CHICAGO -- City officials in Chicago plan to release videos, reports and other materials next week from about 100 police incidents, including officer-involved shootings, as part of an effort to improve public trust in Chicago police, according to a memo obtained Friday by the Chicago Tribune.

The impending release of the materials comes after ...Read more

Large demonstrations as Trump speaks in San Diego

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SAN DIEGO -- Donald Trump was met in San Diego by hundreds of protesters, creating some tense moments both inside and outside the San Diego Convention Center.

There were a few clashes between protesters and police, but they ended quickly. Inside, Trump's talk was interrupted by protesters, who were removed.

Hours earlier, a much smaller group ...Read more

Turkish premier says it's 'unacceptable' for US troops to wear Kurdish insignia

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AMMAN, Jordan -- Turkey issued a stern rebuke Friday after images emerged of U.S. ground forces wearing the insignia of a Syrian Kurdish militia during operations against Islamic State.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said it was "unacceptable" that U.S. Special Forces would be wearing shoulder patches of the People's Protection Units...Read more

Washington state ordered to cover hepatitis C drugs during lawsuit

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Washington state's Medicaid program must pay for expensive hepatitis C treatments like Gilead Sciences Inc.'s Harvoni ahead of a trial to determine whether the state can exclude the medicine from being covered.

Two patients sued the state health authority that runs the program in February for not covering treatment for patients with hepatitis C...Read more

Trump: It would be 'inappropriate' to debate Sanders

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WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump won't debate Sen. Bernie Sanders after all.

In a statement released Friday afternoon, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee said it would be "inappropriate that I would debate the second-place finisher."

"As much as I want to debate Bernie Sanders -- and it would be an easy payday --I will wait to debate ...Read more

Trump pulls the plug on debating Sanders, despite promise of an 'easy payday'

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WASHINGTON -- Cable television producers' daydreams of a Bernie Sanders-Donald Trump debate were dashed Friday afternoon when Trump finally pulled out of what he called an "easy payday."

For days, the two had publicly weighed such an unusual spectacle after Trump mentioned the possibility during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel's late-night show. ...Read more

Defense secretary sends Naval Academy graduating class out to fleet

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter on Friday called on the Naval Academy's class of 2016 to bolster a Pacific order based on free commerce and open seas backed by American naval might, as he sent the new officers off to work in the nation's fleets.

"Every port call and flight hour, every exercise and operation, every sailor ...Read more

Bernie Sanders: 'Billionaires are not going to run this country'

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LOS ANGELES -- Although he's seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, Bernie Sanders delivered a fiery rebuke Friday of both parties as he sought to cast himself as a political outsider.

"It is too late for establishment politics, establishment economics. We need a political revolution," Sanders said with towering cranes at the Port of ...Read more

Senator calls for investigation of OxyContin's manufacturer

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LOS ANGELES -- A U.S. senator on Friday called for federal investigations of OxyContin's manufacturer in response to a Los Angeles Times report that found the bestselling painkiller wears off early in many patients, exposing them to increased risk of addiction.

Sen. Edward J. Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat whose state has been hit hard by ...Read more