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Bahrain's Lockheed F-16 purchase said to come with US strings

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WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration has told Congress it won't complete approval for Bahrain to buy as many as 19 F-16 fighter jets from Lockheed Martin Corp. and upgrades for older ones for almost $4 billion until the Gulf ally demonstrates progress on human rights, according to people familiar with the issue.

The declaration of concern, ...Read more

Atlanta attorney accidentally shot wife after SUV hits bump in road

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ATLANTA -- Atlanta lawyer Claud "Tex" McIver accidentally shot his wife in the back when their SUV hit a bump and his gun discharged near Piedmont Park late Sunday night, a family spokesman told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Diane McIver was taken to Emory University Hospital and died in surgery several hours later.

The incident unfolded ...Read more

Poll shows Clinton slightly ahead in Florida

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- A Mason-Dixon Polling & Research poll of Florida voters released Friday shows a slight lead for Hillary Clinton.

The poll, conducted after Monday night's presidential debate, shows Clinton with 46 percent to 42 percent for Donald Trump.

Libertarian Gary Johnson had 7 percent and Green Party candidate Jill Stein -- who ...Read more

Commission acknowledges Trump's audio troubles in debate, without explanation

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Almost immediately after Monday's presidential debate, Donald Trump complained he was saddled with a "defective mic." Now, the Commission on Presidential Debates is acknowledging some technical difficulties with Trump's audio.

The commission put out a succinct statement Friday that read, in its entirety: "Regarding the first debate, there were ...Read more

World leaders gather as former Israeli President Shimon Peres is laid to rest

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JERUSALEM -- Former Israeli President Shimon Peres was laid to rest Friday beneath the silent pine trees of Israel's Mount Herzl national cemetery, eulogized by Israeli leaders, family and two American presidents as a founding father who first built up Israel's military industrial complex and then sought peace with the Palestinians.

President ...Read more

In Florida, Hillary Clinton pushes new plan for volunteering

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FORT PIERCE, Fla. -- Hillary Clinton on Friday called for a new national focus on volunteer service, drawing a contrast between her vision of communal assistance with Donald Trump's claim that "I alone can fix" the country's problems.

The Democratic candidate said she wants to triple the size of AmeriCorps, a domestic service program created by...Read more

Political news briefs

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Former Miss Universe: 'I will continue standing up' to Trump

WASHINGTON -- The former Miss Universe whom Donald Trump repeatedly attacked this week fought back Friday, insisting she would continue to stand up to him on behalf of women.

During Monday's debate, Hillary Clinton cited Trump's harsh treatment of the beauty queen, Alicia Machado. ...Read more

Calif. expands punishment for rape after Gov. Brown signs bills inspired by Brock Turner case

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- California Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday signed legislation that expands the legal definition of rape and imposes new mandatory minimum sentences on some sexual assault offenders -- measures inspired amid national outcry over the sexual assault case of former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner.

The decision comes as heated debate ...Read more

Think Russia isn't directing rebels in Ukraine? Then read this about leaked emails

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BERLIN -- The emails from Russia were pretty straightforward: The government in Kiev was to be referred to as fascist and compared to puppet dictatorships whenever possible. News reports were to mention as often as possible that the puppet master was the United States.

For good measure, the Russian advisers even insisted that media handlers in ...Read more

Guilty verdict stands in day care murder; judge rejects reversal

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Melissa Calusinski's long quest for a new trial in the death of a Deerfield, Ill., toddler was dealt a major setback Friday, when an Illinois judge rejected a bid to reverse her conviction.

Judge Daniel Shanes, who oversaw Calusinski's trial five years ago and sentenced her to 31 years in prison, said her lawyers' claims that she didn't get a ...Read more

What's a shorthanded Supreme Court likely to do in its new term? Maybe nothing

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WASHINGTON -- A bank fraud conviction sent Southern California resident Lawrence Eugene Shaw to federal prison and his lawyer to a Supreme Court that remains depleted by politics.

Shaw's challenge Tuesday to his 2012 conviction will help start the high court's new term. It could be a term that ultimately stars a new justice and confirms the ...Read more

Hurricane Matthew now a Category 3 storm

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- More than 1,000 miles from South Florida, Hurricane Matthew became a major storm on Friday, packing winds of 115 mph as it reached Category 3 strength while moving through the Caribbean.

As of the 11 a.m. Friday update from the National Hurricane Center, it was still unclear as to whether the storm would bear down on ...Read more

Cuba approves U.S. air marshals on commercial flights

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MIAMI -- Cuba will allow U.S. air marshals on regularly scheduled commercial flights between the two countries, island authorities announced Friday.

Josefina Vidal, director of the Cuban Foreign Ministry's department for the United States, posted on her Twitter account that an "arrangement on the deployment of Air Marshalls on board airlines ...Read more

White House's last TPP pitch to Congress: 'What's the alternative?'

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WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama's top economic adviser says the White House will make a last-ditch sales pitch to Congress about his proposed trade deal with Asia: "What's the alternative?"

Obama administration officials continue pressing lawmakers to take up the Trans-Pacific Partnership after the election, but Jason Furman, chairman of ...Read more

Clinton tells Mary J. Blige that it's hard to be both tough and likable as a woman

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Mary J. Blige launched her new interview series, "The 411," by sitting down with Hillary Clinton and asking the question that has dogged her political aspirations for years -- why does she struggle to bridge the gap between how she wants to be perceived and the way people perceive her?

"I've always been the same person," Clinton said. "When you...Read more

Why Venezuela keeps Colombia's president up at night

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WASHINGTON -- Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has confided to the White House that one of his biggest concerns is how a Venezuelan collapse could undermine years of secret meetings and formal negotiations to end the bloody civil war that killed thousands in his country over more than half a century.

Already, Venezuela's economic and ...Read more

Chicago Tribune endorses Libertarian ticket

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WASHINGTON -- The Chicago Tribune's editorial board endorsed Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson Friday.

"Libertarians Gary Johnson of New Mexico and running mate William Weld of Massachusetts are agile, practical and, unlike the major-party candidates, experienced at managing governments. They offer an agenda that appeals not only ...Read more

Trump digs in on birther lie about Clinton

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Unbowed by charges of racism, Donald Trump is sticking by his fictional story that Hillary Clinton tried to force President Barack Obama to release his birth certificate.

"Hillary Clinton was unable to get there, and I will tell you she tried," Trump told an NH1 television reporter Thursday.

It was Trump, not his ...Read more

Democrats say Patrick Murphy can still win Florida Senate race — but will he have the money?

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WASHINGTON -- Rep. Patrick Murphy is down in the polls, running against one of the Republican Party's biggest stars, and beset by uncomfortable questions over his worthiness for higher office.

And yet Democrats say the biggest problem facing their Senate nominee in Florida is more fundamental: He isn't well-known -- and he might not have the ...Read more

Third night of police shooting protests turns violent in California

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EL CAJON, Calif. -- Protests of the police shooting in El Cajon, Calif., turned violent Thursday night, with police using pepper balls and flashbang grenades to disperse a crowd that threw glass bottles and smashed vehicle windows.

At least two men were arrested during the third consecutive night of protests following the death of 38-year-old ...Read more