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Over 70 die in Cameroon train derailment

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YAOUNDE, Cameroon -- More than 70 people were killed in a passenger-train derailment in Cameroon, President Paul Biya said Saturday. Six hundred others were injured.

Radio France Internationale, which reported that the train was carrying hundreds of extra passengers, put the death toll at 75 in Friday's accident in Eseka, about 75 miles from ...Read more

Egyptian court upholds 20-year sentence against former president

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CAIRO –– Egypt's top appeals court Saturday upheld a 20-year prison sentence against former President Mohammed Morsi for attacks on protesters who took to the streets in 2012 to protest his presidency.

The judgment is the first confirmed sentence against Morsi, Egypt's first democratically elected president, who was overthrown by the ...Read more

26 fishermen freed after being held by Somali pirates since 2012

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MOGADISHU, Somalia -- The crew of a fishing vessel hijacked by Somali pirates in March 2012 was freed after payment of a ransom, officials said.

There were 29 members on the Taiwan-owned Naham 3 fishing vessel when pirates occupied it and took them to the north-central Mudug region of Somalia. Three crew members reportedly died of illness and ...Read more

California voters returning ballots in big numbers, election officials say

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Eddie Tong of Sacramento carried his pink vote-by-mail ballot into the county elections office Friday, intent on making sure his preference in the country's bruising presidential race showed up in next month's tally.

Tong's ballot will join several hundred thousand mail ballots already cast, as election officials around ...Read more

Disavowed 2009 report on domestic terrorism now rings true

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WASHINGTON -- In April 2009, Daryl Johnson was caught in a firestorm because of a report he wrote at the Department of Homeland Security.

It warned of a surge in activity by right-wing groups, including militias, white supremacists, anti-government activists and others motivated by racial grievances toward the nation's first black president ...Read more

Supreme Court ruling makes it harder to monitor US elections

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WASHINGTON -- Next month's presidential election will be the first in more than 50 years that the federal government won't send special observers to monitor elections in states with histories of discriminatory voting practices.

After the Supreme Court's 2013 decision in Shelby County v. Holder weakened a core provision of the Voting Rights Act ...Read more

Phyllis Schlafly's conservative group is roiled by internal dispute

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ST. LOUIS -- More than a month after conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly died, the battle for control over the interest group she founded continues to rage between its management and its board members, who disagreed with the group's direction -- and support for Donald Trump -- in the last year of her life.

At stake is who has the right to ...Read more

Pregnant women go the extra mile to avoid Zika

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MIAMI -- There's a lipstick stain on Sloane Borr's beekeeper hat where her husband kissed her during their pregnancy announcement photo shoot.

The Borrs took their picture outside in a traditional pose, with the 29-year-old woman leaning against a palm tree, her smiling husband's hand resting on her rounded stomach.

But that's where tradition ...Read more

Cuban officials, Communist Party members can now get US remittances and more

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MIAMI -- The U.S. government has amended regulations to allow Cuban government officials and members of the Communist Party to benefit from the softening of sanctions, including receiving cash remittances and other perks.

The new beneficiaries include members of the Cuban Ministry of the Interior, or MININT; the Central Committee of the ...Read more

Clinton makes pitch in Ohio for wavering Trump supporters

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CLEVELAND -- Hillary Clinton is making a direct appeal to voters who may be reconsidering their support of Republican Donald Trump after his tumultuous few weeks in the presidential race, saying she wants to assuage voters who are still wary about backing her instead.

"I know you may still have questions of me," Clinton said during a rally ...Read more

Sailor from California killed in battle against Islamic State

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WASHINGTON -- A roadside bomb explosion in northern Iraq killed a 34-year-old Navy sailor from California, the Pentagon said Friday, in the first U.S. casualty in the Iraqi-led offensive to retake the city of Mosul from Islamic State.

Chief Petty Officer Jason C. Finan of Anaheim died Thursday after his vehicle hit an improvised explosive ...Read more

Indiana State Police chief reports cases of voter fraud

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Indiana's top cop suggested Friday that investigators had uncovered many instances of voter fraud in the state, an allegation that adds fuel to a fiery debate over whether elections are "rigged" and subject to abuse.

Indiana State Police Superintendent Douglas Carter said in a local TV interview that Gov. Mike Pence "absolutely did not misspeak...Read more

Report: Russian helicopter crash kills 19

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MOSCOW -- Nineteen people have been killed and three more are injured after a Russian military helicopter crash-landed in the country's northern Yamal region, news agency TASS reported Saturday, citing an unnamed local enforcement official.

"Rescuers that arrived at the site have entered the damaged helicopter, where they found three people in ...Read more

Former Mexican police chief arrested in disappearance of 43 students

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MEXICO CITY -- Mexican authorities said they hope the arrest of a former police chief who had been a fugitive for more than two years will help them solve one of the country's most notorious human rights cases: the disappearance and presumed murder of 43 students.

Felipe Flores Velazquez was arrested Friday in Iguala, the town in Guerrero state...Read more

Florida man accused of demanding payment to take down sex videos from websites

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- During their four-year relationship, a Palm Beach County woman and her boyfriend recorded videos of themselves having sex. After their 2010 breakup, the woman assumed their private recordings would remain just that -- private.

He had other ideas, police say.

Over the summer the woman discovered one of the sex videos ...Read more

Nation and world news briefs

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UC Berkeley fraternities suspend social events after sexual assault reports

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Leaders of the University of California, Berkeley's Greek system have taken the unusual step of suspending social activities in the wake of reports that two students were sexually assaulted at fraternity parties last weekend.

Calling the incidents "...Read more

Mexico arrests fugitive police chief linked to missing students

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MEXICO CITY -- Mexican authorities Friday detained a fugitive police chief who is a key figure in the 2014 disappearance of 43 students.

Federal police and marines arrested Felipe Flores, the former police chief of Iguala, in the southern state of Guerrero after a two-year manhunt, the Public Security ministry said.

The arrest is a major ...Read more

UC Berkeley fraternities suspend social events after sexual assault reports

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SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Leaders of the University of California, Berkeley's Greek system have taken the unusual step of suspending social activities in the wake of reports that two students were sexually assaulted at fraternity parties last weekend.

Calling the incidents "vile and unjust," the campuswide fraternity council announced the decision ...Read more

Poll: Trump, Clinton are neck and neck in Georgia

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ATLANTA -- The presidential race in Georgia could come down to the wire.

An Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll released Friday shows Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are deadlocked with less than three weeks until Election Day. Trump is leading Clinton 44 percent to 42 percent among likely Georgia voters, which is within the poll's margin of ...Read more

Mixed chemicals caused evacuation, road closures in Atchison

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A chemical leak at an Atchison, Kan., plant on Friday morning was created by an "inadvertent" mixture of sodium hypocholorite and sulfuric acid, city manager Trey Cocking said Friday afternoon.

The leak was reported shortly after 8 a.m. local time on Friday morning, created a dangerous fog and led to a number of evacuations....Read more