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Million-dollar donations fuel super PACs' new dominance

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Nearly 60 people have already donated at least $1 million each to independent political committees supporting Democratic and Republican presidential candidates in what promises to be the most expensive election ever.

Super PACs and other outside groups raised more than $250 million during the first half of this year, according to filings with ...Read more

US officials ask judge to drop immigration contempt threat

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WASHINGTON –– Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson asked a federal judge not to find him and other Obama administration officials in contempt after his agency recovered work permits mistakenly issued after the court halted President Barack Obama's immigration initiative.

Johnson said the government reclaimed all but 22 of the 2,500 ...Read more

Trump and Sanders surge, Congress stalls, voters seethe

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WASHINGTON -- In this summer of political gloom, the drumbeat from the American heartland to Washington has been relentless: Fix the economy. Fix the immigration system. Talk to each other.

It's one reason why political insurgents Donald Trump and Sen. Bernie Sanders have become the raging bulls of the 2016 presidential race and the political ...Read more

3 bin Laden relatives die in plane crash

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LONDON ––Three relatives of the late al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden were killed when a private plane crashed in Britain, police and the Saudi embassy said Saturday.

British police said three passengers and a pilot were killed Friday when an Embraer Phenom 300 jet crash-landed in a car auction site as it approached the runway at Blackbushe ...Read more

Wide political fallout expected from massive nuclear bomber deal

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WASHINGTON -- In a few weeks, the Pentagon will announce the companies picked to develop America's next bomber jet, sparking a budget war that will last for years and reshape the defense industry, experts say.

The Long Range Strike Bomber, which will probably be called the B-3, will provide more bang for the buck than several fighter jets. But ...Read more

Lion's killer endures latest onslaught from social media mob: Analysis

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SAN JOSE, Calif. –– In the endless feedback loop of social media's shaming machine, Walter Palmer never existed as a real person. As soon as word got out that the Minnesota dentist had shot and killed an African lion so beloved it had a Disneyfied name -- Cecil -- the basic bio of Palmer's digital avatar was quickly formulated: cowardly lion...Read more

Gunman in Texas attack linked to Fast and Furious sting years earlier

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WASHINGTON -- Five years before he was shot to death in the failed terrorist attack in Garland, Texas, Nadir Soofi walked into a suburban Phoenix gun shop to buy a 9 mm pistol.

At the time, Lone Wolf Trading Co. was known among gun smugglers for selling illegal firearms. And with Soofi's history of misdemeanor drug and assault charges, there ...Read more

Food companies outgun health advocates in diet debate

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WASHINGTON –– The battle to define what Americans should eat is pitting nutritionists against deep-pocketed groups that are spending almost 14 times more cash on lobbying in Washington.

Coca Cola Co., food-industry and farm groups concerned about the recommendation of a government panel to cut sugar and meat consumption accounted for 85 ...Read more

Unite and fight, new Afghan Taliban leader tells followers

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KABUL, Afghanistan -- The new leader of the Afghan Taliban called on his fighters to unite and follow the path of their late leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, a statement issued by the group said Saturday.

"Our unity will defeat our enemies," Mullah Akhtar Mansoor said in an audio message, the first released since his appointment Thursday, a day ...Read more

Two dead after bridge jump made for 'fun'

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ST. LOUIS -- Jim Monroe Jr. had just hiked 600 miles of the Appalachian Trail before arriving in St. Louis.

Timothy Liebl hitchhiked and hopped trains to get here from Barstow, Calif.

On July 21, Monroe, Liebl and two other self-described vagabonds and adrenaline junkies hatched a plan to jump off the Eads Bridge -- for fun.

One of those four...Read more

Rocket crash probe raises flags

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LOS ANGELES--Newly released evidence in the investigation of last fall's crash of an experimental spaceship over the Mojave Desert is raising questions about whether federal aviation regulators are protecting the public as companies launch more rockets.

When Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo disintegrated on a test flight on Oct. 31, killing one ...Read more

Big banks paid Hillary Clinton nearly $1.6 million to speak in 2013

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WASHINGTON -- Hillary Rodham Clinton earned nearly $10 million in speaking fees in 2013, including almost $1.6 million from major Wall Street banks, she disclosed Friday as she released eight years of personal income tax returns.

Her husband, former President Bill Clinton, collected $13.2 million in speaking fees that year, the only year for ...Read more

Mel Reynolds allowed to live at friend's place while awaiting trial

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CHICAGO-- Former U.S. Rep. Mel Reynolds will be allowed to live with a friend while awaiting trial on misdemeanor tax charges after federal court officials determined Friday that the Chicago residence did not violate sex offender requirements barring him from living too close to a school or day care center.

Soon after his release on his own ...Read more

State Department review scrubs sensitive information from latest Clinton email release

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WASHINGTON -- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent and received emails through her private server containing sensitive U.S. and foreign government information on a range of issues -- from an American detained in Myanmar and Iran's nuclear program to the Afghanistan war -- that State Department reviewers have now classified.

The ...Read more

Feds find bias in St. Louis County Family Court

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. -- The St. Louis County Family Court deprives juveniles of constitutional rights, is rife with conflicts of interest and treats black youths more harshly than whites, according to accusations made public Friday by the Department of Justice.

The agency will seek a mutual agreement to resolve the violations, but otherwise ...Read more

Lion's killer endures latest onslaught from social media mob

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SAN JOSE, Calif. –– In the endless feedback loop of social media's shaming machine, Walter Palmer never existed as a real person. As soon as word got out that the Minnesota dentist had shot and killed an African lion so beloved it had a Disneyfied name -- Cecil -- the basic bio of Palmer's digital avatar was quickly formulated: cowardly lion...Read more

End Cuban embargo, Clinton says

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WASHINGTON –– Presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton called for an end to the U.S. embargo of Cuba on Friday, setting up a clear contrast with her Republican rivals on an issue that divides Florida.

"The Cuba embargo needs to go, once and for all," Clinton said in a speech at Florida International University.

"Engagement is not a ...Read more

Man arrested near Obama home after bomb scare ordered on electronic monitoring

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CHICAGO--A man claiming to be the son of President Barack Obama was charged and ordered to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet after spurring a police bomb unit response outside of the president's Kenwood home on Thursday, prosecutors said Friday.

Marquez Hassell, 20, appeared before Cook County Criminal Court Judge Donald Panarese Jr. and ...Read more

What a six-foot chunk of plane debris might bring to the MH370 mystery

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A six-foot piece of a Boeing 777's wing assembly discovered on a remote Indian Ocean island is expected to provide the first hard evidence that Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 crashed 16 months ago and could help investigators narrow the search for the wreckage, experts said Friday.

Aviation forensic experts at a defense laboratory in France have ...Read more

Obama Iran deal in a danger zone

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WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama's determination to persuade the public and Congress to support a historic nuclear agreement with Iran may soon run headlong against a proven political adversary: August.

Obama's White House has seen major initiatives falter in the heat of August before, starting in his first year in office with the push to ...Read more