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US sets voluntary evacuation for dependents in Turkey

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WASHINGTON -- The U.S. government is offering families of American service members and diplomatic employees voluntary evacuation from Turkey in a sign of the increased threat caused by the start of U.S. airstrikes against the Islamic State in Syria from a key Turkish air base.

The Defense Department said about 900 dependents of American troops ...Read more

Two in Ferguson-related bomb plot sentenced to 7 years in prison

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ST. LOUIS -- Two men who met during the Ferguson protests and aspired to blow up the top St. Louis County prosecutor, Ferguson police chief and a police station were sentenced in federal court here Thursday to seven years in prison.

Olajuwon Ali Davis, 23, and Brandon Orlando Baldwin, 24, pleaded guilty in June to four explosives and gun ...Read more

Do Clinton's email troubles worsen as aide invokes Fifth?

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WASHINGTON -- Disclosures that the aide who set up Hillary Clinton's private email server has refused to cooperate with investigators on Fifth Amendment grounds mark an ominous new turn for the Democratic presidential front-runner as she fights allegations she mishandled classified information while secretary of state.

One former Republican U.S...Read more

Report finds 'reason to believe' Rep. Honda's campaign blurred ethics lines

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WASHINGTON -- A nonpartisan congressional investigation found "substantial reason to believe" that Rep. Mike Honda and his congressional staff used taxpayer resources to benefit his campaign, according to a report released Thursday.

But the committee made up of Honda's colleagues that reviews such reports has not yet determined whether Honda, a...Read more

3 more Senate Democrats endorse Iran nuclear deal

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WASHINGTON -- Three more Democratic senators -- Cory Booker of New Jersey, Mark Warner of Virginia and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota -- joined in support Thursday of an internationally backed nuclear deal with Iran.

That brings the tally of Senate backers to 37, just four short of what President Barack Obama needs to prevent Republicans from ...Read more

Netanyahu vows to continue fight against Iran nuclear deal

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JERUSALEM -- President Barack Obama's enlistment of sufficient support in Congress to push forward the nuclear deal with Iran has dealt a final blow to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's campaign in Washington against the accord.

Yet the prime minister is giving no sign that he is about to change course or halt his public criticism of ...Read more

3 charged in Ponzi scheme linked to green energy ventures

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PHILADELPHIA -- They promised to make their investors "stinkin', filthy rich" with high-risk bets on real estate and green energy ventures.

Instead, federal prosecutors said, the co-founders of a suburban Philadelphia company lined their pockets to the tune of $54.5 million in an elaborate Ponzi scheme.

Troy Wragg, 34, and Amanda Knorr, 32, co...Read more

Univision's Ramos on the defensive over role as journalist and immigrant advocate

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After a testy encounter with Donald Trump at a news conference last week, Univision anchor Jorge Ramos has found himself on the defensive, trying to explain how his self-proclaimed position as an advocate for immigration reform does not undercut his role as a journalist.

"In the aftermath of this incident, I was accused of being an activist," ...Read more

In Germany, a welcome for refugees who would rather be safe at home

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BERLIN -- A young Syrian refugee is clutching his arms as he approaches the bus stop, his melon-colored T-shirt not warm enough for this rainy day. A homeless German man sees him, smiles, says "Hello" in English. He then unslings his well-worn backpack, digging out a long-sleeved shirt.

"Here," he says, handing the shirt to the young Syrian.

"...Read more

On Tibet's road ahead, a tinderbox in China's Sichuan province

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ABA, China -- By the time Dongtuk arrived, the body was gone. A pack of matches lay on the ground, the only sign of the horror that had taken place. Dongtuk picked them up and fingered them.

About an hour earlier, one of the teenager's best friends had siphoned gasoline from a motorcycle, swallowed part of it and doused himself with the rest. ...Read more

Trump signs pledge to not launch independent bid if he's not GOP nominee

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WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump has signed a pledge not to launch an independent bid for the White House should he lose his quest for the GOP nomination.

Standing in the opulent lobby of Trump Tower in New York, Trump said he believes the best way for a Republican to win the White House is for Trump himself to secure the party's nomination and face ...Read more

Mojave Desert trail puts hikers in their place, far behind the ghosts of Hoover Dam workers

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BOULDER CITY, Nev. -- The sign posted at the trailhead of our 8-mile hike does not bode well: "DANGER. Extreme Conditions! STOP. Do not hike Jun-Sep. HEAT KILLS!"

There's more. "Tunnel 3 is full of bats," warns a fellow hiker. "Bad smell."

Still, we press on.

It's a summer morning in the Mojave Desert: Temperatures already reach the high 80s ...Read more

Pain and progress: How Steven Sotloff's family has coped with his death on world stage

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MIAMI -- "I am the mother of Steven Joel Sotloff, who was brutally murdered Sept. 2, 2014, by ISIL. The anniversary of his death is coming up and we would like to write an obituary."

Since their son was beheaded in a video broadcast to the world, the Sotloff family has grieved privately, working quietly on memorials and scholarships in their ...Read more

Clinton campaign manager says Biden run would 'shake things up'

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NEW YORK -- Vice President Joe Biden would be "a commanding presence" if he chooses to run for president though his entry into the race wouldn't change Hillary Clinton's approach to the race for the Democratic nomination, her campaign manager said Thursday.

If Biden runs, he "will certainly shake up the dynamics quite a bit," Robby Mook said on...Read more

Death of Syrian toddler throws global spotlight onto refugees crisis

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ISTANBUL -- The little boy on the beach had a name, and it was Aylan.

Searing images of the Syrian toddler's drowned body, washed ashore after the raft carrying his refugee family capsized off the Turkish coast, pricked consciences worldwide and galvanized passionate debate over the international response to the enormous tide of migrants ...Read more

Kenyan chief's Twitter feed helps round up stolen cows and lost phones

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LANET-UMOJA, Kenya -- It is morning and young men sit slumped in front of the general store, looking slightly dazed. Tall sunflowers in a field seem to sway to music blasting from a huge, ancient speaker. One man is dancing. Business is slow.

A brown cow was stolen this morning from Gwakiongo.

A man fixes a balcony in front of a small shop, ...Read more

Federal judge jails Kentucky clerk for refusing to issue marriage licenses

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ASHLAND, Ky. -- A federal judge ordered Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis jailed Thursday after finding her in contempt of court for ignoring his order to issue marriage licenses.

U.S. District Judge David Bunning ordered Davis to remain in jail until she agrees to comply with his Aug. 12 order. She was led from the courtroom by U.S. marshals.

...Read more

'Low-energy': Donald Trump's stinging insult for Jeb Bush

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NEW YORK -- Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush's introverted tendencies are well-documented. So is front-runner Donald Trump's penchant for ruffling feathers. So when Trump repeatedly attacks Bush for being a "low-energy" person, it's bound to get ugly.

Even as Bush lashed back at Trump this week, with an attack video and a quiz ...Read more

Washington Supreme Court rules Backpage.com can be sued

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A divided Washington Supreme Court has ruled that the website Backpage.com can be sued in state court by three girls who claim it aided in their being "bought and sold" as prostitutes.

The decision may be the first in the country to hold the website accountable for its content.

The court ruled 6-3 that Backpage.com, which hosts personal ...Read more

Booker backs Iran deal

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WASHINGTON -- Sen. Cory Booker, a New Jersey Democrat torn between his 20-year friendship with a rabbi opposed to the Iran deal and his loyalty to President Barack Obama, said he will back the Iran nuclear agreement.

Booker, the only African-American Democrat in the Senate, was seen as being in one of the toughest spots over this month's ...Read more