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Trump looks to lower the boom on Cruz in Indiana

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CHICAGO -- Ted Cruz has described Tuesday's Indiana primary as "the one thing that stands between us and plunging over the cliff." The Texas senator and others trying to block Donald Trump from the Republican presidential nomination may be about to fall in.

The outcome in Indiana, where balloting across two time zones will end at 7 p.m. Eastern...Read more

First-class cabin fuels 'air rage' among passengers flying coach, study says

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If you've felt your blood pressure rise after seeing passengers being served champagne on the tarmac while you're fighting for overhead space in coach, you are not alone.

A new study finds that class division in the skies can have a real and occasionally dangerous effect on passengers in both sections of a plane.

Researchers report that the ...Read more

California ballot lets incumbents define themselves

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WASHINGTON -- With congressional job approval hovering in the low teens, giving incumbents the opportunity to choose three words to describe themselves, and to refer to their current office, might seem like asking them to choose the words for their tombstone. But it's a biennial tradition for the California delegation.

In the Golden State, ...Read more

Five things to watch for in the Indiana primary

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INDIANAPOLIS -- Boisterous campaign rallies. Political ads every commercial break. Presidential candidates schmoozing with voters over pancakes.

In recent days, Indiana, which holds its primary Tuesday, has begun to look a lot like Iowa, the first-in-the-nation nominating state that has outsize influence in deciding each party's presidential ...Read more

New study: Anti-Trump ads don't work on men

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WASHINGTON -- Why have the millions spent on TV ads against Donald Trump yet to slow down his presidential campaign? The answer may be men.

Evolving Strategies, a Republican data and analytics firm, recently tested the effectiveness of four anti-Trump TV ads ahead of Indiana's primary. The results showed a deep split between the sexes.

Three ...Read more

Down-ballot Republicans brace for chance of sharing Trump's ticket

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WASHINGTON -- New Hampshire's Kelly Ayotte may soon have a problem, likely a common one for GOP senators who, like her, are up for re-election in November. His name is Donald Trump.

"She can't embrace him and win in November," said Fergus Cullen, the former chairman of the state's Republican Party. "She can only do so much to distance herself ...Read more

Trump presidency would prompt US pullback by foreign companies

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WASHINGTON -- Foreign corporations would dramatically scale back their plans to invest in the U.S. if billionaire Donald Trump is elected president, according to a survey conducted in January for global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney.

The election of a populist such as Trump or Vermont Sen. Bernie Saunders would prompt fewer companies ...Read more

Some high-profile politicians won't 'endorse' candidates they vote for

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When New York held its recent presidential primary, Rep. Peter T. King was quite specific about his sentiments: He voted for Ohio Gov. John Kasich, but that didn't mean he was endorsing his candidacy.

"If I thought that John Kasich had a viable chance, I'd come out and endorse him," the Republican lawmaker said on MSNBC, in effect tossing a ...Read more

How the government got BP to pay the biggest environmental penalty in history

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WASHINGTON -- The first order of business when John Cruden took over as the Justice Department's top environmental lawyer was holding BP financially accountable for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill that fouled the Gulf of Mexico with millions of barrels of oil.

The best way to do that, Cruden believed, was to settle the costly and contentious ...Read more

Cruz's faltering campaign shows the risks of depending on a few wealthy donors

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WASHINGTON -- Ted Cruz, in his outsider's bid for the White House, has depended heavily on the largesse of just three wealthy donors to establish credibility and stay afloat during a chaotic nominating process that killed off most of his rivals.

Now, at perhaps the most desperate moment in his quest to win the Republican nomination, Cruz is ...Read more

Judge grants change of venue in hot-car murder case

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ATLANTA -- A Cobb County judge decided Monday to move the hot-car murder case out of the county, a ruling that will delay the trial of Justin Ross Harris for months.

In granting the defense motion for a change of venue in the high-profile case, Cobb County Superior Court Judge Mary Staley cited prospective jurors who called Harris a "pervert," ...Read more

Woman found dead in Mississippi River had left baby on New York subway in 2014

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ST. LOUIS -- Freddie Edmonds said there is much more to his niece than the New York headlines about a heartless woman who abandoned her baby on a subway platform in 2014.

Frankea Dabbs struggled with mental health issues after witnessing the murder of her boyfriend and believed her then 11-month-old daughter would be better off without her, he ...Read more

Jury selection starts in corruption trial of Pennsylvania congressman

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PHILADELPHIA –– More than 250 prospective jurors were called Monday as lawyers in U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah's federal corruption trial began picking the panel that will start weighing his fate later this month.

The start of jury selection, which will resume Tuesday, came six days after the 11-term congressman, who sought re-election, lost the ...Read more

To feel better, eat less (yes, even if you're not overweight)

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For the dwindling few of us who don't actually need to lose weight, the idea of slashing food intake in a bid to extend our healthy lifespan isn't universally appealing. Hedonists the world over, in fact, have denounced the calorie-restriction-for-life-extension idea as a cruel hoax: the bony, cold and irritable cranks willing to deny themselves...Read more

Opioid epidemic fueling hospitalizations, hospital costs

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Every day, headlines detail the casualties of the nation's surge in heroin and prescription painkiller abuse: the funerals, the broken families and the patients cycling in and out of treatment. Now, a new study sheds light on another repercussion -- how this public health problem is adding to the nation's ballooning health care costs and who's ...Read more

Nation and world news briefs

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Detroit teacher sick-out closes more than 90 schools

DETROIT -- A mass of teacher sick-outs shut down 94 schools in Detroit Public Schools on Monday, as teachers protested the news Saturday that the district won't be able to pay them past June 30.

The district enrolls about 46,000 students in 97 schools.

The Detroit Federation of Teachers on ...Read more

Medicare pays bonuses to 231 hospitals with lower quality because of cheaper costs

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The federal government paid bonuses to 231 hospitals with subpar quality because their patients tend to be less expensive for Medicare, new research shows.

The bonuses are small, generally a fraction of a percent of their Medicare payments. Nonetheless, rewarding hospitals of mediocre quality was hardly the stated goal when the Affordable Care ...Read more

Climate change shrinking South Florida reefs sooner than expected

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MIAMI -- South Florida's shrinking reefs may be vanishing faster than expected.

In a new study published Monday in the journal Global Biogeochemical Cycles, researchers found that climate-related coral erosion projected to start between 2050 and 2060 has already started near Miami. The situation is better moving south and away from Miami's ...Read more

National Wrestling Hall of Fame strips Dennis Hastert of past honors

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CHICAGO -- The National Wrestling Hall of Fame has stripped all honors from former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison last week by a judge who branded him "a serial child molester."

The decision to revoke awards given to Hastert, a former college wrestler and high school wrestling coach, came ...Read more

Panama prepares to transfer some 3,000 US-bound Cuban migrants to Mexico

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Panama's Foreign Ministry has started a census count of the more than 670 Cuban migrants currently housed in the Los Planes shelter in northern Chiriqui province, in anticipation for their expected transfer to Mexico in coming days.

Another 3,000 Cubans, most of whom are stranded on the border with Costa Rica, also will be allowed into the Los ...Read more