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Supreme Court on verge of historic shift stuck in limbo for now

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WASHINGTON-- The U.S. Supreme Court opens its new term next week in a holding pattern while waiting for a ninth justice. After the next president takes office in January, it may be on the cusp of a historic transformation.

A victory in November for Democrat Hillary Clinton would give the court a majority of Democratic appointees for the first ...Read more

Could caffeine help prevent dementia?

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MILWAUKEE -- A new study suggests a significant relationship between caffeine and dementia prevention, though it stops short of establishing cause and effect.

The study, published in The Journals of Gerontology, Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, found higher caffeine intake in women age 65 and older was associated with reduced...Read more

In Trump's world, every step you take could cost more

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GAINESVILLE, Ga. -- Marina Carpenter had just purchased Chinese-made shoes at a Payless ShoeSource in this city northeast of Atlanta when she pondered what would happen if the coming presidential election led to a double-digit price increase.

Like many Americans, she doesn't have lots of extra income and said she'd be forced to cut back if ...Read more

In wake of bombing, New Yorkers increasingly see threats in trash left on the streets

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NEW YORK -- One of the suspicious objects turned out to be a typewriter. Another was a bundle of cardboard tubes from rolls of paper towels. There was a battery charger. A discarded modem. A stool. An empty suitcase.

Then there was the strange object found on 27th Street that was made out of a pressure cooker. That one actually was a bomb.

...Read more

Trump rallies GOP faithful, attacks Clinton in Wisconsin

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WAUKESHA, Wis. -- When it comes to campaigning in Wisconsin, Donald Trump is following the advice of former Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson.

Speaking to more than 1,000 supporters gathered Wednesday night at the Waukesha County Expo Center, Trump said that Thompson told him during a previous visit, "Don, I really like you. Get the hell out of ...Read more

Woman says she encountered mall shooting suspect at theater door

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SEATTLE -- A Mount Vernon woman says she encountered accused gunman Arcan Cetin making his way into a movie theater at the Cascade Mall through an exit door about 20 minutes before he allegedly killed five people Friday in the nearby Macy's department store.

"I was basically eye-to-eye with him ... and I was rude to him," the 50-year-old woman ...Read more

Gary Johnson, who couldn't remember Aleppo, can't name a foreign leader he admires

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Once again, Gary Johnson has drawn a blank.

Appearing on MSNBC on Wednesday night, Johnson, the Libertarian nominee for president, was repeatedly pressed by "Hardball" host Chris Matthews to name his favorite foreign leader, but couldn't cough up a name.

"I guess I'm having an Aleppo moment," Johnson said, a nod to his notorious space-out when...Read more

The speedy end to the Flint, government funding stalemate

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WASHINGTON -- After weeks of partisan bickering and snail-paced negotiations on a spending package to keep the government funded, it took a failed Senate procedural vote on Tuesday and the prospect of yet more gridlock for the winds to abruptly shift.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's unsuccessful bid to advance a Republican continuing ...Read more

Missouri fraternity suspended during racism probe

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COLUMBIA, Mo. -- A fraternity at the University of Missouri has been suspended while officials investigate reports of racial and sexist slurs.

University officials and the Delta Upsilon national organization suspended the chapter of the fraternity Wednesday after members were accused of shouting slurs at black students late Tuesday.

Two black ...Read more

Eye specialist accuses his ex-colleague, University of Miami of Medicare fraud

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MIAMI -- A four-year-old lawsuit between a pair of star doctors who had a falling out at the nation's No. 1 ranked eye institute, Miami-based Bascom Palmer, was finally unsealed on Wednesday -- revealing allegations of "false claims" for procedures billed to Medicare based on "fabricated" patient evaluations.

Dr. Philip Rosenfeld, a retinal ...Read more

Some worry Shimon Peres' death will end hopes for a two-state solution in Mideast

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TEL AVIV, Israel -- As the world mourns former Israeli President Shimon Peres, the eulogies will be clouded by concern that the Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation he had envisioned remains as remote as ever.

"At a time when he is leaving us, the idea of the two states is going through its worst days ever," said Alon Liel, a former aide to Peres...Read more

Trump keeps on criticizing Venezuelan beauty queen he once called 'Miss Piggy'

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WAUKESHA, Wis. -- Donald Trump resumed his attack on a beauty pageant winner he had criticized for gaining weight, saying she had "a lot of difficulties" as Miss Universe and that now "a lot of things are coming out about her."

Alicia Machado, who won the beauty contest in 1996, has emerged as a symbol of what critics of the Republican ...Read more

Iranian court upholds activist's 16-year sentence

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TEHRAN -- An Iranian appeals court on Wednesday upheld a 16-year prison sentence for a prominent Iranian human rights advocate.

Narges Mohammadi had been sentenced in May on charges of violating national security and acting against the Islamic government through her support of an anti-death penalty campaign.

As vice president of the Defenders ...Read more

Tropical Storm Matthew likely a hurricane by Friday

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MIAMI -- Tropical Storm Matthew will likely become a hurricane by Friday as it pushes across the Caribbean Sea, posing a serious threat to vulnerable islands in a region prone to deadly flooding and mudslides.

At 8 p.m. Wednesday, National Hurricane Center forecasters said Matthew was located about 90 miles west of St. Lucia and had slowed to ...Read more

Nation and world news briefs

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Philando Castile case turned over to Minn. county for charging consideration

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has turned over its investigation of the officer-involved fatal shooting of Philando Castile to the Ramsey County Attorney's Office for charging consideration.

Castile, an African-American, was fatally shot ...Read more

Eye-tracking technology shows that preschool teachers have implicit bias against black boys

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For African-American boys, the presumption of guilt starts before they have entered a kindergarten classroom, new research shows.

In a study presented Wednesday to a meeting of education policy officials, researchers found that pre-K educators who were prompted to expect trouble in a classroom trained their gaze significantly longer on black ...Read more

Why the fight for Aleppo is a turning point in the Syrian war

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Families huddle terrified in basements, stalked by staggeringly powerful explosions shaking the streets above. Wounded children writhe untreated on dirty clinic floors. Hospitals and rescue centers -- a ravaged city's last ragged line of defense -- crumble daily into rubble, often appearing to have been methodically targeted.

Even by the brutal...Read more

Eyeing narrow margins, Clinton campaign tries to keep voters from going over to third parties

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DURHAM, N.H. -- With polls showing a tightening presidential race, Hillary Clinton's campaign is playing defense against third-party candidates to keep them from widening Donald Trump's path to victory.

Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson and the Green Party's Jill Stein are drawing enough support, particularly from millennials, to threaten ...Read more

Interior Department now probing Yosemite harassment complaints

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WASHINGTON -- Federal investigators are heading back to Yosemite National Park in coming days, as their probe of park management picks up speed.

Prompted by a National Park Service request, the investigation that formally began Aug. 29 is digging into myriad Yosemite employee complaints about the work environment fostered under Superintendent ...Read more

Statute of limitations for rape eliminated in California after governor signs bill

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- California has ended its statute of limitations for rape cases after Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday signed legislation filed in the wake of sexual assault allegations against comedian Bill Cosby.

Senate Bill 813, filed by Democratic State Sen. Connie Leyva amends the penal code so that some sex crimes, including rape, ...Read more