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Trump lawyers ask Supreme Court to reject 2nd Amendment claim by men who lost gun rights over nonviolent crimes

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WASHINGTON -- Trump administration lawyers are urging the Supreme Court to reject a 2nd Amendment claim that would restore the right to own a gun for two Pennsylvania men who were convicted more than 20 years ago of nonviolent crimes.

The case of Sessions vs. Binderup puts the new administration in a potentially awkward spot, considering ...Read more

Chicago only major U.S. city to lose population from 2015 to 2016

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CHICAGO -- Chicago was the only city among the nation's 20 largest to lose population in 2016 -- and it lost nearly double the number of residents as the year before, according to newly released data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

It's the city's third consecutive year of population loss. Chicago's population fell by 8,638 residents between 2015 ...Read more

The Aussie family is endangered and that's not such a bad thing, demographer says

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SYDNEY -- Australia's nuclear family could become a minority. The nation's statistics bureau predicts that childless couples will become the country's most common type of family by as soon as 2023.That's not necessarily a bad thing, says Bernard Salt, the Melbourne-based KPMG partner and demographer who made global headlines by suggesting that ...Read more

Border clashes seen forcing Pakistan to boost defense spending

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ISLAMABAD -- Pakistan's powerful military will probably push for an increase in defense spending ahead of Friday's national budget as border clashes with neighboring India and Afghanistan mount.

Pakistan's relations with its neighbors have drastically deteriorated this year. On Tuesday, India's military said it hit army posts in the Pakistan-...Read more

Brexit hard talk masks signs of compromise as negotiations near

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BRUSSELS -- Brexit negotiations are set to start in less than a month with signs emerging that for all the hard rhetoric of recent weeks there are key areas on which both the European Union and Britain might be willing to compromise.

That's the view of some EU officials as the bloc's remaining 27 governments make final preparations for the ...Read more

Jury complete for Bill Cosby's sex assault trial

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PITTSBURGH -- The panel that will decide Bill Cosby's fate was finalized Wednesday, as lawyers completed a three-day search for 12 jurors and six alternates for the entertainer's sex-assault trial.

In the end, all but one member of the panel said they were at least somewhat familiar with the allegations against Cosby. All vowed to set their ...Read more

Lawyers for Seattle mayor formally deny sex abuse allegations

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SEATTLE -- Attorneys for Seattle Mayor Ed Murray have formally denied allegations of sexual abuse against him and asked that a lawsuit making the claims be dismissed.

In court papers filed Wednesday, attorneys Malaika Eaton and Robert Sulkin wrote that Murray "denies any inappropriate contact with the Plaintiff or any minor."

That was a ...Read more

High noon for South African President Zuma as key ANC leaders seek his ouster

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CAPE TOWN, South Africa -- South African President Jacob Zuma faces a key battle for his political survival this weekend when senior members of his ruling party say they'll push for its decision-making national executive committee to order him to step down.

Zuma goes into the meeting of the committee facing an unprecedented level of opposition ...Read more

Nation and world news briefs

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Debt limit deadline already creeping up on Congress

WASHINGTON -- Congress and the Trump administration may be facing off over raising the debt limit sooner than planned.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he wanted Congress to complete a clean measure to lift the debt ceiling before the August recess on Wednesday.

"I urge you to raise ...Read more

Montana GOP congressional candidate accused of body-slamming reporter

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A national political reporter for the Guardian newspaper Montana GOP congressional candidate said Greg Gianforte body-slammed him and broke his glasses Wednesday afternoon before a campaign event in Bozeman, Montana.

"Greg Gianforte just body slammed me and broke my glasses," reporter Ben Jacobs tweeted. He added in a second tweet: "There was a...Read more

Death toll in Venezuela protest violence rises to 56

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CARACAS, Venezuela -- The death toll from nearly eight weeks of Venezuelan street protests rose to 56 on Wednesday after three opponents of President Nicolas Maduro were reported killed by gunfire in Barinas state, the birthplace of the late President Hugo Chavez.

Violent clashes between demonstrators and police and national guardsmen trying to...Read more

At least 55 killed in 8 weeks of Venezuela protests, authorities confirm

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BOGOTA, Colombia -- Gunshots, electrocutions, suffocation, traffic accidents, tear gas and one frozen water bottle to the head.

The last eight weeks of anti-government protests in Venezuela have killed at least 55 people, authorities confirmed Wednesday, amid chaotic violence that threatens to destabilize the South American nation.

In a news ...Read more

Mnuchin tells Democrats no go on border tax in private meeting

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WASHINGTON -- Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin pronounced House Speaker Paul Ryan's proposal for a border-adjusted tax dead during closed-door conversations with Democrats on the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, according to two members of the panel.

The remarks they described in private were stronger than Mnuchin's public comments about ...Read more

Every Democrat votes to block Trump's federal court nominee; looks like payback

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WASHINGTON -- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., refused last year to consider President Barack Obama's nominee for an appeals court seat that had been vacant for three years.

In January, though, Donald Trump became president and quickly nominated a different judge for the Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which ...Read more

Mulvaney returns to Congress to defend Trump budget, and gets a grilling

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WASHINGTON -- Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, who until months ago was embraced by conservatives for his relentless budget-slashing advocacy, returned to Capitol Hill on Wednesday as the White House's chief spending-cut champion -- and found both Republicans and Democrats challenging him.

Mulvaney, a tea party favorite who until February ...Read more

Whales are the largest animals on Earth; now we know why they got so big

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You have the privilege of sharing the planet with the largest animal that ever lived on Earth.

The great blue whale, which can be found in every ocean around the globe, is bigger than any dinosaur you've seen in a museum.

It can weigh as much as 24 elephants, and can grow up to two school buses in length.

Its jawbone is as big as a telephone ...Read more

Democrats look for win in Trump country — starting in Montana

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Thursday's special House election in Montana offers an early and important test for the Democratic Party: Can it win over districts and states that loved Donald Trump just last year?

Republicans watching this week's congressional contest are nervous the answer is already a resounding "yes."

The special election between Democrat Rob Quist and ...Read more

Schlitterbahn spokeswoman calls Verruckt water slide incident a 'horrible accident'

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- A Schlitterbahn spokeswoman said Wednesday that an ongoing investigation by the Kansas attorney general into a child's death at its Kansas City, Kan., water park last year "feels like a long time" but will show it was an accident.

On Monday, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said that his office continues to look into ...Read more

It's not just Trump: Brits blast US for leaking details of Manchester attack

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BRUSSELS -- The British government scolded the United States on Wednesday after confidential details about the Manchester suicide bomber that had been shared with U.S. intelligence agents were leaked to the news media.

It was the second time this month that the United States has been accused of divulging intelligence from another government. ...Read more

DEA gave a false story about deadly 2012 attack in Honduras, US report says

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WASHINGTON -- When a botched drug raid led to the shooting deaths of four civilians, including a teenage boy, on a Honduran river in May 2012, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration officials insisted that the victims were cocaine traffickers who had shot first and that DEA agents were present only as advisers.

Those claims were not true, ...Read more

 

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