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Massive cost overruns will force Calif. bullet train program to confront a new reality

Current News / News & Features /

Only two years ago, the California rail authority unveiled an ambitious plan to begin operating a segment of bullet train service between San Jose and the Central Valley by 2025. It would take nearly every penny in its checkbook, but the rail authority assured the public it would work.

But that plan has been crushed by the acknowledgment last ...Read more

Will Trump's offshore oil plans prove toxic for GOP incumbents in California?

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WASHINGTON -- As coastal Republicans in Florida and the Carolinas lobby the Trump administration to exempt their states from new offshore oil drilling plans, their GOP counterparts in California have largely been silent, apparently torn between angering voters at home and upsetting their pro-drilling colleagues in Congress.

Interior Secretary ...Read more

Irma trash still fills Keys canals. Is cleanup finally coming?

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MARATHON, Fla. -- On an unseasonably cool day in the Florida Keys, a manatee drifted through a canal, stopping occasionally to graze on an algae-slimed recreational vehicle that just barely crested the water's surface.

That sunken RV is just one of 16 swept from the adjacent streets by Hurricane Irma in September. This 18-foot-deep canal -- ...Read more

Smugglers use rocks and fog to thwart Border Patrol

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SAN DIEGO -- On a foggy Saturday night at the end of December, a Border Patrol agent drove an all-terrain vehicle close to the border fence between San Diego and Tijuana, looking for footprints.

To his left, a rust red, 7-foot metal barrier made of landing mats from the Vietnam War separated him from Colonia Libertad, a neighborhood whose ...Read more

Trump's environmental actions spark resistance in many states

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WASHINGTON -- Democratic governors, attorneys general and state legislators spent 2017 fighting President Donald Trump's environmental agenda, and the conflict shows no sign of letting up this year.

Trump's environmental and energy priorities are diametrically opposed to those of many left-leaning state officials. While the president has pushed...Read more

Jury rules for former Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. in Facebook post case

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MILWAUKEE -- A federal jury late Monday sided with former Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke in a trial over whether Clarke's Facebook posts violated the free speech rights of a man who had shared a flight with Clarke.

Dan Black, 25, was detained by deputies when the flight landed in Milwaukee last year, because he had shaken his head at ...Read more

Having devastated Yemen in bombing campaign, Saudi Arabia pledges $1.5 billion in humanitarian aid

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In a gesture inspiring both praise and scorn, Saudi Arabia announced Monday that it would donate $1.5 billion in new humanitarian aid to Yemen, where almost three years of war has devastated the country's infrastructure, tanked the economy and caused widespread hunger and disease.

The money will be donated to the United Nations, and represents ...Read more

Schwarzenegger to Trump: 'If you want to drill, do it off Mar-a-Lago'

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Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Monday blasted President Donald Trump's move to allow increased offshore drilling, saying he ought to drill in the waters off his Palm Beach, Fla., resort rather than California.

"Don't touch California. If you want to drill, do it off Mar-a-Lago," Schwarzenegger tweeted. "Or better yet, look to ...Read more

Nation and world news briefs

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Scalise back at Capitol after successful surgery

WASHINGTON -- House Majority Whip Steve Scalise returned to the Capitol Monday after surgery and a 12-day hospital stay to cast a "yes" vote on a stopgap spending bill that will reopen the government through Feb. 8.

"I'm feeling real good," the Louisiana Republican said regarding his health ...Read more

Tesla, reportedly on 'Autopilot,' rear-ends fire truck on California freeway

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A Tesla Model S reportedly on "Autopilot" smashed into the back of a fire truck parked at a freeway accident scene in California Monday morning, authorities said.

The union representing Culver City firefighters whose truck was hit around 8:30 a.m. on Interstate 405 in Culver City said on Twitter that the Tesla driver said he had been using ...Read more

Scientists smash thousands of proteins to find four 'Legos of life'

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By "smashing" proteins and looking at the broken bits, scientists at Rutgers University say they've discovered four basic building blocks that can be stacked like Legos to build all kinds of different proteins.

The results described in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences could help researchers better understand the origins of life ...Read more

Pa. court orders new election map for House seats in a boost for Democrats

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WASHINGTON -- The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Monday struck down the state's congressional map, which was drawn to give Republicans a 13-5 majority, a ruling that could shift two or three seats to Democrats this fall.

The decision is the third in a year to strike down a state election map as a partisan gerrymander. Unlike the others, however,...Read more

Trump's shifting stance on DACA vexed both parties as lawmakers resolved shutdown crisis

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WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump stood in the East Room of the White House last February and haltingly addressed what he called "a very, very difficult subject for me" -- the hundreds of thousands of immigrants who came to this country illegally as children.

"We're going to show great heart," he said. "You have these incredible kids, in ...Read more

Video shows border patrol officers detaining woman at Florida bus station

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- A video of border patrol officers boarding a bus in Fort Lauderdale and removing a woman whose visa expired has sparked an outcry from immigration activists.

The video shows agents detaining the woman on a Greyhound bus about 4:30 p.m. Friday after asking passengers for their identification, according to the Florida ...Read more

Border Patrol agents boarded a bus and asked for citizenship papers. Is that legal?

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MIAMI -- U.S. Border Patrol agents took someone off a Greyhound bus outside the Fort Lauderdale station after allegedly asking everyone on board for proof of citizenship, according to witness video and immigration advocates.

The Border Patrol's Miami section confirmed Monday: Yes, that's us, and we can do that.

The email didn't address whether...Read more

Private information of hundreds of Kansas voters exposed by Florida

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TOPEKA, Kan. -- Partial Social Security numbers of nearly 1,000 Kansas voters were released publicly by Florida after Secretary of State Kris Kobach's office provided the data as part of a program that looks for double voter registrations.

Kobach called the disclosure unfortunate, but defended the program, called Crosscheck, as key to his ...Read more

Trump slaps big tariffs on imported solar panels, riling renewables industry

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WASHINGTON -- The Trump administration announced Monday that it will impose hefty tariffs on the cheap, imported panels that have driven the rapid expansion of solar power in the United States, a move that industry groups warn will slow the spread of renewable energy and cost thousands of jobs.

The tariffs come as Trump has vowed to take a ...Read more

Analysts say Russian Twitter accounts promoted Republican talking points during government shutdown

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WASHINGTON -- The White House branded the federal budget impasse, which appeared to be ending on Monday, as the "Schumer Shutdown" in its attempt to pin the blame on Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y.

But it wasn't just Republicans using that phrase during the weekend government shutdown. Independent analysts said Twitter ...Read more

Teen with 10-pound facial tumor dies days after surgery, reports say

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- A teenage boy who came to South Florida from Cuba to have a massive facial tumor removed has died days after surgery, according to news reports.

Emanuel Zayas, 14, flew to Miami in late November because of the 10-pound tumor that developed from a disorder called polyostotic fibrous dysplasia.

The tumor covered his face...Read more

DACA protesters temporarily block Disneyland entrance

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ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and their allies temporarily blocked a vehicle entrance to Disneyland on Monday, just as the Senate reached an agreement to end the government shutdown brought on in part by a stalemate over the young immigrants' future.

The DACA recipients, commonly called "...Read more