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Nation and world news briefs

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House Ethics Committee acknowledges investigation of John Duncan Jr.

WASHINGTON -- The House Ethics Committee on Tuesday acknowledged an investigation of Rep. John Duncan Jr., a scion of a Tennessee political dynasty who announced his retirement in July.

Duncan, a Republican, came under fire that month after reports that his campaign paid his ...Read more

Some Florida Republicans begin push for stricter gun measures

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MIAMI -- In what could signal the start of a shift in Republican politics, some GOP donors and officials in Florida are urging their political networks to consider some gun control measures and buck their party's longstanding refusal to even engage in the debate.

"I already have impressed upon people I talk to, the way the law is now is ...Read more

Ghost Ship fire defendants enter pleas, trial expected this summer

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OAKLAND, Calif. -- Former Ghost Ship tenants Derick Almena and Max Harris, each facing 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter, entered not-guilty pleas Tuesday morning in Alameda County Superior Court and could have a jury trial in July.

The pair are charged in the deaths of 36 people attending a dance party on Dec. 2, 2016 at the East Oakland ...Read more

Weinstein Co. seeks to dismiss lawsuit, saying Weinstein was solely responsible for his action

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LOS ANGELES -- Weinstein Co. sought to toss out a lawsuit by alleged victims of Harvey Weinstein, arguing that former colleagues were not aware of his "predatory" behavior toward actresses, assistants and models at the studio he co-founded.

Attorneys for Weinstein Co. on Tuesday filed the motion to dismiss a potential federal class-action ...Read more

As students watch, Fla. lawmakers debate porn but refuse to take up assault weapons ban

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- A move to push a bill banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines directly to the Florida House floor Tuesday afternoon was rejected on mostly party lines, six days after a gunman killed 17 people and injured several more at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

Rep. Kionne McGhee, of Miami, the incoming...Read more

Almost 200 killed in multiday bombardment of Syrian suburb

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BEIRUT -- A rebel-held suburb just outside the Syrian capital of Damascus witnessed some of the deadliest fighting of the country's long-running civil war Tuesday, even as the United Nations issued a plea to end the "senseless human suffering" in the enclave.

The bombardment, believed to be a prelude to a large-scale assault aimed at routing ...Read more

Wife of slain police commander writes letter thanking Chicago for 'outpouring of love and support'

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CHICAGO -- The wife of Chicago police Cmdr. Paul Bauer on Tuesday released a letter thanking Chicagoans for their "outpouring of love and support."

Bauer was shot and killed Feb. 13 outside the Thompson Center in downtown Chicago.

"I want to thank those of you (who) waited for hours in the cold to attend his wake and funeral. You have no idea ...Read more

Trump 'supportive' of tougher gun law, but his record suggests that may not mean much

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WASHINGTON -- The deadly school shooting in Florida has moved President Donald Trump to call for a ban on devices that turn legal firearms into deadly automatic assault rifles. But some gun control supporters expressed skepticism: He has promised action before in response to a mass killing, only to drop it when Americans' attention wanes.

Trump...Read more

Spanish rapper gets prison sentence for lyrics glamorizing terrorism

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MADRID -- A rapper from the Balearic island of Mallorca has to spend 3 1/2 years in prison because his songs glamorized terrorism, threatened and insulted the Spanish crown, and called for the death of politicians.

The Supreme Court in Madrid confirmed the guilty verdict and prison sentence on Tuesday for Josep Miquel Arenas, 24, who performs ...Read more

Clooneys donate $500,000 to March for Our Lives, will join students at DC rally

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Celebrities are lining up with their wallets to help protect American kids from gun violence in the wake of another deadly school shooting.

Inspired by "the courage and eloquence" of the survivors of the recent shooting in Parkland, Fla., philanthropic duo George Clooney and Amal Clooney have donated $500,000 to help the students organize the ...Read more

Trump to discuss school safety with students from Parkland, Newtown, Columbine

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WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump on Wednesday will meet with students, parents and teachers impacted by mass shootings in Parkland, Fla., Newtown, Conn., and Columbine, Colo., as he begins to searching for policies to keep America's schools safe.

Trump will hold a "listening session" that may address mental health, gun laws and other ...Read more

Missouri governor mostly forbids text-deleting app use. His office says that was always the policy

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Amid an investigation and lawsuit, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens' administration last month altered its records retention policy, forbidding use of the text message-deleting app Confide when discussing public business.

According to the policy, obtained by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch through an open records request, "no ...Read more

Rep. Adam Schiff expects resolution on Democratic surveillance memo within days

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Rep. Adam Schiff said Tuesday that he expects to reach an agreement in the next day or two with Justice Department officials on public release of a Democratic memo about surveillance and the Russia investigation.

"We're very close to a resolution," the California Democrat said at an event hosted by the Sacramento Press ...Read more

Michigan State to bring in retired chief justice to handle conduct investigations

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DETROIT -- Michigan State University will bring in former Michigan Chief Justice Bob Young Jr. to help as it deals with multiple investigations into its handling of the Larry Nassar case, the university announced Tuesday.

In January, Young dropped out of the Republican race for the U.S. Senate. He is an adjunct professor at the MSU College of ...Read more

Palestinian leader Abbas calls for international role in seeking peace

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WASHINGTON -- Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas made a rare appearance before the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday and called for an international peace conference by mid-year -- something especially needed, he said, since the U.S. can no longer be counted on as the lone mediator.

It is "essential," Abbas said, that a "multilateral international...Read more

Hundreds mourn Carmen Schentrup, 16-year-old killed in school shooting

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Hundreds of people filled a Catholic church to celebrate the life of 16-year-old Carmen Schentrup, one of the 17 who died in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Fla.

Her funeral was held Tuesday, the day before her 17th birthday. Her coffin was wheeled in, draped in a white sheet, an orange glow reflecting from the ...Read more

House Ethics Committee acknowledges investigation of John Duncan Jr.

Current News / News & Features /

WASHINGTON -- The House Ethics Committee on Tuesday acknowledged an investigation of Rep. John Duncan Jr., a scion of a Tennessee political dynasty who announced his retirement in July.

Duncan, a Republican, came under fire that month after reports that his campaign paid his son, John Duncan III, almost $300,000. The younger Duncan has pleaded ...Read more

Teen sentenced to 6 months for smuggling tiger cub across border

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SAN DIEGO -- When Luis Eudoro Valencia was caught at the border last summer with a tiger cub riding shotgun on the floorboards of a Camaro, he held himself out to be a naive 18-year-old who had bought the wild animal on impulse after seeing one being walked on a leash on the streets of Tijuana.

But prosecutors say the smuggling scheme was not ...Read more

Sex misconduct allegations leave swath of LA without representation in Sacramento

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- For Maria Camacho-Rodriguez, a special education teacher and a trustee of Cerritos Community College, a monthly education roundtable convened by her Assembly member provided crucial insight into legislation, grant opportunities and other important things happening in Sacramento.

This month, she was hoping for an update ...Read more

NC couple charged in death of adoptive daughter 7 years after she was last seen alive

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Nearly seven years after Erica Parsons was last seen alive, her adoptive parents have been indicted in Rowan County for allegedly killing and dismembering the girl to hide their crime.

Sandy Parsons and his wife, Casey Parsons, are charged with first-degree murder, felony concealment of death and obstruction of justice for ...Read more