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May's government is said to expect to take part in EU elections

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LONDON -- Theresa May will have to accept the U.K. must hold European elections unless she can introduce her Brexit bill to Parliament next week, a government official said, adding that she's unlikely to be able to do so.

The prime minister is desperate to avoid taking part in the May 23 elections, which threaten to damage her Conservative ...Read more

USC's cardiovascular fellowship to be stripped of national accreditation

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LOS ANGELES -- A national oversight panel has moved to revoke the accreditation of the University of Southern California medical school's fellowship in cardiovascular disease, an embarrassing blow to the once-vaunted training program.

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education formally notified USC and Los Angeles County that ...Read more

Bay Area real-estate prices soar while other places around the world follow their own curious paths

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With a recent report naming the Bay Area being the priciest place on the planet to build structures like apartments, schools and office buildings, we wondered how real estate looks in other places far away from the region and its nose-bleed cost of living.

In the Bay Area, residents obsess so much on how expensive property is that they tend to ...Read more

Anti-government protests turn violent in Colombian capital

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BOGOTA, Colombia -- Colombians around the country took to the streets on Thursday in anti-government protests that turned violent in the capital, Bogota.

Thousands of people marched in central Bogota to demonstrate against President Ivan Duque's policies which, they said, erode workers' rights and the education system.

Masked demonstrators ...Read more

Federal judge rules against Texas in ban on boycotting Israel

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AUSTIN, Texas -- In a victory for freedom of speech advocates and a setback for conservative state leaders, U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman on Thursday issued a temporary injunction on a politically charged law that bars state contract workers in Texas from boycotting Israel.

By blocking the state from enforcing the 2-year-old law, Pitman ...Read more

Democratic candidates tune out voter anxieties over border security

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WASHINGTON -- Few fights have Democrats more certain that they have the upper hand against President Donald Trump than the one over border security: His plans to build walls, separate immigrant families and punish asylum-seekers have alienated voters since he took office.

Yet some Democrats fear their presidential candidates may embrace the one...Read more

Trump fracking plan targets over 1 million acres in California

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WASHINGTON -- The Trump administration on Thursday detailed its plan to open more than a million acres of public and private land in California to fracking, raising environmental concerns at a time when opposition to oil and gas drilling in the state is intensifying.

The action would end a five-year moratorium on leasing federal land in ...Read more

Firefighter among 7 in critical condition after ammonia spill in Lake County, Ill.

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CHICAGO -- Ammonia spilling from a farm tractor in Lake County early Thursday sent at least 37 people to hospitals, including seven who were reported to be in critical condition around noon.

The spill began about 4:30 a.m. in the village of Beach Park, about 40 miles north of Chicago, according to Sgt. Christopher Covelli, a spokesman for the ...Read more

Putin's Chef's business seeks contempt against Mueller over report

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NEW YORK -- The Russian consulting business indicted by U.S. prosecutors for interfering in the 2016 election said Special Counsel Robert Mueller's long-awaited report undermined the company's shot at a fair trial.

Mueller and Attorney General William Barr must explain to a judge why they shouldn't be held in contempt for violating court rules ...Read more

Noor testifies of deadly alley encounter: 'It felt like my whole world came crashing down'

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MINNEAPOLIS -- His voice straining with emotion at times, former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor broke his nearly two-year silence and testified of the moments leading up to and after he shot Justine Ruszczyk Damond in a south Minneapolis alley.

"It felt like my whole world came crashing down," Noor testified when recounting the moments...Read more

Nation and world news briefs

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Federal court strikes down Michigan districts

WASHINGTON -- A three-judge panel on Thursday ruled that Michigan must use new congressional and legislative maps in 2020, potentially setting up a more favorable battlefield for House Democrats, who flipped two seats in the state last fall.

The federal court invalidated portions of the existing ...Read more

Sen. Rick Scott: Venezuela will become 'this hemisphere's Syria' if Maduro not ousted

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BOGOTA, Colombia -- Florida Sen. Rick Scott sees Venezuela in the starkest of terms: a toxic brew of hunger, desperation and "bad actors" that are threatening to turn the country into "this hemisphere's Syria" and swamp the region in trouble. And he's become one of the few voices on Capitol Hill openly advocating for U.S. boots on the ground to ...Read more

As AJ Freund's pregnant mother faces murder charge in his death, what happens when her baby is born?

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CHICAGO -- As the pregnant mother of 5-year-old Andrew "AJ" Freund faces murder and other charges in connection to his death, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services will be coordinating a plan for custody once her baby is born.

JoAnn Cunningham and Andrew Freund of Crystal Lake are being held in the McHenry County jail in lieu ...Read more

Bernie Sanders: Democrats will unify in 2020 'to defeat the most dangerous president'

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FORT WORTH, Texas -- Liz Runnion already plans to cast her ballot for Bernie Sanders in the 2020 Democratic primary election.

Like many gathered Thursday at Sanders' downtown Fort Worth rally, she hopes the 77-year-old will win the party's nomination and go head-to-head with Republican President Donald Trump.

But if he doesn't, Runnion said ...Read more

Border Patrol pursuit ends in fatal crash on SR-125, prompting hours-long freeway closure

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CHULA VISTA, Calif. -- A passenger died and four other people were injured Thursday in a Border Patrol pursuit that ended in a rollover crash on state Route 125 in Chula Vista, a federal official said.

The collision marks at least the fourth Border Patrol chase to end in death in less than two years in San Diego County.

The pursuit began after...Read more

Amid measles fears, more than 300 students and staff at LA universities are quarantined

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LOS ANGELES -- Amid a measles outbreak in Los Angeles, health officials announced Thursday that more than 300 students and staff members at UCLA and Cal State L.A. who have been exposed to measles will be quarantined for at least a day.

A University of California, Los Angeles student diagnosed with measles possibly exposed 500 people to the ...Read more

FBI to meet with Florida governor to discuss election-hacking attempts by Russians

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MIAMI -- Silent so far on new information that Russian hackers may have phished their way into a local elections office, the FBI has agreed to meet next month with Florida officials to brief them on the topic.

Gov. Ron DeSantis and U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, both Republicans, each said Thursday that the FBI has reached out about scheduling a meeting...Read more

10 kids in 'good condition' after gun is fired onto Georgia school playground

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ATLANTA -- DeKalb County School District police are investigating an incident at Wynbrooke Elementary School in Stone Mountain after 10 students were shot by a BB or pellet gun, the school district confirmed Thursday.

The shots appear to have come from a position away from the school grounds, a statement from the district said.

According to ...Read more

Pentagon inspector general clears Patrick Shanahan in ethics probe

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WASHINGTON -- Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, a former Boeing Co. executive, did not improperly promote the defense contractor or violate an ethics agreement requiring him to recuse himself from decisions affecting it, the Pentagon inspector general concluded in a report released Thursday.

Shanahan "routinely" mentioned Boeing in ...Read more

2 guilty, 2 cases dismissed in toppling of UNC's Silent Sam statue

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HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. -- A judge found two defendants guilty and dismissed the charges against two others Thursday in connection with last year's toppling of the Silent Sam Confederate statue on the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill campus.

One defendant faces new charges, however, after the Orange County Sheriff's Office said he brought a ...Read more

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