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Ukrainian film director on hunger strike in a Russian prison casts dark cloud over World Cup

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MOSCOW -- When the World Cup started in Russia on Thursday, Oleg Sentsov was on day 32 of his hunger strike in a northern Siberian penal colony. An acclaimed Ukrainian film writer and director, Sentsov is serving 20 years in Russia, accused of plotting terrorist attacks in Crimea.

Sentsov says that he's innocent and that the Kremlin is ...Read more

In Xi talks, Kim calls for step-by-step denuclearization process

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BEIJING -- Kim Jong Un doesn't appear to be in a rush to dump his nuclear weapons.

In talks with China President Xi Jinping on Tuesday, the North Korean leader reiterated his call for a gradual process to carry out the results of last week's summit with U.S. President Donald Trump. Chinese state media cited Kim saying that denuclearization will...Read more

Nelson, Wasserman Schultz blocked from entering immigrant children shelter in Florida

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MIAMI -- Amid uproar over the federal government's breakup of families caught illegally crossing the U.S. border, state and federal lawmakers were denied entry Tuesday to a shelter in Homestead where 1,200 immigrant children are being held, including dozens separated from their parents.

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz ...Read more

Governors reject Trump call for border troops over child policy

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WASHINGTON -- A bipartisan group of seven governors rejected President Donald Trump's request to send their states' National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border because they object to the administration's policy of separating minor children from asylum-seeking adults.

Democrats Andrew Cuomo of New York, Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island, John ...Read more

New poll confirms Feinstein has big lead in Senate race, but nearly half of voters are undecided

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WASHINGTON -- Nearly half of registered California voters are still undecided in the U.S. Senate race between incumbent Dianne Feinstein and state Sen. Kevin de Leon, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll.

Feinstein, who is seeking a fifth full term, holds a 36 percent to 18 percent lead over De Leon among registered voters who...Read more

5 reported killed as violence flares up in Nicaragua

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MANAGUA, Nicaragua -- Five people were killed and dozens injured on Tuesday when Nicaraguan police and paramilitary gunmen took control of the protester stronghold of Masaya, attacking barricades erected by demonstrators, a human rights activist said.

"This has been a real massacre," Alvaro Leiva, director of the rights group Asociacion ...Read more

Mexico blasts US family separation policy as 'violation of human rights'

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MEXICO CITY -- The Mexican government on Tuesday condemned as "cruel and inhuman" the Trump administration policy of separating immigrant families detained on U.S. soil.

Only 1 percent of all cases of children separated from their families -- 21 cases -- involve Mexican nationals, said Luis Videgaray, Mexico's foreign secretary, in the country'...Read more

Nation and world news briefs

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Trump campaign ex-staffer asks judge to keep NDA suit public

NEW YORK -- A former manager on President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign who claims she was harassed on the job and is seeking to nullify a non-disclosure agreement is pressing to have her claims heard in public.

Jessica Denson asked a New York judge on Monday to deny the campaign's ...Read more

Thousands of legal immigration slots would be slashed under House plan

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WASHINGTON -- Tens of thousands of immigrants will be barred from entering the country under the compromise plan the House is about to consider.

About 560,000 total immigrant visas were issued in 2017, according to State Department statistics.

The House plan would switch 78,400 spots, currently reserved for visas for adult siblings and married...Read more

Trump administration withdrawing from United Nations human rights body

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WASHINGTON -- The Trump administration said Tuesday it is withdrawing from the United Nations body that oversees human rights around the globe, saying the 47-nation council has shown an "unconscionable" bias against Israel.

The decision to leave the U.N. Human Rights Council was the latest multinational institution or treaty that the ...Read more

House immigration plan would allow families to be detained together

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WASHINGTON -- The Republican House compromise bill on immigration would end the family separation issue at the border -- but Democrats won't support it.

The bill mandates that the Department of Homeland Security hold any adult only charged with a misdemeanor who crossed the border with a child under age 18 with their child, at specific family ...Read more

Colorado joins California in fight to prevent Trump from weakening auto emissions rules

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WASHINGTON--As the Trump administration moves to roll back ambitious vehicle-emissions targets, California and several other states that rely on those standards to achieve their clean air goals have enlisted an influential new partner in the fight to keep the rules intact.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper announced Tuesday that his state plans ...Read more

Daisy Coleman, whose Maryville rape case went viral, loses brother in Kansas crash

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Tragedy has again struck the Coleman family, formerly of Maryville, Mo., who made international headlines in 2013 in wake of the investigations into the sexual assault of then-14-year-old Daisy Coleman.

Tristan Coleman -- the youngest of Daisy's three brothers -- was killed Monday night in a one-vehicle crash on Interstate ...Read more

Trump campaign ex-staffer asks judge to keep NDA suit public

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NEW YORK -- A former manager on President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign who claims she was harassed on the job and is seeking to nullify a non-disclosure agreement is pressing to have her claims heard in public.

Jessica Denson asked a New York judge on Monday to deny the campaign's request to force the non-disclosure case into arbitration. The ...Read more

Missouri Democrats file suit challenging appointment of lieutenant governor

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Just hours after Gov. Mike Parson appointed a former colleague to the No. 2 post in state government, the Missouri Democratic Party filed a lawsuit seeking to require the lieutenant governor position only be filled by an election.

Seizing on legal and constitutional questions that surround the ability of a chief executive...Read more

Flake holds up judicial nominee, won't say why

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WASHINGTON -- Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake halted an appeals court nominee last week and he's not publicly saying why, a behind-the-scenes move that takes aim at one of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's top legislative priorities this year.

The Senate Judiciary Committee scuttled a planned vote June 14 on the nomination of Britt ...Read more

Trump campaign chief urges firing Sessions, ending Mueller probe

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WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump's 2020 campaign manager wants the president to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions and end special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference that intelligence agencies say was meant to help Trump's 2016 campaign.

"Time to fire Sessions. End the Mueller investigation. You can't obstruct something...Read more

Trump blames Democrats, smugglers and Mexico for border crisis as Republicans press him for solution

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WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump unabashedly defended his policy of separating children from their migrant parents on the southern border, spreading blame Tuesday among Democrats, Mexico and child smugglers ahead of a meeting with congressional Republicans eager for him to end the mounting political crisis.

In a partisan speech to a ...Read more

Supreme Court gerrymandering decision signals more legal challenges to come

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WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Supreme Court's handling of two cases alleging partisan gerrymandering is expected to spur even more legal action over the constitutionality of crafting electoral maps that tend to favor one political party.

Opponents of gerrymandering were hoping the Wisconsin and Maryland cases involving partisan gerrymandering would ...Read more

Poll finds Newsom has a commanding lead over Cox in California governor's race

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Democrat Gavin Newsom has a dominant lead over Republican John Cox in California's race for governor, a contest where a significant number of voters appear to have cast ballots strategically to sway the outcome of the state's top-two primary, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll.

Forty-five percent of registered voters who ...Read more