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National background check system gets help in Congress' budget plan

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WASHINGTON -- A measure to beef up enforcement of the nation's background check system for potential gun buyers will be included in the government funding bill due for a congressional vote this week.

The provision, crafted by Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, is designed to push federal agencies and states to upload criminal records ...Read more

Who's going and who's skipping? Where Fla. lawmakers stand on Saturday's March for Our Lives

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WASHINGTON -- On Saturday, young people around the world will participate in the March for Our Lives, urging lawmakers to find solutions that stop gun violence and mass shootings just over a month after the nation's deadliest high school shooting in Florida's Broward County.

But South Florida's Republican lawmakers in Congress either have no ...Read more

Gun used in Maryland high school shooting was legally owned by shooter's father, sheriff says

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GREAT MILLS, Md. -- The handgun used in Tuesday's shooting at Great Mills High School in Southern Maryland was legally owned by the shooter's father, the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday.

Austin Wyatt Rollins, 17, brought a Glock 9 mm handgun to the school and opened fire in a hallway at about 7:50 a.m., injuring a 16-year-old ...Read more

Homeless mental patients given 'Greyhound therapy' from Las Vegas could get a payout

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Mentally ill people who were cast out of a Las Vegas psychiatric hospital and issued Greyhound bus tickets to cities across the country without proper consent, care or planning soon will have their day in court.

A Nevada court has ruled that James Flavy Coy Brown, whose 2013 bus trip took him to Sacramento, and potentially...Read more

Brother of Parkland shooter was arrested twice in 2016

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- From skateboarding on the hood of a police car to swiping items off the shelves at Target, Zachary Cruz, the now-jailed younger brother of Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz, had earlier run-ins with Coral Springs police, records released Wednesday show.

Zachary Cruz, 18, is in custody on a $500,000 bond after he was ...Read more

Former Minneapolis police officer charged in woman's death remains jailed on $400,000 bail

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MINNEAPOLIS -- The ex-Minneapolis police officer charged with murder and manslaughter in the July shooting death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond made his first court appearance Wednesday, where his bail was set amid a room full of supporters.

Mohamed Noor, 33, remains jailed after Judge Kathryn Quaintance set his bail at $400,000 on the condition ...Read more

Parents shocked after son ID'd as Texas bomber: 'We had no idea of the darkness' he was in

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PFLUGERVILLE, Texas -- Investigators detained and questioned two roommates of the Austin bombing suspect Wednesday as officials sought to determine whether Mark Anthony Conditt had any help as he terrorized Texas' capital city over the last month.

One of the roommates has already been released, while the other was still being questioned, Austin...Read more

President of Peru, facing allegations of corruption, resigns

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LIMA, Peru -- Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski resigned Wednesday after political opponents released video and audio recordings that they say implicate the 79-year-old leader in a vote-buying scheme to avoid impeachment.

Kuczynski's departure ends a long-running political battle with Keiko Fujimori, the daughter of disgraced former ...Read more

As Trump fumes over leak about his congratulatory call to Putin, word is 'there's going to be a scalp over this'

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WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump and some aides were furious on Wednesday after the leak of sensitive notes for briefing the president before a call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to aides and a close associate.

The leak appeared designed to embarrass Trump for congratulating rather than confronting Putin -- contrary to ...Read more

Scientists build a robotic fish to spy on ocean life

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It looks like a fish. It swims like a fish. But it isn't a fish.

It's SoFi, the robotic fish.

Developed by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, SoFi is a soft-bodied robot that glides silently through the water with a smooth, undulating motion designed to mimic the movements of real fish.

It is the first robotic fish to ...Read more

Peru's president reportedly resigns ahead of impeachment

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LIMA, Peru -- Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski resigned in the face of a forthcoming impeachment vote, according to two Lima-based newspapers.

Neither El Correo nor Gestion said where they obtained the information, but Gestion said the president will send his resignation letter to congress. On Wednesday, some lawmakers who previously ...Read more

Mississippi governor appoints state's first woman to Congress

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WASHINGTON -- The Mississippi governor's appointment of Cindy Hyde-Smith to the Senate next month marks a milestone: She will be the state's first woman in Congress.

And that would leave Vermont as the lone state in the union to have never sent a female lawmaker to Washington.

Hyde-Smith, a Republican who is currently the state's agriculture ...Read more

Thousands lose right to vote under 'incompetence' laws

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WASHINGTON -- Like many people with autism, Greg Demer is bright but has difficulty communicating. He has a passion for the history of military aircraft, but he can't quite keep up a conversation with new people. When he meets someone, he'll quote from movies or ask them about their favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.

His mother, Linda Demer,...Read more

New Jersey could fund gun violence research at Rutgers — once it clears the academic freedom hurdles

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PHILADELPHIA -- New Jersey lawmakers want Rutgers University to study gun violence, its causes, and how to prevent it.

Rutgers wants to do the same.

So a group of Democratic lawmakers has proposed legislation that would give the university $400,000 to "conduct a comprehensive firearms violence study."

For the lawmakers, it's a way to get ...Read more

Man accused of letting mom die on the floor withheld her medicines for 6 days, sheriff's investigator says

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CARY, N.C. -- A Wake County man charged with letting his mother die on the floor of their home while he ignored her calls for help said he had not given her prescription medicines for six days before he reported her death, new information from the sheriff's office shows.

The information also shows that the son, Eric Paul Brunner, had been ...Read more

NC lawmaker said she's a nurse. Nursing board says she isn't

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RALEIGH, N.C. -- A North Carolina legislator misidentified herself as a registered nurse until recently, when the state Board of Nursing contacted her and asked her to stop.

State Rep. Beverly Boswell, a Republican from Dare County, is a medical assistant and phlebotomist -- someone who's trained to draw blood -- who was first elected in 2016 ...Read more

Maryland high school shooting: 14-year-old victim identified, discharged from hospital

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BALTIMORE -- The 14-year-old boy shot in a hallway at Great Mills High School in Southern Maryland minutes before class started Tuesday was discharged from the hospital Wednesday, officials confirmed.

The boy, who has been identified as Desmond Barnes, was shot in the thigh and treated at MedStar St. Mary's Hospital. The circumstances ...Read more

Leaked documents show UK long worried about Russian nerve agent

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WASHINGTON -- Once-secret U.S. government documents show that Western powers have quietly worried for more than a decade about the mysterious and deadly nerve agent Novichok, which British investigators now believe was used in the attempted assassination of a former Russian spy living in Great Britain.

British investigators and Prime Minister ...Read more

Rand Paul on last-minute federal budget: 'A rotten, terrible' way to govern

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WASHINGTON -- With Congress teetering on the brink of its third government shutdown in three months, Sen. Rand Paul still hasn't seen the details of a new budget bill that's likely to be 1,000 pages long -- and he's not pleased.

That matters because it was Paul, R-Ky., who last month single-handedly prevented Congress from speedily moving ahead...Read more

Rubio launches new Facebook page for Venezuelan dissidents

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WASHINGTON -- Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fl., has launched a new Facebook page to talk directly with Venezuelans inside the country and abroad.

In his first video message, Rubio tells visitors in Spanish that the new page will be a way for Venezuelans to circumvent state-controlled media, learn more about what's really going on in the world as well as...Read more