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#MeToo movement has lawmakers talking about consent

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WASHINGTON -- Fueled by accusations against titans of Hollywood, industry and politics, the #MeToo movement will prompt state lawmakers across the country this year to consider bills that could fundamentally change the culture of dating and sex.

States are expected to grapple with legislation to establish affirmative consent -- known as "yes ...Read more

Hospitals cut back on opioids to battle addiction epidemic

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CHICAGO -- Zulidany Cortez came to the emergency room at Amita Health Adventist Medical Center Bolingbrook when she could no longer take the pain from a wrist she hurt moving furniture.

In years past, doctors likely would have given the 32-year-old a prescription for an opioid painkiller to swiftly curb her suffering. But when Cortez met with ...Read more

11 people injured as gunmen attack aid agency in Jalalabad

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KABUL -- At least 11 people have been injured after unknown gunmen attacked the office of an aid organization, Save the Children, in Jalalabad city in eastern Afghanistan Wednesday morning, officials confirmed.

Nangarhar province spokesman Attaullah Khugyani said that a suicide bomber blew himself up in front of the building around 9 a.m. A ...Read more

Congress will try again on immigration reform — but will this time be different?

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WASHINGTON -- As Congress searches for a deal to protect so-called "Dreamers" from deportation, there are parallels to 2013, when immigration legislation won widespread support in the Senate only to be roundly ignored in the more conservative, Republican-led House.

But for all the similarities to that undertaking, there are also stark ...Read more

Judge called mom of disabled woman 'snotty,' chastised her for exercising a basic right

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Susan Jarsulic didn't know if she would win when she appealed changes to her disabled daughter's health plan.

But she didn't expect to be called "snotty" or to be faulted for talking to legislators about her daughter's case.

"I just think that's wrong," said Jarsulic, from Shawnee, Kan. "First of all, that stomps on my First Amendment rights ...Read more

Someone registered web sites dedicated to a Donna Shalala run for Congress: Will she do it?

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MIAMI--In the scrum to replace the retiring Ileana Ros-Lehtinen as the congressional representative of an increasingly left-leaning district, one name is emerging that could potentially clear some of the Democratic field: former University of Miami president Donna Shalala.

Shalala, a former member of Bill Clinton's Cabinet and the recent head ...Read more

She put her foot on the seat of a Metro train and got arrested. Did LAPD overreact?

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LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Police Department has launched a use-of-force investigation into a videotaped incident in which a sergeant pulled a young woman from a Metro subway train and then arrested her because she refused to take her foot off a seat, according to the video and authorities.

The bystander video was posted to Facebook on ...Read more

Slain Penn student Bernstein was 'raised to be an activist,' mom says

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PHILADELPHIA -- Two years ago, when Jeanne Pepper Bernstein's son said he wanted to embark on a grueling science curriculum at the University of Pennsylvania, it made her nervous. Blaze, the product of six years in a performing arts school in Santa Ana, Calif., had shown many academic interests, but this intense program had a reputation for ...Read more

Nation and world news briefs

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Person parked near White House with loaded gun arrested

A person parked about a block from the White House was arrested early Tuesday morning after officers discovered a loaded gun inside their vehicle, the Secret Service said.

Authorities were alerted to a "suspicious vehicle" parked "in the vicinity of the White House complex" around 2:30 a....Read more

Up for auction: Naming rights for a new plant species in California

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LOS ANGELES -- The online auction site eBay is known for its unusual offerings. It's where, for example, a suit of armor for a guinea pig can fetch $1,025 and a grilled cheese sandwich purportedly bearing a portrait of the Virgin Mary nets $28,000.

But an auction beginning Tuesday night presents what is truly a one-of-a-kind opportunity: the ...Read more

Jamaica is on high alert for gang violence — but officials say island safe for tourists

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Jamaica's national security minister told the country's lawmakers Tuesday that a heightened state of alert sparked by warring violent gangs in St. James Parish is "going very well," and has led to the arrest of a Florida man wanted on multiple sexual offenses involving minors.

National Security Minister Robert Montague did not provide details ...Read more

27 killed in dual car bombings in Benghazi

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TRIPOLI, Libya -- Two car bombings in the Libyan city of Benghazi on Tuesday killed 27 people and injured 42 others, local hospital officials have said.

Two bombs exploded close to a mosque in the al-Salmani region of the coastal city. Eyewitnesses said that the first bomb exploded as worshippers were leaving the mosque.

A number of the ...Read more

She fought back against illegal loggers. Now she's been found strangled on a highway in Mexico

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MEXICO CITY -- Like many residents of the pine-covered hills of Cheran in central Mexico, Guadalupe Campanur led a life of radical resistance.

As a young woman in 2011, she joined town leaders in fighting back against illegal loggers and drug traffickers accused of murdering local farmers.

She later played a role when the town's newly formed ...Read more

Trump makes it clear as he heads to Davos: America first, period

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WASHINGTON -- On the eve of his trip to Switzerland to meet with world leaders and promote his "America First" agenda, President Donald Trump signed an order slapping tariffs on solar panel and washing machine imports.

His action, he said Tuesday, "helps to create jobs in America for Americans."

It also helps create a tough tone for the World ...Read more

Senate easily confirms Jerome Powell to be next Federal Reserve chairman

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WASHINGTON -- The Senate on Tuesday overwhelmingly voted to confirm Jerome H. Powell to be the next chairman of the Federal Reserve, allowing him to take over when Janet L. Yellen's term expires early next month.

Powell, 64, a well-respected Republican who has served as a governor on the Fed board since 2012, enjoyed broad bipartisan support, ...Read more

Pence's formula for survival: Praise Trump and act as pin cushion for angry allies

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WASHINGTON -- Sitting directly across the table from Jordan's King Abdullah II, Vice President Mike Pence's face kept a placid, mask-like quality as Abdullah publicly lit into him over and over for not heeding Arab concerns over the White House decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

The king's voice, polished at Sandhurst and ...Read more

In less than 2 hours in Chicago, shootings kill 1 and wound 4

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CHICAGO -- In less than two hours Monday, a man was killed and four other people were wounded, including a 14-year-old girl, in shootings on the South and West sides of Chicago, according to police.

That brought to eight the number of people shot between Monday and Tuesday mornings in the city, police said.

About 3:45 p.m. on the South Side, a...Read more

Mueller said to plan questions for Trump on Flynn, Comey firing

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WASHINGTON -- Special counsel Robert Mueller wants to question President Donald Trump about his decision to fire former FBI Director James Comey as well as the removal of Michael Flynn as national security adviser, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

Trump's lawyers have held several conversation with Mueller's team in recent ...Read more

Rep. Pat Meehan says he saw younger aide as 'soul mate' but denies harassment

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WASHINGTON -- U.S. Rep Pat Meehan said Tuesday he had developed a deep "affection" for a younger aide and told her that he saw her as a "soul mate" as they talked over ice cream one night last year, but in an interview with The Philadelphia Inquirer he said he never pursued a romantic relationship with the woman, who later accused him of sexual ...Read more

Safe-injection sites to fight opioid overdose deaths get green light from Philadelphia officials

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PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia, with the highest opioid death rate of any major American city, on Tuesday announced plans to encourage the opening of sites where people can inject drugs under medical supervision.

And though the precise locations of Philadelphia sites have not been established, the city could be the first in America to open an ...Read more