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Areas freed from Islamic State will test US policy on limiting overseas role

Current News / News & Features /

WASHINGTON -- As U.S.-backed forces succeed in driving Islamic State militants from territory in Iraq and now Syria, the Trump administration has difficult choices -- and divided opinions -- about how the heavily devastated region can recover in an era when U.S. policy is to take a back-seat role.

The administration has stated unequivocally ...Read more

As sanctuary state, California takes deportation fight to new level

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WASHINGTON -- As more states and counties take immigration policy into their own hands, California is stepping up its fight to protect immigrants in the country illegally by not only refusing to detain immigrants slated for deportation, but now also by declining to tell federal immigration officials when they will be released from local jails.

...Read more

Federal flood insurance pushed to brink by storms

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WASHINGTON -- An unprecedented wave of destructive hurricanes has brought the long-struggling federal flood insurance program to the brink.

Now Congress faces tough questions about whether to again bail out the nearly 50-year-old program and how to implement reforms to make it more sustainable, secure and cost-effective.

With five major ...Read more

Are GOP retirements draining the swamp?

Current News / News & Features /

WASHINGTON -- On the campaign trail, President Donald Trump pledged over and over to "drain the swamp," promising to gut what he said was a gridlocked Washington political establishment.

His supporters chanted the catchy slogan at rallies and kept doing so at Trump events even after the reality television figure moved into the White House.

...Read more

Congress should revise base closure rules, report recommends

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WASHINGTON -- Congress should revise the rules guiding base realignment and closure and authorize a new round, a new paper from a conservative think tank recommended.

Done properly, a round of base realignment and closure, or BRAC, is a good example of federal efficiency, wrote Frederico Bartels, an analyst with the Heritage Foundation.

"It ...Read more

This boy was found dead in the sand and police can't find his family

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HILTON HEAD, S.C. -- Authorities in Texas are asking the public to share a sketch of a young child whose 30-pound body was found Friday in a case that police are calling "extremely unusual."

Galveston police found the body of a 3- to 5-year-old boy in the sand close to the surf around 5:30 p.m. Friday, according to a press release.

The ...Read more

Fire loss total surges to 8,400 structures in Northern California

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SANTA ROSA, Calif. -- The wine country wildfires destroyed at least 8,400 homes and other buildings, authorities said Monday, a significant increase in the already staggering property loss.

Efforts continued by firefighters to gain control of the fires and by searchers looking for more victims. The death toll as of Monday remained at 42, making...Read more

Murder-suicide in Joshua Tree may have been act of 'sympathy' after injury, family member says

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An uncle of the woman found dead in Joshua Tree National Park reportedly said investigators believe her boyfriend may have killed her in a "sympathetic murder-suicide" after she suffered a head injury.

Joseph Orbeso, 22, shot and killed his girlfriend, Rachel Nguyen, 20, and then turned the gun on himself, according to a news release Friday ...Read more

Disaster program issues loom over future aid

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WASHINGTON -- As lawmakers shuttle multiple supplemental spending packages through Congress to address the devastation from one of the worst hurricane seasons on record, federal audit reports show major ongoing problems with federal agencies' ability to ensure money is spent correctly.

Tens of billions of dollars are expected to flow from two ...Read more

Jonathan Bernstein: Trump's first nine months? Not so huge

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There's a bit of a phony debate breaking out about Donald Trump's accomplishments.

On the one hand, the president himself is his usual bombastic and factually inaccurate self about what he's done in office. In a series of tweets over the weekend, Trump claimed "perhaps no Administration has done more in its first 9 months than this ...Read more

In GOP retirements, some see an omen

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WASHINGTON -- The departure of key Ways and Means Republicans could be a sign of diminished optimism for major legislative achievements, but some GOP observers say it may actually signal confidence about getting a landmark tax bill signed into law.

Six Republicans on the powerful committee with broad sway over taxes, health care and trade are ...Read more

Weekend toll in Chicago: 31 people shot, 2 fatally

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CHICAGO -- Patrons of a late-night restaurant in Chicago's Greektown witnessed some of the first bursts of the weekend violence as eight men and women punched each other, wrestled on the floor and threw chairs across the room.

One person knocked to the ground began firing shots, wounding two people as well as striking himself in the leg early ...Read more

'He couldn't remember my husband's name,' Sgt. Johnson's widow says of President Trump

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U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson's account of President Donald Trump's condolence call to Myeshia Johnson, the widow of U.S. Army Sgt. La David Johnson and mother of his three children, was completely accurate, Johnson told ABC News "Good Morning America" Monday morning.

But that's not what hurt her the most.

"He couldn't remember my husband's name,...Read more

Albert R. Hunt: Trump re-election speculation is irrelevant

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Few stories are more irresistible than those that take on the conventional wisdom and come from an unexpected source. Doug Sosnik, a smart operative in Bill Clinton's White House, provided both with a Washington Post column this month suggesting that Donald Trump is well-positioned for re-election.

The Trump base is solid, the Democratic ...Read more

Some of Amazon's suitors have been burned before

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WASHINGTON -- Given its history, perhaps New York should be wary.

A decade ago, New York state granted aluminum producer Alcoa a 30-year discounted electricity deal worth an estimated $5.6 billion. In exchange, the company promised to retain 900 existing jobs in Massena, near the Canadian border, for three decades. By 2014, the jobs were down ...Read more

Kevin de Leon has millions in Calif. political accounts that he can't use for US Senate campaign

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- When California Senate leader Kevin de Leon launched a run for the U.S. Senate last week, he had $3.8 million in campaign cash and a big problem: The money was raised for state contests and can't just be rolled into his effort to replace Sen. Dianne Feinstein in 2018.

Federal law prohibits transferring funds raised for ...Read more

Trump wants tax bill on his desk by Thanksgiving

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WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump raised expectations of the Republicans' timetable for completing changes to the U.S. tax code, indicating that he expects legislation approved and on his desk by Thanksgiving.

"I want to get it by the end of the year but I'd be very disappointed if it took that long," he said Sunday on Fox. He said lawmakers...Read more

Catalonia stands firm on independence from Spain

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BARCELONA, Spain--The regional government of Catalonia refused again Sunday to back off from its demand for independence from Spain, while Madrid harshly chided secessionist leaders and branded as illegal any move to try to break away from Spain.

The independence furor in Spain's most affluent region has sent shock waves across Europe, with ...Read more

Abe in position to lead Japan through 2021 after big election victory

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TOKYO –– Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's gamble on an early election may have won him a chance to lead Japan through 2021.

Abe's ruling coalition retained its two-thirds majority in the 465-member lower house in elections Sunday. That boosts his chances at winning another term next year as head of his Liberal Democratic Party, which ...Read more

Spain's foreign minister says Catalonia's leaders will not be arrested

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Spain's foreign minister has promised that no arrests will be made when the Catalan government is dismissed as soon as this week.

Alfonso Dastis said Sunday on BBC that there were no plans to arrest anyone when Spain ousts Catalan President Carles Puigdemont and his government.

The ouster is part of planned measures up for a Spanish Senate ...Read more