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White House pushes back on report that aides warned Trump not to insult Kim

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WASHINGTON -- A recent report by the Los Angeles Times that aides had warned President Donald Trump not to personally attack North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was a "false narrative," the president's spokeswoman said Monday.

But Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, did not deny the facts of the story. The Times reported Friday...Read more

Iraqi Kurds vote on creating an independent Kurdistan — but obstacles stand in the way

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BEIRUT -- Sometimes, in the fractious world of Iraqi politics, no means yes.

That was the central message from Kurdish leaders Monday morning when Iraq's Kurds cast their ballots in a controversial independence referendum, despite repeated entreaties and threats from regional and world powers to stop the vote.

The referendum was to decide ...Read more

GOP bill offers Dreamers citizenship after 'extreme vetting'

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WASHINGTON -- Sen. Thom Tillis introduced his "conservative Dream Act" on Monday to provide a pathway to citizenship for as many as 2.5 million young undocumented immigrants.

Tillis, a North Carolina Republican, and co-sponsors James Lankford, R-Okla., and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, pitched their plan -- the Succeed Act -- as "merit-based" relief ...Read more

Deal reached for new city in northern LA County's Santa Clarita Valley

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LOS ANGELES -- One of Southern California longest-running and ugliest development battles ended in a historic truce Monday when environmental groups agreed to a deal that will allow a new city of 58,000 residents to rise in the Santa Clarita Valley.

The pact clears perhaps the largest remaining hurdle for the Newhall Ranch project, which was ...Read more

Everyone says we must control exorbitant drug prices. So, why don't we?

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Of all the promises President Donald Trump made for the early part of his term, controlling stinging drug prices might have seemed the easiest to achieve.

An angry public overwhelmingly wants change in an easily vilified industry. Big pharma's recent publicity nightmare included thousand-percent price increases and a smirking CEO who said, "I ...Read more

Growth of private tree regulation spurs fear of backlash

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AUSTIN, Texas -- Cities have long regulated what can be done to trees in parks, along public streets or on government property, deciding when they can be trimmed, treated for disease or removed.

In recent years an increasing number of cities also have started regulating what happens to trees on private property -- on land owned by either ...Read more

Medicaid has a bull's-eye on its back, which means no one is entirely safe

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When high levels of lead were discovered in the public water system in Flint, Mich., in 2015, Medicaid stepped in to help thousands of children get tested for poisoning and receive care.

When disabled children need to get to doctors' appointments -- either across town or hundreds of miles away -- Medicaid pays for their transportation.

When ...Read more

Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert calls for Sen. John McCain's recall

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WASHINGTON -- Rep. Louie Gohmert believes Arizona Sen. John McCain should be recalled while he battles brain cancer and so that the GOP can replace him with someone who will support the party's latest effort to repeal the 2010 health care law.

"Nothing inhibits recovery from cancer like stress," the Texas Republican told "Fox & Friends" Monday....Read more

Supreme Court puts off a decision on Trump's travel ban

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WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court has postponed a decision on the legality of President Donald Trump's travel ban, announcing Monday it will not hear arguments on the issue Oct. 10 as planned.

The justices were set to hear an appeal from Trump's lawyers who had urged the high court to reject a series of rulings from district judges in Hawaii and ...Read more

'Still a Muslim ban' — opponents vow to keep up fight against new travel curbs

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Advocates for immigrants Monday condemned the latest incarnation of President Donald Trump's travel ban, calling it an abuse of presidential authority and potentially unconstitutional, as they vowed to continue fighting the president's travel restrictions.

The new measure, which takes effect Oct. 18 and will apply indefinitely, bans entry by ...Read more

Barbara Blaine, founder of priest-abuse victims group SNAP, dies at 61

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CHICAGO -- Barbara Blaine -- the founder of SNAP, a prominent activist group in the Roman Catholic Church's clergy-abuse crisis -- died Sunday in Utah at 61.

The cause of death was a condition resulting from a sudden tear in a blood vessel in her heart, her family said in a statement Monday.

"Her relentless advocacy enabled millions to ...Read more

Sentenced to 21 months in sexting case, Anthony Weiner says: 'I have a disease'

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NEW YORK -- Former Rep. Anthony Weiner was sentenced Monday to 21 months in prison for sexting with a 15-year-old girl in a case that rocked Hillary Clinton's campaign for the White House in the closing days of the race and may have cost her the presidency.

Weiner, 53, dropped his head into his hand and wept as the sentence was announced by U.S...Read more

Cass R. Sunstein: Trump fine with punishing dissenters, if he disagrees with them

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In calling on NFL owners and fans to punish athletes who engage in political protests, President Donald Trump has become a Super Bowl champion of something he purports to oppose: political correctness.

Apparently he's fine with punishing dissenters, so long as he abhors what the dissenters are saying.

In recent years, many Republicans and ...Read more

Noah Feldman: Will Trump's new travel ban go the distance?

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Can the addition of North Korea and Venezuela save President Donald Trump's third travel ban from the constitutional flaws of his first two? By rights, the answer should be no -- and the new ban would be unlikely to survive careful judicial scrutiny of its shaky logic.

But in the real world, the U.S. Supreme Court may take the opportunity to de...Read more

Voicemails from nursing home where 11 died were deleted by governor's office

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MIAMI -- Voicemails left on Florida Gov. Rick Scott's cellphone by employees of the Hollywood, Fla., nursing home where 11 died in the post-Hurricane Irma heat have been deleted, according to the governor's office.

Scott gave out his number to nursing homes and assisted living facilities ahead of the hurricane so administrators could report ...Read more

New Democrats' PAC adds 12 challengers to candidate watch list

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WASHINGTON -- The political arm of the moderate New Democrat Coalition is adding 12 House challengers to its list of candidates to watch in 2018.

NewDemPAC's recognition comes with a $1,000 contribution this quarter and guidance about messaging and strategy. The watch list is a way for the group to get involved in races earlier than it ...Read more

Meet the 10 members of House Republicans' DACA task force

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WASHINGTON -- House Republicans want to ensure any legislation replacing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, would have the support of the majority of their conference before it goes to the floor.

That's why Speaker Paul D. Ryan formed a task force featuring a cross section of Republicans who serve on committees with ...Read more

CHIP, FAA face deadlines this week

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WASHINGTON -- Congress is spared the usual end-of-the-fiscal-year drama this month, with normal fights over government spending punted until December, but lawmakers still face several deadlines before the Sept. 30 cutoff for fiscal 2017.

With the Republicans' last-gasp effort to undo the 2010 health care law fizzling, Congress may now try to ...Read more

Abe's future hinges on margin of victory in snap Japan election

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TOKYO -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is betting that he can crush a weak opposition in next month's election. The margin of victory may determine whether his ruling party replaces him in 2018.

Abe announced on Monday that he would dissolve parliament later this week, more than a year before its term expires. He framed the election as a ...Read more

German populists face risk of split as co-leader shuns caucus

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BERLIN -- Alternative for Germany, the populist party that won its first seats in the nation's parliament on Sunday, faced an immediate rift when one of best-known leaders said she won't join the caucus.

A day after its biggest electoral triumph, the anti-immigration party, known as AfD, signaled its potential for unpredictability over the next...Read more