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African American Caucus leaders want to know why U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters was cut off during state convention speech

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The head of the California Democratic Party African American Caucus said Monday he was working with state party officials to determine who was responsible for cutting off the sound to U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters' microphone as she spoke to the group at the party's convention on Saturday.

"This is a very unusual situation, and ...Read more

Supreme Court finds the GOP packed black voters into two North Carolina districts to help win more House seats

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WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court struck down two congressional districts in North Carolina on Monday because they had been gerrymandered along racial lines, with Justice Clarence Thomas joining the court's liberals to form the majority.

The justices said North Carolina's Republicans had packed additional black voters into the two already heavily...Read more

Gorsuch dissents as Supreme Court upholds ban on big-money gifts to parties

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WASHINGTON -- New Justice Neil M. Gorsuch joined Clarence Thomas in dissent Monday when the Supreme Court rejected an appeal from a Republican Party lawyer seeking to strike down limits on big-money contributions to political parties.

By a 7-2 vote, the high court upheld limits set in the McCain-Feingold Act of 2002.

The dissent by Gorsuch is ...Read more

Michigan Businesswoman to Challenge Stabenow

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WASHINGTON -- Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow received her first Republican challenger as businesswoman Lena Epstein announced her candidacy for Michigan's Senate race.

Epstein is a third-generation co-owner of Vesco Oil Corp., which distributes automotive and industrial lubricants.

Epstein also served as co-chair of President Donald Trump's ...Read more

EPA sets aside $12 million for employee buyouts in FY 2017

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WASHINGTON -- The EPA is setting aside $12 million of its fiscal 2017 budget allocation for a previously announced plan to offer employee buyouts and incentives for early retirements as part of a Trump administration effort to cut the agency's workforce, according to a memo from its chief financial officer, David A. Bloom.

The $12 million comes...Read more

As Trump steps off Air Force One, Israelis worry about his mindset

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JERUSALEM -- Israelis want to know what Donald Trump is thinking right now.

Trump stepped off Air Force Monday and was immediately welcomed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with an elaborate red carpet ceremony at Ben-Gurion International Airport -- far away from the Russia-related investigations that roil Washington.

But residents of ...Read more

Iran's Rouhani: Trump went to a country where elections are 'not in their dictionary'

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TEHRAN, Iran -- Fresh off a resounding re-election victory, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani criticized President Donald Trump on Monday for visiting Iran's arch-rival Saudi Arabia, but also insisted that he wanted to improve relations with the U.S.

Rouhani said Trump's meetings in Riyadh over the weekend were "a sham" and drew laughter from ...Read more

How the Koch network could sink tax overhaul

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WASHINGTON -- The lobbying and political network of Charles and David Koch, bogeymen to Democrats for years, is poised for a significant policy win -- but it will come at the expense of fellow conservatives on Capitol Hill.

Their victory also could derail a policy goal they share with those same Republican lawmakers: a permanent comprehensive ...Read more

Chaffetz resignation sparks conflict, compressed campaigns in Utah

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WASHINGTON -- In any other year, Rep. Jason Chaffetz's decision to resign would have sparked a crowded Republican primary. But as one Utah GOP operative put it, this year is not like any other year.

Consultant Chuck Warren sat down with a state lawmaker Friday morning to talk about a possible run for Congress. The lawmaker pointed to a picture ...Read more

Nearly 40 shot in Chicago over weekend, but gun violence still behind last year

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CHICAGO -- Nearly 40 people were shot in Chicago over the weekend, but gun violence is still slightly down from the record level of last year, according to data kept by the Tribune.

Four people were killed and 35 other people were wounded from Friday afternoon trough early Monday, according to police. In a span of just three hours early Sunday,...Read more

Penn State plans 'report card' on frats

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Pennsylvania State University for the first time this fall plans to publish a "report card" on its fraternities and sororities, listing their status -- active or suspended -- and their history of conduct infractions.

Although some area universities already publish on their websites which fraternities and sororities have been in trouble for ...Read more

Trump charms some young Saudis with his deal-making and deference to customs. Others are unimpressed

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RIYADH, Saudi Arabia -- Addressing Arab leaders here Sunday, President Donald Trump highlighted the untapped potential of one of the region's greatest resources, and it wasn't oil -- it was youth.

"Sixty-five percent of its population is under the age of 30," Trump said at a summit convened by the Saudi monarch. "Like all young men and women, ...Read more

Trump arrives in Israel, hoping to rekindle peace process

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JERUSALEM -- President Donald Trump arrived in Israel on Monday in the earliest-ever visit by a U.S. leader in a presidential term.

Trump aims to use his two-day visit to further his quest for what he has called the ultimate deal -- jump-starting peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians.

"We have before us a rare opportunity to bring ...Read more

Why Afghans are uncertain more US troops is solution

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KABUL, Afghanistan -- President Donald Trump is expected to decide this month whether to send more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, where a strengthening Taliban insurgency threatens the 15-year war effort.

Pentagon officials are drawing up plans to add 3,000 to 5,000 personnel to the U.S.-led NATO training mission, arguing that the extra troops ...Read more

Historically black colleges view Trump administration warily, but also with some optimism

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Since taking office, President Donald Trump has pledged "unwavering support" for the critical educational missions of historically black colleges and universities, invited leaders of those institutions to the White House and even dispatched his Education secretary to deliver her first commencement address of graduation season at one of the ...Read more

Trump to propose deep cuts to anti-poverty programs and Medicaid

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WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump plans to propose $1.7 trillion in cuts to a category of spending that includes major social and entitlement programs for lower-income Americans, as part of an effort to balance the budget within a decade.

The White House will issue a formal budget request Tuesday that includes $274 billion in cuts over 10 ...Read more

Israelis worry that Trump's changing stands look more and more like Obama's

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JERUSALEM -- The Israeli love affair with President Donald Trump has soured as promises have gone unfulfilled.

The Israeli public was very excited when Trump took office. They anticipated a fresh start after a fraught relationship with Barack Obama, who many thought was overly sympathetic to the Palestinians.

But reality has set in as all ...Read more

Trump's call to isolate Iran sours post-election hope for opening to West

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TEHRAN, Iran –– On Saturday night, Iranians poured into the streets by the hundreds of thousands to celebrate the re-election of President Hassan Rouhani, whose message of opening up to the West helped him to trounce a hard-line challenger.

On Sunday, U.S. President Donald Trump called on the world to isolate Iran.

Nothing could better ...Read more

House committee chairman says he'll talk to fired FBI Director Comey Monday

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WASHINGTON –– The chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee said he'll talk to former FBI Director James Comey on Monday and is pursuing any records of President Donald Trump's meetings with Comey, who was fired by the president.

The conversation between Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and Comey would be the first between...Read more

Israeli Cabinet debates peace incentive offer to Palestinians

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TEL AVIV, Israel –– Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Cabinet debated offering Palestinians economic incentives for reviving peace talks as they waited for U.S. President Donald Trump to arrive and reveal his plans for addressing the Middle East conflict.

Netanyahu opened the meeting Sunday with the message that Israel would ...Read more

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