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Roughly 4,000 volunteer to test coronavirus vaccine in German study

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TUEBINGEN, Germany -- Roughly 4,000 volunteers have registered as subjects for a coronavirus vaccination study at the University Hospital in Tuebingen.

"It's a real luxury situation, unlike usual clinical trials," study director Peter Kremsner told dpa on Friday. "Normally we have trouble coming up with enough test subjects."

A clinical study ...Read more

California couple to admit they paid $250,000 to get daughter into USC

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Two more parents swept up in the college admissions scandal are changing their pleas to guilty as trials loom in the biggest such prosecution the U.S. has undertaken.

Diane Blake and her husband, Todd Blake, have agreed to admit they conspired to pay $250,000 to get their daughter into the University of Southern California as a purported ...Read more

Maryland AG accuses governor of 'bowing' to Trump's 'reckless demands' with in-person election order

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BALTIMORE -- Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh said Friday that Gov. Larry Hogan's plan to hold a traditional election in November without automatically mailing ballots to all voters will have "devastating consequences."

Frosh, a Democrat, issued a statement saying the state remains in the middle of a pandemic that is "burning out of ...Read more

Coronavirus rages in Orange County, but don't tell that to Disney fans

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ANAHEIM, Calif. -- For nearly 65 years, Disneyland was a place where millions came for a joyful reprieve from the outside world.

Then the coronavirus hit, and Fantasyland became impossible. Walt Disney Co. shut down its two theme parks and three hotels in Anaheim on March 13, furloughing tens of thousands of workers and vowing not to reopen ...Read more

Trump vows to sign executive order to change immigration laws

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WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump said Friday he would seek sweeping changes to U.S. immigration policy through an executive order, suggesting he might create a "road to citizenship" for certain migrants brought to the country illegally as children and shift the criteria for new arrivals to a "merit-based" system.

The new effort will be ...Read more

Trump commutes prison sentence for Roger Stone

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WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump has commuted the prison sentence of Roger Stone, a longtime confidant and Republican operative who was found guilty last year of seven felony counts, including witness tampering and lying to Congress during the Russia investigation.

Stone was to report to prison on Tuesday to start serving 40 months behind ...Read more

Nation and world news briefs

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Heavy rains cause flooding at Jersey Shore and in Philly as Tropical Storm Fay deluges the region

PHILADELPHIA -- Tropical Storm Fay has wrung out heavy rains turning streets in Shore towns into a version of Venice by the sea, triggering flood warnings on the mainland, setting a rainfall record Philadelphia, and inundated parts of South Jersey ...Read more

Hearing on Trump taxes set for July 16 after Supreme Court ruling

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WASHINGTON -- A federal judge in New York City ordered a hearing for Thursday on a New York prosecutor's attempt to obtain President Donald Trump's financial records, including tax returns.

The hearing will allow Trump's defense to lay out its initial arguments opposing a subpoena from the Manhattan district attorney, after the Supreme Court ...Read more

Tensions rise over Detroit police killing of man they say fired first at officers

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DETROIT -- Detroit police fatally shot a man Friday afternoon while investigating a deadly Fourth of July block party -- an incident that quickly escalated and sparked tensions between law enforcement and police brutality protesters.

Police Chief James Craig says the victim was an alleged gang member who pulled a semi-automatic weapon out of ...Read more

USC to remove John Wayne exhibit after student protests over racist comments the actor made decades ago

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LOS ANGELES -- The University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts will remove an exhibit dedicated to John Wayne after students called for its removal last year because of racist comments the late actor made in a 1971 Playboy magazine interview, the school announced Friday.

Citing a push to promote "anti-racist cultural values," ...Read more

Amazon says email telling workers to delete TikTok app was sent in error

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Hours after sending an email instructing employees to remove the social media app TikTok from their phones, citing unspecified "security risks," Amazon.com Inc. said Friday the message was sent in error.

The curious sequence of events came days after the White House amped up messaging that casts the popular Chinese-owned service as a potential ...Read more

'Alien-like' creature resembling ET discovered in ancient area of Pacific seafloor

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A marine creature that resembles the alien E.T. has been found growing in a prehistoric area of eastern Pacific seafloor rock.

The "E.T. sponge" has been classified as a new species and genus, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday as it announced the discovery.

The creature was found in "an ...Read more

Pompeo refuses to testify unless Senate holds nominee hearings

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WASHINGTON -- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is refusing to testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee unless it holds hearings on five senior State Department nominees, including the administration's new ambassador to Ukraine, in what Democrats called an extraordinary challenge to congressional norms and the body's oversight role.

...Read more

Minneapolis officers filing for disability at 'unprecedented' levels, attorney says

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Minneapolis police officers rattled by the unprecedented public unrest after the killing of George Floyd have filed for mental and physical disability claims at worrying levels, according to an attorney handling their cases.

Ron Meuser Jr., who held a news conference across the street from City Hall on Friday afternoon, claimed ...Read more

Facebook considers political-ad blackout ahead of US election

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Facebook Inc. is considering imposing a ban on political ads on its social network in the days leading up to the U.S. election in November, according to people familiar with the company's thinking.

The potential ban is still only being discussed and hasn't yet been finalized, said the people, who asked not to be named talking ...Read more

Self-help guide to Congress: Reports detail ways the institution could better itself

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WASHINGTON -- Proposals for how Congress could overhaul the lobbying disclosure system, provide lawmakers with continuing education opportunities and make legislative action more transparent are just a few of the big ideas in eight reports made public by the House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress on Friday.

In early March, the ...Read more

CDC data reveal another racial disparity for COVID-19 victims — age at death

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Here's another way COVID-19 isn't playing fair when it comes to race: It claims the lives of Black and Latino Americans earlier than whites.

Among a group of more than 10,000 people who died of COVID-19 in the U.S. in the early months of the outbreak, the typical white victim was 10 years older than the typical Latino victim. He was also nine ...Read more

With record 10,000 in Texas hospitals, Gov. Abbott warns: 'Things will get worse'

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AUSTIN, Texas -- With a record 10,002 coronavirus patients in Texas hospitals Friday, Gov. Greg Abbott again warned that he expects hospitalizations and deaths to continue to rise.

In a series of television interviews Friday, Abbott urged Texans to follow his statewide mask order and said more restrictions will be needed if it's ignored.

"We ...Read more

Heavy rains cause flooding at Jersey Shore and in Philly as Tropical Storm Fay deluges the region

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PHILADELPHIA -- Tropical Storm Fay has wrung out heavy rains turning streets in Shore towns into a version of Venice by the sea, triggering flood warnings on the mainland, setting a rainfall record Philadelphia, and inundated parts of South Jersey with over 5 inches of rain.

Fay made landfall just north of Atlantic City shortly before 5 p.m., ...Read more

Man points gun at SC Black Lives Matter demonstration, protesters say

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COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Protesters demonstrating against Confederate monument supporters at the S.C. State House say a driver passing by pointed a gun at them Friday morning.

The incident occurred as different groups gathered at the State House on the five-year anniversary of the Confederate flag's removal from the State House grounds.

Protesters ...Read more