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Indonesia oligarchs are trying to yank power from the president

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JAKARTA, Indonesia -- Indonesia's elites are edging closer to securing constitutional changes to strip President Joko Widodo of key powers in a move that could eventually end direct elections, presenting the most crucial test for democracy in Southeast Asia's biggest economy since the downfall of the dictator Suharto in 1998.

The push to amend ...Read more

What will the next heavy winds bring? Assessing California's massive power shutdown

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Less than a week after utilities shut off power to hundreds of thousands of customers up and down California, experts and regulators are beginning to assess what went wrong and what the future portends.

Pacific Gas & Electric cut power to more than 700,000 customers in 34 counties on Oct. 9 because of high winds. Some ...Read more

Rep. Nita Lowey's retirement sparks scramble for coveted gavel

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WASHINGTON -- House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey's decision to retire at the end of the 116th Congress will set off a lengthy and contentious campaign among her colleagues to determine who will become the top Democrat on the spending panel.

Unlike the Senate, which predominantly relies on seniority to determine who serves as a ...Read more

A Chicago cop acquitted of fatally shooting in a controversial ruling now wants criminal charges erased from his record

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CHICAGO -- Long before the release of the video of the Laquan McDonald fatal shooting ignited seismic change, the killing of Rekia Boyd at the hands of an off-duty Chicago police detective became a rallying cry against police use of excessive force.

In a rare criminal indictment against a Chicago cop, Dante Servin was charged with involuntary ...Read more

Kamala Harris' offices fought payments to wrongfully convicted

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Jose Diaz was exonerated after serving almost nine years in a California prison for two sexual assaults he didn't commit. But the office of then-Attorney General Kamala Harris wasn't ready to let him off the hook.

Diaz was convicted in 1984 of rape and attempted rape. He was paroled in 1993, became a registered sex offender, ...Read more

What we know about Atatiana Jefferson, the woman killed by Fort Worth cop in her home

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FORT WORTH, Texas -- A video of a young woman holding up a plastic skeleton and using it to point out various parts of human anatomy has been viewed nearly 900,000 times.

The video seems to capture the spirit of the woman who posted it. Atatiana Jefferson was smart, hard-working and funny, her family said. In the video, after showcasing various...Read more

Hong Kong under 'de facto curfew' as subway stations shut early

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HONG KONG -- Hong Kong's subway system has closed early for more than a week, effectively cutting off the main mode of transportation for millions of residents. Many are now wondering how long it will last.

Following unprecedented vandalism on the night of Oct. 4, when Chief Executive Carrie Lam banned face masks after invoking emergency powers...Read more

CBP holds migrants longer than it is supposed to, lawyer claims

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SAN DIEGO -- Lawyers are accusing Customs and Border Protection in San Diego of breaking their own policies and potentially the law by holding migrant children in custody longer than the agency is allowed to.

Under the Flores Settlement Agreement, the federal government generally cannot detain migrant children and their parents together for ...Read more

Europe's embargo threat over Syria attack rings hollow in Turkey

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ANKARA, Turkey -- Following days of condemnation over Turkey's military offensive into Syria, all the European Union could decide on was to ask member states to think twice before signing new arms deals with Ankara.

Foreign ministers from the EU's 28 nations agreed Monday to restrict defense industry exports to Turkey to send President Recep ...Read more

Nation and world news briefs

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Jayme Closs, who freed herself from captor, feels 'stronger every day'

BARRON, Wis. -- Jayme Closs, the teenage girl who freed herself from her captor after she was abducted by a stranger in her home who murdered her parents one year ago, said in a statement released Monday that she is feeling "stronger every day."

Closs, now 14, said in the ...Read more

Saddleridge fire started under high-voltage transmission tower; cause remains undetermined

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LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles arson investigators confirmed Monday that, although the cause of the Saddleridge fire remains undetermined, the blaze started Thursday beneath a high-voltage transmission tower.

The Saddleridge fire broke out in Sylmar on Thursday night and was fueled by Santa Ana winds, burning almost 8,000 acres, destroying 17 ...Read more

Emotions run high as former Ga. cop is acquitted of murder in naked vet's shooting

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ATLANTA -- Jurors in the Robert "Chip" Olsen murder trial reached split verdicts for the former DeKalb County police officer.

They found him not guilty on two felony murder counts, sparing him a sentence of life in prison. But jurors reached guilty verdicts on four lesser charges: two counts of violation of oath of office, aggravated assault ...Read more

Chileans with short-term visas taking 'burglary tourism' jaunts in Florida, police say

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MIAMI -- Most tourists come to South Florida to lie in the sun, visit glitzy nightclubs and eat at fine restaurants. But law enforcement investigators suspect a group of Chileans have been visiting for more nefarious reasons -- like to steal safes loaded with expensive jewelry.

Commonly referred to as "burglary tourism," local and federal ...Read more

California finds widespread water contamination of 'forever chemicals'

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WASHINGTON -- Nearly 300 drinking water wells and other water sources in California have traces of toxic chemicals linked to cancer, new state testing has found.

Testing conducted this year of more than 600 wells across the state revealed pockets of contamination, where chemicals widely used for decades in manufacturing and household goods have...Read more

Miami-Dade police aide accused of racist comment about black sergeant

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MIAMI -- A Miami-Dade police public service aide is under internal investigation after an allegation surfaced that he said a black sergeant "looks like a monkey."

Pablo Espinoza, a longtime public service aide, has now been reassigned to "administration duties" as the department conducts an investigation into the alleged conduct, according to a...Read more

Gov. Newsom urges PG&E to give customers rebates after power outages

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday urged Pacific Gas & Electric to provide $100 rebates to residential customers affected by last week's unprecedented power shut-offs, asserting that the company's communications failures "put lives at risk."

"PG&E has an obligation to the customers affected by the company's inadequate preparation...Read more

Under fire for his abrupt Syria withdrawal, Trump imposes sanctions, higher tariffs on Turkey

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WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump, facing blowback over his abrupt troop withdrawal from Syria and amid reports that Islamic State detainees have escaped in the ensuing chaos, imposed sanctions Monday on three Turkish officials and two government agencies, and called for an immediate cease-fire.

Just hours after Trump issued a statement that...Read more

Still grieving Parkland parents warn lawmakers not to return former sheriff to his post

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MIAMI -- A group of parents who lost children in the state's worst school shooting issued a message to state lawmakers on Monday: They don't want ousted Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel to get his job back.

Standing in the midafternoon heat in front of the Parkland Public Safety building, about a half-dozen parents expressed outrage over the...Read more

On eve of Haiti departure, UN names new head of political mission

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United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has tapped a familiar face to head the global body's new political mission for Haiti just as its peacekeeping presence comes to an end Tuesday.

Former State Department diplomat Helen Meagher La Lime, who currently serves as U.N. special representative in Haiti, will now head the U.N. Integrated ...Read more

EU needs more time over Boris Johnson's Brexit deal

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LONDON -- The European Union Presidency said it's unlikely to strike a deal with the U.K. this week, dimming British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's hopes of avoiding another delay to Brexit.

Antti Rinne, premier of Finland -- which currently has the rotating presidency of the EU -- said the two sides need more time to reach an agreement before ...Read more