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Voters challenge Ohio congressional map as partisan gerrymander

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WASHINGTON -- Civil rights groups and Ohio voters filed a lawsuit Wednesday challenging the state's congressional districts as unconstitutional, as the Supreme Court readies decisions in similar cases about whether maps can be rejected if they entrench an advantage for one party.

The lawsuit, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union in U.S. ...Read more

After nipple controversy, Florida school district wants dress-code change

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BRADENTON, Fla. -- The School District of Manatee County will recommend a slight revision to its dress code after a high school student went to class without a bra and was then told to cover her nipples on April 2, according to a letter sent to the American Civil Liberties Union on Wednesday.

In a letter dated April 30, members of the ACLU ...Read more

Iran's Khamenei says US will lose like cat in Tom and Jerry

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei expressed defiance of the U.S. with a side order of American pop culture, invoking the cat-and-mouse adventures of Tom and Jerry.

"The U.S. has tried various political, economic, military and propaganda undertakings to hit the Islamic Republic" throughout its four ...Read more

Capitol Police officer indicted on rape, child abuse, assault charges

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WASHINGTON -- A United States Capitol Police officer has been indicted on 11 charges including rape, child abuse and assault.

The officer, William Wright, 46, his 67-year-old father, Joshua Wright, and his 40-year-old brother-in-law, Donald Jackson, sexually abused four females between the ages of 15 and 18 from 2001 to 2008 who were involved ...Read more

Pentagon bars China from joining naval exercise in the Pacific

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WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon on Wednesday withdrew an invitation to China to participate in a major Pacific naval exercise, citing Beijing's "continued militarization" of the South China Sea, adding another irritant to relations between the two nations as they jostle over trade and North Korea.

The Trump administration move comes days after China...Read more

3 people found dead in South LA home

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LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles police were searching for a person of interest Wednesday morning after the bodies of three people were found in a home in the Leimert Park neighborhood the night before, authorities said.

Officers with the Los Angeles Police Department's Southwest Division found the bodies of two men and one woman at a home on South ...Read more

Authorities arrest dozens in probe of Mexican Mafia control in LA County jails

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LOS ANGELES -- Federal authorities Wednesday unveiled a sweeping investigation into the Mexican Mafia and the control the criminal organization wields inside Los Angeles County jails, arresting dozens of the groups' members and associates for a litany of crimes.

Hundreds of local police and federal agents carried out coordinated morning raids, ...Read more

Kushner finally gets full White House security clearance after downgrade

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WASHINGTON -- Jared Kushner has received his full security clearance after more than a year of delay and controversy, removing a hurdle to his continued service as a key adviser to President Donald Trump, his father-in-law.

Kushner lost his access to top-secret intelligence in February, an embarrassing setback for a senior White House official ...Read more

More Sandy Hook families, FBI agent file lawsuit against Infowars' Alex Jones

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HARTFORD, Conn. -- An active FBI agent who responded to the Sandy Hook Elementary School during the December 2012 school shooting is joining a group of families of children killed inside the school in suing controversial talk show host Alex Jones for claiming the shooting was a hoax.

The defamation lawsuit filed in Connecticut Wednesday mirrors...Read more

Pompeo affirms, reluctantly, that Russia tried to help Trump win

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WASHINGTON -- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo acknowledged -- after prodding by lawmakers -- that he backs the finding by U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia meddled in the U.S. presidential campaign to hurt Hillary Clinton and ultimately help Donald Trump.

Pompeo, who previously was Trump's CIA director, was pressed by Democrats on whether ...Read more

Democrats seek legislation to force more transparency from Trump administration

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WASHINGTON -- In an effort to prevent or expose conflicts of interest in the executive branch, House and Senate Democrats are pushing legislation that would force senior members of the Trump administration to reveal more about their business interests.

The legislation, introduced this week, would empower the Office of Government Ethics to ...Read more

Injury US consulate worker in China suffered similar to Cuba case, Pompeo says

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BEIJING -- A U.S. government employee stationed in China has suffered health problems "very similar" to those that afflicted several American and Canadian envoys in Cuba and led to a still-ongoing diplomatic row, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday.

A health alert sent to U.S. citizens from the consulate in Guangzhou in southern China...Read more

Thousands of Las Vegas culinary workers vote to authorize a strike

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LAS VEGAS -- A labor union representing thousands of culinary workers in Las Vegas has voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike next month if casinos don't agree to a proposed five-year contract.

The vote among the 25,000-member Culinary Union was 99 percent in favor of allowing a strike the day after the current contract expires on May 31, ...Read more

Drugmakers blamed for blocking generics have milked prices and cost US billions

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Makers of brand-name drugs called out by the Trump administration for potentially stalling generic competition have hiked their prices by double-digit percentages since 2012 and cost Medicare and Medicaid nearly $12 billion in 2016, a Kaiser Health News analysis has found.

As part of President Donald Trump's promise to curb high drug prices, ...Read more

Can simulating evolution on a computer explain our enormous brains?

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Compared to the rest of the animal kingdom, the human brain is way out of whack.

Our brains are roughly six times larger than what you would expect for a placental mammal of our stature, scientists say.

And no other animal has a brain as large as ours relative to body size.

So why did humans evolve to have such large brains when other animals...Read more

Senate leaders reach bipartisan deal for handling sexual harassment claims on Capitol Hill

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WASHINGTON -- After months of delay, senators said Wednesday they have reached a deal on legislation to reform how sexual harassment claims against lawmakers and staff are handled on Capitol Hill.

The legislation requires members of Congress to personally repay taxpayers for settling harassment claims filed against them, even if they resign.

...Read more

High school apologizes after 'No one ugly allowed' headline appears over photo of cheerleading team

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An Illinois high school principal has apologized for a yearbook headline that has been called "disgusting" by some in a heated social media debate.

The headline, "No one ugly allowed," is printed in bright letters on a yearbook page devoted to an Oswego High School cheerleading team, a picture of the page provided by Community Unit School ...Read more

Airport shooter wasn't 'really thinking about it' when he killed 5, he says in pleading guilty

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Esteban Santiago gave his first public statement Wednesday about why he killed five people and injured six others in the January 2017 mass shooting at Fort Lauderdale's main airport.

"Umm, I don't know. I wasn't really thinking about it at the moment. A lot of things were going on in my mind. Messages," Santiago said.

...Read more

Feds are investigating cracks in collapsed Miami bridge

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MIAMI -- Federal transportation safety investigators are looking into cracks that appeared in a critical structural support piece in the Florida International University pedestrian bridge days before it collapsed, according to a preliminary report issued Wednesday.

The four-page report from the National Transportation Safety Board confirms that...Read more

New 'unified theory' of childhood leukemia raises possibility of preventing the disease

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Kids who develop acute lymphoblastic leukemia may be the victims of a triple-whammy stroke of bad luck, according to a provocative new theory from a respected British cancer researcher.

If the explanation turns out to be correct, it would be good news for the most common type of childhood cancer: Doctors could prevent cases of acute ...Read more