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Overflights turn Galapagos into airstrip for US military

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QUITO, Ecuador -- Ecuador's defense minister on Monday defended his country's decision to allow U.S. anti-drug overflights to land in the environmentally sensitive Galapagos Islands, saying the planes will use the landing strips "no more than three days (per month) ... in situations of emergency or refueling."

Critics, however, including former...Read more

Guatemalan election is headed for runoff

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GUATEMALA CITY -- Guatemala's presidential election appeared headed for a runoff between a former first lady and a former prisons chief after none of the 19 candidates won a majority of votes in Sunday's balloting.

With 98% of the ballots counted, the country's electoral tribunal reported Monday that former first lady and businesswoman Sandra ...Read more

Gunman shoots 2, kills self in parking lot of San Diego-area Costco

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CHULA VISTA, Calif. -- A couple loading groceries into a car at a Costco in Chula Vista on Monday afternoon was shot several times by a gunman who then turned the weapon on himself in a deadly domestic violence ambush, police said.

The shooter died at a hospital, and the injured couple -- a man and a woman -- were in surgery after the shooting,...Read more

Underdog Rory Stewart gives Tory big beasts a fright in UK leadership race

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LONDON -- He's admitted smoking opium, pledged to revive the most unpopular plan in the history of Britain's Parliament and acknowledged that he has many weaknesses and a lot to learn.

But Rory Stewart, the rank outsider in the contest to become Britain's next leader, is suddenly winning support and giving his bigger-name rivals a reason to ...Read more

San Diego-area tree thought by some to be inspiration for 'The Lorax' falls in park

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SAN DIEGO -- It's a scene right out of "The Lorax" by Dr. Seuss: All that's left is the trunk.

A century-old Monterey Cypress tree in La Jolla's Ellen Browning Scripps Park -- thought by many locals to be the inspiration for the foliage in Seuss' 1971 story about ecological devastation -- fell down last Thursday. City officials are ...Read more

Rep. Katie Porter is latest Democrat to support impeachment inquiry

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WASHINGTON -- Democratic Rep. Katie Porter on Monday called for an impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, the first freshman House member from California to do so.

"After weeks of study, deliberation, and conversations with Orange County families, I've decided to support an impeachment investigation of the president," Porter said in a ...Read more

Nation and world news briefs

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Gunman shot dead after opening fire on federal courthouse in downtown Dallas

DALLAS -- A man in a mask and combat gear was fatally shot Monday morning in downtown Dallas after he opened fire with an assault weapon outside the Earle Cabell Federal Building. No one else was injured.

FBI Special Agent in Charge Matthew DeSarno identified the ...Read more

After report on child deaths, UNC hospital will suspend some heart surgeries

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RALEIGH, N.C. -- North Carolina Children's Hospital will stop performing complicated heart surgeries while an outside group examines its practices, hospital officials announced Monday.

The decision to temporarily suspend some child heart surgeries at the UNC-run hospital comes after a report by The New York Times about high death rates. The ...Read more

Air Force major drowns in pool aboard Caribbean Princess

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- An Air Force major drowned in a Caribbean Princess cruise ship pool Friday morning, the Broward medical examiner's office said.

Stephen Osakue, 37, worked for the Air Force as a research pharmacist, according to a statement by the medical examiner's office on Monday. Osakue was based at Columbus Air Force Base in ...Read more

Who is willing to defend Harvey Weinstein? A third high-powered lawyer wants off case

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Jose Baez, the lawyer who famously won an acquittal for Casey Anthony, no longer wants to defend Harvey Weinstein against sexual assault allegations in New York City, a representative for the disgraced mogul said Monday.

If Baez were to depart, he would be the third high-powered defense attorney to distance himself from Weinstein this year.

...Read more

Middle school educator dies while rock-climbing in Yosemite

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LOS ANGELES -- A California middle school aide died this month while climbing in Yosemite National Park, authorities said.

Patricia "Trish" Stoops, 57, died June 8 in a rappelling accident at the Central Pillar of Frenzy, one of the popular rock-climbing lines at Yosemite.

"She had taken the lead to get the team down before dark and something,...Read more

Pentagon to send 1,000 more troops to Middle East as tensions rise with Iran

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WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon said Monday it was sending about 1,000 more troops to the Middle East in response to growing tensions with Iran, the latest increase of U.S. forces in the volatile region.

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said the additional forces were being deployed "for defensive purposes to address air, naval and ground-...Read more

Ghost Ship defendant takes stand: 'I was almost awestruck' by warehouse

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OAKLAND, Calif. -- With his long hair pulled back, wearing an orange shirt and checkered pocket square, a polite smile usually on his face, defendant Max Harris took the stand in his own defense Monday.

As his defense attorney Tyler Smith began questioning him, Smith said, "We finally get to hear from you."

Harris, 29, is accused of 36 counts ...Read more

Israel, Palestinian Authority won't attend Bahrain peace meeting

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WASHINGTON -- Israel won't take part in a U.S.-led economic summit in Bahrain this month, an event seen as a first step in the Middle East peace plan being developed by the White House.

The decision against going to Bahrain was made in coordination between Israel and the U.S., according to an Israeli official in the prime minister's office.

...Read more

House Democrats aim to repeal church tax increase in Trump law

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WASHINGTON -- House Democrats are likely to propose a repeal of a controversial provision in the 2017 tax overhaul that imposes a tax on some coveted benefits for employees at nonprofit organizations such as houses of worship, according to one Democratic and one Republican congressional aide.

The change, which is to be included in package of ...Read more

Biden: Eliminate tax loopholes to address poverty, expand health care

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WASHINGTON -- Former Vice President Joe Biden told a clergy-led group focused on fighting poverty Monday that the United States could afford free community college and "total health care" if it rolled back parts of President Donald Trump's signature 2017 tax overhaul.

"We have the greatest income inequality in the ... United States of America ...Read more

Pentagon shares new photos, timeline of Gulf of Oman tanker attacks

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WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon on Monday released new photos and a timeline that it said bolstered U.S. accusations that Iran was behind a pair of attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman last week.

The report provides more details about the attacks that have heightened tensions between the U.S. and Iran, which has denied involvement in the ...Read more

Iran warns Europe it will breach nuclear stockpile cap in 10 days

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TEHRAN, Iran -- Iran warned European nations Monday that it would breach in 10 days the landmark 2015 nuclear agreement unless they take action to alleviate the pressure of tightening U.S. sanctions in the coming weeks.

The spokesman for Iran's atomic energy agency, Behrouz Kamalvandi, said the country would exceed a cap on stockpiles of low-...Read more

Julian Castro calls for surge in federal spending to end homelessness

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Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro called for a sharp rise in federal spending on housing for millions of Americans who are living on the street or struggling to pay rent.

Castro, who was secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development under President Barack Obama, on Monday proposed a federal guarantee of housing for ...Read more

Egypt's former President Mohammed Morsi dies after collapsing in court

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CAIRO -- Mohammed Morsi, who became Egypt's first democratically elected leader in 2012 before being deposed in a military coup the following year, died Monday after he fell unconscious during a court session in Cairo.

One of his sons, Ahmed, confirmed Morsi's death.

"My father, we will meet again with God," he wrote in a Facebook post.

Morsi...Read more


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