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Jonathan Bernstein: A Mueller firing would be a different story

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When the media reports on climate change, it's usually built upon the scientific community's consensus on the issue. Partisans and pundits might reject that consensus, but the media tends to put the evidence first and the politics second. That is precisely how the press should cover what could be the nation's next gigantic story.

President ...Read more

What to watch when Kim Jong Un crosses the border to South Korea

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HONG KONG -- When Kim Jong Un crosses the border dividing the two Koreas to shake hands with southern counterpart Moon Jae-in on Friday, his footsteps will be laden with symbolism.

Kim's decision to meet on Moon's side of the military demarcation line -- making him the first North Korean leader to set foot in South Korea -- reflects new ...Read more

Discovery of a body that could be late king fuels nostalgia for monarchy in Iran

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TEHRAN, Iran -- The latest threat to Iran's theocracy -- already struggling to contain public anger over unemployment, economic mismanagement, bank failures, social restrictions and environmental damage -- seems to have risen from the dead.

Construction workers renovating a Shiite Muslim shrine near the former tomb of Reza Shah Pahlavi in ...Read more

Got a grudge? Police just shut down biggest hackers-for-hire platform

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WASHINGTON -- The worldwide -- and illegal -- cyberattack-for-hire business flourishes. Got a grievance against a retailer? A former spouse bugging you? Plenty of online thugs will take astonishingly small sums of money and launch a cyberattack on your behalf.

The hackers-for-hire flood a website with malicious traffic and knock it off line.

...Read more

Hatch opposes bill to protect Mueller but cites impeachment risk

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WASHINGTON -- Sen. Orrin Hatch warned that President Donald Trump could be impeached if he fires Robert Mueller but said he would oppose a bill aimed at protecting the special counsel because he believes it would violate the Constitution.

The opposition from Hatch, R-Utah, deals another blow to bipartisan efforts to pass legislation requiring ...Read more

Wounded governor lobbies lawmakers as investigation, impeachment loom

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens made a rare appearance on the fourth floor of the Missouri Capitol on Wednesday, bodyguards in tow, as he met with some of the Republican lawmakers who hold his fate in their hands.

Reporters waited outside a fourth floor office and followed Greitens, a Republican, down a stairwell as he headed...Read more

Navy hires company that rebuilt the World Trade Center to expand the Gitmo war court complex

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The Pentagon has awarded a nearly $19 million contract to expand Guantanamo's war court complex with Top Secret office space for lawyers defending the accused plotters of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks. The builder? A subsidiary of the construction giant that helped rebuild the World Trade Center.

The award to URS Group Inc. of Morrisville, ...Read more

Sessions won't say if he's talked with Trump about Michael Cohen

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WASHINGTON -- Attorney General Jeff Sessions refused to tell Congress on Wednesday if he had stepped aside from supervising the federal investigation into President Donald Trump's personal lawyer in New York, or say if he has discussed the sensitive probe with the president or his aides.

Sessions, testifying before a Senate Appropriations ...Read more

OPCW inspects second Douma site for alleged chemical attack evidence

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BEIRUT -- Experts have visited a second site in the Syrian town of Douma, the scene of an alleged chemical attack, and collected samples for analysis, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said.

"These samples will be brought back, together with other samples, to the OPCW laboratory in Rijswik (in the Netherlands). ...Read more

Missouri an was drunk, mad at friend when he toppled headstones at Jewish cemetery, police say

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CLAYTON, Mo. -- A Florissant man was drunk, on drugs and mad at a friend when he toppled more than 100 headstones at a Jewish cemetery in University City more than a year ago, according to authorities.

Alzado Harris, 34, confessed to toppling the headstones at the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in February 2017, causing more than $30,000 in damage,...Read more

Nation and world news briefs

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Cambridge Analytica's promotion of discontent tied to Bannon

WASHINGTON -- Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie told House Democrats that Steve Bannon, President Donald Trump's former adviser, was behind much of the company's early focus on promoting public discontent to influence U.S. elections.

"Cambridge Analytica was set up ...Read more

Memorial addressing the lynchings of blacks set to open in Alabama

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Bryan Stevenson wants people to examine an era of American history that goes ignored -- a chapter often left untold. It was a time, he says, of domestic terrorism.

Between 1877 and 1950, more than 4,400 black people died by lynching, according to statistics compiled by the Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit organization that provides legal ...Read more

Cambridge Analytica's promotion of discontent tied to Bannon

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WASHINGTON -- Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie told House Democrats that Steve Bannon, President Donald Trump's former adviser, was behind much of the company's early focus on promoting public discontent to influence U.S. elections.

"Cambridge Analytica was set up to be essentially a full-service propaganda machine," Wylie ...Read more

Serial killer suspect captured in California after DNA match, authorities say

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- After four decades of dead ends, Sacramento law enforcement leaders announced Wednesday they arrested the man they believe was the East Area Rapist who killed and terrorized people in the 1970s and 1980s.

Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert and Sheriff Scott Jones said they relied on DNA evidence to ...Read more

Once a fugitive, Gustavo Falcon gets 11 years for his past as 'Cocaine Cowboy'

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MIAMI -- After 26 years on the lam and another year in jail, infamous drug smuggler Gustavo Falcon wrote the federal judge who would decide his fate a letter confessing shame and regret.

The five-page handwritten note to U.S. District Judge Federico Moreno was revealed in federal court Wednesday as Falcon, 56, faced sentencing in one of the ...Read more

Judge dismisses one Schlitterbahn criminal charge after mistake by prosecution

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A Wyandotte County judge Wednesday dismissed the criminal case against one of the five defendants facing charges in the 2016 death of a boy on the Verruckt water slide.

Judge Robert Burns dropped charges against Schlitterbahn Waterpark of Kansas City, Kan., which was named as a defendant in a March grand jury indictment that...Read more

For families of Golden State Killer victims, a day 'so long overdue'

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LOS ANGELES -- Families of the Golden State Killer's victims have waited decades for answers, and on Wednesday they could see the face of a man police suspect in a years-long series of crimes.

Authorities arrested a 72-year-old Citrus Heights resident and former police officer, Joseph James DeAngelo Jr., in connection with the crimes in the ...Read more

Officials: Mold-covered bodies found at Detroit funeral home

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DETROIT -- Two bodies appeared to be covered in mold and the facial area of a third body was covered in unknown fluids at the Cantrell Funeral Home in Detroit on Wednesday, when state regulators inspected the establishment and ordered its closure.

The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs said that, in response to a complaint ...Read more

Soldiers took them in the night. Now the army's role in Mexico's bloody drug war is on trial

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MEXICO CITY -- The soldiers took them in the night.

First they came for Nitza Alvarado Espinoza and Jose Alvarado Herrera. The 31-year-old cousins were sitting in a van outside a family member's house when troops forced them into a military truck.

Minutes later, soldiers arrived at the house of another Alvarado cousin, 18-year-old Rocio ...Read more

Mick Mulvaney gives lobbying advice to bankers, further infuriating consumer advocates

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WASHINGTON -- The nation's acting consumer financial watchdog delivered some good news and lobbying advice this week to the bankers he regulates: He would like to cut off public access to a database of consumer complaints and suggested the industry donate to lawmakers to persuade them to weaken his agency's authority.

The comments by Mick ...Read more