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Jared Kushner is privately working on reshaping legal immigration

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WASHINGTON -- As debate in public rages about illegal immigration and a border wall, Jared Kushner has been holding private meetings in the West Wing on ways to overhaul the legal immigration system, according to six people familiar with the conversations and documents obtained by McClatchy.

President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-...Read more

Can Trump take back California's high-speed rail money? A look at the political and legal battle ahead

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LOS ANGELES -- The Trump administration's decision to cancel a $927 million grant to California's troubled high speed rail project and claw back $2.5 billion in funds already spent has thrust the federal government into uncharted legal territory and posed an existential threat to the state's largest investment ever.

Never before, experts say, ...Read more

'No Drama Obama' is in a legal box of his own making, but his planned Jackson Park presidential center remains alive

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CHICAGO -- Those who seek to build grand edifices in Chicago's lakefront parks do so at their own risk.

That's one takeaway from a federal judge's surprising Tuesday decision not to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the location of the Obama Presidential Center in historic Jackson Park. But the setback doesn't doom the promising plans for the ...Read more

'You're my guy': Top Senate Dem urges Jaime Harrison to challenge Lindsey Graham

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WASHINGTON -- Days after announcing his exploratory bid to unseat Republican U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina in 2020, Democrat Jaime Harrison might have already secured the support of key national Democratic leaders.

At a meeting last week in Washington at the headquarters of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Harrison sat...Read more

Putin edges closer to renewed arms race

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MOSCOW -- Russian President Vladimir Putin warned the Trump administration Wednesday against basing intermediate-range missiles in Europe, saying that Moscow would respond by deploying new weapons of its own that could directly target Washington.

Although the threat did not mark a change in Russian doctrine, it raised the ante in what could be ...Read more

Republicans rally around Trump after McCabe's assertions

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WASHINGTON -- Republicans have launched a counteroffensive to discredit former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe's reports that Justice Department officials discussed removing President Donald Trump from office.

The Republican National Committee fired off an email that labeled McCabe a "Liar. Leaker. Loser."

Trump told reporters Wednesday that...Read more

Small, icy and elusive: Scientists discover a new moon at Neptune that Voyager missed

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When Voyager II flew past Neptune in August of 1989 it revealed a complex system of 13 moons, six of which had never been seen before.

Thirty years later, scientists say the space probe missed one.

Using data from the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have discovered an elusive seventh ice moon around the ice giant that fell just out of ...Read more

Nation and world news briefs

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Trump says release of Mueller report will be 'totally' up to new AG Barr

WASHINGTON -- During a Wednesday meeting with his Austrian counterpart, President Donald J. Trump said the release of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's report would be "totally" up to Attorney General William Barr.

The president was asked after CNN reported ...Read more

At least 49 killed in Bangladesh multi-building fire

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DHAKA, Bangladesh -- At least 49 people were killed in an overnight fire that engulfed several buildings in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka, a rescue official said early Thursday.

Ali Ahmed Khan, director general of the Fire Service and Civil Defense, or DMCH, told dpa 49 bodies were recovered from the site of the fire, and 41 injured people were...Read more

House Democrats to file resolution on Trump's border emergency

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WASHINGTON -- Democrats in the U.S. House plan to file a resolution on Friday seeking to block President Donald Trump's emergency declaration to build a wall on the southern U.S. border.

Rep. Joaquin Castro of Texas outlined plans to introduce the measure in an email circulated to colleagues that was obtained Wednesday by Bloomberg News. The ...Read more

Roger Stone moving out of his Fort Lauderdale home — even if judge doesn't lock him up

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Even before finding out if a federal judge will revoke his bail and lock him up, Roger Stone has decided to move out of his $9,500-a-month home in a luxury neighborhood in Fort Lauderdale.

A "For Rent By Owner" sign has gone up outside Stone's rental house in the Las Olas Isles, which is in the finger islands between ...Read more

Trump says release of Mueller report will be 'totally' up to new AG Barr

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WASHINGTON -- During a Wednesday meeting with his Austrian counterpart, President Donald J. Trump said the release of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's report would be "totally" up to Attorney General William Barr.

The president was asked after CNN reported Wednesday that Mueller's report could be finalized next week. Trump said releasing...Read more

Alabama Republicans aren't stressing a Roy Moore redux as Senate primary kicks off

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WASHINGTON -- Alabama Republican Rep. Bradley Byrne launched his Senate campaign Wednesday, kicking off the contest to take on one of the most vulnerable senators in the country: Democrat Doug Jones.

"Look in Washington and tell me you don't see a disconnect between your values and the values you see up there," Byrne told supporters at his ...Read more

University of Washington Medicine mistakenly exposed information on nearly 1 million patients

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SEATTLE -- The medical files of nearly 1 million patients of University of Washington Medicine were visible on the internet for at least three weeks in December, UW Medicine said Wednesday.

The files, which were exposed on Dec. 4 because of "an internal human error" were internal files that the hospital system used to document when it shared ...Read more

Coast Guard officer accused of plotting to kill Democratic politicians, TV news personalities

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WASHINGTON -- A Coast Guard lieutenant living in a Washington suburb stockpiled weapons and plotted to kill prominent liberal politicians and television news personalities, federal prosecutors said.

Christopher Paul Hasson, who worked at the Coast Guard headquarters in Washington, was arrested on firearms and narcotics charges last Friday. But ...Read more

Trump says US won't take back Alabama woman who joined ISIS

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WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump said he's told Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to bar an Alabama woman who joined Islamic State and now expresses remorse from returning to the U.S.

"I have instructed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and he fully agrees, not to allow Hoda Muthana back into the Country!" the president tweeted on Wednesday.

...Read more

'Day care fight club' in St. Louis will be investigated by Missouri attorney general

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said Wednesday his office would investigate a St. Louis day care where 3- and 4-year-olds were filmed engaging in fist fights.

The announcement came two weeks after the St. Louis circuit attorney's office dropped its case against day care workers Tena N. Dailey and Mickala Guliford, ...Read more

DNA leads to arrest in 1973 cold case killing of 11-year-old Newport Beach girl

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LOS ANGELES -- Nearly 46 years after the lifeless body of 11-year-old Linda Ann O'Keefe was found among the cattails in Newport Beach's Back Bay, police this week announced that a suspect has been arrested in connection with the girl's death.

Orange County prosecutors have charged James Alan Neal, 72, of Colorado with murder. If convicted, he ...Read more

Michigan postal worker accused of stealing 15,000 pieces of mail

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DETROIT -- A United States Postal Service worker is charged with mail theft in Macomb County, Mich., after nearly 15,000 pieces of mail were discovered in her Clinton Township home last month.

Tiara Vann, 30, admitted to withholding the mail since September 2018, according to federal court documents filed with U.S. District Court for the ...Read more

Will dolphins die in search for oil? Marine life at risk, legal action says

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COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Saying dolphins and whales are at risk in the search for oil, environmental groups asked a federal court Wednesday to block companies from launching seismic tests to look for oil deposits off the South Carolina coast.

The request for a preliminary injunction to stop seismic blasting would prevent the search from starting until...Read more

 

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