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Pacific Fleet commander announces unexpected retirement

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SAN DIEGO -- Passed over for higher command, U.S. Navy Adm. Scott Swift on Monday announced his unexpected retirement as commander of the Pacific Fleet.

"I have been informed by the Chief of Naval Operations that I will not be his nominee to replace Adm. (Harry) Harris as the Commander, U.S. Pacific Command," Swift wrote in a prepared statement...Read more

California suspends medical license of former USC dean tied to drug use

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LOS ANGELES -- The Medical Board of California has suspended the license of former University of Southern California medical school dean Carmen Puliafito pending a final decision on his fitness to practice medicine.

The medical board opened an inquiry into Puliafito after a Los Angeles Times investigation found that he regularly used ...Read more

House conservative leader: Fulfill promises or face political danger in '18

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WASHINGTON -- North Carolina Rep. Mark Walker, the chairman of the conservative House Republican Study Committee, plans to deliver a frank, firm message to fellow Republicans Tuesday: Time is running out to fulfill all those promises you made last year.

Start acting fast, he's expected to tell a Capitol Hill news conference, or the party could ...Read more

Trump ally Roger Stone denies collusion with Russia in fiery statement

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WASHINGTON -- Roger Stone, a long-time ally and informal campaign adviser to President Donald Trump, denied any collusion with Russia and accused a House panel of "cowardice" in a statement he plans to deliver Tuesday before a closed-door meeting with House Intelligence Committee staffers.

"Multiple members of this committee have made false ...Read more

High court delays travel ban hearing

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ATLANTA -- The U.S. Supreme Court has canceled next month's oral arguments concerning President Donald Trump's travel ban, citing the new travel restrictions he issued by proclamation Sunday.

The high court isn't disposing of the case. Rather, it is asking both sides to file briefs by Oct. 5, showing whether the case is now moot, given the new ...Read more

Perry tells hecklers that fossil fuels save lives

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WASHINGTON -- U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry has a message for those seeking to link climate change with this year's devastating hurricanes: Fossil fuels are saving lives.

Perry's address to oil industry executives Monday was interrupted by hecklers protesting the Trump administration's skepticism of climate change and its rollback of ...Read more

North Korea says Trump declared war via tweet; the White House says it didn't

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NEW YORK -- When is a tweet a declaration of war?

North Korea's senior diplomat told reporters here Monday that President Donald Trump's most recent salvo on Twitter was tantamount to a formal declaration and that it would give North Korea the right to shoot down U.S. strategic bombers even outside North Korean airspace.

The White House ...Read more

How Trump's base is preparing to defy him

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MCINTOSH, Ala. -- They're depressed or in denial, some are bargaining, and others have reached acceptance.

But as Donald Trump's most avid supporters grapple with being on the opposite side of him as the Alabama Republican Senate runoff arrives Tuesday, the one stage of grief many are studiously avoiding is anger toward Trump.

"I would burn my...Read more

Intelligence director urges Congress to renew surveillance authority

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WASHINGTON -- Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, urged Congress Monday to tread carefully as it considers limiting surveillance powers used by the nation's spy agencies for nearly a decade.

"This is clearly a major issue for the intelligence community," Coats told a group of journalists at his office in suburban Virginia. "It's ...Read more

Intelligence director urges Congress to renew surveillance authority

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WASHINGTON -- Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, urged Congress Monday to tread carefully as it considers limiting surveillance powers used by the nation's spy agencies for nearly a decade.

"This is clearly a major issue for the intelligence community," Coats told a group of journalists at his office in suburban Virginia. "It's ...Read more

White House pushes back on report that aides warned Trump not to insult Kim

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WASHINGTON -- A recent report by the Los Angeles Times that aides had warned President Donald Trump not to personally attack North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was a "false narrative," the president's spokeswoman said Monday.

But Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, did not deny the facts of the story. The Times reported Friday...Read more

Iraqi Kurds vote on creating an independent Kurdistan — but obstacles stand in the way

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BEIRUT -- Sometimes, in the fractious world of Iraqi politics, no means yes.

That was the central message from Kurdish leaders Monday morning when Iraq's Kurds cast their ballots in a controversial independence referendum, despite repeated entreaties and threats from regional and world powers to stop the vote.

The referendum was to decide ...Read more

GOP bill offers Dreamers citizenship after 'extreme vetting'

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WASHINGTON -- Sen. Thom Tillis introduced his "conservative Dream Act" on Monday to provide a pathway to citizenship for as many as 2.5 million young undocumented immigrants.

Tillis, a North Carolina Republican, and co-sponsors James Lankford, R-Okla., and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, pitched their plan -- the Succeed Act -- as "merit-based" relief ...Read more

Deal reached for new city in northern LA County's Santa Clarita Valley

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LOS ANGELES -- One of Southern California longest-running and ugliest development battles ended in a historic truce Monday when environmental groups agreed to a deal that will allow a new city of 58,000 residents to rise in the Santa Clarita Valley.

The pact clears perhaps the largest remaining hurdle for the Newhall Ranch project, which was ...Read more

Everyone says we must control exorbitant drug prices. So, why don't we?

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Of all the promises President Donald Trump made for the early part of his term, controlling stinging drug prices might have seemed the easiest to achieve.

An angry public overwhelmingly wants change in an easily vilified industry. Big pharma's recent publicity nightmare included thousand-percent price increases and a smirking CEO who said, "I ...Read more

Growth of private tree regulation spurs fear of backlash

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AUSTIN, Texas -- Cities have long regulated what can be done to trees in parks, along public streets or on government property, deciding when they can be trimmed, treated for disease or removed.

In recent years an increasing number of cities also have started regulating what happens to trees on private property -- on land owned by either ...Read more

Medicaid has a bull's-eye on its back, which means no one is entirely safe

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When high levels of lead were discovered in the public water system in Flint, Mich., in 2015, Medicaid stepped in to help thousands of children get tested for poisoning and receive care.

When disabled children need to get to doctors' appointments -- either across town or hundreds of miles away -- Medicaid pays for their transportation.

When ...Read more

Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert calls for Sen. John McCain's recall

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WASHINGTON -- Rep. Louie Gohmert believes Arizona Sen. John McCain should be recalled while he battles brain cancer and so that the GOP can replace him with someone who will support the party's latest effort to repeal the 2010 health care law.

"Nothing inhibits recovery from cancer like stress," the Texas Republican told "Fox & Friends" Monday....Read more

Supreme Court puts off a decision on Trump's travel ban

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WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court has postponed a decision on the legality of President Donald Trump's travel ban, announcing Monday it will not hear arguments on the issue Oct. 10 as planned.

The justices were set to hear an appeal from Trump's lawyers who had urged the high court to reject a series of rulings from district judges in Hawaii and ...Read more

'Still a Muslim ban' — opponents vow to keep up fight against new travel curbs

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Advocates for immigrants Monday condemned the latest incarnation of President Donald Trump's travel ban, calling it an abuse of presidential authority and potentially unconstitutional, as they vowed to continue fighting the president's travel restrictions.

The new measure, which takes effect Oct. 18 and will apply indefinitely, bans entry by ...Read more