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Botswana, country with most elephants, lifts ban on hunting

Current News / News & Features /

Botswana, which has the world's biggest population of elephants, lifted its suspension on hunting, a move that is likely to spark further debate on a politically charged issue in the southern African nation.

The government would ensure that "reinstatement of hunting is done in an orderly and ethical manner" and in accordance with the law and ...Read more

Mexican security forces free 24 kidnapped Central American migrants

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MEXICO CITY -- Mexican authorities freed 24 Central American migrants who had been kidnapped and arrested five suspects, the Ministerial Agency of Criminal Investigation said on Wednesday.

The kidnapped migrants, 16 males and eight females including a pregnant woman, were from Honduras, El Salvador and Cuba, the agency said in a statement, ...Read more

Charge: Drunk mom hands baby to strangers in Minn. bar, leaves

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MINNEAPOLIS -- An extremely intoxicated woman went into a Minnesota bar with her baby and soon departed, leaving her child with drunken strangers, according to authorities.

Alicyn I. De Santis, 30, of Mankato, was charged Tuesday in Hennepin County District Court with gross-misdemeanor child neglect and remained jailed late Wednesday afternoon ...Read more

South African lawmakers formally elect Ramaphosa as nation's president

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CAPE TOWN, South Africa -- South African lawmakers elected Cyril Ramaphosa as the nation's president Wednesday, a formality that followed his ruling African National Congress' outright victory in this month's elections.

A lawyer, former labor union leader and one of the richest black South Africans, the 66-year-old Ramaphosa first took office ...Read more

Nation and world news briefs

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Bernhardt defends Interior Department's public records review policy

WASHINGTON -- Interior Secretary David Bernhardt defended on Wednesday the agency's policy allowing politically appointed officials to review and comment on public records requests that relate to them.

Appearing before a Senate appropriations subcommittee to testify about his...Read more

Poll: Floridians divided over forcing ex-felons to pay fines, restitution before they can vote

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Florida voters are divided over one of the most controversial issues emanating from the annual legislative session: requiring felons who have served their prison sentences to also pay court-ordered restitution and fines before they regain the right to vote.

A Florida Atlantic University Poll released Wednesday found 48%...Read more

Former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is making his return — to the Navy

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has told friends and supporters in recent weeks that he plans to deploy with the Navy to the Middle East in the fall and hopes his fourth book will be published later this year.

Earlier this month Greitens attended a gathering in Franklin County organized by longtime GOP activist Robbie ...Read more

Pentagon to brief White House on 5,000-troop option for Mideast

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WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon is planning to brief the White House on options to deploy as many as 5,000 American troops to the Middle East amid escalating tensions with Iran, a U.S. official said on Wednesday.

The official, who was granted anonymity to discuss a national security matter, said that the deployment, if it went forward, would be for ...Read more

Facebook, Twitter, Google seek to assuage lawmakers about 2020

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WASHINGTON -- Executives from Facebook Inc., Twitter Inc. and Alphabet Inc.'s Google faced congressional lawmakers Wednesday amid concerns that the companies haven't done enough to guard against foreign influence campaigns in the 2020 elections.

They're testifying alongside government officials before the national security subcommittee of the ...Read more

Philly judge stuns wrongly convicted juvenile lifer by setting him free after 21 years in prison

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PHILADELPHIA -- After fighting for 21 years to be exonerated of participating in a 1996 West Philadelphia murder, Terrance Lewis had given up.

He withdrew his petition to vacate his conviction in February -- an agonizing decision -- to clear the way to be resentenced after a 2016 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that automatic life-without-parole ...Read more

Democrats forcing votes on approving war with Iran, but coming up short in the Senate

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WASHINGTON -- Democrats on both sides of Capitol Hill have been forcing votes on President Donald Trump's military powers this week amid the ratcheting up of tensions with Iran, getting predictably disparate results.

In the latest test, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday turned back a Democratic-led effort to move legislation ...Read more

Texas Senate votes to ease medical cannabis restrictions

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AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas is poised to loosen its tight restrictions on medical cannabis by a few notches, after the state Senate gave a green light Wednesday to a measure making more people eligible to use it.

The version of House Bill 3703 approved unanimously by the state Senate would continue to cap the component of marijuana that induces a ...Read more

An 'obvious trap?' Democrats weigh political cost of impeachment

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WASHINGTON -- Congressional Democrats have a decision to make: Where are they going on impeachment, and at what political cost?

A group that has been pushing since 2017 for Trump's impeachment will be airing ads this weekend in Iowa and New Hampshire urging Democratic leaders to take action.

But many Democrats, including a past chairman of the...Read more

Wanted suspect says he'll turn himself in if police Facebook post gets 15,000 'likes'

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HARTFORD, Conn. -- In a nod to the power of social media, Torrington police have accepted a challenge from a suspect who vowed to turn himself in if they get 15,000 "likes" on his online wanted poster.

Jose Simms, 29, is wanted for failure to appear in court, police said. He said he'll turn himself in if police get 20,000 "likes," but police ...Read more

Poll: Trump would tie Biden in Florida in 2020, but beat other Democrats

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- A poll released Wednesday shows a closely fought 2020 presidential race in Florida, with President Donald Trump doing well. The poll also found that for the first time during his presidency, Florida voters are more positive than negative about Trump's performance.

If the 2020 election were held now, a race would be tied...Read more

Bernhardt defends Interior Department's public records review policy

Current News / News & Features /

WASHINGTON -- Interior Secretary David Bernhardt defended on Wednesday the agency's policy allowing politically appointed officials to review and comment on public records requests that relate to them.

Appearing before a Senate appropriations subcommittee to testify about his department's budget, Bernhardt said the so-called "awareness review" ...Read more

Judge rejects Trump's effort to block subpoenas for bank records

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NEW YORK -- A federal judge in New York rejected President Donald Trump's request to keep his banks from producing financial records to lawmakers.

U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos, ruling from the bench on Wednesday, said that while the president, his family and his business would suffer irreparable harm from disclosure of the records, they ...Read more

Texas teen kidnapped after meeting man on Snapchat, escaped at a KFC, police say

Current News / News & Features /

FORT WORTH, Texas -- A Fort Worth man was in custody Wednesday after authorities say he kidnapped a teenage girl and sexually assaulted her for several days before she escaped, police in Azle said.

The girl, who was left unattended in a car in a parking lot Tuesday, ran into an Azle business and told employees she needed help because she was ...Read more

Gov. Newsom makes pact to keep feds from spending rail grant money while lawsuit proceeds

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LOS ANGELES -- Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday he had reached agreement with the Trump administration not to redirect funds from a high-speed rail grant while California's lawsuit against the federal government proceeds.

California filed a lawsuit in federal court Tuesday challenging the federal government's decision to terminate a $929 ...Read more

Abortion-rights groups lay out 2020 races they plan to target

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WASHINGTON -- Abortion-rights groups outlined the political races they plan to target Wednesday, a day after the groups organized 500 events across the country. Anti-abortion groups countered with plans to sharpen the Republican platform with stricter anti-abortion language, a day after some groups met at the White House.

The moves come on the ...Read more


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