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Trump tells Democrats to pass NAFTA replacement before infrastructure

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WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump told Democratic congressional leaders on the eve of a White House meeting to discuss restoring the nation's infrastructure that he first wanted them to pass his replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement.

"Before we get to infrastructure, it is my strong view that Congress should first pass the ...Read more

Star attorney and Napa Valley vintner plead guilty in college admissions scandal

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LOS ANGELES -- Six months ago, federal agents watched Gordon Caplan and his daughter walk into a West Hollywood school where a 36-year-old man would fix the girl's college entrance exam. Caplan, the co-chairman of an international law firm, envisioned his daughter attending an elite school -- maybe even his alma mater, Cornell University.

On ...Read more

White House, Hill leaders unable to reach spending deal

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WASHINGTON -- Negotiators were unable to reach an agreement on spending caps and the debt limit Tuesday, hours after a two-year deal seemed possible.

"Deals like this take time," House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said after leaving an afternoon meeting between congressional leaders and administration officials.

Senate Minority Leader ...Read more

Calls for Trump's impeachment grow in the House

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WASHINGTON -- Numerous House Democrats on Tuesday demanded immediate impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump amid White House resistance to their investigations, a marked increase in support for launching an effort to remove the president from office.

The calls came in response to former White House counsel Donald McGahn's ...Read more

Former judge files new motions pushing for special prosecutor in Jussie Smollett case

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CHICAGO -- A former appellate judge pushing for a special prosecutor in the Jussie Smollett case on Tuesday filed a flurry of paperwork, including a bid to block Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx from using any of her office's attorneys to represent her in the legal fight.

"Tax supported attorneys are to do the business of the people -- not...Read more

Nation and world news briefs

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Judge allows lawsuit seeking paper ballots in Georgia to advance

ATLANTA -- A lawsuit attempting to require paper ballots in Georgia elections can move ahead, a federal judge ruled Tuesday.

U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg rejected a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, which alleges that the state's current electronic voting machines are unsafe ...Read more

Pompeo's Iran intelligence briefing fails to reassure Democrats

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WASHINGTON -- Democrats were still clamoring for answers about U.S. intentions in Iran, even after a closed-door briefing from Trump administration officials about heightened tensions in the region.

Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and other intelligence officials spoke with House Republicans and ...Read more

Iran's hard-liners outraged by viral videos of schoolchildren dancing

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It was lighthearted fun: children singing and dancing to a popular Persian pop song. But when hard-line Iranian authorities saw the videos, uploaded to social media by teachers at several schools, they were not amused and unleashed their wrath.

"The enemy is trying different ways to create anxiety among the people, including by spreading these ...Read more

Hidden reports masked the scope of widespread harm from faulty heart device

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Faced with the possibility that a bout of abnormal heartbeats could end his life, in 2006, Dr. Marc Sicklick had a small device implanted in his chest that would shock it back into rhythm. Soon he would struggle with another life-or-death choice: whether to remove the Sprint Fidelis, which was deemed dangerous and recalled in 2007 after it had ...Read more

Rapid opioid cutoff is risky too, feds warn

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WASHINGTON -- To stem the opioid epidemic, U.S. doctors cut prescriptions of medications such as OxyContin, Vicodin and Percocet by at least a quarter over the last five years. But the reduction in prescriptions came at a cost to some pain patients.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration last ...Read more

Hope Hicks, Ann Donaldson the latest ex-Trump officials to get subpoenas

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WASHINGTON -- Former White House Communications Director Hope Hicks and Ann Donaldson, the former chief of staff for ex-White House counsel Don McGahn, were issued subpoenas Tuesday to provide documents and testimony to the House Judiciary Committee for its probe into corruption and obstruction by President Donald Trump and his associates.

...Read more

Abortion rights activists rally in Georgia as states approve bans

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ATLANTA -- Two weeks after Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed a restrictive anti-abortion bill, a few hundred people gathered outside the state Capitol vowing to continue the fight to stop the pending law from taking effect.

Part of a national day of action, abortion rights groups including Planned Parenthood Southeast, the American Civil Liberties...Read more

2020 Democrats promise new gun controls. How far can they go?

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WASHINGTON -- California Sen. Kamala Harris and other Democrats running for president have promised aggressive action to stem the nation's epidemic of gun violence if they win the White House in 2020.

But when it comes to restricting gun access, experts say executive action is unlikely to make a significant dent in the problem, and any steps ...Read more

Marijuana legalization goes mainstream with forum in Capitol complex

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WASHINGTON -- Cannabis industry investors, business owners and legalization advocates had met before to discuss the legal and regulatory headaches of operating in a world that is licensed and regulated by states but is illegal under federal law.

But what made those at Tuesday's gathering describe it as a public relations milestone was its ...Read more

Trump wants 400 TSA agents sent to border; Democrats say that may hurt morale

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WASHINGTON -- Democrats raised concerns Tuesday that the Transportation Security Administration's ongoing problems with high turnover rates could worsen after the Trump administration announced it would send 400 TSA workers to the southwest border to help with the migrant surge.

"I think what I see now is continued manufacturing of a crisis, to...Read more

As Beverly Hills weighs tobacco ban, aficionados rally behind a 'treasured' cigar club

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LOS ANGELES -- The city of Beverly Hills is expected to approve what officials say is the most stringent tobacco ban in the country, eliminating the sale of virtually all recreational nicotine products -- with one very Beverly Hills exception.

For an elite group of aficionados, hundreds of whom swamped committee meetings and wrote the city in ...Read more

Ford begins final round of US layoffs

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DETROIT -- The first of 500 U.S. Ford Motor Co. salaried employees are expected to be notified in meetings Tuesday that they're being let go.

Ford's operations in Dearborn were quiet Tuesday morning ahead of the last round of white-collar job cuts, with parking lots filling and employees filing in as usual.

CEO Jim Hackett notified employees ...Read more

Review identifies 1,700 additional children potentially separated at border

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SAN DIEGO -- The Trump administration, under court order to determine how many additional families had been separated at the border prior to the nationwide rollout of the controversial zero tolerance policy, has so far identified 1,712 potential cases during an initial review, according to the official leading the effort.

The review -- a ...Read more

Judge allows lawsuit seeking paper ballots in Georgia to advance

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ATLANTA -- A lawsuit attempting to require paper ballots in Georgia elections can move ahead, a federal judge ruled Tuesday.

U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg rejected a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, which alleges that the state's current electronic voting machines are unsafe and should be replaced with hand-marked paper ballots.

Georgia's 17...Read more

Amid rising hardship and death toll, UN says Venezuelans should be considered 'refugees'

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BOGOTA, Colombia -- As the death toll and hardships for fleeing Venezuelans continue to mount, the United Nations on Tuesday asked the region -- once again -- to treat the migrants as refugees and refrain from deporting them.

In a statement, the U.N. Refugee Agency said that at least 3.7 million people have left the country in recent years and ...Read more