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On 'Stormy Daniels Day,' West Hollywood honors porn star with key to the city

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WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. -- The porn star walked out of the hot-pink sex-toy shop and, enveloped by security guards, waded into a sea of camera operators so thick she could hardly move.

"Stormy, to your left!" they shouted. "Your right! Stormy! Stormy!"

It was Stormy Daniels Day in West Hollywood -- and the adult-film actress had an event with ...Read more

How the Supreme Court is invoking a 1925 law to restrict workers' rights today

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WASHINGTON -- In 1925, at the behest of New York merchants, Congress passed the Federal Arbitration Act to uphold as "valid, irrevocable and enforceable" the contracts they had negotiated for shipping and delivering goods. They agreed to settle disputes through private arbitration, which was seen as quicker and cheaper than going to court.

When...Read more

'Massacre' in central Cuba raises questions about violence against women on the island

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CIENFUEGOS, Cuba -- It was 11:30 in the morning on May 17 when Luis Roque heard the first pleas for help. He was about to head to work when his neighbor's screams made him stop in his tracks.

"Oh, my baby girl! My baby girl," screamed Tomasa Causse Fabat, a 64-year-old nurse as she stood on the sidewalk in front of her house in Cienfuegos, in ...Read more

Farmers nervously await outcome of trade talks

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WASHINGTON -- Perhaps no group of U.S. farmers has more to lose from a trade war with China than soybean growers.

This planting season, the farmers have been watching the headlines as carefully as the weather, hoping that China won't act on its threat to impose a 25 percent tariff on U.S. imports and thus restrict access to the largest soybean ...Read more

Why centrist Dianne Feinstein is moving so much to the left that she now opposes the death penalty

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WASHINGTON -- Dianne Feinstein built one of California's most successful political brands by standing up to her party's liberal wing.

In her first run for statewide office in 1990, she defiantly faced down raucous booing from California Democratic Party delegates angry over her support for the death penalty. Undeterred, she used footage of the ...Read more

DA candidate Phillips 'embarrassed,' apologizes for response to sexist, racist email

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Noah Phillips apologized to supporters Wednesday via Twitter for a racist and sexist email plumbed from his county-run email account that could threaten his campaign for Sacramento County District Attorney in the race's final days.

"Over two years ago, my 70-year-old uncle sent these emails. I should have challenged them,"...Read more

Manafort judge questions claim of improper seizure of records

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NEWARK, N.J. -- A federal judge posed skeptical questions about Paul Manafort's claim that an FBI agent improperly searched a storage locker that held extensive business records before the former Trump campaign chairman was charged in two indictments.

Manafort claims that the records seized by the FBI should be suppressed because an agent was ...Read more

Koch political network plans rare public rebuke of Republicans

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CHICAGO -- The political network led by billionaires Charles and David Koch is about to do something it doesn't do in public often: criticize Republican members of Congress for a lack of fiscal discipline.

As many lawmakers return to their districts this weekend to kick off the campaign season over the Memorial Day break, they'll be greeted by ...Read more

Judge: Atlanta attorney McIver's inability to say 'I'm sorry' says it all

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ATLANTA -- The jury that convicted Claud "Tex" McIver of his wife's murder barely heard his voice: The politically connected attorney chose not to testify.

Before his trial, McIver spoke out often, raising suspicions with almost every word. And Wednesday, McIver demonstrated again why silence can be golden, delivering a rambling 16-minute ...Read more

Weight-loss surgery associated with reduced risk of melanoma, researchers say

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In addition to rapid and lasting weight loss and a passel of other health benefits, bariatric surgery has now been linked to a 61 percent reduction in the risk of developing malignant melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer most closely associated with excessive sun exposure.

The new research, to be presented Thursday at the European Congress on...Read more

Publisher says $120,000 cash payment for Missouri governor's recordings was all his money

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- A newspaper publisher who gave $120,000 to an attorney for the ex-husband of Gov. Eric Greitens' former mistress says the money was his and did not come from a donor hoping to topple the governor.

Scott Faughn, who publishes The Missouri Times, a small newspaper and online service that caters to the state's political ...Read more

Discharge petition signatures held back amid immigration negotiation progress

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WASHINGTON -- Rep. Jeff Denham said Wednesday he plans to hold back the final signatures needed to activate a discharge petition that would force a vote on four immigration measures affecting so-called "Dreamers" -- saying that negotiations between GOP leaders and conservatives are headed in a positive direction.

Earlier in the week the ...Read more

'Deadliest Catch' star Sig Hansen pleads guilty to assault charge

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SEATTLE -- Celebrity fishing-boat captain Sig Hansen pleaded guilty Wednesday to a misdemeanor charge that he assaulted an Uber driver after a night of drinking last year, but a judge who raised concerns about Hansen's alcohol use postponed sentencing until next month.

Hansen's guilty plea came under a deal in which Assistant Seattle City ...Read more

Trump suggests 'big news' for US autoworkers involves NAFTA

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WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump suggested Wednesday afternoon that his "big news" for U.S. autoworkers could have to do with plans to rewrite -- or withdraw from -- the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Wednesday morning, Trump posted a cryptic message on Twitter, saying there would be "big news coming soon for our great American ...Read more

Nation and world news briefs

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Former 'Bachelorette' star Meredith Phillips claims she was drugged, sexually assaulted on set

Meredith Phillips, who starred on season 2 of "The Bachelorette" in 2004, alleged a female masseuse "roofied" and "kind of accosted" her during filming of the reality show.

Phillips claimed she had complained about being tired during filming, at ...Read more

Falcon to challenge Maduro's re-election in Venezuela

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CARACAS, Venezuela -- Venezuelan presidential candidate Henri Falcon will legally challenge the victory of President Nicolas Maduro in the weekend elections, his representative said Wednesday.

Falcon will make the move in the next few days, Claudio Fermin said at a news conference.

Falcon will argue that Maduro violated agreements sealed by ...Read more

Parkland victims sue, calling gun maker and seller complicit in massacre

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- The families of two victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting on Wednesday sued the maker and seller of the weapon used in the rampage, claiming they should be held partially responsible for what Nikolas Cruz did with it.

The parents of Jaime Guttenberg and Alex Schachter want a judge to clear the way for them to...Read more

Border Patrol agent fatally shoots female migrant, official says

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EDINBURG, Texas -- A Border Patrol agent shot and killed a female migrant while patrolling the border town of Rio Bravo, Texas, late Wednesday afternoon, officials said.

The agent was responding to reports of activity in the town about 15 miles south of Laredo when he encountered a group of migrants who he said beat him with two-by-fours, ...Read more

Trump again assails 'animals' at NY forum on immigrant gang violence

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BETHPAGE, N.Y. -- President Donald Trump on Wednesday reaffirmed his condemnation of immigrant gang members as "animals" as he pressed his call for tougher border security at a Long Island forum with public officials and victims' parents.

He also threatened to cut foreign aid to the immigrants' countries of origin unless those nations do more ...Read more

Trump blocking his critics on Twitter violates First Amendment, judge rules

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President Donald Trump has made directing scorn on Twitter a defining feature of his presidency. But when the animus is leveled back at him, the nation's leader has a habit of silencing those critics by blocking them.

Now a federal judge says Trump has to face the heat, ruling that the president and his staff blocking anyone on Twitter is ...Read more