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Puerto Rico's power grid 'destroyed' by Hurricane Maria, leaving millions cut off

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- As Hurricane Maria continued to cross the Caribbean on Friday, officials in Puerto Rico took stock of the deadly toll the historic storm left in its wake: nearly half of the storm's total death toll of 32.

At least 15 people were killed in Puerto Rico, according to El Nuevo Dia newspaper, including eight drowned just ...Read more

Russia sees 'full-scale cyberwar' as bomb-threat wave continues

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MOSCOW -- A wave of fake bomb threats across Russia has entered its second week in what a senior lawmaker called a "full-scale cyberwar" against the country that authorities are ill-equipped to fight.

About 400,000 people have been evacuated from more than 1,000 shopping malls, airports, and government and other buildings around the country ...Read more

Mosquitoes spread deadly diseases, and public health experts hope to fight back with this new emoji

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Mosquitoes are more than a spoiler of backyard barbecues. They threaten more than half the world's population with their disease-spreading bites. In fact, mosquitoes are deadlier -- by far -- than sharks and snakes.

They are the incubator and chief disseminator of malaria, dengue and yellow fevers, as well as newer scourges like the West Nile ...Read more

Hurricane Maria begins battering Turks and Caicos, southernmost Bahamas

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MIAMI -- Hurricane conditions began battering the Turks and Caicos and southernmost Bahamas early Friday as the eye of a strong Category 3 Maria passed to the east.

In their morning advisory, National Hurricane Center forecasters said even though Maria's fierce center will pass offshore, the islands may still get hit with a nine to 12-foot ...Read more

Youthful Ardern electrifies Kiwi politics in knife-edge election

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- Win or lose, Jacinda Ardern has electrified New Zealand politics.

In the space of just seven weeks, she has led her opposition Labour Party out of the wilderness and given it the chance of a stunning upset in Saturday's election. What had looked like a cakewalk for the ruling National Party has become a riveting ...Read more

Singapore ranks first as launchpad for global cyber attacks

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SINGAPORE -- Singapore has overtaken nations including the U.S., Russia and China as the country launching the most cyber attacks globally, according to Israeli data security company Check Point Software Technologies Ltd.

The company, whose software tracks an average of 8 million to 10 million live cyber attacks daily, said Singapore rose to ...Read more

Plant-eating dinosaurs may have dined on crustaceans on special occasions, study says

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Think dinosaurs didn't mix things up at mealtime? Think again. Researchers studying fossilized dinosaur feces from about 75 million years ago have discovered that at least some plant-eating dinosaurs also snacked on shellfish.

The discovery of crustacean remains in the droppings, described in Scientific Reports, reveals that large herbivorous ...Read more

Rep. Hunter calls for pre-emptive strike against North Korea

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SAN DIEGO -- Rep. Duncan Hunter said that the United States needs to launch a preemptive strike against North Korea in order to prevent the rogue nation from harming the U.S. first.

"You could assume, right now, that we have a nuclear missile aimed at the United States, and here in San Diego. Why would they not aim here, at Hawaii, Guam, our ...Read more

Woman barges into Kardashians' boutique with gun, returns later with 14-inch machete

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LOS ANGELES -- A woman barged into the Kardashians' clothing boutique in West Hollywood on Thursday, pulling out a revolver and pointing it at the sales staff before returning later with a machete.

About 11:30 a.m., the woman entered Dash, pointed a handgun at an employee and shouted, "Stay away from Cuba," according to the Los Angeles County ...Read more

Ex-Lindenwood wrestler gets 10 years in HIV transmission case after plea deal

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ST. CHARLES, Mo. -- The case of a former Lindenwood University wrestler charged with infecting a sex partner with HIV was resolved with a plea deal Thursday after four years.

The case at times drew national media attention because of controversy over the laws and punishments for exposing others to HIV.

Michael L. Johnson, 25, was sentenced to ...Read more

Billy Joel takes to the stage in St. Louis as protesters march in street

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ST. LOUIS -- Billy Joel managed to do on Thursday night what protests had prevented U2 and Ed Sheeran from doing earlier in the week: perform in concert in St. Louis.

Despite hundreds of demonstrators marching outside, the performer known as The Piano Man took to the stage at Busch Stadium as scheduled at 8 p.m. to deliver hit after hit in ...Read more

Trump urges help for Myanmar's Rohingya amid violent crackdown

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NEW YORK -- U.S. President Donald Trump has asked his national security advisers to find ways to help end violence that's driven hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar to neighboring Bangladesh, according to United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley.

"The president is very concerned about Burma," Haley told reporters in New York on ...Read more

North Korean minister says nation could test hydrogen bomb in Pacific

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SEOUL, South Korea -- Pyongyang's foreign minister said North Korea could test a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific Ocean, following Kim Jong Un's warning that his country was considering "highest level" actions against the United States, local media report.

"It could be the most powerful detonation of an H-bomb in the Pacific," Ri Yong Ho told ...Read more

Pro-Trump activists vent over president's Alabama endorsement

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Donald Trump is getting bad advice. He's being misled. The D.C. "swamp" is threatening his agenda.

A sampling of the president's most ardent supporters gathered Thursday in a sweltering train shed to puzzle--and vent--over Trump's decision to back Sen. Luther Strange in the Republican Senate runoff here in Alabama, a race ...Read more

Florida hides details in nursing home inspection reports, but federal agencies don't

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida Gov. Rick Scott widened his offensive Thursday against the Broward County nursing home he blames for the deaths of 10 residents by setting up a tip line for information, but when it comes to access to the inspection reports of all nursing homes, the governor's administration has heavily censored what the public can ...Read more

Nation and world news briefs

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Trump's travel ban expires Sunday, and a new one may be coming

WASHINGTON -- Days before the expiration of President Donald Trump's much-contested travel ban, the White House is reviewing a security report that aides say could serve as the basis of a new, and perhaps broader, version.

The classified report by the Department of Homeland ...Read more

Frida the search dog gets her star moment

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MEXICO CITY -- One of Mexico's most beloved rescuers wears wide protective goggles, a harness and two pairs of boots.

Frida is the star of the Mexican navy's Canine Unit. Throughout her career, the 7-year-old Labrador has detected 52 people -- 12 alive -- in various natural disasters.

She detected the body of a police officer in Juchitan after...Read more

Ugandan president wants to hold the office for life, sparking protests in the streets

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KAMPALA, Uganda -- After more than 31 years in power, 73-year-old Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni is carefully planning for the 2021 elections, determined to run for office again.

It needs a deft manipulation: a change in the Constitution to remove the 75-year age limit for presidential candidates, but he's done that before. In 2005, Museveni...Read more

Everyday Mexicans relying on themselves for earthquake rescue

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MEXICO CITY -- In the moments after the earthquake, they didn't cower, they mobilized.

By the tens of thousands, volunteers streamed toward the Mexico City neighborhoods most damaged by Tuesday's violent temblor. Some carried shovels, others hauled donations of food and water. Many simply offered up two good hands.

They weren't public ...Read more

Johnson C. Smith president not happy with Trump's initiative on black schools

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WASHINGTON -- Ronald Carter, president of Johnson C. Smith University, said he's seen just what he expected to see so far from President Donald Trump's initiative on historically black colleges and universities -- nothing.

"There's a statement attributed to a French philosopher who said that 'The eyes cannot see what the mind doesn't comprehend...Read more