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Meet the four blue-eyed mountain lion kittens living in Southern California hills

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LOS ANGELES -- Park rangers have found four furry cougar kittens living with their mother in the Simi Hills -- the first den authorities have found in a small patch of terrain between the Santa Susana and Santa Monica mountain ranges, officials said.

The female blue-eyed kittens, now known as P-66, P-67, P-68 and P-69, were found on June 11 ...Read more

Q&A: The long-lasting health effects of separating children from their parents at the U.S. border

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Researchers have long looked upon wars, famines and mass migrations as grim but important opportunities to understand how adversity affects children's health.

They've culled the experiences of orphans warehoused in government facilities, Jewish children dispatched to foreign families ahead of a Nazi invasion, and young refugees fleeing ...Read more

Boisterous crowd blocks LA roadway during memorial for slain rapper XXXTentacion

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LOS ANGELES -- A boisterous crowd gathered in Los Angeles Tuesday night for a memorial for the slain rapper XXXTentacion, with some people climbing onto rooftops and swarming moving cars as police ordered them to disperse.

Between 300 and 500 people gathered in the street on Melrose and Spaulding avenues in the Fairfax area, blocking traffic in...Read more

Fight over food stamps among big hurdles facing farm bill

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WASHINGTON--If everything goes according to plan this month, House leaders will round up the necessary Republican votes to pass the chamber's 2018 farm bill after an unexpected defeat on the floor put the legislation on hold.

The failed May 18 vote marked the second time in five years that a farm bill ran into obstacles in the House. In the ...Read more

Worldwide, 1 in 110 people is displaced from home: Here's what life is like for some of them

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BALUKHALI REFUGEE CAMP, Bangladesh -- Rising quietly before dawn inside his mud-walled shack, the fisherman said a quick prayer and set off into the woods to forage for firewood.

In a hut up the hill, a 12-year-old orphan lay on the dirt floor, his mind racked by memories of his parents.

In southern Bangladesh, hundreds of thousands of ...Read more

Q&A: A judge in Kansas just struck down one of the toughest voter ID laws in the country. Here's what you need to know

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In 2011, Kansas passed a law that Republicans said was aimed at ending voter fraud by requiring people to show proof of citizenship to register to vote.

But opponents argued that it was really an attempt to reduce registration by blacks and Latinos -- who tend to vote Democratic -- and challenged the law with a barrage of lawsuits.

On Monday, ...Read more

'Little Russian media project' tries to turn America against itself

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NEW YORK -- Alexander Malkevich is an information warrior for Russia.

Over the weekend, he sat in an oyster bar in the basement of Grand Central Station in New York City and related to McClatchy the endless difficulties facing his English-language website, USA Really, which is financed by unnamed pro-Kremlin Russians.

USA Really has all the ...Read more

Could there be a wolf pack in Illinois? Man's trail camera footage prompts experts to conduct testing

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INDUSTRY, Ill. -- After snacking on fried pretzels at the Lunch Box Cafe earlier this month, Jay Smith sat in the narrow shade of his patio and started scanning video footage on a laptop.

There they were again: the mysterious, wolflike creatures.

For several years, Smith has captured trail-cam footage of the curious canines that inhabit land ...Read more

Trump planned to erect tent cities to house immigrants since the start of his presidency

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WASHINGTON -- Since the earliest days of the Trump presidency, the administration has been preparing to erect tent cities to house immigrants who had come to the country illegally.

The Department of Homeland Security asked Congress for $95 million to erect tent cities in two locations in Texas to "detain all immigration violators," according to...Read more

Ukrainian film director on hunger strike in a Russian prison casts dark cloud over World Cup

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MOSCOW -- When the World Cup started in Russia on Thursday, Oleg Sentsov was on day 32 of his hunger strike in a northern Siberian penal colony. An acclaimed Ukrainian film writer and director, Sentsov is serving 20 years in Russia, accused of plotting terrorist attacks in Crimea.

Sentsov says that he's innocent and that the Kremlin is ...Read more

In Xi talks, Kim calls for step-by-step denuclearization process

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BEIJING -- Kim Jong Un doesn't appear to be in a rush to dump his nuclear weapons.

In talks with China President Xi Jinping on Tuesday, the North Korean leader reiterated his call for a gradual process to carry out the results of last week's summit with U.S. President Donald Trump. Chinese state media cited Kim saying that denuclearization will...Read more

Nelson, Wasserman Schultz blocked from entering immigrant children shelter in Florida

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MIAMI -- Amid uproar over the federal government's breakup of families caught illegally crossing the U.S. border, state and federal lawmakers were denied entry Tuesday to a shelter in Homestead where 1,200 immigrant children are being held, including dozens separated from their parents.

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz ...Read more

Governors reject Trump call for border troops over child policy

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WASHINGTON -- A bipartisan group of seven governors rejected President Donald Trump's request to send their states' National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border because they object to the administration's policy of separating minor children from asylum-seeking adults.

Democrats Andrew Cuomo of New York, Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island, John ...Read more

New poll confirms Feinstein has big lead in Senate race, but nearly half of voters are undecided

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WASHINGTON -- Nearly half of registered California voters are still undecided in the U.S. Senate race between incumbent Dianne Feinstein and state Sen. Kevin de Leon, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll.

Feinstein, who is seeking a fifth full term, holds a 36 percent to 18 percent lead over De Leon among registered voters who...Read more

5 reported killed as violence flares up in Nicaragua

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MANAGUA, Nicaragua -- Five people were killed and dozens injured on Tuesday when Nicaraguan police and paramilitary gunmen took control of the protester stronghold of Masaya, attacking barricades erected by demonstrators, a human rights activist said.

"This has been a real massacre," Alvaro Leiva, director of the rights group Asociacion ...Read more

Mexico blasts US family separation policy as 'violation of human rights'

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MEXICO CITY -- The Mexican government on Tuesday condemned as "cruel and inhuman" the Trump administration policy of separating immigrant families detained on U.S. soil.

Only 1 percent of all cases of children separated from their families -- 21 cases -- involve Mexican nationals, said Luis Videgaray, Mexico's foreign secretary, in the country'...Read more

Nation and world news briefs

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Trump campaign ex-staffer asks judge to keep NDA suit public

NEW YORK -- A former manager on President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign who claims she was harassed on the job and is seeking to nullify a non-disclosure agreement is pressing to have her claims heard in public.

Jessica Denson asked a New York judge on Monday to deny the campaign's ...Read more

Thousands of legal immigration slots would be slashed under House plan

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WASHINGTON -- Tens of thousands of immigrants will be barred from entering the country under the compromise plan the House is about to consider.

About 560,000 total immigrant visas were issued in 2017, according to State Department statistics.

The House plan would switch 78,400 spots, currently reserved for visas for adult siblings and married...Read more

Trump administration withdrawing from United Nations human rights body

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WASHINGTON -- The Trump administration said Tuesday it is withdrawing from the United Nations body that oversees human rights around the globe, saying the 47-nation council has shown an "unconscionable" bias against Israel.

The decision to leave the U.N. Human Rights Council was the latest multinational institution or treaty that the ...Read more

House immigration plan would allow families to be detained together

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WASHINGTON -- The Republican House compromise bill on immigration would end the family separation issue at the border -- but Democrats won't support it.

The bill mandates that the Department of Homeland Security hold any adult only charged with a misdemeanor who crossed the border with a child under age 18 with their child, at specific family ...Read more