Current News



Taliban suicide bomber kills at least six police in Pakistan

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ISLAMABAD -- A Taliban suicide bomber attacked a vehicle carrying police in southwestern Pakistan on Wednesday, killing six officers and wounding nearly two dozen other people, officials said.

The bombing occurred in the city of Quetta, the capital of the province of Balochistan, which shares borders with Afghanistan and Iran, police official ...Read more

Raids on pot grow houses finding more Chinese nationals, mysterious financing

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Police are arresting large numbers of Chinese nationals in raids on illegal marijuana operations in California, Colorado and other states, raising questions about who is financing these grow houses and recruiting the immigrants to tend them.

In one recent indictment obtained by McClatchy, money from a southern China bank ...Read more

Cascade of costs could push new gene therapy above $1 million per patient

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Outrage over the high cost of cancer care has focused on skyrocketing drug prices, including the $475,000 price tag for the country's first gene therapy, Novartis' Kymriah, a leukemia treatment approved in August.

But the total costs of Kymriah and the 21 similar drugs in development -- known as CAR T-cell therapies -- will be far higher than ...Read more

On climate issues, House GOP warms gradually

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WASHINGTON -- When a Republican congressman in July tried to strip the 2018 defense spending bill of its requirement to plan for global warming and rising sea level threats, a group of House GOP lawmakers joined Democrats to kill the effort.

It was a rare win in the fight to slow climate change, in a Congress where the Republican majority ...Read more

Families hold out hope for dozens missing in fires

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SANTA ROSA, Calif. -- Gina Russell never used to answer calls from unknown numbers.

That changed last week when wildfires roared through Santa Rosa, where her son was staying.

Nine days later, Russell's son Christopher Le Loup, 26, still hasn't contacted her. She picks up her phone every time it rings, desperate for news that has not come.

...Read more

Islamic State has lost its capital in Syria: What happens now?

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BEIRUT -- After four months of grueling street fighting, a U.S.-backed Syrian force said Tuesday that it had wrested control of Raqqa from Islamic State, dealing a powerful symbolic blow to the militants who made the city the de facto capital of their self-styled caliphate.

Celebratory gunfire erupted in the shattered metropolis along the ...Read more

Washington attorney general files suit against DeVos, Education Department

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SEATTLE -- Four days after he stood on a Bellevue street corner with other protesters and denounced Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson has filed a lawsuit against DeVos and her department.

This lawsuit is aimed at stopping the U.S. Education Department from delaying, or refusing to enforce, an Obama-era ...Read more

Commission approves controversial yearlong test of drones by LAPD

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LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Police Commission on Tuesday approved a yearlong test of drones by the LAPD, allowing the police department to become the largest in the nation to try using the controversial devices.

The 3-1 vote was met by jeers from dozens of people who crowded the Police Commission's meeting room, many of whom repeatedly urged...Read more

Victim in 'cough medicine' slaying case had 123 cuts and stab wounds

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RALEIGH, N.C. -- Lauren Nicole Hugelmaier Phelps was the victim of 123 stab wounds and cuts last month during a frenzied attack in the bedroom of her home, according to an autopsy report made public Tuesday. Her husband, who faces murder charges, contends he took too much cold medicine before falling asleep, then awoke to find his wife's bloody ...Read more

Homeland Security Must Reveal Why It Ended 'Dreamers' Policy

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The U.S. Department of Homeland Security must produce documents that detail the decision-making process for ending the "Dreamers" policy for undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.

A federal judge in San Francisco who is overseeing five lawsuits challenging the September announcement to end Deferred Action for Childhood ...Read more

Xi to put his stamp on Chinese history at Party Congress opening

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HONG KONG -- President Xi Jinping kicks off China's most important political event on Wednesday, a twice-a-decade meeting of party leaders that may signal if Xi will appoint a successor to rule after 2022.

Xi will start the weeklong event with what's known as the work report, seen as the ruling Communist Party's most significant policy document...Read more

Former Trump spokesman Spicer questioned in Mueller Russia probe

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WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump's former press secretary, Sean Spicer, was interviewed Monday by special counsel Robert Mueller's team, said two people familiar with the matter.

Mueller is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and whether there was any collusion between Trump's campaign and Vladimir Putin's ...Read more

Resolution thanking St. Louis police officers fails in aldermanic committee

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ST. LOUIS -- A resolution thanking St. Louis police officers won't move forward to the full Board of Aldermen after a heated discussion in committee on Tuesday.

Multiple aldermen expressed frustration that the city in recent weeks had been mired in debates over "tit-for-tat" resolutions, which are not laws. Resolutions are typically used to ...Read more

Experimental HIV therapy may block virus longer with fewer drugs, study says

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MIAMI -- A new therapy for HIV that does not require a lifelong regimen of daily drug cocktails may be on the horizon if early indications from studies on mice prove effective in people, scientists at the Scripps Research Institute in Florida announced Tuesday in the journal Cell Reports.

Combining a new drug compound with existing ...Read more

McCaskill says 'honest, sloppy' mistake led her claim on drug legislation

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WASHINGTON -- Sen. Claire McCaskill said an "embarrassing, honest, mistake," led her office to say on Monday that she did not oppose a bill that hamstrung the Drug Enforcement Administration's ability to go after potentially illegal distributors of opioids because she was receiving treatment for breast cancer.

The bill passed Congress and was ...Read more

Nation and world news briefs

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Georgia man drowned at SeaWorld Aquatica water park

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The water was only about 3 feet deep where Michael Stone, wearing a life vest, drowned in a water park ride at Aquatica this summer after apparently passing out face down, Orange County Sheriff's Office reports show.

Stone was found unresponsive in Roa's Rapids -- a river-...Read more

South Carolina Gov. McMaster pledges to sign bill that could ban abortion

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COLUMBIA, S.C. -- An anti-abortion group says South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has signed on to its pledge that "personhood" begins at conception.

Personhood South Carolina announced Tuesday that McMaster has agreed to sign a bill that would give the unborn the full legal protections of a person, a move that would effectively overrule the ...Read more

White House is said to be open to keeping part of state tax break

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WASHINGTON -- The Trump administration is open to limiting the deduction for state and local taxes instead of ending it altogether, if there's enough fiscal space in the Republican tax plan, according to a White House official.

The tax framework released by the White House and GOP leaders last month suggested a full repeal of the so-called SALT...Read more

9 states sue Trump seeking illegal immigration crackdown data

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NEW YORK -- The Trump administration is refusing to turn over internal records about its crackdown on undocumented immigrants, nine U.S. states and the District of Columbia claim in a federal lawsuit.

The agencies that track down and deport people failed to respond to a June 29 Freedom of Information Act request for records about immigrants who...Read more

GOP's top Senate recruit in Missouri won't commit to voting for McConnell as leader

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WASHINGTON -- Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, Republicans' top recruit to challenge Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, won't commit to voting for Mitch McConnell as Senate Republican leader if elected in 2018.

Hawley's campaign spokesman, Scott Paradise, was asked directly whether his boss would support McConnell. Paradise deflected the ...Read more

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