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Mitch McConnell —yes, that Mitch McConnell—moves to legalize hemp across the country

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WASHINGTON -- Embracing the hemp industry was a savvy political move for Kentucky Rep. James Comer, the only Republican to win statewide in 2011 during an otherwise tough year for his party.

The political message got through. Now taking up the charge to make it easier --and completely legal -- for U.S. farmers to grow and market hemp products, ...Read more

School walkout will remember Columbine and keep up pressure for change

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.--Shots ripped through the nation's consciousness at Columbine High School 19 years ago Friday -- before most of this year's high school graduates were even born.

Now the self-named "mass shooting generation" plans to walk out of school to commemorate that dark day, and to protest about how little has changed. Two students ...Read more

Democrats unified against Trump but torn on election agenda

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WASHINGTON -- Democrats are conflicted over the path back to power, caught between catering to a base that is seething with anger toward President Donald Trump and appealing to voters in Republican-leaning parts of the country who they'll need win control of Congress.

A debate about an attack plan for the November elections pits two party ...Read more

Immigrants' deaths rattle farmworker town

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DELANO, Calif. -- Celestino Hilario Garcia, his eyes bloodshot and his voice raw, struggled to explain that his brother's and sister-in-law's deaths were not his fault.

A month ago, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents had trained their sights on Santos Hilario Garcia. In the early-morning darkness, they followed in two black Jeeps as he ...Read more

Nation's top doctor wants the overdose antidote widely on hand. Is that feasible?

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When Surgeon General Jerome Adams issued an advisory calling for more people to carry naloxone -- not just people at overdose risk, but also friends and family -- experts and advocates were almost giddy.

This is an "unequivocally positive" step forward, said Leo Beletsky, an associate professor of law and health sciences at Northeastern ...Read more

Robert Durst's wife told her mentor the millionaire murder suspect had a 'homicidal side'

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LOS ANGELES -- Kathleen Durst's former medical school mentor testified Wednesday that during a conversation in 1981 she told him she lived in fear of her husband, New York real estate tycoon Robert Durst, who she said had a "homicidal side."

Kathleen vanished in 1982 and her body has never been recovered. No one has been charged in connection ...Read more

Gov. Jerry Brown says Trump administration will fund his National Guard mission — without immigration duties

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Gov. Jerry Brown formally mobilized 400 California National Guard members on Wednesday for transnational crime-fighting duties, thus preventing any effort by President Donald Trump to have the troops focus on immigration enforcement on the Mexican border.

The governor announced that federal officials have agreed to fund ...Read more

Twenty minutes of terror in the sky

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PHILADELPHIA -- Anna Montie, a passenger aboard Southwest Flight 1380, was watching an episode of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" on her laptop when she heard a loud thud.

The plane rocked like it had hit a giant pothole in the sky.

A man behind her screamed.

The takeoff Tuesday had been uneventful, the Boeing jet flying out of New York ...Read more

Students and parents vent anger during Florida school security forum

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PLANTATION, Fla. -- Two months after a massacre in Parkland made security the top focus in Broward County schools, many parents and students say the school district is doing too little to ensure safety.

An emotionally charged school security forum at Plantation High drew hundreds who complained about what they saw as an ineffective response by ...Read more

Defense lawyers say former FBI agent being investigated for perjury in Greitens case

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ST. LOUIS -- Lawyers for Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens claimed in a court filing Wednesday that a former FBI agent involved in the investigation of the governor's 2015 affair is himself being investigated for perjury.

The two-page filing offers no support for the assertion. It says simply that "As the Court knows, there is now a criminal ...Read more

Trump wants one-on-one talks with Kim at summit, report says

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SEOUL, South Korea -- Donald Trump wants to go it alone with Kim Jong Un, according to a South Korean newspaper report.

The U.S. president hopes to speak with the North Korean leader at their upcoming summit with only interpreters present, the Chosun Ilbo reported Thursday, citing multiple unidentified South Korean diplomatic sources.

The ...Read more

Texas Gov. Abbott wants to send 1,400 National Guard troops to border

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AUSTIN, Texas -- As of April 12, 762 Texas National Guard troops were deployed to the border, state officials announced at a legislative hearing on Wednesday.

Speaking to the Texas House Committee on Appropriations, Angela Isaack, manager the Legislative Budget Board, said the deployment had come as a consequence of President Donald Trump's ...Read more

'I am more a Spy than he is': Trump defends N.C. pastor

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- President Donald Trump leveled harsh words against Turkey this week over its jailing and trial of North Carolina pastor Andrew Brunson.

"They call him a Spy, but I am more a Spy than he is," Trump tweeted late Tuesday.

Trump called Brunson "a fine gentleman and Christian leader in the United States" who "is being persecuted ...Read more

Few political changes likely as Cuba moves on from six decades under the Castro brothers

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HAVANA -- In many ways, it seemed a day like any other in the Western Hemisphere's only communist nation.

Young Cubans gathered at wireless hot spots here in the capital to connect their smart phones. Taxis -- vintage Chevrolets and Buicks and other classics -- lined up outside hotels catering to Europeans and Canadians.

As the sun set, ...Read more

Rashon Nelson, arrested at Philadelphia Starbucks, is defended by neighbors, frat brothers

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PHILADELPHIA -- To his neighbors in the Elmwood section of Southwest Philadelphia, and to his fraternity brothers nationwide, Rashon Nelson is a good guy.

Nelson, 23, was one of two men seen on video being arrested last week at a Rittenhouse Square Starbucks for sitting in the store without making a purchase -- a video that went viral and ...Read more

Deadly plane failure raises questions about safety of widely used engine

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PHILADELPHIA--A commercial airplane's engine failure over Pennsylvania on Tuesday bears similarities to problems on another plane less than two years ago, but federal investigators declined to say there was cause to worry about a class of engine shared by both aircraft and used by hundreds of airlines around the world.

"We are very concerned ...Read more

Senate changes rules to allow babies on the floor

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WASHINGTON -- The Senate took a leap forward into modernity Wednesday, changing the rules to allow mothers to bring their infants onto the Senate floor.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, the ranking Democrat on the Rules and Administration Committee, was among the lawmakers hailing the change, which was adopted by unanimous consent.

"Every day moms and dads...Read more

Homeland Security secretary visits Calexico border construction

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SAN DIEGO -- Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen visited Calexico's replacement border barrier project on Wednesday after holding a town hall with local Border Patrol agents and officials from other immigration-related agencies.

The new chief of the Border Patrol in El Centro, Gloria Chavez, gave Nielsen a piece of the old Vietnam War ...Read more

Federal judge finds Kris Kobach in contempt of court in voting rights case

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TOPEKA, Kan. -- A federal judge on Wednesday found Secretary of State Kris Kobach in contempt of court in a case involving Kansas voting laws, her latest rebuke of the Republican candidate for governor.

Kobach is considered a GOP frontrunner despite his constant court battles involving voter fraud and strict voting requirements that he has ...Read more

US could order recall of defective guns under lawmaker's bill

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A Democratic U.S. House member introduced legislation that would give the federal government the power to recall defective firearms -- a bill that may face long odds in Congress.

The legislation by Rep. Debbie Dingell of Michigan would allow the Consumer Product Safety Commission to issue safety warnings or order recalls of defective guns. No ...Read more