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Trump administration OKs aid to Central American countries praised for immigration help

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WASHINGTON -- If the president of a country is implicated in running a massive drug-trafficking network, you might think that would be a disqualifier for receiving U.S. aid.

But not if the country is Honduras and the Trump administration holds the purse strings.

The State Department in recent days has quietly certified Honduras and its two ...Read more

Rising COVID-19 hospitalization numbers in North Carolina have doctors concerned

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RALEIGH, N.C. -- The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in North Carolina each day has crept up in the last two weeks, and some doctors worry it may be a sign of things to come.

The hospitalization numbers reported by the state Department of Health and Human Services fluctuate from day to day, but from mid-April to mid-May they mostly ...Read more

Trump claims victory although crises continue

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WASHINGTON -- Buoyed by a better than expected jobs report, President Donald Trump claimed victory Friday over the nation's three most serious crises -- the coronavirus outbreak, protests over police brutality and endemic racism, and an economy on life support -- even though none are close to solved.

With his reelection campaign down in the ...Read more

Is 'Old Hangtown' offensive? Dueling petitions argue over California city's nickname

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Outdated and offensive, or historically significant?

Amid nationwide protests centered on the topics of police reform and racial injustice, sparked by the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week, two petition efforts popped up this week regarding the welcome sign that greets those entering the Northern ...Read more

GOP renews 'go slow' approach on virus aid after jobs report

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WASHINGTON -- Some top Republicans see more reasons to pump the brakes on efforts to pass another multi-trillion-dollar pandemic relief package after Friday's surprisingly positive jobs numbers.

The Labor Department's report of a modest decline in the unemployment rate to 13.3% in May -- instead of a rise to Depression-era levels many ...Read more

Judge denies prosecutor's request to drop rape charges against Orange County doctor, girlfriend

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LOS ANGELES -- A judge denied the Orange County district attorney's request to dismiss sexual assault charges against a well-known Newport Beach doctor and his girlfriend Friday, continuing a legal saga that has been marred by a political battle between the county's current and former top prosecutor.

Grant Robicheaux, 39, and his girlfriend ...Read more

Looters who hit LA stores explain what they did: 'Get my portion!'

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LOS ANGELES -- The young man flanked the shattered entry of a ransacked CVS in Santa Monica, where people had swept the shelves clean of everything from diapers to detergent. The man, who did not cover his face, admitted he was a looter. He did not apologize.

"We've got no other way of showing people how angry we are," he said.

Out of the ...Read more

Calif. mayor resigns after backlash over email about police killings

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LOS ANGELES – Temecula, Calif., Mayor James "Stew" Steward resigned Thursday evening amid backlash over an email he wrote about police killings that went viral.

On Tuesday, a resident requested information regarding Steward's plans to end police violence and racial policing in the community, stating, "This issue is very important to me and my...Read more

We caught up with Hillary Clinton. Here's her message for the nation right now

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Since "Hillary," Hulu's four-part documentary about Hillary Clinton, premiered in early March, America has been devastated by a pandemic and convulsed by nationwide protests following the police killing of George Floyd.

Clinton understands the despair that drives the protests and pervades the country in the wake of more than 100,000 pandemic ...Read more

Personnel records shed light on four Minneapolis police officers charged in George Floyd's death

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Derek Chauvin, the now-fired Minneapolis Police officer charged with second-degree murder in the death of George Floyd, worked in military police in the U.S. Army during his two years of active service, including a stint in Germany.

Chauvin's military background is among the details in a cache of personnel records released by the...Read more

OAS head gets Haiti constitutional lesson after entering fight on end of president's term

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Human rights and opposition leaders in Haiti are taking the secretary general of the Organization of American States to task, accusing him of overstepping his role and wrongly supporting an extension of President Jovenel Moise's presidential mandate.

Luis Almagro, who assumed his second term as head of the hemispheric body last week after heavy...Read more

LA woman is drawing attention to another black death at police hands: Breonna Taylor

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LOS ANGELES -- Widespread protests provoked by the death of George Floyd have swept the nation this week, but some activists, like the L.A.-based writer Cate Young, want to use this opportunity to spotlight other cases, too.

On Tuesday, Young launched a campaign to demand justice for Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency medical technician ...Read more

Cristobal forecast to turn into tropical storm again in Gulf of Mexico, move toward US

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MIAMI -- Tropical depression Cristobal is dousing parts of Mexico and Central America with heavy rain on Friday and is forecast to strengthen into a tropical storm again as it reemerges into the Gulf of Mexico and moves north toward the U.S. Gulf Coast this weekend.

Cristobal could bring heavy rain, tropical storm force winds and flash floods ...Read more

Post-lockdown Mideast shows signs of more virus trouble ahead

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Saudi Arabia had barely inaugurated a slogan for loosening its coronavirus restrictions -- "Return carefully" -- when health officials looking at the numbers started to threaten another lockdown.

The number of COVID-19 patients in critical condition in the kingdom has tripled over the past week. Just days after the economy reopened, health-care...Read more

Governor, state attorney general agree Jefferson Davis statue should be moved from Kentucky Capitol

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Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said Thursday the controversial statue of Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy during the Civil War, should be removed from the Kentucky Capitol, calling it a divisive symbol.

Attorney General Daniel Cameron, the first black person to hold that office, also said he thinks the statue should be relocated.

...Read more

May jobless rate falls to 13.3%, likely marking the bottom of coronavirus-related economic slump

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WASHINGTON -- The government reported Friday that the unemployment rate dropped to 13.3% last month after soaring to 14.7% in April, an unexpectedly positive turn that suggests the pandemic-induced recession may have hit bottom.

Most analysts had expected the rate would keep rising, perhaps as high as 20%.

But instead employers also added 2.5 ...Read more

Fauci, virus task force sidelined with Trump all-in on reopening

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The White House's coronavirus task force has all but vanished from public view as President Donald Trump pushes Americans to put the outbreak behind them and resume normal social and economic life.

The task force was once a staple of Trump's response to the pandemic. From March 4 until late April, the panel held nearly daily, televised ...Read more

Mayor Lori Lightfoot denounces vigilantism in Chicago after white men patrol neighborhood streets with bats

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CHICAGO -- Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the city will not tolerate vigilantism after groups of mostly white men patrolled the streets of the Bridgeport neighborhood on Wednesday night in response to a nearby city protest.

Multiple streets were blocked in the Bridgeport neighborhood Wednesday night as nearby protests dispersed. Near West ...Read more

US jobless rate unexpectedly fell in May as hiring rebounded

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America's labor market unexpectedly rebounded in May, signaling the economy is picking up faster than thought from the depths of the damage from the coronavirus pandemic.

Nonfarm payrolls rose by 2.5 million after a 20.7 million tumble the prior month that was the largest in records back to 1939, according to Labor Department data Friday. The ...Read more

Judges try to balance legal rights and courtroom health

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It's tough getting people to report for jury duty in normal times. It's even harder during a pandemic.

The kidnapping and rape trial of Kenneth Weathersby Jr. opened Feb. 24 in Vallejo, Calif., but three weeks later two jurors refused to show up after the state ordered people to stay home. Then the state's chief justice stopped jury trials for ...Read more