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Millions in military aid at center of impeachment hasn't reached Ukraine

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WASHINGTON -- More than $20 million of the Pentagon aid at the center of the impeachment fight still hasn't reached Ukraine.

The continued delay undermines a key argument against impeachment from President Donald Trump's Republican allies and a new legal memo from the White House Office of Management and Budget.

Initially, Trump directed ...Read more

Pompeo intervenes to release $115 million in aid for Lebanon

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WASHINGTON -- Secretary of State Michael Pompeo personally intervened Thursday to order the release of about $115 million in economic aid to Lebanon that had been quietly held up for a month, the latest skirmish over delays that became an issue in the Ukraine impeachment inquiry, four people familiar with the matter said.

The hold on the ...Read more

Thornberry calls for US action to deter Iran aggression

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WASHINGTON -- Iran is likely to attack more Western targets in the Middle East soon, and the United States will need to respond, Mac Thornberry of Texas, the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, said in an interview Thursday.

"I expect Iran will take further provocative actions in the coming weeks," Thornberry said on a C-SPAN ...Read more

Senate Republicans resist calls for a drawn-out Trump trial

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WASHINGTON -- Republican leaders appear determined to conduct a relatively brief impeachment trial of President Donald Trump in the Senate next month, possibly without calling witnesses, overruling the president's push for a weekslong spectacle to seek political retribution against Democrats.

The internal tussle pits Trump's delight in a bare-...Read more

Woman fakes her own kidnapping, steals a truck and leads cops on chase, NC police say

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RALEIGH, N.C. -- A woman led cops on a chase in North Carolina after officials say she faked her own kidnapping to steal a truck.

Virginia Saavedra, 37, came up to a man's house in Sophia on Wednesday and told him she had just escaped a kidnapping attempt from a man she didn't know, according to the Randolph County Sheriff's Office.

Upon ...Read more

The nurse's patient was dead. Her supervisor found her asleep with her head on a stove

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MIAMI -- A Daytona Beach nurse has had her license restricted after she appeared to be impaired by morphine during her shift at a patient's home, the Florida Department of Health said.

An addiction physician said the incident unveiled substance abuse and mental health issues that put both the nurse and her patients at risk until they're ...Read more

Nation and world news briefs

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San Diego's Mexican Consulate sets up college scholarship fund for Latino immigrants and their children

SAN DIEGO -- The Mexican government and a local nonprofit announced a college scholarship program for San Diego's Latino immigrants and their children Thursday.

In partnership with the Metropolitan Advisory Committee, or MAAC, the consul ...Read more

Did Parnas and Fruman take South Korean cash? Court filing is new twist in Ukraine mystery

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WASHINGTON -- In another twist to the bizarre political saga involving South Florida businessmen Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, a recent court filing suggested that the pair might have drawn on foreign funds from South Korea in addition to Russian funds that federal prosecutors say the pair used as part of a straw donor scheme.

The reference to ...Read more

North Carolina's attorney general joins in criticism of UNC's Silent Sam deal with Confederates

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RALEIGH, N.C. -- Add North Carolina's attorney general to the list of those who don't think the University of North Carolina System should give $2.5 million to the N.C. Sons of Confederate Veterans to preserve and display the Silent Sam Confederate monument.

Josh Stein "personally believes it is an excessive amount of money that should instead ...Read more

White House delays new tariffs on China

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WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump will not impose new tariffs on an additional $160 billion of Chinese imports that were scheduled to take effect this weekend, after tentatively signing off Thursday on a so-called phase one trade agreement with Beijing, according to an administration official close to the process.

Trump's promise of a deal ...Read more

LAPD officer accused of fondling dead woman's breasts is arrested and charged

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LOS ANGELES -- A Los Angeles Police Department officer accused of fondling a dead woman's breasts was arrested Thursday and charged, officials said.

David Rojas was taken into custody by the Internal Affairs Division after the district attorney's office charged the Central Division officer with a felony violation of the state safety codes ...Read more

Rock thrown through door of house owned by Baltimore mayor, police say

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BALTIMORE -- Baltimore police responded to a report earlier this week that someone threw a rock through the door of a home owned by Mayor Bernard C. "Jack" Young.

Police were called Tuesday to the 1500 block of E. Madison St., where a woman told officers she and her husband were upstairs when they heard a "boom" at the front door. Earlier in ...Read more

San Diego woman's home targeted by burglars the day after she is killed

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SAN DIEGO -- The home of a San Diego woman fatally shot last week on a nearby sidewalk, allegedly by her husband, was targeted by burglars a day after her death, police and family members say.

Two people have been arrested in connection with the burglary.

Fernando Avila, 28, has been charged with gunning down 29-year-old Julia Serrano on Dec. ...Read more

Grieving parents plead for return of their baby's ashes after their suburban Chicago home was burglarized

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CHICAGO -- A grieving mother and father are pleading for the return of their baby's ashes, which were stolen from their bedroom when their west suburban Chicago home was burglarized earlier this week.

Sue LaDeur said she returned to her house in Elmhurst Tuesday afternoon to find it had been broken into and ransacked. Among the items taken was ...Read more

Trump may not get public witnesses in Senate trial after McConnell warns of 'spectacle'

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WASHINGTON -- Despite President Donald Trump calling for public witnesses in an expected Senate impeachment trial, White House officials are privately conceding that will be unlikely given signals from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

One White House official told McClatchy that McConnell's calls to avoid a "spectacle" on the Senate ...Read more

Conn. Supreme Court justices raise questions about gag order in Fotis Dulos case during emergency hearing

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HARTFORD, Conn. -- Several Connecticut Supreme Court justices questioned the gag order implemented in the on-going case of the disappearance of Jennifer Farber Dulos Thursday, hinting that the state's jury selection process weeds out potential bias and any impact that pre-trial publicity can have even on a high-profile case like this one.

"What...Read more

Federal judge halts enforcement of LA's NRA disclosure law

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LOS ANGELES -- A federal judge has blocked Los Angeles from enforcing a law requiring companies that seek contracts with the city to disclose whether they have ties to the National Rifle Association.

The preliminary injunction issued Wednesday marks an initial victory for the gun rights group, which sued the city earlier this year over the law....Read more

A Pennsylvania election fiasco with new voting machines happened because they were set up incorrectly

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PHILADELPHIA -- When votes were tallied last month using new voting machines in Northampton County, it was quickly obvious that something had gone wrong.

The numbers were so clearly inaccurate that a judge ordered the machines impounded, scanners were brought in to help count ballots, and voters questioned the integrity of the machines and the ...Read more

Central American in MPP program murdered in Tijuana, attorney says

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TIJUANA, Mexico -- A 35-year-old man from El Salvador returned to Mexico under a controversial Trump administration program was brutally murdered in Tijuana while waiting for an outcome to his U.S. asylum case, according to his family's attorney.

During a seven-month period, the man and his family repeatedly told U.S. officials -- including a ...Read more

For Armenian Americans, Congress' recognition of their genocide is just part of the battle

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LOS ANGELES -- For three generations, Sophia Armen's family has fought for recognition of the massacre that drove their ancestors to the United States.

A community organizer, Armen grew up attending rallies that advocated for U.S. acknowledgment of the 1915-1923 Armenian genocide carried out by Turkey's Ottoman Empire -- the violence that her ...Read more