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Ex-Russian Olympics official who drew wrath of Putin arrested by ICE in South Florida

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MIAMI -- A former Russian Olympic official once publicly ridiculed by President Vladimir Putin was arrested Tuesday morning by U.S. immigration agents at his South Florida home.

Agents detained Akhmed Bilalov, a onetime deputy head of the Russian Olympic Committee who fled the country after Putin chastised him for construction delays and ...Read more

Buttigieg focus groups found him being gay 'a barrier' for some black South Carolina voters

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WASHINGTON -- Internal focus groups conducted by Pete Buttigieg's presidential campaign this summer reveal a key reason why he is struggling with black American voters: some see his sexuality as a problem.

The 21-page report, conducted by the Benenson Strategy Group with black Democratic South Carolina voters in mid-July and obtained ...Read more

Biden in 1998 called Clinton impeachment a 'partisan lynching'

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WASHINGTON -- Before Joe Biden blasted Donald Trump on Tuesday for calling his possible impeachment a "lynching," the Democratic presidential candidate decried Bill Clinton's impeachment using the same racially tinged term.

"Even if the president should be impeached, history is going to question whether or not this was just a partisan lynching ...Read more

Nation and world news briefs

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Turkish bank is 'fugitive' in sanctions evasion case, US says

NEW YORK -- A U.S. prosecutor called Turkey's Halkbank a "fugitive" after lawyers for the state-owned bank failed to appear in an American courtroom on charges that it evaded sanctions on Iran. Turkiye Bank Halkasi AS was charged last week with scheming to help Iran tap $20 billion ...Read more

Anonymous Trump official who wrote 'resistance' op-ed to publish tell-all book

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WASHINGTON -- The anonymous writer behind the "I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration" op-ed published last year in The New York Times has written a forthcoming tell-all book.

The publisher, Twelve Books, announced Tuesday that the book titled "A Warning" will offer "an unprecedented behind-the-scenes portrait of the Trump ...Read more

Despite reversal, Trump's Doral promotion will now be used against him in court

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WASHINGTON -- Congressional Democrats filed a legal brief in federal court on Tuesday asserting that President Donald Trump's promotion of his Doral resort for the G-7 summit was further evidence he has violated the Emoluments Clause, despite his decision to reverse course.

The initial announcement last week -- from Trump's acting chief of ...Read more

Life without parole for war vet who said secret agency compelled him to kill stranger in Oceanside

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VISTA, Calif. -- An Iraq war veteran who said he killed a stranger in Oceanside at the behest of a secret agency that controlled his brain was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The sentence for Mikhail Schmidt comes less than a month after a Superior Court jury in North County found Schmidt guilty of first-...Read more

SeaWorld plans Sesame Street-based theme park near San Diego

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SAN DIEGO -- Elmo, Big Bird, Cookie Monster and the rest of the "Sesame Street" gang will be putting down new roots in Southern California in 2021: SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. plans to turn its Aquatica water slide venue in Chula Vista into a new Sesame Place theme park.

Orlando, Fla.-based SeaWorld and Sesame Workshop, the educational ...Read more

Ex-principal who made Holocaust comments faces firing next week

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BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Boca Raton residents and observers across the country have anxiously awaited William Latson's reckoning, after the former principal told a parent he couldn't say whether the Holocaust was real.

That day will come next week when Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent Donald Fennoy recommends Latson's termination to the ...Read more

DeSantis says he turned down arrested Giuliani associate for transition team

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis wouldn't say Tuesday whether he met with two associates of Rudy Giuliani recently arrested on campaign finance fraud charges since he became governor.

But one of the men -- he didn't say which -- wanted to be on a governor's transition committee for public safety but that request was denied, ...Read more

Accusing critics of a 'lynching' is not just a Trump thing

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WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump's description of his impeachment travails as a "lynching" is by no means the first time a public figure has used that term to attack critics.

But there's one thing Trump, a self-described billionaire who's spoken repeatedly -- if not always accurately -- about his European roots, does not have in common with...Read more

Democratic Rep. Katie Hill denies relationship with congressional staffer

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WASHINGTON -- Rep. Katie Hill on Tuesday denied allegations she had an improper relationship with the man who is her legislative director. The California Democrat said in a statement her estranged husband is attempting to humiliate her and suggested there is a "coordinated effort" to destroy her.

On Friday, RedState, a self-described ...Read more

LA City Council passes moratorium on rental evictions

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LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles City Council approved an emergency moratorium on evictions Tuesday that aims to stop landlords from quickly booting tenants before new statewide rental rules take effect in January.

In a 14-to-0 vote, council members passed a ban on "no-fault" evictions. The ban would prevent property owners from removing ...Read more

Turkish bank is 'fugitive' in sanctions evasion case, US says

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NEW YORK -- A U.S. prosecutor called Turkey's Halkbank a "fugitive" after lawyers for the state-owned bank failed to appear in an American courtroom on charges that it evaded sanctions on Iran. Turkiye Bank Halkasi AS was charged last week with scheming to help Iran tap $20 billion in frozen overseas accounts.

The case was filed amid a flurry ...Read more

'We don't just study': Inside Asia's bloody history of student-led protests

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SEOUL, South Korea -- As a college student, Lee Kyung-lan grew adept at assembling Molotov cocktails using paint thinner and soju bottles and learned that wearing a mask stuffed with toothpaste-laden tissue made tear gas more bearable, even if it wouldn't help with blistering on her skin.

Week after week, she took to the streets with classmates...Read more

Putin and Erdogan outline plan to reduce tension along Turkey-Syria border

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IRBIL, Iraq -- The presidents of Turkey and Russia outlined a plan late Tuesday meant to reduce tensions along the Turkey-Syria border, where Turkish forces launched a military offensive almost two weeks ago.

Authorities meeting in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi said the effort would involve Russian and Syrian government forces and a so-...Read more

Fall heat wave turns 'happiest place on Earth' into hottest place in America

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ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Mickey Mouse and his guests at the Magic Kingdom endured quite a scorcher on Monday.

The city of Anaheim, home to Disneyland, earned the title of hottest place in the United States for the day after reaching a sizzling 98 degrees. Yorba Linda and San Pasqual Valley trailed slightly at 97 degrees while Fullerton, Chino, ...Read more

Shrinking congressional districts look for federal help

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WASHINGTON -- Despite explosive growth in other areas of the country since 2010, about 80 congressional districts have lost significant population over the decade -- leaving many looking for help from a federal government consumed by impeachment.

Some districts may have lost 30,000 or more people through 2018, many of them in manufacturing and ...Read more

Trump floats Mulvaney replacements including Mnuchin and Conway

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WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump has for weeks been privately testing the idea of replacing his chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, who's swiftly fallen out of favor with some of the president's allies after high-profile stumbles handling the House impeachment inquiry.

About a month ago, Trump said to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in front of a ...Read more

Russia-linked group likely used Iranian hacking tools, NSA says

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WASHINGTON -- A Russia-linked group is believed to have utilized Iranian tools to conduct cyber attacks against dozens of countries, in an apparent effort to mask their identities, according to joint advisories by the U.S. and the U.K.

The group, known as Turla, used tools from suspected Iran-based hacking groups and deployed them against old ...Read more