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Why Democrats picked Beshear to rebut Trump Tuesday

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WASHINGTON -- Steve Beshear is 72 years old, out of office and on nobody's shortlist of presidential contenders, making him a seemingly odd choice among Democrats to respond to President Donald Trump's address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night.

But the former Kentucky governor's allies say no Democrat is better positioned to rebut...Read more

Trump's plan to boost military spending would cut foreign aid

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WASHINGTON -- The Office of Management and Budget on Monday declined to say precisely how President Donald Trump intends to cut every other federal department to find $54 billion to increase military spending.

But one budget category is clearly in his sights, said an OMB official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity: foreign aid.

"This ...Read more

Sessions says he'll recuse himself on Russia Probe if needed

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WASHINGTON -- U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said for the first time that he'll recuse himself if necessary from investigations into contacts that associates of President Donald Trump may have had with Russian government officials.

"I would recuse myself on anything that I should recuse myself on," Sessions told reporters Monday at the ...Read more

Will Trump lay out details of his agenda in address to Congress?

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WASHINGTON -- Presidents usually arrive at the U.S. Capitol for their first speeches to Congress to sell their highest priority legislative proposals.

Barack Obama stressed igniting an economic recovery. George W. Bush talked about a tax cut. Bill Clinton touted health care.

But don't expect Donald Trump -- a nontraditional president -- to ...Read more

Humans spark 84 percent of American wildfires, study finds

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People have started 84 percent of U.S. wildfires and 97 percent of wildfires in coastal California and the Central Valley, according to a new study led by scientists at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Human-started fires nationwide accounted for 44 percent of the total area of 89,339,131 acres burned over the last two decades.

These fires...Read more

Drone strike kills al-Qaida deputy leader in Syria, monitor says

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BEIRUT -- Al-Qaida's second-in-command, who goes by the name of Abu al-Khayr al-Masri, has been killed in a drone strike in northwestern Syria, a monitoring group said Monday.

A U.S. drone is believed to have carried out the strike near a military base in al-Mastoume in the countryside of the province of Idlib, Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the ...Read more

More bomb threats at Jewish schools and community centers

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NEW YORK -- More than a dozen Jewish day schools and community centers across the country were evacuated Monday morning after another round of telephoned bomb threats.

The threats, which came the day after a Jewish cemetery in suburban Philadelphia was desecrated by vandals who toppled more than 100 graves, are part of a surge in anti-Semitic ...Read more

Schumer and Pelosi's prebuttal to Trump: We disagree

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WASHINGTON -- Congress' top two Democrats on Monday delivered their "prebuttal" to President Donald Trump's first address to Congress, outlining reason after reason why Democrats cannot support anything they expect the president to propose.

Speaking at the National Press Club, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer of New York and House ...Read more

Democrats invite immigrants, refugees to Trump's first speech to Congress

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WASHINGTON -- It took Sil Ganzo a moment to grasp what Rep. Alma Adams was saying.

Ganzo, founder and executive director of ourBRIDGE for kids, thought Adams' telephone call was an inquiry to learn more about the organization that provides an after-school program in a welcoming environment to immigrant and refugee children from around the globe...Read more

SpaceX to fly private, paying citizens around the moon next year

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LOS ANGELES -- SpaceX said Monday that it will fly two private citizens around the moon in its Crew Dragon spacecraft next year.

The Hawthorne space company said in a statement that the two individuals have "already paid a significant deposit" to do a moon mission. Initial training, along with health and fitness tests will occur later this year...Read more

Judge appoints public defenders to represent suspect in Kansas bar killing

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OLATHE, Kan. -- The man charged in last week's deadly shooting in Olathe made his first court appearance Monday afternoon via closed-circuit television from the Johnson County Jail.

Adam Purinton, 51, is accused of shooting three men at Austins Bar & Grill on Wednesday in what is being investigated by the FBI as a possible hate crime.

Purinton...Read more

Justices skeptical about North Carolina law banning sex offenders from social media

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WASHINGTON -- Supreme Court justices on Monday cast doubt on a North Carolina law that bans registered sex offenders from using Facebook and other online social media.

Through their questions and statements, justices repeatedly voiced skepticism about the 2008 law now being challenged by Durham, N.C., resident and convicted sex offender Lester ...Read more

9th Circuit Court denies DOJ request to put travel ban appeal on hold

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The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has denied the Department of Justice's request to pause proceedings on an appeal of President Donald Trump's travel ban.

The court in a filing on Monday said its schedule over the federal government's appeal of a lower court's halt on Trump's travel ban will proceed, with the first brief due to the court on...Read more

Officials begin effort to shore up Oroville Dam

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The effort to protect Northern California's Oroville Dam entered a critical phase Monday as engineers began to shut off water flowing out of the damaged main spillway Monday afternoon, giving officials their first unobstructed view of the eroded concrete spillway since a crisis prompted mass evacuations earlier this month.

The move starts a ...Read more

NC House speaker says Cooper trying to 'sabotage' HB2 repeal

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RALEIGH, N.C. -- North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore on Monday criticized Gov. Roy Cooper for his remarks on Sunday opposing part of a bill that would repeal last year's House Bill 2.

"Gov. Cooper should stop playing political games, stop trying to please special interest groups and stop attempting to sabotage legislative efforts to find ...Read more

14 shot in Chicago over weekend as violence continues to outpace last year

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CHICAGO -- Four people were killed and 10 others were wounded over the weekend in Chicago as violence this year continues to outpace last year.

As of Monday morning, the city had logged 103 homicides, compared with 101 this time a year ago, according to data compiled by the Chicago Tribune. At least 513 people have been shot this year, compared...Read more

Clinton calls on Trump to speak out on hate crimes after Kansas shooting

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on President Donald Trump to speak out against hate crimes in the wake of the murder of an Indian engineer last week in Kansas.

Trump has yet to comment on the Olathe shooting, which also left two other victims injured. His press secretary, Sean Spicer, said last week ...Read more

Trump: 'I haven't called Russia in 10 years'

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WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump rejected calls for an independent investigation of his ties to Russia, telling a group of business leaders Monday that he hasn't called Russia in a decade.

At the start of a White House meeting with health care executives, a reporter asked Trump whether a special prosecutor should be assigned to investigate ...Read more

Ben Emons: Tail risks and the French election

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Markets trade in the probability of certain events happening. In case an event has high risk, a "tail" is priced in. Those tail risks typically show up in certain corners of the markets.

Today, tail risks are priced in for a potential unexpected outcome in the French elections. That tail risk is on the rise now that polls of the second round of...Read more

Officer pleads not guilty in Philando Castile shooting death

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MINNEAPOLIS -- The police officer charged with fatally shooting Philando Castile last summer in Falcon Heights, Minn., pleaded not guilty Monday.

Jeronimo Yanez, on leave from the St. Anthony Police Department, entered his plea to manslaughter and other charges in Ramsey County District Court.

During Yanez's appearance in court, a hearing was ...Read more