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Progressive presidential hopefuls are scrambling to figure out how to ride the Democratic wave

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WASHINGTON -- Days after Democrats won back the House, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren stood confidently before Democratic activists and pitched a half-trillion-dollar plan -- reminiscent of the New Deal -- to build millions of homes in low-income neighborhoods.

The expected 2020 presidential hopeful vowed to pay for it all with a new ...Read more

A month after Jayme Closs vanished, the feeling in her hometown is 'very dark'

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BARRON, Wis. -- After the grim news of what happened at the Closs place last month, some of the children here wonder if it's OK to be happy anymore.

Adults who never thought twice about locking their doors are now double-checking deadbolts and installing security systems.

Even the local sheriff admits that the gruesome details of what happened...Read more

Judge rebukes Trump officials over bid to stop census trial

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NEW YORK -- A federal judge in New York chastised the Justice Department for seeking an emergency halt to a trial over the Trump administration's plan to add a question about citizenship to the 2020 census, saying its efforts were "puzzling, if not sanctionable."

U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman, who heard testimony in the case in Manhattan ...Read more

Slain Chicago doctor broke off engagement with her killer weeks before deadly Mercy Hospital shooting

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CHICAGO -- As Tamara O'Neal's family gathered in her parents' living room in rural LaPorte County, Ind., on Tuesday, they traded stories about their love for a woman who had found her way in life as an emergency room doctor.

But there was one subject they were reluctant to talk about: Juan Lopez.

Lopez had killed O'Neal, his ex-fiancee, on ...Read more

Possible Pelosi challenger Marcia Fudge backs away from speaker's race, accepting committee assignment

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WASHINGTON -- The only Democrat publicly considering a challenge to Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi for the House speakership abruptly announced Tuesday that she would support the California Democrat instead, after being given a new committee chairmanship.

It was a setback for the Democratic rebellion trying to block Pelosi from regaining the ...Read more

Alex Villanueva inches closer to an upset in race for LA County sheriff

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LOS ANGELES -- Alex Villanueva, the retired cop who has commanded a startling lead in the election for Los Angeles County sheriff, edged closer to triumph Tuesday, stretching his margin to nearly 87,000 votes ahead of incumbent Jim McDonnell.

Almost 261,000 ballots still need to be counted in a race that -- no matter who wins -- has already ...Read more

Nation and world news briefs

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Marcia Fudge forgoes speaker bid, will support Pelosi

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Marcia Fudge has decided not to run for speaker and agreed to back Nancy Pelosi for the gavel after securing some concessions from the longtime Democratic leader.

"My consideration was due in large part to the lack of sustained efforts that ensure diversity, equity and ...Read more

Actress says Michael Avenatti had been violent toward her before, court documents show

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LOS ANGELES -- The 24-year-old actress who accused Michael Avenatti of domestic violence last week claims he had been abusive to her before, according to court records made public Tuesday.

Mareli Miniutti claimed Avenatti had "a history of being verbally abusive and financially controlling" during their yearlong relationship, according to a ...Read more

Sheriff's captain resigns, sergeant removed from streets after Parkland shooting failures

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- A Broward sheriff's captain resigned and a sergeant was placed on administrative duty Tuesday for their roles in responding to the Parkland school shooting.

Jan Jordan, the captain formerly in charge of the Parkland division, resigned several days after she was widely criticized by a state commission for her role ...Read more

Trump DOJ chief Whitaker received $900,000 from right-wing group

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WASHINGTON -- Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker was paid more than $900,000 by a conservative nonprofit in the 21 months before joining the Justice Department, according to his financial disclosure form released Tuesday.

The documents make clear that Whitaker's main income in the years immediately before Trump's election came from his ...Read more

Family wants justice after pregnant girl, 14, shot to death in Atlanta

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ATLANTA -- Like many girls her age, Sonja "Star" Harrison loved music and fashion and styling her hair, but the 14-year-old also had more serious cares: She was eight months' pregnant.

She was expecting to deliver a baby girl just before New Year's Day. Monday night she was babysitting her sister's three little boys at her sister's Southwest ...Read more

McAdams declared winner of House race in Utah over Rep. Mia Love

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WASHINGTON -- Democrat Ben McAdams defeated Republican Rep. Mia Love in Utah's 4th Congressional District, according to the Associated Press.

The match-up between the two-term congresswoman, the only black female Republican in the House, and Salt Lake County Mayor McAdams had been tied in the polls.

The issue of health care played a major role...Read more

Saudi prison officials tortured detained activists, groups say

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WASHINGTON -- Saudi prison officials tortured activists who have been detained without charge for months, according to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

Male and female activists were repeatedly tortured by electrocution and flogging at Saudi Arabia's Dhahban prison, leaving some unable to walk or stand properly, according to three ...Read more

Partisan gerrymandering undercut Democratic wave in NC, Ohio, Wisconsin

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WASHINGTON -- Lopsided Republican electoral majorities in North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin survived intact after the midterm elections, thanks to heavy partisan gerrymandering and despite the Democratic wave that flipped control of the House.

No House seats changed hands in North Carolina or Ohio, even though the total votes in those states ...Read more

Democrats plan to probe Ivanka Trump's use of personal email for government business

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WASHINGTON -- Democrats will examine Ivanka Trump's email use when they take control of the House in January following reports that she used a personal email address to conduct official government business, the incoming chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee said Tuesday.

"My goal is to prevent this from happening again...Read more

Trump promised California $500 million extra for fire prevention. It was an error

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WASHINGTON -- After touring the devastation of the Camp Fire in Paradise, Calif. on Saturday, President Donald Trump announced that the federal government would provide an additional $500 million in funding to the 2018 farm bill for forest management to help mitigate future fires.

Back in Washington, however, no one seems to know what he's ...Read more

Hyde-Smith's 'public hanging' comment at center stage in closing days of Mississippi Senate race

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BILOXI, Miss. -- Is incumbent Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith joking her way out of a U.S. Senate seat?

Democrats hope so and Republicans are seriously, increasingly concerned.

The Mississippi lawmaker's recent remarks about public hangings and voter suppression in a state with a tortured legacy of both against African-Americans has turned the Nov...Read more

After criticism, BSO captain in charge of Parkland shooting response resigns

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MIAMI -- Jan Jordan, the Broward Sheriff's Office captain who was criticized as "ineffective" for her handling of the police response to the Parkland school shooting, has resigned -- and one of her former subordinates, Sgt. Brian Miller, has been placed on restricted duty, BSO said in a statement Tuesday.

Jordan told Sheriff Scott Israel Monday...Read more

These ashes have a story to tell: Assessment teams examine Camp fire's devastation

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The survivors of the Camp fire aren't the only ones with a story to tell about the fire that destroyed Paradise.

Buried among the charred ponderosa pines and scorched rubble are clues to what transpired when a small fire broke out nearby on the morning of Nov. 8 and swallowed the Northern California town of nearly 27,000 residents in a matter ...Read more

Missouri mother of 3 killed in Catholic Supply shooting was active in church, sang in choir

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. -- A House Springs woman killed by a gunman at a Catholic Supply store in St. Louis County was active in her church choir and may have been at the store to buy supplies to make rosaries for fellow parishioners.

Police identified the woman killed as Jamie Schmidt, 53, a customer at the store where the gunman sexually ...Read more