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Trump touts federal response to California wildfires

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WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump on Monday praised his administration's response to the wildfires that have killed more than 40 people and displaced tens of thousands of people.

"We have FEMA there. We have military there. We have first responders there," he said. "It's a tragic situation. We are working very closely from the ...Read more

Florida Republican who once claimed alien abduction announces House bid

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WASHINGTON -- Either Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera has been watching too much Syfy Channel or she's really just that special. We'll probably never know for sure.

No matter, the 59-year-old Republican, who once recalled in an interview a visit from three blond-haired aliens who took her aboard their spacecraft, is running for Florida's 27th ...Read more

Trump holds Cuba responsible for sonic attacks

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WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump is holding Cuba responsible for the bizarre sonic attacks on U.S. diplomats in Havana that have affected as many as 25 people.

The comments, which came during an impromptu Rose Garden news conference Monday with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., represented a departure from State Department ...Read more

Napa Valley workers harvest last fruits of season by night

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YOUNTVILLE, Calif. -- Mario Maldonado didn't wear a mask. The 22-year-old field laborer thought it would slow him down. Besides, he doesn't like to cover his face when he tends to the vineyards on most nights.

But this Napa Valley harvest was different than most. A muddied pinkish glow emanated from the horizon. A haze hovered in the air and ...Read more

Stunner on birth control: Trump's moral exemption is geared to just 2 groups

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Few people were surprised last week when the Trump administration issued a rule to make it easier for some religious employers to opt out of offering no-cost prescription birth control to their female employees under the Affordable Care Act.

But a separate regulation issued at the same time raised eyebrows. It creates a new exemption from the ...Read more

Trump says he 'can understand' why Steve Bannon is at war with the GOP establishment

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WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump said Monday he can understand why his former top adviser Steve Bannon called for "a season of war" on the GOP establishment.

"I'm not going to blame myself. I'll be honest, they are not getting the job done," Trump told reporters in the White House before a scheduled lunch with Senate Majority Leader Mitch ...Read more

Supreme Court to decide if US agents can obtain emails stored overseas by Microsoft

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WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court said Monday it has agreed to hear an urgent Justice Department appeal and decide whether emails that are stored overseas can be obtained by government investigators armed with a search warrant.

Microsoft Corp. has defied federal authorities since 2013 by refusing to comply with court orders to turn over emails ...Read more

Rep. Duncan Hunter has spent nearly half a million dollars on legal fees amid FBI probe

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WASHINGTON -- Rep. Duncan Hunter's campaign has spent nearly half a million dollars on legal fees this year amid the ongoing FBI investigation into alleged misuse of his campaign funds.

Hunter's most recent report to the Federal Election Commission shows the campaign spent $134,794 with six prominent Washington, D.C., area and San Diego law ...Read more

California taxpayers will back LA Olympics bid if it goes over budget

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Los Angeles' 2028 Olympics bid received official support from the state on late Sunday when Gov. Jerry Brown signed a measure giving the effort a financial backstop from California taxpayers.

The legislation -- Assembly Bill 132 from Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer, D-Los Angeles -- allows the state to spend up to $270 ...Read more

Astronomers strike gold -- and platinum -- as they watch two neutron stars collide

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In a highly anticipated first, scientists said they've detected the collision of two neutron stars and confirmed that these cataclysmic events are indeed a source of gold, platinum and other heavy elements in the universe.

The powerful smash-up produced gravitational waves that were picked up by the LIGO and Virgo observatories. It also emitted...Read more

California voters who don't speak English will get more help in 2018

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- California elections officials will have to provide more voting materials in the languages of a community's voters -- including sample ballots -- under a law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Sunday.

Assembly Bill 918 was inspired in part by reports showing a sizable number of limited-English-speaking voters in 2016 had very ...Read more

Death toll rises to 41, firefighters gain control Northern California blazes

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Firefighters on Monday continued to gain control of the deadly wildfires that have ravaged Northern California's wine country, as officials lifted multiple evacuation orders across the region.

In the last week, the fires have scorched more than 200,000 acres, destroyed or damaged more than 5,500 homes, displaced 100,000 people and killed at ...Read more

Clashes break out as Iraqi forces take control of Kurdish-held installations around Kirkuk

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BEIRUT -- Gunfire and explosions rang out Monday as Iraqi forces moved to take control of a Kurdish-held military base and oil fields outside the disputed city of Kirkuk, raising the specter of a showdown between two U.S.-armed allies in the fight against the Islamic State.

The government forces, which include members of the army, ...Read more

Thad Cochran, still ailing, will miss Senate votes this week

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WASHINGTON -- Sen. Thad Cochran will not immediately return to Congress following a four-week absence, raising speculation about the 79-year-old Mississippi Republican's ability to continue as Appropriations Chairman during the remainder of the 115th Congress.

His absence also could have implications for the budget resolution vote this week, ...Read more

22 shot in Chicago over the weekend, 9 fatally

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CHICAGO -- A 64-year-old teacher killed by a stray bullet. A young mother slain on the front steps of her home. A grade school girl shot and critically wounded in the chest, apparently by accident.

They were among the 22 people shot in Chicago over the weekend. Nine of them died.

The latest gun violence brought the number of people shot this ...Read more

Trump to meet with the Philippines' Duterte, who is accused of human rights abuses

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WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump will meet with the controversial president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, during an upcoming tour of Asia, the White House announced Monday.

Duterte has been accused of egregious human rights abuse in his declared war on drug traffickers, which activists and others have blamed for the slaying of ...Read more

Senators launch podcasts to connect with constituents

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WASHINGTON -- Tech-savvy senators are trying out a new platform to connect with voters: podcasts. Democrats Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota are embracing the opportunity to record and share.

Brown's podcast, "Canarycast," launched Oct. 3, focuses on the value of hard work and gets its name from a pin the senator wears ...Read more

Trump pounces on Democrats over Iran deal, tax overhaul

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WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump spent early Monday morning slamming congressional Democrats for not supporting a proposed tax overhaul and then sent a personal message to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer over the Iran deal.

"Dem Senator Schumer hated the Iran deal made by President Obama, but now that I am involved, he is OK with it," ...Read more

Thousands flee as Iraqi forces seize parts of disputed Kirkuk

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BAGHDAD -- Thousands of Iraqis were fleeing the city of Kirkuk after government forces advanced to capture parts of the disputed Kurdish-controlled province in retaliation for an independence referendum Iraqi Kurds held late last month.

Hundreds of cars and trucks queued on the highways heading to the northern cities of Sulaimaniya and Erbil, ...Read more

At least 276 killed in Mogadishu truck bombing, dozens still missing

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MOGADISHU, Somalia -- The death toll in a weekend truck bombing in Mogadishu has risen to 276, the Somali government said Monday, with 300 others injured and dozens of people missing.

"These numbers are expected to rise as more victims continue to be rescued from the rubble," said humanitarian affairs and disaster management minister Maryan ...Read more