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Abortion rate at lowest point in 46 years

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WASHINGTON -- The abortion rate in the United States hit a 46-year low in 2017, a drop experienced in both conservative-led states that have restricted the procedure and liberal-led states that have expanded access, according to a report released Wednesday by a research group that supports abortion rights.

The nationwide rate dropped to 13.5 ...Read more

FAA invites other nations to discuss work on grounded 737 Max

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WASHINGTON -- U.S. aviation regulators are calling for a meeting with their counterparts from about 50 other countries to discuss progress on returning Boeing Co.'s grounded 737 Max to service as some nations have begun saying they will perform independent assessments of the plane.

The Federal Aviation Administration on Tuesday sent a letter to...Read more

Democratic donor Ed Buck arrested, charged with operating drug house

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LOS ANGELES -- The prominent Democratic donor and LGBTQ political activist Ed Buck was arrested Tuesday and charged with operating a drug house and providing methamphetamine to a 37-year-old man who overdosed last week, officials said.

Buck was charged with three counts of battery causing serious injury, administering methamphetamine and ...Read more

At least 22 dead in Kabul suicide bombing claimed by Taliban

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KABUL, Afghanistan -- At least 22 people, including six military personnel, were killed in a suicide bombing in the center of Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, the Ministry of Interior Affairs said Tuesday.

Nearly 40 others, including women and children, were wounded in the incident, the ministry said in a statement.

The Taliban have claimed ...Read more

Trump immigration officials defend tent courts, saying they'll speed up asylum process

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LAREDO, Texas -- The new immigration tent court in this border city feels more like a detention center: barbed wire chain-link fence, metal detectors, security cameras and uniformed guards.

Asylum cases can take years, but the tent courts that recently opened here and in Brownsville, Texas, were designed to reduce that to as little as 40 days, ...Read more

Trump fans can't sue San Jose as a group over violence at rally

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Donald Trump fans who accuse police of not protecting them at a 2016 presidential campaign rally that turned violent failed to convince a judge that they should be able to sue on behalf of thousands who attended the event.

The 20 rally-goers brought civil rights claims against San Jose, Calif., and a handful of police officers ...Read more

Hong Kong won't concede to more protester demands, top adviser says

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HONG KONG -- Hong Kong's government doesn't see any benefit in conceding to more demands from protesters and the increasingly violent demonstrations are unlikely to stop anytime soon, according to a top adviser to leader Carrie Lam.

Radical demonstrators -- some of whom have lobbed petrol bombs at police and vandalized subway stations in recent...Read more

US Navy says it's tracking UFOs

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SAN DIEGO -- Strange flying objects captured on video by Navy fighter pilots off the coast of San Diego in 2004 and in Atlantic waters in 2015 were acknowledged by the Navy as "unidentified aerial phenomena" last week, the first time the service has acknowledged the objects are real.

The three videos, published by former Blink-182 guitarist Tom...Read more

Iranian supreme leader says no negotiations 'on any level' with US

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TEHRAN, Iran -- Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Tuesday that no negotiations would take place between Iran and the United States unless the United States "repents," amid a series of accusations flying between the two sides.

Ties between Washington and Tehran have deteriorated since the U.S. pulled out of the 2015 nuclear ...Read more

Trump administration asks top court to curb CFPB's independence

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WASHINGTON -- The Trump administration urged the U.S. Supreme Court to give the president more control over the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the agency that regulates mortgages and credit cards.

Asking the court to take up a pending appeal, administration lawyers said the Constitution requires that the president be allowed to fire the ...Read more

Iran shows Trump that it's too big to be crushed or marginalized

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LONDON -- Earlier this year, President Donald Trump warned that "it's going to be a bad problem for Iran if something happens." Something big has happened with an attack on Saudi oil infrastructure, and yet the administration in Washington looks like the one with the problem.

After leading voices in the Trump administration laid the blame ...Read more

E. coli outbreak linked to Minnesota State Fair animal birth exhibit

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MINNEAPOLIS -- At least 11 visitors to this summer's Minnesota State Fair have suffered E. coli infections, and disease investigators have concluded that contact with animals in the popular Miracle of Birth Center is the leading culprit.

Six of the sickened individuals, who ranged in age from 2 to 43, were hospitalized, and one suffered ...Read more

New political maps pass NC legislature, will be reviewed by judges who ordered redraw

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RALEIGH, N.C. -- North Carolina's new political maps gained final approval from the N.C. House and Senate on Tuesday. Nearly all Republicans supported them, and Democrats were split.

The maps can't be vetoed by Gov. Roy Cooper -- the state constitution specifically forbids it -- but they aren't necessarily the final word. A panel of judges ...Read more

Autistic student dragged 250 feet, kicked twice by Fayette school employee, lawsuit says

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LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The parents of a Tates Creek Middle School student with autism filed a lawsuit against the Fayette County school officials, alleging that he sustained serious injuries in 2018 when he was dragged 250 feet down hallways, kicked twice by an employee and "unsafely" carried up 19 stairs.

The lawsuit filed Sept. 13 in Fayette ...Read more

Biden touts political longevity in bid for union support at Philly event: 'You all know me'

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PHILADELPHIA -- Former Vice President Joe Biden leaned hard into his long history of support for and from organized labor Tuesday, telling hundreds of union members in Philadelphia he has never let them down.

"The bad news is I've been around a long time," Biden said at a Democratic presidential forum at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. "The...Read more

Holocaust survivors urge Congress to let them sue European insurance companies

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WASHINGTON -- The president of the Holocaust Survivors of Miami-Dade County wants to allow survivors and their families to use the courts to get payouts from European insurance companies for policies that were upended by Nazi Germany.

And after years of advocacy from South Florida lawmakers, David Mermelstein might have the White House on his ...Read more

No internal review underway of what went wrong with Baltimore's Gun Trace Task Force

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BALTIMORE -- More than two years after the indictments of the officers in its Gun Trace Task Force, the Baltimore Police Department still has not conducted an internal review about how the crooked officers went undetected for years, the city's police commissioner testified Tuesday.

Speaking in Annapolis, Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael ...Read more

Trump mocks Elizabeth Warren's NYC crowd: 'Anybody could do that'

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WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump, who often touts the size of crowds at his events and knocks those of his foes, on Tuesday dismissed an audience Sen. Elizabeth Warren drew the night before in New York City.

Warren spoke in front of the iconic arch in the Big Apple's Washington Square Park before an audience numbering in the "thousands," ...Read more

Swedish teen Greta Thunberg joins senators, advocates seeking climate action

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WASHINGTON -- Ahead of a global strike for climate action, Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg joined fellow young advocates and Senate Democrats to draw attention to the peril of global warming.

Although she did not speak at a Tuesday news conference organized by Sen. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., and other Democrats, a representative for ...Read more

Most Florida school districts pass on arming teachers, state officials report

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Only 11 of Florida's 67 county school districts have given classroom teachers the option of carrying guns on campus this school year, according to the latest data collected by the Florida Department of Education.

Armed teachers have been shunned by the state's largest urban school districts, including Broward, Miami-...Read more