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Protests in South Africa against foreigners get out of hand

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JOHANNESBURG -- South African authorities are under fire for allowing an anti-immigrant "march of hatred" in Pretoria Friday, soon after a series of violent attacks against Somalis, Nigerians and other foreigners.

The results were predictable: Police arrested 136 people, many of them protesters and looters armed with clubs, sticks, pipes and ...Read more

Jared Kushner, who owns federally subsidized apartments, to distance himself from policy discussions

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BALTIMORE -- Jared Kushner, son-in-law and adviser to President Donald Trump, will recuse himself from any policy discussion related to federal rental assistance for low-income tenants because his real estate company's Baltimore-area properties receive money from the U.S. housing department's voucher program, the White House said.

Three ...Read more

GOP Rep. Darrell Issa tells Bill Maher a special prosecutor should investigate Russian election interference

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Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said Friday night that a special prosecutor should be tapped to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election, a stance that mirrors the calls of congressional Democrats to sideline the U.S attorney general from such inquiries.

Appearing on HBO's "Real Time With Bill Maher," Issa was prodded by Maher, the ...Read more

Supreme Court to hear challenge to social media ban for sex offenders

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WASHINGTON -- Police arrested Durham, N.C. resident and convicted sex offender Lester G. Packingham, Jr. after he posted a message praising God on Facebook.

On Monday, the Supreme Court will weigh Packingham's challenge to a North Carolina law that bans registered sex offenders from visiting online social networking sites that could be ...Read more

Decades later, Nevada tries for a do-over to ratify Equal Rights Amendment

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LAS VEGAS -- Nevada state Sen. Pat Spearman knew her resolution was 35 years late. But that wasn't the point.

The resolution called on Nevada to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, which came close to becoming part of the U.S. Constitution, but never did because fewer than three-quarters of the states ratified it by the 1982 deadline set by ...Read more

Researchers use publicly available information to try to establish what happened in Aleppo

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WASHINGTON -- A report released this past week on the Syrian and Russian offensive that recaptured the city of Aleppo from rebel occupiers could prove to be a test of whether open-source satellite imagery and other publicly available technology can be used to press war crimes charges against the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The ...Read more

Wisconsin attorney general appeals redistricting case

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MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday to reinstate election maps that a panel of three federal judges found unconstitutional.

Last year, the panel ruled 2-1 that maps of state Assembly districts were so pro-Republican that they violated the voting rights of Democrats. The judges ordered ...Read more

Federal appeals court could reinstate Wisconsin's early voting limits

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CHICAGO – Three federal judges expressed skepticism Friday toward claims that Wisconsin Republicans deliberately made it harder for minorities to vote, raising the prospect they would reinstate limits on early voting.

Judge Frank Easterbrook of the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals said those challenging Wisconsin's voting laws were ...Read more

San Jose flood: Hundreds return home as questions swirl about surprise flood

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SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Hundreds more residents were cleared to return to their homes Friday, and city officials said they don't believe any houses were damaged beyond repair after Coyote Creek overspilled its banks Tuesday in San Jose's worst flooding in decades.

City officials also confirmed no structural failure caused the sudden catastrophic ...Read more

California governor to ask for $437 million in flood and emergency relief

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Warning that it will only amount to a small down payment on a large and costly problem, California Gov. Jerry Brown unveiled a $437-million request Friday to speed up flood control efforts in Northern California and boost the readiness of the state's emergency operations.

"These liabilities are a serious cloud, and we have...Read more

Report: Some Latinos fear for their future under Trump administration

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While Latinos are divided about their future in the United States under President Donald Trump, many believe social and political conditions for Latinos will worsen, particularly with mass deportations on the horizon, according to a new survey conducted by the Pew Research Center.

The survey, released Thursday, was administered to 1,000 Latino ...Read more

Nation and world news briefs

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Man who destroyed Trump's Walk of Fame star returns brass pieces to police

LOS ANGELES -- The man who smashed President Donald Trump's Hollywood Walk of Fame star with a sledgehammer and pickax last year won't be auctioning off the brass pieces as he had hoped. Instead, he's returned the metal bits to police, his attorney said.

After ...Read more

Democrats struggle to move past election, agree on party leader

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ATLANTA -- The uneasy clash between grass-roots activists and establishment figures at the Democratic National Committee meeting in Atlanta isn't hard to spot. It's on display at caucus meetings, panel discussions and the maneuvering behind Saturday's vote to elect a new party leader.

And for a party struggling to find a balance between the ...Read more

Suspect in fatal bar shooting to make first court appearance Monday

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A man charged with killing one man and shooting two others at Austins Bar & Grill in Olathe, Kan., has been returned to Johnson County to face charges.

Adam W. Purinton was returned to Johnson County from Henry County, Mo., where he was arrested several hours after the Wednesday night shooting.

According to court records, ...Read more

Kansas shooting likely to test what Trump views as a hate crime

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WASHINGTON -- The shooting at a bar in a suburb of Kansas City of two Indian immigrants, one of whom died, is likely to become the first test of the Trump administration's view of what role the federal government should play in crimes against ethnic and racial minorities.

Police accounts of the shootings in the city of Olathe, Kan., say the ...Read more

Press corps protests White House briefing that excluded some media outlets

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WASHINGTON -- The group that represents journalists who cover the White House on Friday protested the exclusion of some news outlets from an on-the-record briefing that replaced the normal on-camera briefing open to all members of the news media.

"The WHCA board is protesting strongly against how today's gaggle is being handled by the White ...Read more

Trump administration makes first move to build border wall

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WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump's administration is soliciting ideas from contractors on how to build its promised wall between the U.S. and Mexico, a first tangible step toward delivering on the president's signature campaign promise to curb unauthorized immigration.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued a preliminary request for ...Read more

Mako shark makes a 5,000-mile sprint to South Florida in just 142 days

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MIAMI -- Nova Southeastern University shark scientists are marveling at the stamina of a mako named Hypower making a sprint from Maryland to South Florida -- a 5,000-mile journey -- in just 142 days.

After researchers tagged the 6.5-foot-long male shark off the Maryland coast in the fall, Hypower circled offshore between New York and New Jersey...Read more

Man who destroyed Trump's Walk of Fame star returns brass pieces to police

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LOS ANGELES -- The man who smashed President Donald Trump's Hollywood Walk of Fame star with a sledgehammer and pickax last year won't be auctioning off the brass pieces as he had hoped. Instead, he's returned the metal bits to police, his attorney said.

After destroying the star, James Otis took the TV emblem at its center, as well as some of ...Read more

Pentagon prepares to give White House stepped-up battle plan against Islamic State

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WASHINGTON -- Pentagon strategists are putting final touches on a stepped-up battle plan against Islamic State and are due to offer President Donald Trump options as early as Monday to accelerate the war against the militants in Iraq and Syria, officials said.

The monthlong strategic review, which Trump requested Jan. 28, is expected to include...Read more