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Patricia Murphy: Mick Mulvaney's compassion — not for the needy

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When George W. Bush ran for president in the late 1990s, he did it on a platform of "compassionate conservatism," a smooth-edged rebranding of the conservatism that had become synonymous with callousness in the age of Newt Gingrich. Bush's compassionate conservatism assured voters that he wasn't going to waste their money the way he said ...Read more

From African bushlands to Baltimore: The long path to education for a Hopkins star

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BALTIMORE -- The remote bushlands of West Africa are far from Johns Hopkins University, and the path was neither sure nor straight for the boy whose name meant "beloved by his ancestors." They called him Kpimenongme Mwinnyaa.

Only now, as he prepares to graduate -- having been baptized George, having earned semester after semester of straight A...Read more

Inside Elections ratings: 19 House races shift toward Democrats

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WASHINGTON -- The midterm elections are still nearly a year and a half away, and the political dynamics could yet change, but we shouldn't ignore the fact that history and the current environment are merging together for a potentially great set of elections for Democrats in November 2018.

The president's party has lost House seats in 18 of the ...Read more

Q&A with Rep. Andy Biggs

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Freshman Rep. Andy Biggs, 58, an Arizona Republican, talks about his love of music, old movies, and friendships in the Freedom Caucus.

Q: What has surprised you about being in Congress so far?

A: It's pretty much like I thought it would be, to be honest with you: same legislative dynamics that you have in any self-governing or legislative body...Read more

Pence's battleground stops, PAC raise eyebrows amid Trump scandals

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WASHINGTON -- Vice President Mike Pence has quietly spent his weekends visiting key battleground states, raising eyebrows in political circles about just what the ambitious politician is up to as scandals threaten Donald Trump's presidency.

Last weekend provides a glaring -- and fascinating -- example. The former Indiana congressman and ...Read more

Taiwan's constitutional court rules in favor of same-sex marriage

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TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan's constitutional court on Wednesday ruled in favor of same-sex marriage and said the legislature should revise the country's civil code or establish new laws within two years.

The decision sets the stage for Taiwan to possibly become the first Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage.

The civil code, which does not ...Read more

Trump calls meeting with Pope Francis an 'honor'

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VATICAN CITY -- President Donald Trump held a half-hour private meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Wednesday, declaring it a "great honor" despite their past public dissension.

The unconventional Republican and the first Jesuit pontiff made for an unlikely pair in the Vatican's Apostolic Palace, where Catholic leaders have presided for...Read more

Special counsel in Russia probe gets separate funding path

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WASHINGTON -- Former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller started as special counsel to oversee the bureau's investigation of alleged Russian efforts to impact the 2016 presidential election, but the cost of his work won't be part of the regular appropriations process.

The funds for Mueller and his team come from a Treasury Department account for ...Read more

What a Montana congressional race will, and won't, tell us about Trump and his political troubles

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VICTOR, Mont -- On Thursday, the political world will eagerly look to Montana and a closely fought congressional race for the latest test of Democratic strength and Republican resilience in the turbulent age of Trump.

The major candidates and outside groups have sunk more than $8 million into the contest, a huge sum in a state where $250,000 ...Read more

President 'Moon-bama' captivates Korea with down-to-earth style

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SEOUL, South Korea -- They call him "Moon-bama."

Two weeks after his election win, South Korean President Moon Jae-in is captivating a nation shaken by scandal and economic struggles. He's even drawn comparisons to Barack Obama for his cool demeanor and the pop star status both attained during their first days in office.

While honeymoon ...Read more

Illinois teenager's senseless suicide: 'They scared him to death'

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On the last night of his life, Corey Walgren sat with his parents in the kitchen and talked about the colleges they would visit over spring break.

At 16, Corey didn't know what he wanted to study -- maybe business, maybe astronomy -- but he liked the idea of attending a Big Ten school. He wanted a big, bustling campus with different kinds of ...Read more

2018 Senate Recruitment: Too early to talk about it?

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WASHINGTON -- With the 2018 midterm elections about 18 months away, attention is shifting to the battle for the Senate -- and who could emerge as potential challengers.

But history shows that prospective contenders have a few more months before they typically announce their candidacies.

Senate Republicans bear the brunt of the recruitment ...Read more

Sydney siege police should have stormed cafe sooner, report says

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CANBERRA, Australia -- Australian police made key mistakes in handling a siege at a Sydney cafe that ended with the death of two hostages along with the gunman who'd claimed allegiance to Islamic State, a coroner's report has found.

Police wrongly assumed Man Haron Monis, who had a history of violence and extremist sympathies, didn't pose an ...Read more

Pa. inmate imprisoned 24 years is released

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FRACKVILLE, Pa. -- About 24 years after he was arrested for a murder he always insisted he didn't commit, 43-year-old Shaurn Thomas walked out of a state prison as a free man Tuesday evening.

A beaming Thomas -- jailed since he was 19 -- stopped at the front entrance of the Schuylkill County correctional facility with his lawyers; his fiancee, ...Read more

What stays, and what goes, in Trump's $19.1 billion budget proposal for NASA

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President Donald Trump's $19.1 billion budget proposal for NASA will allow the space agency to continue its long-term efforts to explore the universe, including sending humans to the moon and to Mars.

The 2018 funding plan, released Tuesday, includes support for about 100 space missions even as it cuts some well-known programs, including one ...Read more

Nation and world news briefs

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Prosecutors are excluding blacks from Cosby jury, defense lawyers say

PITTSBURGH -- Defense lawyers on Tuesday accused prosecutors of systematically trying to exclude black people from the jury that will decide Bill Cosby's fate, as the court came close to filling out the full panel on the second day of jury selection.

The dispute broke out ...Read more

Man performed 'wrestling moves' on 2-year-old before she died, Jefferson County deputies say

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JEFFERSON COUNTY, Mo. -- A 24-year-old man performed "wrestling moves" on his girlfriend's 2-year-old daughter, who had seizures and later died at a hospital, authorities say.

Richard Gamache Jr. has been charged with abuse and neglect of a child. His bail has been set at $500,000, cash-only.

His girlfriend, Cheyenne Cook, 19, exchanged ...Read more

Stop lying to your 4-year-old, new Stanford study says

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Pretty much every parent of a young child has told the occasional white lie to preserve his or her sanity. You might, for example, say "I went to the bank" and leave out the fact that you also stopped for frozen yogurt to avoid the inevitable meltdown that would follow the realization of a missed treat.

Harmless, right? Maybe not.

According to...Read more

Singer Ariana Grande reportedly returns to Florida after terrorist attack at her concert

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Pop singer Ariana Grande was reported to be back home in South Florida Tuesday, the day after a terrorist suicide bomb blasted her fans as they departed her concert Monday night in Manchester, England.

London's The Daily Mail published photographs and video Tuesday afternoon that it said showed Grande, friends and ...Read more

Trump found Holocaust museum 'amazing,' which has many people cringing

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TEL AVIV, Israel -- Even before President Donald Trump signed the guest book at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum during his visit Sunday, his administration had faced accusations that it was insensitive to the memory of the 6 million Jews murdered by Nazi Germany.

Instead of putting those accusations to rest, the visit to the museum ...Read more


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