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Helicopter crashes into earthquake survivors in Mexico, killing 13

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MEXICO CITY--After a powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday afternoon, survivors near the quake's epicenter gathered in a field, planning to spend the night sleeping under the stars or in vehicles instead of in damaged homes vulnerable to aftershocks.

And then, a second crisis hit. This time, it fell from the sky.

A military helicopter ...Read more

Several Camp Pendleton Marines convicted on sex assault, child porn charges

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SAN DIEGO -- Several Camp Pendleton-based Marines have been found guilty in recent weeks of crimes including rape and child pornography, with other similar cases still pending in the military criminal justice system, records show.

The cases are coming to light after a series of Freedom of Information Act requests filed by the San Diego Union-...Read more

Fire alarm put students, staff in gunman's way in Florida school massacre

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Between classes at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Broward County, Fla., near the sharp, straight line where suburban Parkland meets the Everglades, students exchanged chocolates, flowers and cards on Wednesday, Valentine's Day.

It was another full, demanding day at the A-plus public school, which at 3,200 students is larger than many colleges...Read more

Pope reactivates Vatican panel on child sex abuse

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VATICAN CITY –– Pope Francis has reactivated a panel of experts on child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church assigned to look into prevention and care for victims, the Vatican said Saturday.

Francis is under fire over his handling of the decades-old worldwide scandal of pedophile priests, including for not immediately renewing the panel's ...Read more

Helicopter crashes while assessing Mexico quake damage, killing 13 on the ground

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MEXICO CITY –– A military helicopter carrying Mexico's interior minister crashed while surveying the damage from a 7.2-magnitude earthquake, killing 13 people on the ground, prosecutors said Saturday.

Twelve people died at the scene of the crash in the southern state of Oaxaca and another person later died in hospital, the state prosecution...Read more

Trump's top security adviser says Russian meddling is 'incontrovertible'

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National security adviser H.R. McMaster said Saturday that evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election was "now really incontrovertible" after indictment of 13 Russian individuals and three companies.

Speaking at an international security conference in Munich, Germany, McMaster lent credence to a widening scandal that President ...Read more

Indictments deflate Trump's claim that Russian meddling was a hoax

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WASHINGTON –– Donald Trump has insisted for more than a year that Russians didn't try to get him elected. Special counsel Robert Mueller put an end to those claims on Friday, declaring definitively that they did.

A federal grand jury indicted 13 Russian nationals and a "troll farm" in St. Petersburg, Russia, alleging a broad campaign to ...Read more

Turpin abuse case prompts California bill to tighten regulation of home schools

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California lawmakers are pushing to increase regulation of home schools after a dozen siblings were discovered locked in a dirty, dark house in Riverside County.

The house in Perris had been registered as a private school called Sandcastle Day School.

Last month, after a malnourished 17-year-old escaped and alerted authorities to the abuse she...Read more

Model's case may be the strongest against Weinstein

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LOS ANGELES --In the months since a long list of famous women across the globe began accusing producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault, one Los Angeles case is emerging as the most likely to result in criminal charges.

It involves an Italian model-actress who alleges that Weinstein raped her in a Beverly Hills hotel room five years ago. ...Read more

Ethiopia in disarray as leader quits

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JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- Ethiopia, an opaque authoritarian country where protesters, bloggers and journalists often are jailed, faces uncertainty after the unexpected resignation of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.

Desalegn's announcement Thursday came after several years of growing instability and protests in the Oromia and Amhara ...Read more

Citing fraud, Mueller opposes Manafort request to change bail

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WASHINGTON -- The U.S. special counsel rejected Paul Manafort's proposed new bail package, in part because of alleged additional criminal conduct that the U.S. has learned since the initial terms were set.

Manafort and longtime associate Rick Gates were indicted in October by Mueller for failing to register as agents in the U.S. for political ...Read more

California man linked to probe by Mueller

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SANTA PAULA, Calif. -- A California man who pleaded guilty to identity theft as part of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election was a self-described digital marketing strategist who once ran a web site that helped people get around security measures for online marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay.

Richard ...Read more

Immigrants' cases put on a fast track

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WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court met Friday to discuss a pair of unusually aggressive appeals from Trump administration lawyers who are trying to leapfrog lower courts by urging justices to rule quickly on the fate of "Dreamers" and on an abortion dispute involving young migrants.

In the one case, they derided the federal judge in San Francisco ...Read more

They were 14 years young

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PARKLAND, Fla. -- At Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, so many freshman classes are held in Building 12 that the "1200 building," as it is commonly called, is also known as "the freshman building."

It's also the building that authorities said Nikolas Cruz, 19, chose to enter when he began his rampage.

Freshman Isaah Jean was in study hall ...Read more

Russian troll operation echoed many of Trump campaign's themes, indictment shows

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WASHINGTON -- Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the indictment of 13 Russians as a brazen scheme "with the stated goal of spreading distrust" toward the U.S. political system, but the charges lay out a litany of cyber skullduggery aimed at a narrower mission: boosting Donald Trump and bashing Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election. ...Read more

ICE dials up pressure on work sites

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LOS ANGELES -- The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents put on their navy blue jackets and walked into a trucking company's office in Carson this week, sending waves of anxiety rippling through the building.

In the lobby, a nervous office manager greeted the team from ICE's Homeland Security Investigations, twisting a black pen in her ...Read more

Horrified Florida students beg the adults: Please, do something about guns

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PARKLAND, Fla. -- The kids in South Florida are fed up. With the adults.

After a mass shooting left 17 students and faculty dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in the Fort Lauderdale suburb of Parkland, many area students -- instead of withdrawing into the solitude of grief -- have thrown themselves into the spotlight in anger and ...Read more

Before a school shooting, something usually happens — the shooter tells someone

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In the days following the deadly high school shooting in Florida, as Nikolas Cruz's life as a troubled teen began to come into focus, a disturbing truth emerged: People had known where he might be headed.

"Everyone called him 'the school shooter,'" Rachelle Jean, 16, an 11th-grader at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., told...Read more

District proposes tearing down high school building where attack took place

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PARKLAND, Fla. -- Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High may not have to return to the three-story building that was the site was the deadliest school shooting in Florida history.

The school district has proposed tearing down the freshman building on campus, Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie said Friday. It was the spot where many...Read more

Nation and world news briefs

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Chief of staff John Kelly admits missteps with White House aides' clearances

WASHINGTON -- White House chief of staff John F. Kelly, under fire after a former staffer's domestic abuse scandal, has admitted that the Trump team mishandled aides' background investigations, and ordered new steps in how the West Wing handles security clearances.

In...Read more