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'Joke' school threats on the rise after Parkland massacre

Current News / News & Features /

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- It's like a contagion that peaked after the Parkland school shooting and showed some signs of dying down. That is, until two new cases cropped up within the past week of threats being made against a school.

A 13-year-old boy Sunday threatened to "shoot up" Pines Middle School via an Instagram chat group.

Last week, it ...Read more

Trump tweet mocking Stormy Daniels was free speech, not defamation, judge says

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LOS ANGELES -- A federal judge cast doubt Monday on a defamation claim Stormy Daniels filed against President Donald Trump for a tweet questioning the credibility of the adult-film actress.

Judge S. James Otero of U.S. District Court in Los Angeles said the Trump tweet that gave rise to Daniels' lawsuit looked to him like free speech that "lies...Read more

Mold in dorms prompts University of Maryland to move students to hotels

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BALTIMORE -- The University of Maryland is putting students up in College Park hotels after mold was reported in some dormitories and several students said it has made them sick.

Mold was found "throughout Elkton Hall, as well as isolated reports in other residence halls, and the issue has been exacerbated by recent weather conditions," the ...Read more

Kirk downgraded to a wave; 2 other systems remain under watch

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Former Tropical Storm Kirk weakened to a tropical wave Monday but has maintained a 50 percent chance of reforming over the next two days.

Kirk pushed westward in the eastern Atlantic as a tropical storm before weakening to a tropical depression on Sunday night. By Monday morning, it had lost its closed circulation.

...Read more

Defense pathologist testifies most shots hit McDonald while standing, contradicting video

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CHICAGO -- The infamous police dashboard camera video shows Laquan McDonald spin wildly at the first shots from Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke before collapsing to Pulaski Road a second and a half later.

Prosecutors have told jurors that Van Dyke continued firing for 12 seconds after the teen fell, emptying his gun while McDonald lay ...Read more

Nation and world news briefs

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National parks are getting hotter and drier. What's the outlook for 2100?

WASHINGTON -- America's national parks are warming up and drying out faster than other U.S. landscapes, threatening iconic ecosystems from the Everglades in Florida to Joshua Tree in California to Denali in Alaska.

That's the conclusion of a new climate change study ...Read more

Suspect arrested in baseball bat killings of homeless men in downtown Los Angeles

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LOS ANGELES -- Police have captured a man suspected of killing two homeless men in downtown Los Angeles and critically injuring two others in a series of assaults that have unnerved Los Angeles County's homeless community over the past two weeks.

Ramon Escobar, 47, was arrested by police in Santa Monica in connection with an attack on a ...Read more

Judge leans toward tossing Stormy Daniels defamation suit against Trump

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LOS ANGELES -- A federal judge in Los Angeles indicated Monday that he's inclined to dismiss a defamation lawsuit by adult move star Stephanie Clifford, better known as Stormy Daniels, against President Donald Trump.

The suit against Trump stems from her lawyer's release in April of a composite sketch of an unknown man who Clifford claims ...Read more

Analysis: Thursday could be most consequential day of Trump's tumultuous tenure

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WASHINGTON -- Circumstance, confusion and chaos have collided to ensure Thursday will be one of the most consequential -- and perhaps the most by a wide margin -- days of the tumultuous Trump presidency.

Washington has rarely seen the kind of spectacle ahead in just a few days, and the inevitable ramifications will trigger ripple waves that ...Read more

Democrats pan proposal to limit green cards for poor immigrants

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WASHINGTON -- Democratic lawmakers are criticizing a new rule proposed by the Trump administration that would make it harder for immigrants who receive public benefits to obtain green cards.

The 447-page proposed rule, unveiled by the Department of Homeland Security on Saturday, would expand the government's ability to deny a green card -- and ...Read more

Cuba's new president, Miguel Diaz-Canel, makes his first appearance at UN

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UNITED NATIONS -- Cuba's handpicked President Miguel Diaz-Canel began his first appearance at the United Nations lauding "blood ties" between Cuba and Africa at a session dedicated to peace and to pay homage to the late South African leader Nelson Mandela.

"Cuba is honored to remember that it shared its struggles in the first line of combat ...Read more

Democratic candidate for Florida congressional seat dies unexpectedly

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WASHINGTON -- April Freeman, a Democrat who was running for retiring Rep. Tom Rooney's Florida seat, has died unexpectedly, according to media reports Monday.

Her husband, David Freeman, told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune that his wife appeared to have had a heart attack Sunday night.

While Freeman's name will remain on the 17th District ballot,...Read more

Federal judges revive North Dakota voter ID law on appeal

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WASHINGTON -- North Dakota voters will have to show identification that includes a street address before they can cast a ballot in November, a federal court ruled on Monday.

While opponents had successfully sued to block the provision, a St. Louis-based U.S. appeals court put that lower court order on hold. In a 2-1 ruling, the majority ...Read more

Alleged al-Qaida war criminal recovering from surgery stalls Guantanamo hearing

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GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba -- An Iraqi captive held at Guantanamo and accused of commanding al-Qaida and Taliban forces in Afghanistan after 9/11 failed to show up at a hearing Monday, stalling progress toward the war crimes trial following a health setback from his fifth spine surgery in less than a year.

The no-show presented a quandary ...Read more

Trump returns to United Nations with praise for North Korea's dictator

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UNITED NATIONS -- A year after he derided North Korea's dictator as "Rocket Man," President Donald Trump returned to the United Nations on Monday with praise for Kim Jong Un, noting, "It's a very different world."

Trump met Kim in Singapore in June, the first summit ever between a U.S. president and a North Korean leader, and Trump later ...Read more

Nikki Haley is a GOP rising star. But some don't like her stealing Trump's spotlight

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WASHINGTON -- Almost as soon as The New York Times published an explosive piece from an anonymous senior administration official describing how some top Trump aides work to prevent the president from making reckless decisions, Cabinet secretaries quickly began releasing statements denying they were the author.

But only one of them, Nikki Haley,...Read more

Yale students demand investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Yale Law School students held a sit-in Monday morning demanding an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, including one while he was a Yale student.

Kavanaugh, a graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School, has been accused by Christine Blasey Ford of sexual ...Read more

Rod Rosenstein, Justice Department official overseeing Russia probe, will stay — at least for now

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WASHINGTON -- Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the senior Justice Department official supervising the Russia investigation, will meet Thursday with President Donald Trump, an announcement that stanched, at least for now, a flurry of reports that Rosenstein would be leaving his post.

Rosenstein headed to the White House early Monday "...Read more

Former Rep. John Dingell expects to be released from hospital soon

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WASHINGTON -- Former Michigan Democratic Rep. John D. Dingell could be released from the hospital as early as Tuesday following his heart attack last week.

Dingell, 92, who retired at the end of 2015 as the longest-serving member of Congress, announced his pending hospital release on Twitter on Monday in his usual joking style.

"The only ...Read more

Psychologist: Bill Cosby has a sexual disorder and would likely offend again

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NORRISTOWN, Pa. -- Bill Cosby likely has a personality disorder that makes him inclined to engage in sex with non-consenting women, a psychologist testified Monday, as proceedings opened that are expected to conclude with the 81-year-old entertainer's sentencing on sex assault charges.

For individuals with such a disorder, "behavior is ...Read more