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US prepares to take action against Nicaragua if Ortega regime fails to cooperate

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WASHINGTON -- The Trump administration is crafting a range of options, including potential sanctions, against the government of Nicaragua and President Daniel Ortega if it fails to properly address the concerns of student groups, church leaders and other civic players about increasing violence and political repression.

"We're watching this with...Read more

Trump cancels North Korea summit

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WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump has written to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to inform him their planned nuclear disarmament summit will not take place on June 12.

Trump pinned his decision on Kim's "tremendous anger and open hostility" in a recent statement, according to a letter released by the White House.

Trump used the letter to ...Read more

On 'Stormy Daniels Day,' West Hollywood honors porn star with key to the city

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WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. -- The porn star walked out of the hot-pink sex-toy shop and, enveloped by security guards, waded into a sea of camera operators so thick she could hardly move.

"Stormy, to your left!" they shouted. "Your right! Stormy! Stormy!"

It was Stormy Daniels Day in West Hollywood -- and the adult-film actress had an event with ...Read more

Prenups under attack as tax law boosts cost of alimony payments

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NEW YORK -- President Donald Trump's tax overhaul could wreak havoc on prenuptial agreements across the country -- and maybe even his own.

Prenups often contain provisions about how much a partner would pay in alimony, also known as spousal support. The agreements can be thrown out if judges deem them unfair, signed too quickly or under duress....Read more

Border Patrol agents' seizure of opioids on the rise, McCaskill report says

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WASHINGTON -- United States Border Patrol agents seized more than 3,500 pounds of opioids between 2013 and 2017, mostly near the southern border of the United States, and seizures of fentanyl by this federal agency were up by almost 72 percent in a single year, according to a new report by investigators for Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.

The ...Read more

How America will launch more rockets, and faster

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In the 1960s, a rocket launch was big news all over the world. Sixty years later, it's still a big deal. Sure, SpaceX has leaped forward with reusable vehicles, but the ability to make space travel a reliable, everyday event is still a way off.

The U.S. government and some private companies want to change that. The Pentagon's Defense Advanced ...Read more

How the Supreme Court is invoking a 1925 law to restrict workers' rights today

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WASHINGTON -- In 1925, at the behest of New York merchants, Congress passed the Federal Arbitration Act to uphold as "valid, irrevocable and enforceable" the contracts they had negotiated for shipping and delivering goods. They agreed to settle disputes through private arbitration, which was seen as quicker and cheaper than going to court.

When...Read more

'Massacre' in central Cuba raises questions about violence against women on the island

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CIENFUEGOS, Cuba -- It was 11:30 in the morning on May 17 when Luis Roque heard the first pleas for help. He was about to head to work when his neighbor's screams made him stop in his tracks.

"Oh, my baby girl! My baby girl," screamed Tomasa Causse Fabat, a 64-year-old nurse as she stood on the sidewalk in front of her house in Cienfuegos, in ...Read more

Farmers nervously await outcome of trade talks

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WASHINGTON -- Perhaps no group of U.S. farmers has more to lose from a trade war with China than soybean growers.

This planting season, the farmers have been watching the headlines as carefully as the weather, hoping that China won't act on its threat to impose a 25 percent tariff on U.S. imports and thus restrict access to the largest soybean ...Read more

Why centrist Dianne Feinstein is moving so much to the left that she now opposes the death penalty

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WASHINGTON -- Dianne Feinstein built one of California's most successful political brands by standing up to her party's liberal wing.

In her first run for statewide office in 1990, she defiantly faced down raucous booing from California Democratic Party delegates angry over her support for the death penalty. Undeterred, she used footage of the ...Read more

DA candidate Phillips 'embarrassed,' apologizes for response to sexist, racist email

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Noah Phillips apologized to supporters Wednesday via Twitter for a racist and sexist email plumbed from his county-run email account that could threaten his campaign for Sacramento County District Attorney in the race's final days.

"Over two years ago, my 70-year-old uncle sent these emails. I should have challenged them,"...Read more

Manafort judge questions claim of improper seizure of records

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NEWARK, N.J. -- A federal judge posed skeptical questions about Paul Manafort's claim that an FBI agent improperly searched a storage locker that held extensive business records before the former Trump campaign chairman was charged in two indictments.

Manafort claims that the records seized by the FBI should be suppressed because an agent was ...Read more

Koch political network plans rare public rebuke of Republicans

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CHICAGO -- The political network led by billionaires Charles and David Koch is about to do something it doesn't do in public often: criticize Republican members of Congress for a lack of fiscal discipline.

As many lawmakers return to their districts this weekend to kick off the campaign season over the Memorial Day break, they'll be greeted by ...Read more

Judge: Atlanta attorney McIver's inability to say 'I'm sorry' says it all

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ATLANTA -- The jury that convicted Claud "Tex" McIver of his wife's murder barely heard his voice: The politically connected attorney chose not to testify.

Before his trial, McIver spoke out often, raising suspicions with almost every word. And Wednesday, McIver demonstrated again why silence can be golden, delivering a rambling 16-minute ...Read more

Weight-loss surgery associated with reduced risk of melanoma, researchers say

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In addition to rapid and lasting weight loss and a passel of other health benefits, bariatric surgery has now been linked to a 61 percent reduction in the risk of developing malignant melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer most closely associated with excessive sun exposure.

The new research, to be presented Thursday at the European Congress on...Read more

Publisher says $120,000 cash payment for Missouri governor's recordings was all his money

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- A newspaper publisher who gave $120,000 to an attorney for the ex-husband of Gov. Eric Greitens' former mistress says the money was his and did not come from a donor hoping to topple the governor.

Scott Faughn, who publishes The Missouri Times, a small newspaper and online service that caters to the state's political ...Read more

Discharge petition signatures held back amid immigration negotiation progress

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WASHINGTON -- Rep. Jeff Denham said Wednesday he plans to hold back the final signatures needed to activate a discharge petition that would force a vote on four immigration measures affecting so-called "Dreamers" -- saying that negotiations between GOP leaders and conservatives are headed in a positive direction.

Earlier in the week the ...Read more

'Deadliest Catch' star Sig Hansen pleads guilty to assault charge

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SEATTLE -- Celebrity fishing-boat captain Sig Hansen pleaded guilty Wednesday to a misdemeanor charge that he assaulted an Uber driver after a night of drinking last year, but a judge who raised concerns about Hansen's alcohol use postponed sentencing until next month.

Hansen's guilty plea came under a deal in which Assistant Seattle City ...Read more

Trump suggests 'big news' for US autoworkers involves NAFTA

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WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump suggested Wednesday afternoon that his "big news" for U.S. autoworkers could have to do with plans to rewrite -- or withdraw from -- the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Wednesday morning, Trump posted a cryptic message on Twitter, saying there would be "big news coming soon for our great American ...Read more

Nation and world news briefs

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Former 'Bachelorette' star Meredith Phillips claims she was drugged, sexually assaulted on set

Meredith Phillips, who starred on season 2 of "The Bachelorette" in 2004, alleged a female masseuse "roofied" and "kind of accosted" her during filming of the reality show.

Phillips claimed she had complained about being tired during filming, at ...Read more