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Trump's immigration crackdown likely to bring lawsuit flood

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NEW YORK -- President Donald Trump's plan to round up and deport millions of undocumented immigrants is likely to trigger waves of lawsuits that may soon dwarf the legal fight over the administration's temporary ban on travelers from seven Muslim majority countries.

The Department of Homeland Security is pushing ahead with what the American ...Read more

Tennessee, Texas stand out for strengthened Hill sway

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WASHINGTON -- No state in this decade has seen a more meaningful boost than Tennessee in institutionalized congressional influence.

Only eight states, all with much bigger delegations because they're much more populous, have more overt sway at the Capitol this year. That is one of several notable findings from the new Roll Call Clout Index, ...Read more

Take Five: Sen. John Kennedy

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WASHINGTON -- Freshman Republican Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana, 65, shares his thoughts on Congress so far, why he chose not to continue teaching law school, and what he eats when his wife isn't in D.C.

Q: In your first couple of months here, what have you discovered about the Senate that you didn't know before?

A: I think I knew all this ...Read more

Poll: More than half think Trump acted unethically or illegally in business conflicts

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WASHINGTON -- More than half of voters believe Donald Trump has done something illegal or unethical as he faces potential conflicts of interest by continuing to own his businesses while serving as president, according to a new McClatchy-Marist Poll.

Even more voters -- nearly six in 10 -- say Trump's conduct as president makes them feel ...Read more

Use of ruses by immigration agents is under fire in LA and around the nation

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LOS ANGELES -- During a nationwide operation this month by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a team of ICE agents in Los Angeles approached the house of a man targeted for deportation.

"Good morning, police," one agent announced in the predawn darkness.

A man opened the door moments later.

"Good morning. How you doing? I'm a police officer...Read more

Door closes on Obama administration's open data efforts

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WASHINGTON -- If you wanted to know who visited the White House, how much the president's secretary is paid, or which state has the most federally funded teaching positions, the information was just a few clicks away. With a bit more technical knowledge, you could explore public data sets to analyze the president's budget, or look for trends in ...Read more

Doctors tweak aid-in-dying drugs to prevent prolonged deaths

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Two years after an abrupt price hike for a lethal drug used by terminally ill patients to end their lives, doctors in the Northwest are once again rethinking aid-in-dying medications -- this time because they're taking too long to work.

The concerned physicians say they've come up with yet another alternative to Seconal, the powerful sedative ...Read more

No, Trump critics. It's highly unlikely he has committed treason

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The word is hurled like a thunderbolt: Treason!

There are few more serious charges than taking up the cause of America's enemies and colluding to undermine the country from within.

Yet that very accusation has been leveled against President Donald Trump by some of his most fevered critics. They cite, among the particulars, the president's ...Read more

Two more sought over Kim Jong Nam killing in Malaysia

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KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- Malaysian police on Wednesday named two more people wanted for questioning over last week's killing of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

One suspect is part of North Korea's embassy staff and the other is a North Korean airline worker, police chief Khalid Abu Bakar told a news...Read more

5 things to watch as Tillerson, Kelly visit Mexico

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MEXICO CITY -- U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly are heading to Mexico this week for high-stakes talks with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and other top officials.

The visit, during which the diplomats are expected to discuss trade, security and other issues, comes at a frosty moment in U....Read more

Congressman, artist sue to rehang Ferguson painting at US Capitol

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WASHINGTON -- The St. Louis artist suing the architect of the U.S. Capitol for removing his painting could make a potentially strong argument that his rights were violated, attorneys said Tuesday.

Rep. Lacy Clay, D-Mo., announced Tuesday on the steps of a Washington federal courthouse that he wants a federal judge's order to rehang the painting...Read more

Kansas governor to veto income tax hike passed by Legislature

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TOPEKA, Kan. -- Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback will veto a bill that sought to raise income taxes and roll back his signature tax policies.

Brownback called the plan a "big, retroactive, income tax increase."

"I won't sign it and I will veto this bill," he said to applause at the annual dinner of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, one of the groups ...Read more

Numbers up for Florida manatees, both dead and alive

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MIAMI -- The number of Florida manatees, both dead and alive, continues to climb.

This week, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission released preliminary results of an annual count that recorded 6,620 manatees lumbering in the warm waters of Florida's lagoons, springs and canals. The count comes a year after federal wildlife ...Read more

Vandalism at St. Louis-area Jewish cemetery draws widespread condemnation

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UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. -- The day after dozens of headstones were discovered toppled at a historic Jewish cemetery, local and national leaders on Tuesday expressed their outrage over the desecration and condolences to families affected by the vandalism.

The University City Council released a statement saying members stand with Jewish friends and ...Read more

Israeli soldier sentenced to 18 months for killing wounded Palestinian assailant

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TEL AVIV, Israel -- Elor Azaria cracked a smile and his family broke out in song Tuesday moments after a military tribunal sentenced the Israeli soldier to 18 months in jail for killing a wounded Palestinian knife assailant last March in a case that has gripped national attention for nearly a year.

The decision comes a month and a half after ...Read more

Bill would prohibit paddling punishment in Kentucky public schools

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LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Corporal punishment, or paddling, which is legal in Kentucky public schools, would be prohibited under a bill introduced in the General Assembly by Rep. Jim Wayne.

School administrators, teachers and other staff, and school districts would be prohibited from using corporal punishment under House Bill 393.

Corporal physical ...Read more

Ecuador presidential runoff looks likely; Correa remains defiant

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BOGOTA, Colombia -- Ecuador's two leading presidential contenders are almost certainly heading toward an April 2 runoff, as ruling party candidate Lenin Moreno seems to have failed to garner the 40 percent of the vote he needed to win outright.

With 96 percent of the vote counted, the National Electoral Council (CNE) suggested Tuesday that ...Read more

Nation and world news briefs

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SC man waives right to hearing on federal gun charge in 'Dylann Roof' attack case

FLORENCE, S.C. -- In a hearing that took little more than a minute, Benjamin Thomas Samuel McDowell -- accused of purchasing a gun from an undercover agent for an attack "in the spirit of Dylann Roof" -- waived his right to a preliminary hearing.

He delayed the ...Read more

Yiannopoulos backlash is the latest fault line in conservatives' civil war

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WASHINGTON -- The victories of Republicans up and down the ticket last November temporarily papered over the major fault lines that divided the GOP base throughout the 2016 election. But those differences are beginning to surface again, and nowhere will such tensions be more evident than at this week's Conservative Political Action Conference, ...Read more

Supreme Court appears split over whether Constitution extends to Mexican teen shot across the border

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WASHINGTON -- Supreme Court justices debated border shootings and drone strikes Tuesday in a case that could preview the legal battle over President Donald Trump's proposed ban on foreign travelers from certain Muslim-majority countries.

But the eight justices sounded evenly split over whether the parents of a Mexican teenager can sue the U.S. ...Read more