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Russia's longtime UN ambassador dies in New York

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MOSCOW -- Russia's long-time ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, died suddenly in New York on Monday, a day before his 65th birthday, Russia's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said.

"A great diplomat, an extraordinary person," spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a post on her Facebook page. "We have lost a loved one."

Churkin, who ...Read more

Worldwide movement of major arms highest since end of Cold War

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NEW DELHI -- Global arms sales over the last five years reached their highest level since 1990, with India continuing to top the charts as the world's largest defense importer, a report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute has found.

Between 2012 and 2016, India accounted for 13 percent of global arms imports, followed by ...Read more

Tensions rise in Ecuador as presidential runoff too close to call

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QUITO, Ecuador -- The results of Sunday's contentious presidential race remained too close to call early Monday, as ruling party candidate Lenin Moreno said he'd likely avoided a runoff and his rivals warned of fraud.

With 82 percent of the vote counted, the National Electoral Council said Moreno had won 39.11 percent of the vote versus his ...Read more

Sessions letter from last year shows new DHS orders have long history

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WASHINGTON -- The harsh new draft orders signed last week by Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly that would considerably expand the number of immigrants who could be detained and deported were largely endorsed by then-Sen. Jeff Sessions months before he took office as attorney general.

In a July 6 letter to Obama administration...Read more

4 dead, 25 wounded in weekend shootings

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CHICAGO -- Four people were fatally shot and 25 others were wounded in shootings during an unusually warm winter weekend.

As of Monday, there have been at least 88 homicides and at least 468 shooting victims, according to data compiled by the Tribune. The number of homicides is a slight decrease from the 90 homicides the city had logged this ...Read more

Dangerous flooding likely as powerful storm barrels into Northern California

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OROVILLE, Calif. -- Large swaths of Northern California were on high alert for flooding Monday as a powerful new storm dumped large amounts of rain on an already saturated region where levees, dams and other waterways are already under major stress.

Officials said residents should be prepared to evacuate at a moment's notice and should be ...Read more

Pence pledges US commitment to EU on last European tour stop

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BRUSSELS -- Vice President Mike Pence said the U.S. commitment to the European Union remains strong and the new administration would seek ways to bolster the relationship, just a month after Donald Trump questioned the bloc's viability and said NATO was "obsolete."

"It is my privilege on behalf of President Trump to express the strong ...Read more

Kim Dotcom loses latest round in extradition saga

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- German internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom has lost another legal round after the New Zealand High Court ruled that he and three of his colleagues can be extradited to the United States, but he said Monday his fight is far from over.

The U.S. has been seeking Dotcom's extradition on 13 counts including conspiracy to ...Read more

North Korea denounces probe into murder of Kim's half-brother

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KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- North Korea's envoy to Malaysia demanded to take part in the country's murder probe into the death of leader Kim Jong Un's half-brother last week, which he said was tainted by "collusion" with its arch-rival, South Korea.

Ambassador Kang Chol issued his statement in Kuala Lumpur after being summoned to Malaysia's ...Read more

Defense Secretary Mattis arrives in Iraq and makes clear the U.S. is not there to take oil

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BAGHDAD -- Defense Secretary James N. Mattis made an unannounced visit to Iraq's capital on Monday to reassure allies of the U.S. military's commitment to support the sprawling operation to recapture the city of Mosul from entrenched Islamic State militants.

Ahead of the trip, however, Mattis made clear he did not advocate President Trump's oft...Read more

Dazed and confused by Trump, Europe asks if it can step up alone

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WASHINGTON -- U.S. Vice President Mike Pence flew out of Munich on Sunday leaving America's allies relieved of some of their worst fears about the new administration's foreign policy, yet still uncertain as to who will formulate it.

And for many of the Europeans who listened to Pence, U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis and Homeland Security ...Read more

Tribes look to Trump to save their coal plant

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WASHINGTON -- On Navajo Nation territory near Page, Ariz., news about plans to shutter a hulking coal plant that has been the workhorse of the struggling local economy for decades came like a punch to the gut.

Now tribes and plant workers are demanding relief from the person who vowed to end these kinds of devastating announcements -- Donald ...Read more

Leftist candidate Lenin Moreno leads Ecuador's presidential vote, but may face a runoff

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QUITO, Ecuador -- Former Vice President Lenin Moreno, a leftist advocate for the disabled who was paralyzed in a 1998 robbery attempt, was leading a crowded field in Ecuador's presidential election Sunday, but was at risk of falling just short of avoiding a runoff on April 2.

Moreno, 63, is a close ally of outgoing President Rafael Correa, ...Read more

Kansas town's residents urged to have hope as shootings anniversary nears

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HESSTON, Kansas -- A lot can happen in a year's time.

From sorrow, grief and sadness, a time for hope can eventually come forward.

More than 250 people came together Sunday at the Hesston High School gymnasium for a service called "One Year – A Community Remembers: 'The Light Shines in the Darkness,' " commemorating those killed in a mass ...Read more

Trump's search for a national security adviser sums up his biggest challenges so far

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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- President Donald Trump's next national security advisor will serve as his eyes and ears to crises that pop up all over the globe -- and be thrust into the center of the White House's biggest firestorms too.

Amid the fallout over the firing of the first person to hold the post, Michael Flynn, the president has escalated ...Read more

Departing election commissioner urges Trump to change system

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WASHINGTON -- A Democratic member of the U.S. Federal Election Commission said she will resign and called on President Donald Trump to fix a system that has allowed unaccountable money to flow into politics "from a tiny, highly unrepresentative segment of the population."

Ann Ravel said she'll step down March 1 from a term that would otherwise ...Read more

1 dead, 10 wounded, including Cook County officer, in Chicago shootings

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CHICAGO -- A man was killed and at least 10 other people, including an off-duty Cook County correctional officer, have been wounded in shootings across Chicago from Saturday afternoon to Sunday morning, police said.

The Cook County sheriff's deputy was shot about 8:35 p.m. in the 7300 block of South Aberdeen Street, police said. He was shot in ...Read more

White House denies any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia

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WASHINGTON -- As questions deepened about ties between President Trump's administration and Vladimir Putin's Russia, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus flatly denied Sunday that the two camps colluded during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Priebus, in a series of news-show interviews, also insisted that ousted national security advisor ...Read more

'High risk' of flooding Monday in Northern California as waterways reach their limits

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LOS ANGELES -- Officials said there was a high risk of flooding in parts of already-saturated Northern California as the latest "atmospheric river" storm moved in.

The National Weather Service on Sunday said the highest risk for flooding was in a large swath of the region from Monterey to Marin County on the coast then into the Sacramento ...Read more

France's presidential race open as leftists fail to join forces

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Chances of a left-wing single candidacy in the French presidential election faded over the weekend as the main contenders seem unable to bridge their differences, while independent Emmanuel Macron got entangled in controversies over France's colonial past, leaving the race wide open nine weeks ahead of the vote.

Socialist Benoit Hamon and far-...Read more