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Seattle mayor approves 'emergency dismantling' of downtown waterfront Pier 58

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SEATTLE -- Mayor Jenny Durkan has approved the "emergency dismantling" of Seattle's 50-year-old downtown Pier 58, she announced Friday.

The pier between the Seattle Aquarium and the Great Wheel holds up Waterfront Park -- a boardwalk space with benches, scenic views and telescopes.

Seattle Structural, a private engineering firm, recommends ...Read more

Senate committee sought investigation of Bannon, raised concerns about Trump family testimony

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WASHINGTON -- The Senate Intelligence Committee sent a bipartisan letter to the Justice Department asking federal prosecutors to investigate Steve Bannon, a former Trump confidant, for potentially lying to lawmakers during its investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

The letter, a copy of which was reviewed by ...Read more

In tiny California county, 13 have died of COVID-19 in past week, 12 at one nursing home

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Sacramento's smallest neighboring county, rural Amador, has quickly become a hotbed for coronavirus activity, with health officials and the state reporting a rapid spike in new cases and a flood of more than a dozen deaths in the past week -- nearly all of the fatalities at one nursing facility.

Amador County, which has a ...Read more

Fired officer charged in George Floyd's killing tells investigators his job wasn't to check on Floyd, video shows

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MINNEAPOLIS -- The former Minneapolis police officer who stood by as three officers fatally restrained George Floyd told investigators he was focused on an angry crowd and trusted his colleagues to respond appropriately, according to a video released Friday.

Prosecutors filed the video of Tou Thao's voluntary interview with the Minnesota Bureau...Read more

Trump orders TikTok's parent to sell its US assets

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WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump on Friday ordered the Chinese owner of the popular music video app TikTok to sell its U.S. assets, citing national security concerns.

Trump's decision came after an investigation by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., which reviews acquisitions of American businesses by overseas investors. ...Read more

Homeland Security leaders Wolf and Cuccinelli not legally appointed, watchdog says. Will it matter?

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WASHINGTON -- A government watchdog released its findings Friday that the appointments of President Donald Trump's top Homeland Security officials were invalid, opening the administration up to legal challenges that could invalidate a number of immigration policies as well as undermine its central 2020 reelection strategy, former officials and ...Read more

ICE deported an accused rapist before trial; he's now been extradited back to Miami

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MIAMI -- An accused Coral Gables rapist who was deported to Central America before he could stand trial is back on U.S. soil.

Werner Orozco, shackled and accompanied by U.S. Marshals, was extradited from Panama and arrived Friday afternoon on a flight into Miami-Dade County. He will be booked into a Miami jail.

His extradition came one year ...Read more

Georgia lawmaker attacks John Lewis' legacy, loses chairmanship

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ATLANTA -- A Republican lawmaker has again had his chairmanship stripped from him after making comments disparaging the legacy of John Lewis.

Republican state Rep. Tommy Benton, of Jefferson, was just reinstated to a leadership position last year after having it taken from him in 2017 for sharing an article with colleagues that challenged ...Read more

Nation and world news briefs

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Minneapolis mayor announces plan to leave 100 police jobs unfilled next year

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey on Friday announced plans for the city to keep some 100 police jobs open next year, bowing to the city's budget challenges and loud calls to defund the force.

"There is no single policy proposal that will, in one fell swoop, undo 400 years...Read more

Minneapolis delays reopening 38th and Chicago, site of George Floyd's death

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Minneapolis city officials are postponing plans to reopen the intersection where George Floyd died.

The intersection at 38th Street and Chicago Avenue won't open Monday as planned as community activists and city officials work to figure out what to do with the area where Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer May 25. ...Read more

US bid to extend Iran arms ban is defeated at United Nations

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NEW YORK -- A U.S. effort to extend an expiring arms embargo on Iran was voted down at the United Nations Security Council on Friday evening, setting the stage for a diplomatic crisis pitting the Trump administration against both allies and adversaries.

"The Security Council's failure to act decisively in defense of international peace and ...Read more

US Postal Service adds first surcharges ahead of holiday rush

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The U.S. Postal Service is rolling out its first peak-season surcharges for commercial package deliveries as the agency seeks to cope with costs from the coronavirus pandemic and an expected surge in holiday demand.

The increases range from 24 cents to $1.50 per package and will last from Oct. 18 to Dec. 27, the post office said Friday in a ...Read more

The 2020 fight over the Postal Service underscores its long-unaddressed challenges

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WASHINGTON -- The current standoff between President Donald Trump and Congress over the U.S. Postal Service is rekindling a long-standing debate over how to overhaul an agency delivering more packages from online shoppers, but not enough letters to overcome a mounting revenue decline and growing retirement costs.

Bipartisan calls from lawmakers...Read more

UAE-Israel move toward diplomacy leaves many in region ill at ease

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CAIRO -- The United Arab Emirates' decision this week to normalize ties with Israel divided the region and the larger world on Friday, with much of the West praising the move, while large chunks of the Middle East said that, at best, it was a betrayal.

The move boosts the chances for peace in the Middle East and brings "badly needed realism" to...Read more

Hundreds of sea lions to be killed in Northwest in effort to save endangered fish

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SEATTLE -- Approval to kill up to 840 sea lions in a portion of the Columbia River and its tributaries over the next five years to boost the survival of salmon and steelhead at risk of extinction is expected from federal officials Friday.

The kill program has been in the works since Congress approved a change in the Marine Mammal Protection Act...Read more

What's slowing Miami's COVID spread? Partial 'herd immunity' may play a part

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MIAMI -- As a deadly summer wave of virus continues to recede, Miami-Dade County officials and scientists are trying to figure out what combination of factors may have contributed to slowing a surge of COVID cases that at one point threatened to topple South Florida's healthcare infrastructure.

Social distancing measures, face mask orders and ...Read more

Harris says Biden broke through 'substantial barriers' by picking her

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WASHINGTON -- Kamala Harris said Friday that Democratic nominee Joe Biden had broken through "one of the most substantial barriers" in the U.S. by picking her to be his running mate.

"Joe Biden had the audacity to choose a Black woman to be his running mate. How incredible is that?" Harris said in her first one-on-one interview since the former...Read more

In reversal, Kemp's new order to let some Georgia cities impose mask mandates

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ATLANTA -- Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp will sign an executive order that allows some local governments to require face coverings on their own property days after he abandoned a legal challenge that sought to block Atlanta's mask mandate.

The governor's aides said Friday that the order will clear the way for cities and counties to impose a face ...Read more

NJ will vote mostly by mail for 2020 election despite lingering post office concerns

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New Jersey's election in November will be mostly mail-in due to the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Phil Murphy announced Friday on CNN.

The state will follow the same approach it followed during its delayed primary July 7, Murphy said. Every registered voter in the state will be mailed a ballot, which they can either mail back or drop off in secure...Read more

Utility says customer's own equipment may have caused Baltimore gas explosion. What could that mean?

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BALTIMORE -- Baltimore Gas & Electric said Thursday that its equipment is not to blame for the gas explosion that killed two and injured seven others Monday morning in Northwest Baltimore.

Instead, the company has pointed toward faulty customer-owned equipment as a potential cause for the blast, which leveled three homes and damaged dozens more...Read more