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Kacen Bayless/The Kansas City Star/TNS

Missouri urges court to uphold act declaring federal gun laws 'invalid' after Kansas City shooting

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Missouri officials recently defended in court a far-reaching state law that declares some federal firearms laws “invalid,” a stark demonstration of how far the state has gone to thwart restrictions on guns.

Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey’s Office urged the federal 8th Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold the ...Read more

Alejandro A. Alvarez/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

Philly schools censored a podcast about Palestinian resistance art because of complaints of antisemitism. Now, there's pushback

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PHILADELPHIA — The African American history class assignment: Examine a modern-day group of indigenous or oppressed people’s use of art as an act of resistance and connect it to enslaved Black people’s use of spirituals.

Two Northeast High students chose to create a video of a podcast about Palestinian art. Their teacher gave them an A ...Read more

Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times/TNS

How mega-spending and alleged scandals could influence LAUSD school board elections

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As two leading Los Angeles school board candidates grapple with blows to their campaigns — antisemitic tweets for one and an investigation that temporarily removed another from her counseling job — outside groups continue to flood races with spending to win influence over the nation's second-largest school system.

Four seats, a majority of...Read more

Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images North America/TNS

Wexner wins dismissal of suit over rape at his home by Epstein

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NEW YORK — Leslie Wexner, the billionaire founder of L Brands Inc., can’t be held liable for owning the Manhattan townhouse where a woman alleges she was raped as a teenager by Jeffrey Epstein, a federal judge ruled.

U.S. District Court Judge Ann Donnelly on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit filed by Jennifer Araoz against Wexner, who employed ...Read more

Lezlie Sterling/The Sacramento Bee/TNS

California lawmakers come back with bill targeting 'buyers' of child sex trafficking

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SACRAMENTO, California — After her noteworthy success in establishing harsher criminal penalties for child sex traffickers, Republican Sen. Shannon Grove has introduced legislation to lengthen prison terms for those who purchase or engage in child prostitution.

After a dramatic change of heart last year by Assembly Democrats, Grove won ...Read more

Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/TNS

Former Florida GOP leader Ziegler told police he feared 'the political side' of assault investigation

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When police investigating a sexual battery claim showed up at Christian Ziegler’s Sarasota, Florida, home Nov. 1, he put away his dog, welcomed them in and apologized for the mess. And then, before the investigators could tell him why they were there, he wanted to know if their conversation would become public.

When they said they were ...Read more

Natrice Miller/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS

Religious rights bill advances through Georgia Senate

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ATLANTA — A bill that would expand religious rights passed the Georgia Senate on Thursday over objections that it could lead to discrimination against gay people.

The Senate voted along party lines, 33-19, to approve the religious rights legislation, which would limit the government’s ability to enforce laws that conflict with religious ...Read more

Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal/TNS

Las Vegas judge attack suspect was in 'delusional state' during incident, attorney says

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LAS VEGAS — The defense attorney for a man seen on video attacking a Las Vegas judge claimed his client was in a “delusional state” and is not responsible for his actions.

Deobra Redden, 31, pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity during a brief court hearing on Thursday. He was indicted earlier this month on charges including attempted ...Read more

Sarah A. Miller/Idaho Statesman/TNS

Idaho Republican presidential caucus is Saturday. Here's how it works, what to know

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BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho Republican Party decided to take a different course of action to determine this year’s Republican nominee for the 2024 presidential election.

Instead of the traditional primary election that many Americans are accustomed to, the party will hold a caucus on Saturday for the first time since the 2012 election cycle.

...Read more

Saudi-led Arabs push plan for Palestine state as war rages

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A Saudi-led group of Arab states is urging the U.S. and allies to persuade Israel to consider a renewed plan for Palestinian statehood that they say will deescalate tensions in the Middle East, according to several Arab officials involved in drafting the proposal.

While there are myriad obstacles to overcome — not least the ongoing war ...Read more

Caleb Lunetta/The San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS

At least 3 people shot at San Diego County dental office

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EL CAJON, California — At least three people were shot when a man opened fire inside an El Cajon dental office Thursday afternoon, according to police.

Fox 5 reported one person had died.

The department tweeted that it is still searching for the suspected gunman, described as a light-skinned male between 20 to 30 years old and wearing all ...Read more

Pedro Pardo/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

US sees China's space threat growing at 'breathtaking pace'

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WASHINGTON — China is growing its military capabilities in space at a “breathtaking pace” to counter the American satellites in orbit and improve its ability to monitor and target forces on Earth, according to the head of the U.S. Space Command.

America’s top strategic challenger is seeking to develop advanced space weaponry and making...Read more

Stefani Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

Pentagon leak suspect Jack Teixeira expected to plead guilty in federal case

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BOSTON — The former Massachusetts Air National Guardsman charged with leaking military secrets to members of an online gaming community intends to plead guilty.

“The defendant respectfully requests that the Court schedule this matter for a Rule 11 hearing on March 4, 2024, the date currently set for the Pretrial Conference,” reads the ...Read more

GoFundMe/TNS

University of Georgia students: United in grief, divided politically

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ATHENS, Ga. — Hundreds, if not thousands, of students gathered on University of Georgia’s campus for a solemn vigil on Monday, united in their grief over the tragic deaths of two classmates.

Students shared stories about the interests and passions of Laken Riley and Wyatt Banks. Tears were shed. Prayers were invoked, songs were played.

...Read more

ADALBERTO ROQUE/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

Widow of dissident killed in Cuba sues former US diplomat who admits being Cuban agent

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MIAMI — The widow of Oswaldo Payá, a prominent Cuban opposition leader who is widely believed to have died in a car crash caused by Cuban state security officials, filed a civil lawsuit in Miami on Thursday against Victor Manuel Rocha, a former U.S. ambassador who has agreed to plead guilty to charges of acting as an unregistered agent of ...Read more

Michael Gonzalez/Getty Images North America/TNS

Biden and Trump make dueling trips to border as feud heats up

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President Biden and former President Donald Trump made dueling trips to the southern border on Thursday as they sought to gain a political edge on the issue in their anticipated White House campaign rematch.

Biden traveled to Brownsville, Texas, where he met with Border Patrol agents and immigration enforcement officials on the banks of the Rio...Read more

Sergey Novikov/Dreamstime/TNS

Law enforcement agencies clearing Maryland State House after anonymous threat, official says

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BALTIMORE — Several law enforcement agencies are clearing the Maryland State House on Thursday evening after receiving an anonymous threat, an official told The Baltimore Sun.

“We got an anonymous threat,” said Annapolis Police Chief Ed Jackson, whose agency is participating in the law enforcement response. “We’re still investigating....Read more

'Go back to China': LA woman caught in racist rant over unleashed dog

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LOS ANGELES — A dispute between two women over an unleashed dog on the Westside of Los Angeles took on racist tones when the woman whose dog was off leash told her Asian neighbor to "go back to China," according to a TikTok video that has already generated more than 6 million views.

The white woman with the unleashed dog, Denise Olin, was ...Read more

Idaho Department of Correction/TNS

Idaho prisoner Thomas Creech secures stay of execution, alleges cruel and unusual punishment

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BOISE, Idaho — Immediately following the Idaho prison system’s failure Wednesday to execute the state’s longest-serving death row prisoner by lethal injection, his attorneys secured a stay of execution from a federal judge and filed a new demand to protect their client’s constitutional rights.

U.S. District Court Judge Amanda Brailsford...Read more

Emily Curiel/The Kansas City Star/TNS

2 officers, process server shot during eviction in Independence, Missouri

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Two Independence police officers and a civil process server were shot, two of them fatally, during an eviction Thursday afternoon in the northeast part of the city, officials said.

A tactical response team had to be called in to extract the officer’s body from the front porch of a residence. The victims were taken to ...Read more