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Democrats want probe of Interior scientists' reassignments

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WASHINGTON -- Democrats at a hearing for Interior and Energy Department nominees seized on the published comments of an Interior scientist who claims that Secretary Ryan Zinke was using forced reassignments to coax experienced scientists to resign.

The top Democrat on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Maria Cantwell of Washington, ...Read more

Americans are paying more attention to politics, and finding it stressful

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WASHINGTON -- Americans are paying more attention to politics since Donald Trump's election, but many find the experience a stressful one, according to new data from the nonpartisan Pew Research Center.

Slightly more than half of those surveyed by Pew said they were paying more attention to politics since Trump's victory; only about one in ...Read more

Trump move to fire Mueller likely would trigger purge at Justice

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WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump's interview with The New York Times on Wednesday has stirred speculation he may consider firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller for investigating Trump's business dealings as part of the Russia probe.

But Trump can't fire Mueller directly, according to the law that authorizes Mueller's activities. If he tried...Read more

Trump says he sat with Putin at dinner because the wife of Japan's leader doesn't speak English; But she does

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WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump says he went over to chat with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a dinner in Germany this month because his seat mate, the wife of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, didn't speak any English.

Akie Abe "doesn't speak English ... like, not 'Hello,'" Trump told The New York Times in an interview Wednesday.

Not ...Read more

Senators unveil draft of a new 'DREAM Act' that Trump is already rejecting

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WASHINGTON -- A new bipartisan immigration push would go even further than previous failed reform efforts to provide rights and protections to undocumented people brought to America as children.

In direct opposition to President Donald Trump's inclination to allow "Dreamers" be placed back in line for deportation, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham...Read more

Chicago to pay $38.75 million to settle red light ticket lawsuit; 1.2 million could get repayment

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CHICAGO -- Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration has agreed to pay out $38.75 million to settle a class-action lawsuit alleging Chicago failed to give adequate notice to red light camera and speed camera violators.

Under the massive deal, more than 1.2 million people could be in line for payments of half of whatever they paid the city for...Read more

O.J. Simpson granted parole

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CARSON CITY, Nev. -- O.J. Simpson was granted parole Thursday by the state of Nevada for convictions connected to a robbery in a Las Vegas about a decade ago. He could be out of jail as early as October.

The ruling came after a hearing in which Simpson testified that he longed to be reunited with his family and children and said that he has no ...Read more

US ends airline laptop ban; new security measures make the electronics OK to carry on

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New security measures added at international airports now allow laptop computers, tablets and other large electronic devices in the cabins of flights to the United States, the Department of Homeland Security announced Thursday.

The federal agency that oversees airline security declined to detail the new security measures but confirmed that the ...Read more

Noah Smith: U.S. should put special relationship on back burner

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Many Americans still regard Britain as the U.S.'s political and cultural parent. Despite the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, the U.S. and the U.K. eventually developed a special relationship that endured throughout the 20th century. Together, the two defeated the Axis and communism and established a global order based on free trade and (...Read more

'Explosive' flames destroy dozens of structures as 70,000-acre wildfire rages near Yosemite

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A huge wildfire near Yosemite National Park swelled to more than 70,000 acres overnight as flames destroyed dozens of structures and forced two towns to evacuate.

Burning east of Merced, the Detwiler fire in Mariposa County grew from 48,000 acres to 70,096 acres Thursday morning, said Nancy Phillipe, spokeswoman for the California Department ...Read more

Trump says he sat with Putin at dinner because the wife of Japan's leader doesn't speak English. But she does

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WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump said Wednesday that a lack of English conversational skills on the part of Akie Abe, the wife of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, prompted him to leave his spot next to her at dinner at an international summit and talk with Vladimir Putin instead.

Mrs. Abe "doesn't speak English ... like, not 'Hello,'" Trump told ...Read more

At O'Hare, some passengers undergo face scans in test of security program

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CHICAGO -- Starting this month, passengers on some international flights from O'Hare airport have been getting their pictures taken before boarding as part of a new U.S. security program that utilizes facial-recognition technology.

The program, run by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, aims to ensure the right person is getting on an ...Read more

NC GOP calls Charlotte City Council member 'unhinged' after comments about Trump supporters

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Fallout continued Thursday over comments critical of President Donald Trump by a Charlotte City Council member, with the North Carolina Republican Party calling Dimple Ajmera "unhinged."

Appearing on WCNC's "Flashpoint" Sunday, Ajmera said, "Republicans that are supporting Trump ... should have no place on city council ...Read more

4 House Democrats sued for displaying Pride flag

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SAN DIEGO -- Four members of the House of Representatives have been sued for displaying a rainbow flag in the hallways outside of their Capitol Hill offices.

The plaintiff: Chris Sevier, an attorney who has an ongoing campaign against same-sex marriage and has also unsuccessfully sued states for the right to marry a laptop computer, to make a ...Read more

Student who 'graded' his ex-girlfriend's apology letter won't be suspended from college

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MIAMI -- The University of Central Florida student who "graded" his ex-girlfriend's apology letter in a social media post that went viral and was suspended for two semesters was cleared of all charges Thursday.

Nick Lutz, 21, posted pictures of his ex-girlfriend's apology letter -- complete with grammar and content editing and a D- final grade ...Read more

McCain: 'I'll be back soon'

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WASHINGTON -- Sen. John McCain thanked well-wishers for their support upon hearing he had been diagnosed with brain cancer, saying he would be back "soon."

McCain, who had undergone surgery to remove a blood clot at the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix and was later found to have brain cancer, tweeted "I greatly appreciate the outpouring of ...Read more

About one-third of dementia cases could be prevented by actions that begin in childhood, experts say

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More than 1 in 3 cases of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia can be traced to factors -- such as inadequate education, obesity, hearing loss and smoking -- that simply don't need to be, according to a new report.

These challenges first present themselves in childhood, and they continue to make their presence felt all the way ...Read more

John Bush nomination exposes partisan divide

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WASHINGTON -- The nomination of John Bush to be a federal appellate court judge underscores how swiftly Senate Republicans can help President Donald Trump reshape the nation's courts in a conservative direction.

Bush, nominated for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, cleared a procedural hurdle in the Senate on Wednesday on a 51-48 ...Read more

Latinos left out of clinical trials — and possible cures

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Two decades ago, Luis Antonio Cabrera received devastating news: He likely had only three months to live.

The Puerto Rican truck driver, then 50, had attributed his growing leg pain to spending so many hours on the road. The real culprit was a malignant tumor in his left kidney that was pressing on nerves from his lower spine.

His initial ...Read more

Jonathan Bernstein: Trump not even pretending to care about helping people

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With the Republicans' Plan C to vote for "repeal and delay" lasting about 12 hours or so before falling short of winning in the Senate, Donald Trump returned to his least attractive -- and most foolish -- position on health care: "We're not going to own it. I'm not going to own it. I can tell you the Republicans are not going to own it. We'll ...Read more

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