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New Democrats' PAC adds 12 challengers to candidate watch list

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WASHINGTON -- The political arm of the moderate New Democrat Coalition is adding 12 House challengers to its list of candidates to watch in 2018.

NewDemPAC's recognition comes with a $1,000 contribution this quarter and guidance about messaging and strategy. The watch list is a way for the group to get involved in races earlier than it ...Read more

Meet the 10 members of House Republicans' DACA task force

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WASHINGTON -- House Republicans want to ensure any legislation replacing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, would have the support of the majority of their conference before it goes to the floor.

That's why Speaker Paul D. Ryan formed a task force featuring a cross section of Republicans who serve on committees with ...Read more

CHIP, FAA face deadlines this week

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WASHINGTON -- Congress is spared the usual end-of-the-fiscal-year drama this month, with normal fights over government spending punted until December, but lawmakers still face several deadlines before the Sept. 30 cutoff for fiscal 2017.

With the Republicans' last-gasp effort to undo the 2010 health care law fizzling, Congress may now try to ...Read more

Abe's future hinges on margin of victory in snap Japan election

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TOKYO -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is betting that he can crush a weak opposition in next month's election. The margin of victory may determine whether his ruling party replaces him in 2018.

Abe announced on Monday that he would dissolve parliament later this week, more than a year before its term expires. He framed the election as a ...Read more

German populists face risk of split as co-leader shuns caucus

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BERLIN -- Alternative for Germany, the populist party that won its first seats in the nation's parliament on Sunday, faced an immediate rift when one of best-known leaders said she won't join the caucus.

A day after its biggest electoral triumph, the anti-immigration party, known as AfD, signaled its potential for unpredictability over the next...Read more

Timothy L. O'Brien: Trump's comfort zone is race and culture war

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The "Donald Trump is becoming presidential" trope recently made the rounds again, shortly after new Chief of Staff John Kelly started cleaning house in the West Wing, and Trump himself cut a bipartisan debt-ceiling deal with Democratic senators Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi.

As I've noted in this space before (and will surely note again) Trump...Read more

'Fuerza Mexico': Earthquake has been the engine of a newfound national solidarity

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MEXICO CITY -- Mexican flags poke from near the rubble piles of what were once homes, shops and offices.

A group of youthful cheerleaders marches down a street, clapping their hands while rhythmically chanting, "Mexico! Mexico!"

Bystanders gathered at the site of a flattened office building break into an impromptu rendition of "Cielito Lindo,"...Read more

War in Korea? The scenarios are sobering

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This is the way a nuclear war begins.

Simulations of a war on the Korean peninsula usually start with a relatively minor incident at the demilitarized zone between South Korea and its hostile northern neighbor, or a provocation that develops into a conventional war and then escalates.

President Donald Trump's threatening posture toward North ...Read more

Equifax breach has broad consequences, important lessons

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WASHINGTON -- For as many as 143 million consumers whose personal data was stolen in the breach of the Equifax credit bureau, here's how criminals might take advantage:

They might try to buy a gun in your name. Or get a second mortgage on your house. They could lease a car by impersonating you, and crash it. They might steal your tax refund ...Read more

Kushner used private email for some White House communications

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NEW YORK -- President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner used a personal email account in addition to his White House one to communicate with other White House officials, his lawyer said.

Kushner used the private email address to send fewer than 100 emails to other White House aides between January and August, Kushner's ...Read more

White House announces new travel restrictions, replacing previous ban

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WASHINGTON -- The Trump administration announced a new ban Sunday on most travel to the U.S. by nationals of seven countries, including North Korea and six in the Mideast and North Africa.

The new order replaces the much-disputed travel ban that President Donald Trump issued in March, parts of which were blocked in court. That order, a revision...Read more

One killed, several injured in California prison riot

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One inmate was killed and others were injured in a riot that erupted Sunday morning at the California Men's Colony prison northwest of San Luis Obispo, officials said.

The riot broke out shortly before 11 a.m. and involved more than 160 inmates at the medium-security yard in the East Facility, prison officials said. Guards intervened "...Read more

Republican bill will offer young immigrants citizenship after 'extreme vetting'

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WASHINGTON -- Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., will introduce a bill Monday that would provide a path to citizenship for as many as 2.5 million young undocumented immigrants, but one that is long and would involve "extreme vetting."

Tillis and co-sponsor James Lankford, R-Okla., will pitch the plan –– which they call a "conservative Dream Act" –...Read more

Yiannopoulos speaks at Berkeley campus, but not for long

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BERKELEY, Calif. -- Right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos was greeted by dozens of counterprotesters Sunday as he arrived on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, campus for what turned out to be a very brief speech.

Yiannopoulos and his entourage showed up shortly after noon at Sproul Plaza on campus and were jeered by a ...Read more

Rescuers aren't giving up in search for earthquake survivors in Mexico

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MEXICO CITY –– As officials turn their focus to rebuilding, rescuers continued to search for survivors in the remnants of collapsed buildings five days after a magnitude 7.1 earthquake hit Mexico, killing at least 319 people.

In Mexico City, rescuers Sunday continued to dig through the ruins of collapsed buildings, including at an office ...Read more

'No Progress' in NAFTA talks, Canadian labor leader says

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OTTAWA, Ontario -- The head of Canada's largest private-sector union said there's been "no progress" in North American Free Trade Agreement talks and that he expects the U.S., Mexico and Canada to eventually abandon them.

The U.S. hasn't presented detailed written proposals at the third round of talks being held in Ottawa, Jerry Dias said ...Read more

Merkel wins 4th term as German chancellor but far right gains foothold in government

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BERLIN -- Angela Merkel won a fourth term as German chancellor in a federal election that lifted a far-right party into parliament for the first time since the immediately after World War II, according to exit polls that point to growing polarization in Europe's biggest economy.

Merkel's Christian Democrat-led bloc took 32.5 percent to defeat ...Read more

Treasury secretary defends Trump's rhetoric on North Korea

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WASHINGTON -- Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin defended President Donald Trump's way of dealing with North Korea, insisting Sunday that heated rhetorical exchanges with reclusive despot Kim Jong Un were not making a volatile situation more dangerous.

"This is not about personalities; this is not personal," Mnuchin said on ABC.

For the past ...Read more

North Korea's nuclear weapons are deterring US first strike, Russian official says

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MOSCOW -- North Korea's possession of nuclear weapons is preventing the U.S. from launching a first strike against the rogue nation, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Sunday.

"The Americans won't strike because they know for sure -- rather than suspect -- that it has atomic bombs," Lavrov said on Russia's NTV television. "I'm not ...Read more

Latest target of North Korean hackers: bitcoin exchange platforms

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WASHINGTON -- Broadening their criminal repertoire, North Korean hackers are seeking to loot exchange platforms for bitcoins and other digital currencies, a researcher for the cybersecurity firm FireEye says.

Luke McNamara, a senior cyberthreat intelligence analyst with the Milpitas, Calif., firm, said the hackers targeted three bitcoin ...Read more