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The real climate change controversy: Whether to engineer the planet in order to fix it

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In 1965, leading scientists of the day produced a report for President Lyndon B. Johnson on the rampant pollution of the environment. It included a section that summed up their understanding of climate change.

"Through his worldwide industrial civilization, Man is unwittingly conducting a vast geophysical experiment," wrote longtime University ...Read more

'Crime against humanity': Passionate parents speak out against California's vaccine bill

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Hundreds of parents lined the corridors of the state Capitol on Wednesday, alternatively pleading and demanding that lawmakers reject a bill that would tighten the state's school immunization law.

The emotional testimony on the controversial bill comes as a measles outbreak has put public health officials on high alert. ...Read more

Trump in Atlanta vows to fight opioid abuse epidemic

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ATLANTA -- President Donald Trump doubled down on border security Wednesday and took aim at Democrats and the pharmaceutical industry as he vowed to fight the deadly opioid abuse epidemic.

Trump made the remarks at the Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit in Atlanta, an annual event that attracts thousands of addiction experts, treatment counselors ...Read more

Cory Booker releases tax returns, showing he got stung by SALT deduction cap

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WASHINGTON -- Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker released 10 years of tax returns Wednesday, and like many of his neighbors, the New Jersey senator got stung by a new cap on deductions of state and local taxes.

Booker, one of 19 Democrats running for their party's 2020 presidential nomination, reported that he earned $152,715 in ...Read more

Lawsuit alleges sexual assault by former California Democratic Party Chairman Eric Bauman

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LOS ANGELES -- A California Democratic Party employee sued the organization in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Wednesday, alleging he was repeatedly groped and sexually assaulted by former Chairman Eric Bauman.

William Floyd, who served as Bauman's assistant from March 2016 until November 2018, claims in the suit that Bauman performed oral...Read more

Use-of-force expert: None needed in ex-Minneapolis officer's fatal encounter with woman

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Even if he was startled by a loud noise, the Minneapolis police officer who fatally shot Justine Ruszczyk Damond two summers ago would not have been justified in using a Taser or pepper spray -- much less his gun -- a use-of-force expert testified on Wednesday.

"The use of force was objectionable, unreasonable and violated police...Read more

Pain clinics' doctors needlessly tested hundreds of urine samples, court records show

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WASHINGTON -- A Tennessee-based chain of pain clinics that abruptly shut down last summer faces five whistleblower lawsuits accusing it of defrauding Medicare and other health insurers by billing for hundreds of unnecessary urine drug tests and other dubious health services, newly unsealed court records show.

The federal suits target Tennessee-...Read more

Georgian businessman offers more texts with Cohen to rebut Mueller footnote

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LONDON -- A Georgian-American businessman is accusing Special Counsel Robert Mueller of "glaring inaccuracies" and sensationalizing texts about alleged salacious tapes involving Donald Trump's 2013 trip to Moscow.

In a letter to U.S. Attorney General William Barr on Tuesday, lawyers for Giorgi Rtskhiladze demanded a retraction to a footnote in ...Read more

Ukraine furious over Russian citizenship decree targeting separatists

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MOSCOW -- Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Wednesday accused Moscow of crossing a "red line" by signing a decree to ease the process of obtaining Russian citizenship in eastern Ukraine.

"It's a fact that this is about the Kremlin preparing the next point of aggression against our country: the annexation of Ukraine's Donbass or the ...Read more

Bodycam shows Florida deputy punching man handcuffed to hospital bed

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MIAMI -- Bodycam footage released Wednesday shows a Broward Sheriff's Office deputy punching an arrested man in the face while the man remained handcuffed to a hospital bed.

Deputy Jorge Sobrino claimed in the arrest paperwork that 27-year-old Boca Raton resident David O'Connell initiated the physical part of the encounter by pushing him in the...Read more

Psychological report among dozens of long-sealed documents in Jason Van Dyke case made public

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CHICAGO -- "Time froze" for Jason Van Dyke as he fired 16 shots at Laquan McDonald, the then-Chicago police officer told a psychologist in 2016 as he prepared for his murder trial.

Van Dyke told Dr. Laurence Miller that he was "not that good a shot with the handgun" and thought the shots may have been missing the teen as he walked down Pulaski ...Read more

Nation and world news briefs

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NRA sues city of LA over its new contract disclosure law

LOS ANGELES -- The National Rifle Association filed a lawsuit Wednesday challenging a new Los Angeles law requiring companies that seek contracts with the city to disclose whether they have ties to the gun rights group.

The suit was filed in federal court on behalf of the NRA, including ...Read more

Study documents advances in high-speed genetic diagnosis

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SAN DIEGO -- Having already set a Guinness world record for delivering a gene-based diagnosis in 19.5 hours, the Rady Children's Institute for Genomic Medicine now must show that such speedy results are possible for the estimated 80,000 American children in need of such workups each year.

Toward that end, a coalition of researchers led by Dr. ...Read more

Fla. House passes bill requiring felons to pay up before they can vote

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- After hours of debate, the Florida House on Wednesday passed along party lines its version of a bill implementing Amendment 4, which was supposed to restore the right to vote to more than a million former felons.

The 71-45 vote sets up a potential dispute with the state Senate over whether court fines, fees and restitution ...Read more

Trump's promise to resist oversight by Congress sets up clash that could last years

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WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump vowed Wednesday to fight a host of congressional efforts to scrutinize his conduct, business and policies, opening the path toward a constitutional clash that could last for the rest of his term or longer.

"We're fighting all the subpoenas," Trump told reporters, ascribing partisan motives to Democrats who ...Read more

Hillary Clinton says Congress should begin Watergate-style hearings after Mueller findings

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WASHINGTON -- Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said Congress should begin a Watergate-style investigation into President Donald Trump's attempts to obstruct Robert Mueller's probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election that she lost.

Clinton wrote in a Washington Post op-ed that lawmakers should undertake "...Read more

Coming soon to California restaurants: Carbon neutral meals, verified by regulators

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LOS ANGELES -- Diners may soon have the chance to nibble away some of their climate guilt by patronizing California restaurants that have pledged to slash their carbon footprints to zero.

Under a new program announced by state officials Wednesday, consumers will be able to choose from a list of zero-carbon eateries that pledge to offset ...Read more

Son says Irwin Jacobs struggled with health before he shot wife, then himself

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Mounting health problems left prominent Twin Cities businessman Irwin Jacobs reflective about his fate and distraught in the weeks before he killed his wife and then himself in their Lake Minnetonka home, his son said.

In an interview Monday, Mark Jacobs said his father, 77, had recently stopped driving because of incapacitating ...Read more

Democrats' push for gun limits deepens us divide entering 2020

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WASHINGTON -- Democratic presidential hopefuls are embracing gun control as the 2020 campaign accelerates, deepening the divide in U.S. politics between rural areas with a rich gun culture and urban and suburban areas where the mood has turned in favor of tougher laws.

Bolstered by shifting public sentiment, the candidates are increasingly ...Read more

Indonesia is a country divided as both candidates claim victory

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JAKARTA, Indonesia -- A week after Indonesia's election, the nation remains deeply divided with both candidates continuing to claim victory, prompting the authorities to warn against public displays of discord.

President Joko Widodo and challenger Prabowo Subianto both say they've won the April 17 vote even though a dozen unofficial quick ...Read more