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Once at the center of the Russia investigation, Nunes now stands on the sidelines as it steams ahead

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WASHINGTON -- When the House Select Intelligence Committee opened its most recent hearing on Russian interference in the 2016 election, committee Chairman Devin Nunes was notably absent from the dais.

The week before, when the Justice Department named a special prosecutor to take over the existing FBI probe, lawmakers on the House and Senate ...Read more

Narco ballad draws applause and a fine in Mexico

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MEXICO CITY -- It was a well-known ballad about Camelia the Texan -- a woman who smuggles drugs into the United States and then murders her lover in a jealous rage -- that got Los Tigres del Norte into trouble.

The wildly popular band played the song -- one of their many hits chronicling the lives of drug smugglers -- during a packed ...Read more

Trump turns his back on international tourists

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DALLAS -- If a U.S. president's annual budget is a statement of priorities, a world traveler contemplating a trip to America might consider going somewhere else.

The Trump administration's budget proposal released this week seeks to eliminate Brand USA, a federal tourism marketing arm organized under the Commerce Department. Congress created ...Read more

Political gerrymandering: Is there a math test for that?

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WASHINGTON--Racial gerrymanders have been undone many times, most recently when the Supreme Court ruled against a pair of North Carolina congressional districts this week. But another case from that same state, heading into federal court next month, has a shot at eventually persuading the justices to do what they've never done before: strike ...Read more

Study: States with lenient gun laws see more civilians fatally shot by officers

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Fatal shootings of civilians by police officers are less common in states with stricter gun laws than they are in states that take a more relaxed approach to regulating the sale, storage and use of firearms, new research says.

A study published this month in the American Journal of Public Health has found that fatal police shootings were about ...Read more

Trump wants to cut funding for earthquake early warning system, which would likely kill project

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LOS ANGELES -- President Donald Trump's budget would eliminate federal funding for an earthquake early warning system being developed for California and the rest of the West Coast, which if enacted would likely kill the long-planned effort.

The budget proposal for the year ending in September 2018 also seeks to eliminate U.S. funding for ...Read more

Some conservatives justify 'manly' Montana candidate's alleged body-slam of 'snowflake' reporter

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After he was accused of physically attacking a reporter, Greg Gianforte had some very visible defenders while he went invisible for election day Thursday.

The Republican candidate for Montana's open congressional seat canceled his national TV appearances after he was charged with misdemeanor assault on suspicion of body-slamming a national ...Read more

Oakland to settle claim filed by teen exploited by police

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OAKLAND, Calif. -- The city is poised to pay nearly $1 million to settle a claim filed by the teenage daughter of a police dispatcher at the center of last year's police sex scandal that rocked the department and reverberated across the Bay Area.

City Attorney Barbara Parker's office is recommending that the City Council settle the case for $...Read more

UC Berkeley fires professor for sexually harassing 4 students

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BERKELEY, Calif. -- University of California, Berkeley has fired an assistant professor for sexually harassing four students.

Blake Wentworth, who taught in the Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies, was found to have violated the school's faculty code of conduct and its sexual harassment policy, the school said.

The firing, ...Read more

Trump finds new ally in his war on leaks: Britain

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WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump gained something Thursday he's been craving: validation from America's closest ally for his war on leaks.

Trump, a one-time fan of leaks who has spent much of his early term decrying them, vowed a "complete review" of possible intelligence leaks related to this week's deadly terrorist attack at a Manchester ...Read more

Italy coast guard: 2,300 migrants rescued, two bodies recovered

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ROME -- Some 2,300 people have been rescued and two bodies were recovered in the latest migrant rescues in the central Mediterranean, the Italian coast guard said Thursday.

Migrants were plucked from 14 dinghies and four wooden boats by three coast guard vessel, a rescue ship run by the Doctors Without Borders charity and by passing cargo ships...Read more

Nation and world news briefs

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NOAA forecasters predict busier-than-usual hurricane season

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Brace for what could be a wetter, windier summer.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting an above-normal 2017 hurricane season with five to nine hurricanes (minimum 74 mph winds), of which two to four will be Category 3 or stronger (...Read more

Trump's budget cuts to Violence Against Women programs just 'technical,' White House says

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WASHINGTON -- A chart buried on page 245 of President Donald Trump's 2018 budget analysis looks alarming: It shows a massive decrease in funding over 10 years for federal programs that aid survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence.

The 93 percent cut appeared to confirm the worst fears of survivor advocates and women's activists. They'd...Read more

Corroded steel caused 'catastrophic failure' leading to deadly tank explosion in St. Louis area

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ST. LOUIS -- A steam tank explosion at a box company that killed four people last month was caused by a failure where the tank had been patched in an emergency repair in 2012, according to a report issued Thursday by a federal investigative agency.

The company never obtained a permit for the repair nor acted on a recommendation for a more ...Read more

A body slam, an assault charge and suddenly a Montana congressional race appears up for grabs

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MISSOULA, Mont.--For John Jepsen, Glacier National Park could wait a bit -- especially if it meant keeping Greg Gianforte from a seat in Congress.

Jepsen had planned to head to the park Thursday, but when he learned that Gianforte had been accused of assaulting a newspaper reporter covering the state's special election, he delayed his trip to ...Read more

Ted Cruz failed to show 2012 loans from Goldman Sachs, FEC says

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WASHINGTON -- U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz improperly accounted for loans he received from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc. during his 2012 campaign, saying the funds were his own personal contributions to the Senate race, the Federal Election Commission said Thursday.

The finding, released on the FEC website, marked a rare instance of ...Read more

No health survey conducted before Pentagon built Guantanamo's Camp Justice

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Ten years after the Pentagon opened its war court complex at Guantanamo as an expeditionary legal complex, there is no agreement that Camp Justice is expeditionary at all, according to a report released Thursday by the Navy.

The report, echoing earlier studies that ruled out a cancer cluster at Camp Justice, reflects the haphazard nature of the...Read more

Federal prosecutor found dead along the beach

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MIAMI -- A federal prosecutor who worked at the U.S. Attorney's Office in Miami has been identified as the man found dead along Hollywood beach this week in a case being investigated as a crime.

Hollywood police confirmed that the deceased man is Beranton J. Whisenant Jr., 37, and that he may have suffered a head wound caused by a possible ...Read more

Judge temporarily halts Maryland medical marijuana industry

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BALTIMORE--A Baltimore judge put the state medical marijuana industry temporarily on hold Thursday, granting the request of a company that alleged state regulators illegally ignored racial diversity when picking companies to grow the drug.

Circuit Judge Barry Williams said the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission is not permitted to grant any ...Read more

Court overturns order to protect elephants at LA Zoo

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SAN FRANCISCO -- A court order requiring the Los Angeles Zoo to exercise its elephants on soft ground and barring the use of electric shock was overturned Thursday by the California Supreme Court.

In a unanimous decision, the state's highest court said the taxpayers who obtained an injunction against the L.A. Zoo used the wrong legal vehicle to...Read more

 

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