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Democratic U.S. Senator Franken says he will resign over sexual misconduct allegations

WASHINGTON - Democratic U.S. Senator Al Franken announced his resignation from office on Thursday, bowing to pressure from party colleagues after a series of sexual misconduct allegations against him. (USA-CONGRESS/FRANKEN (UPDATE 5, PIX, TV), moved at 4:16 p.m., by Makini Brice, 856 words)

Southern California fires force 200,000 people to flee

FARIA BEACH - Wildfires roared through canyons, hillsides and residential areas in densely populated Southern California for a fourth day on Thursday as gusting winds hampered efforts to quell the flames. (USA-WILDFIRES/ (UPDATE 4, PIX, TV), moved at 4 p.m., by Ben Gruber, 880 words)

Hamas calls for Palestinian uprising over Trump's Jerusalem plan

JERUSALEM/GAZA - The Islamist group Hamas urged Palestinians on Thursday to abandon peace efforts and launch a new uprising against Israel in response to U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as its capital. (USA-TRUMP/ISRAEL (WRAPUP 6, PIX, TV, GRAPHIC), moved at 3:54 p.m., by Dan Williams and Nidal al-Mughrabi, 1,117 words) See also: Israel strikes Gaza militant posts after fire rockets fired at Israel-army. (USA-TRUMP/ISRAEL-ROCKETS-ARMY (UPDATE 3), moved at 2:53 p.m., 238 words)

North Korea says U.S. threats make war unavoidable, China urges calm

SEOUL - Two U.S. B-1B heavy bombers joined large-scale combat drills over South Korea on Thursday amid warnings from North Korea that the exercises and U.S. threats have made the outbreak of war "an established fact." (NORTHKOREA-MISSILES/ (WRAPUP 5, PIX, TV), moved at 5:35 p.m., by Soyoung Kim and Heekyong Yang, 1,022 words) See also: Russia chides Tillerson over U.S. rhetoric on North Korea. (NORTHKOREA-MISSILES/LAVROV-TILLERSON (UPDATE 1), moved at 11:57 a.m., 130 words)


White House doesn't foresee shutdown, Trump wants 20 pct corporate tax

WASHINGTON - The White House is confident it can craft a deal to avoid a government shutdown and foresees a compromise with lawmakers that will include increases in defense and non-defense spending, White House legislative affairs director Marc Short said on Thursday. (USA-TRUMP/FISCAL (UPDATE 1, EXCLUSIVE), moved, 664 words)

Wells Fargo sanctions are on ice under Trump official-sources

WASHINGTON - The new acting head of the U.S. consumer finance watchdog is reviewing whether Wells Fargo & Co should pay tens of millions of dollars over alleged mortgage lending abuse, according to three sources familiar with the dispute. (USA-TRUMP/WELLS FARGO (UPDATE 2, EXCLUSIVE), moved at 5:30 p.m., by Patrick Rucker and Pete Schroeder, 639 words)


Pelosi says Democrats will not back short-term funding bill on Thursday

WASHINGTON - U.S. House of Representatives Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday her party would not support a short-term funding bill being brought up for a vote later in the day because it did not include any key Democratic priorities. (USA-TAX/HOUSE-DEMOCRATS (UPDATE 1), moved at 3:25 p.m., 356 words)

Pentagon wants 12 month procurement time for major weapons programs, official

The Pentagon's acquisition chief said on Wednesday she wants to cut the time for major procurements to 12 months from an average of 2.5 years, speaking during a congressional hearing on the reorganization of the Defense Department's procurement system. (USA-DEFENSE/PROCUREMENT, moved at 3:22 p.m., by Mike Stone, 376 words)

Trump open to biofuel policy reform, senators say after meeting

WASHINGTON - U.S. President Donald Trump is open to reforming the country's biofuels policy if it can be done in a way that protects jobs in both the refining and agriculture industries, senators said on Thursday after a meeting with Trump on the issue. (USA-TRUMP/BIOFUELS (UPDATE 4), moved at 4:11 p.m., by Susan Cornwell, 568 words)

U.S. Senate confirms top EPA enforcement official

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Senate on Thursday confirmed the Environmental Protection Agency's third high-level official after Administrator Scott Pruitt, approving Susan Bodine to become the agency's top enforcement official. (USA-EPA/ENFORCEMENT (UPDATE 1), moved at 3:21 p.m., 187 words)

U.S. Justice Dept taps prosecutor to oversee asset forfeiture program

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Justice Department has tapped a North Carolina-based prosecutor for a new role designed to provide more checks and balances to its civil asset forfeiture program, following criticism of its abuse by the police. (USA-JUSTICE/FORFEITURE, moved at 2:30 p.m., by Sarah N. Lynch, 239 words)

WikiLeaks faces US probes into its 2016 election role and CIA leaks -sources

WASHINGTON - WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, are facing multiple investigations by U.S. authorities, including three congressional probes and a federal criminal inquiry, sources familiar with the investigations said. (USA-TRUMP/RUSSIA-WIKILEAKS, moved at 12:39 p.m., by Mark Hosenball, 444 words

U.S. lawmakers propose ban on arbitration of sexual misconduct claims

A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers has introduced a bill that would ban agreements to keep sexual harassment and discrimination claims out of court, amid a wave of sexual misconduct allegations against powerful men. (USA-CONGRESS/MISCONDUCT, moved at 12:50 p.m., by Daniel Wiessner, 377 words)


Hall of Fame NFL quarterback Warren Moon denies harassment claim

Professional football Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon denied accusations of sexual harassment by a woman who was an executive assistant to the former National Football League player at the sports marketing firm he co-founded. (PEOPLE-WARRENMOON/ (UPDATE 1, PIX), moved, 580 words)

U.S. gymnastics team doctor sentenced to 60 years for child pornography

A federal judge on Thursday sentenced Larry Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics team doctor accused of sexually assaulting gymnasts, to 60 years in prison on federal child pornography charges that grew out of a sex abuse investigation. (GYMNASTICS-USA/NASSAR (UPDATE 4, PIX), moved at 2:36 p.m., by Chris Kenning, 411 words)

Ex-South Carolina cop gets 20 years in prison for black motorist's death

CHARLESTON - The white former policeman caught on video shooting an unarmed black man in the back after a 2015 traffic stop in South Carolina was sentenced on Thursday to 20 years in prison, with a federal judge ruling that the killing amounted to murder. (SOUTH CAROLINA-SHOOTING/SLAGER (UPDATE 4, PIX, TV), moved at 2:14 p.m., by Greg Lacour, 443 words)

Wildfires pile woes on California pot industry after tough year

Wildfires blazing through Southern California are worrying marijuana growers, who fear that smoke could damage their crops, the basis of a newly legalized industry in the state. (USA-WILDFIRES/MARIJUANA (PIX), moved at 4:18 p.m., by Ben Klayman, 471 words)

Gunman, two students dead after New Mexico high school shooting

A suspected shooter opened fire at a high school in New Mexico on Thursday, killing two students before being killed, according to police and officials from the nearby Navajo Nation. (NEW MEXICO-SHOOTING/ (UPDATE 1), moved at 2:36 p.m., 248 words)

Low water halts shipping on lower Ohio River -U.S. Army Corps

A stretch of the Ohio River near Paducah, Kentucky, was closed to shipping traffic after a barge tow ran aground in the receding waters, halting shipments of commodities such as grain and coal for at least the fourth time since September. (USA-SHIPPING/OHIO RIVER (UPDATE 1), moved at 2:26 p.m., by Karl Plume, 177 words)

U.S. delays rule on methane emissions from federal lands

WASHINGTON - The Trump administration will delay an Obama-era rule limiting emissions of the powerful greenhouse gas methane from oil and gas operations on federal and tribal lands, it said on Thursday, a move slammed by environmentalists. (USA-CLIMATE/METHANE (PIX), moved, 371 words)

U.N. watchdogs call for probe of Taser assaults in U.S. jails

GENEVA - The U.N. special rapporteur on torture urged U.S. authorities to investigate and weigh criminal charges against jail officials in Ohio, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Arkansas for the “clearly gratuitous infliction of severe pain and suffering” from the use of Tasers on inmates, citing a Reuters report this week. (USA-TASER/UN (EXCLUSIVE), moved at 12:13 p.m., by Stephanie Nebehay and Jason Szep, 907 words)

Indiana officer suspended for 'white male privilege' remark to learn fate

A female Indiana police officer suspended after calling out a fellow officer for "white male privilege" during a transgender awareness training session may learn her job status on Thursday. (INDIANA-POLICE/, moved at 11 a.m., by Chris Kenning, 409 words)


UN to assess if either side trying to "sabotage" Syria talks

GENEVA - The mediator of U.N.-led Syrian peace talks in Geneva will assess next week whether either side is trying to sabotage the process, he said on Thursday, after President Bashar al-Assad's negotiators said they would turn up five days late. (MIDEAST-CRISIS/SYRIA-UN (UPDATE 2, TV), moved at 12:09 p.m., by Tom Miles, 426 words)


Defector says thousands of Islamic State fighters left Raqqa in secret deal

ANKARA - A high-level defector from Kurdish-led forces that captured the Syrian city of Raqqa from Islamic State has recanted his account of the city's fall, saying thousands of IS fighters - many more than first reported - left under a secret, U.S.-approved deal. (MIDEAST-CRISIS/SYRIA-DEFECTOR (PIX, TV), moved, 876 words)

Thousands of Tunisians protest against Trump's Jerusalem decision

TUNIS - Thousands of Tunisians protested in several cities on Thursday against U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital and decision to move the U.S. Embassy there, residents said. (USA-TRUMP/ISRAEL-TUNISIA (PIX), moved, 130 words)

Brexit Irish border deal possible within hours

BRUSSELS/DUBLIN - The United Kingdom and Ireland could reach agreement in hours on how to run their post-Brexit Irish land border, paving the way for a deal that would remove the last obstacle to opening free-trade talks with the European Union. (BRITAIN-EU/IRELAND-CLOSE (UPDATE 3, PIX, TV), moved, 734 words)

Venezuela inflation reaches quadruple digits, hitting 1,369 pct

CARACAS - Crisis-stricken Venezuela's inflation rate reached quadruple digits for the first time, according to figures released by the opposition-led Congress, which show consumer prices rising by 1,369 percent between January and November. (VENEZUELA-ECONOMY/INFLATION, moved at 2:26 p.m., 246 words)

Argentina's Fernandez charged with treason, arrest sought

BUENOS AIRES - A federal judge in Argentina indicted former President Cristina Fernandez for treason and asked for her arrest for allegedly covering up Iran's possible role in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center that killed 85 people, a court ruling said. (ARGENTINA-FERNANDEZ/ (UPDATE 4, PIX, TV), moved at 4:20 p.m., by Caroline Stauffer and Jorge Otaola, 687 words)

Neapolitan pizza making wins world heritage status

JEJU, South Korea - The art of Neapolitan pizza making won world heritage status on Thursday, joining a horse-riding game from Iran and Dutch wind mills on UNESCO's culture list. UNESCO accepted the art of Neapolitan "pizzaiuoli," or pizza makers, on the world body's list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. (ITALY-PIZZA/UNESCO (UPDATE 1, TV, PIX), moved, 371 words)

Pope wants better translation of phrase on temptation in "Our Father" prayer

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis has said the Roman Catholic Church should adopt a better translation of the phrase "lead us not into temptation" in the "Our Father," the best known prayer in Christianity. (RELIGION-POPE/PRAYER (PIX), moved, 158 words)


Childhood cancer survivors have more blood pressure problem

More than one in 12 adult survivors of childhood cancers may have undiagnosed high blood pressure, a U.S. study suggests. (HEALTH-CANCER/HYPERTENSION (moved), moved at 4:08 p.m., by Lisa Rapaport, 598 words)

Open windows and doors can improve sleep quality

Leaving a bedroom door or window open may help people sleep better, a study from the Netherlands suggests. (HEALTH-SLEEP/, moved at 11:42 a.m., by Carolyn Crist, 522 words)


Oscar body adopts conduct code as Hollywood reacts to harassment issue

LOS ANGELES - The Academy of Motion Pictures, the body that chooses the Oscars, has adopted a code of conduct and warned members it reserves the right to expel any who flout the new rules. (OSCARS-MISCONDUCT/, moved at 12:23 p.m., 417 words)


Wall Street rising: Facebook, Alphabet, Lululemon gain

Wall Street rose on Thursday, buoyed by popular technology companies including Facebook and Alphabet, while shares of yoga pants seller Lululemon Athletica also worked up a sweat. (USA-STOCKS/ (UPDATE 6), moved at 4:28 p.m., by Noel Randewich, 469 words)

Bitcoin flirts with $16,000, alarm bells ring louder

LONDON/NEW YORK - Bitcoin rocketed to a lifetime high just shy of $16,000 on Thursday after climbing some 60 percent in just over a week, intensifying the debate about whether the cryptocurrency is in a bubble about to burst. (MARKETS-BITCOIN/ (UPDATE 2), moved at 3:43 p.m., by Jemima Kelly and Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss, 774 words)

AT&T/Time Warner antitrust trial set for March

WASHINGTON - The trial to determine if the U.S. Department of Justice can stop AT&T Inc's $85 billion purchase of media company Time Warner Inc will begin on March 19, a federal judge in Washington said during a hearing on Thursday. (TIME WARNER-M&A/AT&T (UPDATE 2), moved at 3:37 p.m., by Diane Bartz, 535 words)

U.S. finds Canada lumber harms U.S. producers, duties to remain

WASHINGTON/OTTAWA - The U.S. International Trade Commission said on Thursday it made a final finding that exports of softwood lumber from Canada injure U.S. producers, virtually ensuring that hefty duties on imports of the building material will remain in place for five years. (USA-CANADA/LUMBER (UPDATE 3), moved at 3:43 p.m., by Eric Walsh and Leah Schnurr, 384 words)

12/07/2017 17:40

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