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U.S. to seek death penalty in kidnapping of Chinese scholar

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department said on Friday it intends to seek the death penalty for an Illinois man who was charged last year with kidnapping a visiting Chinese scholar.

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Las Vegas shooter's girlfriend won't face charges: sheriff

(Reuters) - The girlfriend of Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock, who fatally shot 58 people in October, is unlikely to face charges but the FBI was investigating another person in the case, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said on Friday.

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No charges anticipated against Las Vegas shooter's girlfriend: sheriff

(Reuters) - The sheriff of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said on Friday he does not foresee charges being filed against the girlfriend of Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock, who fatally shot 58 people last October.

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No charges anticipated against girlfriend of Las Vegas shooter: sheriff

(Reuters) - The sheriff of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said on Friday he does not foresee charges being filed against the girlfriend of Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock, who fatally shot 58 people last October.

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California couple may have used food to control starving children

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The California couple accused of beating, shackling and abusing their 13 children may have used starvation as a weapon to control them, experts say, and the malnourishment would likely cause lifelong physical and mental issues for the siblings.

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Fired FBI director James Comey to teach ethics at Virginia college

(Reuters) - James Comey, the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director who was fired last year by U.S. President Donald Trump, will teach a course on ethical leadership at the College of William & Mary in Virginia, the school said on Friday.

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Trump move on healthcare religious freedom prompts discrimination fears

(Reuters) - The Trump administration's move on Thursday to protect healthcare workers who refuse to perform abortions and other medical procedures on religious or moral grounds is raising fears among some civil rights and medical groups that it will provide legal cover for otherwise unlawful discrimination.

worldNews reuters.com

China detains rights lawyer critical of President Xi Jinping: wife

BEIJING (Reuters) - Beijing authorities on Friday took outspoken rights lawyer Yu Wensheng into custody as he was taking his child to school, his wife told Reuters, days after Yu said he was stripped of his legal license for criticizing President Xi Jinping.

cnn.com

Texas executes 'Tourniquet Killer'

Texas on Thursday executed a man who admitted to killing three girls and a woman in the 1980s and 90s, the state's Department of Criminal Justice said.

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Starving California children taunted with pie, beaten by parents - prosecutor

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (Reuters) - The 13 children imprisoned for years by their parents in their squalid California home were beaten, shackled, starved and even taunted with food that they were forbidden to eat, a prosecutor said on Thursday.

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Accused Arizona killer linked to seven more fatal shootings

PHOENIX (Reuters) - A convicted Arizona felon arrested on charges of killing his mother and stepfather in their home last month is now believed responsible for at least seven more fatal shootings in the Phoenix area, police said on Thursday.

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BRIEF-Phaserx Revokes Proposed Distribution Record Date

* PHASERX- REVOKED PROPOSED DISTRIBUTION RECORD DATE AS REQUESTED IN DISTRIBUTION RECORD DATE MOTION, WITHDREW THE MOTION IN BANKRUPTCY COURT-SEC FILING Source text: (http://bit.ly/2DmSNqm) Further company coverage:

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U.S. to dismiss charges against 129 people in Trump inaugural protests

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department intends to dismiss criminal charges against 129 defendants in connection with the protests that took place during President Donald Trump's Jan. 20, 2017 inauguration, according to a court filing on Thursday.

cnn.com

USA Gymnastics cuts ties with training center in Texas

USA Gymnastics will no longer hold the women's team's training camp at the Karolyi Ranch in Texas, the organization said, after several gymnasts said the location was the site of unchecked sexual abuse from former team doctor Larry Nassar.

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California parents starved 13 children, taunted them with pie: prosecutor

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (Reuters) - The California parents accused of imprisoning their 13 children in the family's squalid home beat, starved and chained them to their beds for years, taunting them with apple pie, according to a prosecutor on Thursday who called it a case of "human depravity."

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U.S. marshal killed in Pennsylvania while arresting suspect

HARRISBURG, Pa. (Reuters) - A deputy U.S. marshal helping police to arrest a woman in a Harrisburg home was shot and killed on Thursday by a man who was with her, federal officials said.

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Empty prisons, grounded warplanes: U.S. budget dysfunction hits home

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Three hours west of Chicago, a federal prison stands ready to take in thousands of inmates and hire hundreds of guards, but its expansion is on hold, awaiting approval from a U.S. Congress that is again paralyzed by budget disputes.

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Prosecutors accuse parents of torturing California siblings

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The California couple accused of keeping their 13 children captive in the family's squalid home were charged on Thursday with torture, child abuse and false imprisonment, as prosecutors said the victims were beaten, starved and chained.

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BRIEF-CWB Franchise Finance Partners With Lone Star Texas Grill On Development Line Facility

* CWB FRANCHISE FINANCE PARTNERS WITH LONE STAR TEXAS GRILL ON DEVELOPMENT LINE FACILITY

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Norfolk Southern pushing for 'more stable' rail service in 2018: CEO

LOMBARD, Ill. (Reuters) - Norfolk Southern Corp is working toward a "more stable, resilient" network for 2018 following service issues in recent months, the No. 4 U.S. railroad's top executive said on Thursday.

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U.S. marshal killed in Pennsylvania while serving warrant to suspect

HARRISBURG, P.A. (Reuters) - A U.S. deputy marshal was shot and killed in Pennsylvania's capital city and at least two other officers were wounded while attempting to serve an arrest warrant to a suspect who was also hit by return gunfire, authorities said on Thursday.

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Parents of captive California siblings to appear in court

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The California couple accused of keeping their 13 children captive and malnourished in the family's squalid suburban home will appear in court on Thursday to face charges of torture and child endangerment charges.

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Texas 'tourniquet killer' set to be first U.S. inmate executed in 2018

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - In the first U.S. execution of 2018, Texas was set on Thursday to put to death a man convicted of raping and murdering five girls and young women, using a tourniquet to torture and strangle his victims.

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BRIEF-Avangrid Renewables Signs PPA With Nike For Portion Of New Texas Gulf Coast Wind Farm

* AVANGRID RENEWABLES SIGNS PPA WITH NIKE FOR PORTION OF NEW TEXAS GULF COAST WIND FARM

domesticNews reuters.com

California abuse case sparks calls for home-schooling oversight

(Reuters) - Lawmakers and advocacy groups are calling for more oversight of home-schooling after a California couple using this method of education was charged with torturing their 13 children.

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Parents of captive siblings to make court appearance in California

PERRIS, Calif. (Reuters) - A Southern California couple accused of keeping their 13 children captive and malnourished in the family's squalid suburban home were scheduled to make a first court appearance on Thursday.

cnn.com

Google's face match feature doesn't work in Illinois and Texas

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Accused NY attacker's lawyers propose deal to avoid death penalty

(Reuters) - Lawyers for the Uzbek man accused of killing eight people by speeding a truck down a New York City bike path in October proposed a plea deal on Wednesday in which their client would accept life in prison without parole if prosecutors did not seek the death penalty.

sportsNews reuters.com

Rallying: Sainz stretches Dakar lead after penalty rescinded

(Reuters) - Spaniard Carlos Sainz stretched his Dakar Rally lead to more than an hour on Wednesday after organizers rescinded a 10-minute penalty imposed earlier in the week for an incident with a quadbike.

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Police comb through filthy California home where starving siblings found

(Reuters) - Investigators on Wednesday conducted an exhaustive search of the foul-smelling, filthy tract home east of Los Angeles where a California couple are accused of keeping captive and nearly starving 13 minor and adult children, police said.

Manhattan, NY, Attack (October, 2017) nytimes.com

Accused Bike Path Terrorist Seeks Plea Deal to Avoid Death Penalty

Sayfullo Saipov, the man accused of killing eight people on a Manhattan bike path, offered to spend life in prison without parole.

domesticNews reuters.com

Elderly American-Iranian jailed in Iran hospitalised with heart problems: lawyer

BEIRUT (Reuters) - An 81-year old American-Iranian imprisoned in Iran, Baquer Namazi, was hospitalised earlier this week due to a drop in blood pressure and an irregular heartbeat, his lawyer said on Wednesday.

domesticNews reuters.com

U.S. justices sympathize with death row inmate's claim against lawyer

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Supreme Court justices on Wednesday signaled sympathy toward a Louisiana death row inmate convicted of a 2008 triple murder who is seeking a new trial because his lawyer told jurors over the defendant's objections that the man had carried out the shootings.

domesticNews reuters.com

U.S. judge may extend freeze on Indonesian immigrants' deportation

BOSTON (Reuters) - A federal judge on Wednesday signaled she may extend an order preventing the deportation of roughly 50 Indonesian Christians living illegally in New Hampshire, a process that immigration officials began after U.S. President Donald Trump took office.

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Elderly American-Iranian jailed in Iran hospitalized with heart problems: lawyer

BEIRUT (Reuters) - An 81-year old American-Iranian imprisoned in Iran, Baquer Namazi, was hospitalized earlier this week due to a drop in blood pressure and an irregular heartbeat, his lawyer said on Wednesday.

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Republican lobbyist tied to controversial causes attacked in Virginia

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Republican lobbyist best known for fueling a conspiracy theory about the death of a Democratic National Committee staffer was attacked with pepper spray outside his home in a Washington suburb, police and his publicist said on Wednesday.

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Fight over Indonesian immigrants back in U.S. court

BOSTON (Reuters) - Lawyers for 51 Indonesians living illegally in New Hampshire are due in court on Wednesday to urge a federal judge to grant an injunction blocking U.S. immigration officials from moving forward with efforts to deport them.

domesticNews reuters.com

Strike averted at New York's main fruit and vegetable market

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A work stoppage at a market that supplies much of New York City's fresh fruit and vegetables was averted early on Wednesday when negotiators tentatively reached a pay deal as the previous contract expired, the labor union said.

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Majority of U.S. National Park Service board resigns, saying it was ignored

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) - Most members of a U.S. National Park Service advisory board, appointed while Barack Obama was president, have resigned after saying they were ignored by President Donald Trump's administration, the panel chairman said on Tuesday.

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-Cott says UK's CMA accepts phase 1 remedy in sale of beverage manufacturing business to Refresco

* ‍COTT- UK COMPETITION AND MARKETS AUTHORITY ACCEPTS PHASE 1 REMEDY IN PRINCIPLE IN SALE OF ITS TRADITIONAL BEVERAGE MANUFACTURING BUSINESS TO REFRESCO​

domesticNews reuters.com

Nine charged over fraternity pledge's death at Florida State University

(Reuters) - Nine men were charged on Tuesday over the hazing death of a 20-year-old fraternity pledge, who died of alcohol poisoning at Florida State University late last year, police said.

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Police still baffled by discovery of 13 starved, abused siblings

PERRIS, Calif. (Reuters) - Police said on Tuesday they were still seeking answers after finding 13 siblings starving in their parents' squalid Southern California home, some of them chained to beds under "horrific" conditions in an otherwise ordinary suburb.

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Ex-U.S. Navy officers face negligent homicide charges over ship collisions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The commanding officers of two U.S. Navy destroyers involved in deadly collisions last year in the Pacific Ocean face courts-martial and military criminal charges including negligent homicide, the U.S. Navy said in a statement on Tuesday.

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'Chelsea bomber' tried to radicalize fellow inmates, U.S. prosecutors say

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The New Jersey man found guilty last year of planting two homemade bombs in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood, one of which wounded 30 people, has tried to radicalize fellow inmates with Islamic State and al Qaeda propaganda, U.S. prosecutors said on Tuesday.

domesticNews reuters.com

U.S. Navy officers face possible homicide charges over ship collisions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The commanding officers of two U.S. Navy destroyers involved in deadly collisions last year in the Pacific Ocean face courts-martial and could be charged with negligent homicide, the U.S. Navy said in a statement on Tuesday.

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Wage dispute at NY City's main produce market could lead to strike

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The market that supplies New York City with most of its fresh fruits and vegetables faces the prospect of its first work stoppage since 1986 if last-ditch bargaining on Tuesday fails to bridge pay differences in a contract covering 1,100 warehouse workers.

domesticNews reuters.com

Former Fiat Chrysler exec expected to plead guilty in payments probe: sources

DETROIT (Reuters) - Former Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV vice president Alphons Iacobelli is expected to plead guilty in connection with a U.S. Justice Department investigation into allegations he made at least $1.2 million in improper payments to a former union vice president and his wife, two people briefed on the matter said on Tuesday.

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Tortured, starved California children rarely seen outside home: neighbors

PERRIS, Calif. (Reuters) - The 13 California siblings who police said were starved and chained to beds by their parents rarely left their disheveled house and, when they did, appeared small and pale and acted strangely, neighbors said.

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BRIEF-Praxair Expands Hydrogen Supply To Motiva Port Arthur, Texas Refinery

* PRAXAIR EXPANDS HYDROGEN SUPPLY TO MOTIVA PORT ARTHUR, TEXAS REFINERY

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Four South Carolina police wounded exchanging gunfire with suspect

(Reuters) - A police officer and three sheriff's deputies were shot and wounded as they tried to apprehend a man accused of domestic violence early Tuesday morning in South Carolina's York County, the sheriff's office said.

worldNews reuters.com

South Korean charged with murder of wife, son at Hong Kong Ritz-Carlton

HONG KONG (Reuters) - A South Korean man was formally charged on Tuesday with murdering his wife and six-year-old son at the five-star Ritz-Carlton hotel in Hong Kong.

domesticNews reuters.com

Thirteen siblings rescued from California house; parents charged

(Reuters) - Thirteen siblings, ranging in age from 2 to 29, were rescued by police in California from a house where some of them had been chained to beds, and their parents have been charged with torture, officials said on Monday.

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California police find 13 hostages, aged 2 to 29, captive in house

(Reuters) - Police in California found 13 people, age 2 to 29, held hostage in a house outside Los Angeles, where some were chained to beds, they said on Monday.

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North Carolina mother kills two children, jumps off bridge

(Reuters) - A North Carolina woman who liked to post videos of her children performing on YouTube fatally injured her son and daughter and then killed herself by jumping off a bridge, police said.

domesticNews reuters.com

Fire engulfs casino shuttle boat off Florida coast, 15 injured

NEW YORK (Reuters) - At least 15 people were injured when a fire engulfed a boat off the coast of Florida on Sunday, causing the 50 people aboard to jump into the Gulf of Mexico and swim to shore, local officials said.

domesticNews reuters.com

Transgender U.S. military recruits enlist amid uncertainty

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Transgender Americans are openly enlisting in the U.S. military for the first time, saying they feel confident that court rulings blocking Republican President Donald Trump's ban on their service will stand.

worldNews reuters.com

Hong Kong police arrest South Korean suspected of murdering wife, son at Ritz-Carlton

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong police arrested a South Korean man on suspicion of murder on Sunday after his wife and seven-year-old son were found dead in a room at the five star Ritz-Carlton hotel.

domesticNews reuters.com

Tears and panic as false missile alert unnerves Hawaii

HONOLULU (Reuters) - Panic and confusion swept Hawaii on Saturday as a mistaken alert about a ballistic missile attack spread across the Pacific U.S. state, sending residents and tourists scrambling for shelter and questioning why an all-clear was not issued faster.

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FCC says launching full inquiry into false Hawaii missile alert

(Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Communications Commission said on Saturday it was launching a full investigation into a false emergency alert that said a ballistic missile was headed for Hawaii, the chairman of the commission said.

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Suspect held after first court appearance in fatal Kansas 'swatting' case

(Reuters) - A California man accused of making a hoax call that led police in Kansas to kill an unarmed man was in a Wichita jail on Saturday after his first court appearance in the "swatting" case, local media reported.

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U.S. charges Maryland businessman with bribing Russian official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. authorities have charged a Maryland businessman with bribing a Russian official in an effort to win contracts to ship uranium to the United States.

domesticNews reuters.com

Florida 20-year-old claims $451 million Mega Millions jackpot

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (Reuters) - A 20-year-old man from Florida's Gulf Coast claimed a $451 million Mega Millions lottery jackpot and opted to receive a one-time payment of nearly $282 million, Florida lottery officials said on Friday.

domesticNews reuters.com

'Dreamer' lives in limbo as Washington battles over immigration

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Jovan Rodriguez plans to go underground if protections for immigrants brought illegally to the United States as children expire, giving up on dreams of a master’s degree and a career in New York’s glittering theater world.

politicsNews reuters.com

Supreme Court takes up fight over Texas electoral districts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear a bid by Texas to revive Republican-drawn electoral districts for state legislative and U.S. congressional seats that were thrown out by a lower court for diminishing black and Hispanic voters' clout.

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Jeff Bezos contributes $33 million to Dreamers scholarship program

(Reuters) - Scholarship program TheDream.US said on Friday it had received a $33 million donation from Amazon.com Inc Chief Executive Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie Bezos to fund 1,000 college scholarships.

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U.S. upholds New York denial of Constitution natgas pipe

(Reuters) - U.S. energy regulators rejected Williams Cos Inc's request to overturn New York's denial of a water permit for the company's proposed Constitution natural gas pipeline from Pennsylvania to New York, according to a filing on Thursday.

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Fires and mudslides have some rethinking the California dream

MONTECITO, Calif. (Reuters) - A few who live amid the usually serene beauty and year-round warmth of Santa Barbara County say nature's recent onslaughts of wildfires and mudslides have dampened their California dreams.

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Connecticut police to release report on Sandy Hook massacre: media

(Reuters) - The Connecticut State Police are set to release a report on Friday analyzing their response to the 2012 Sandy Hook gun massacre of 26 young children and educators at Newtown elementary school, the Hartford Courant reported.

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Florida communities scramble to help displaced Puerto Ricans

KISSIMMEE, Florida (Reuters) - At Leslie Campbell’s office in the central Florida city of St. Cloud, the phone will not stop ringing.

domesticNews reuters.com

Missouri prosecutor to probe Missouri governor over affair

(Reuters) - The top prosecutor in St. Louis said on Thursday she will investigate the actions of Missouri Governor Eric Greitens after he admitted an extramarital affair with a woman before his election in November 2016, but then denied that he tried to blackmail her to keep it a secret.

domesticNews reuters.com

Texas failed to educate, monitor disabled students: federal report

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Texas violated federal law by failing to identify and educate students with disabilities and deliberately working to decrease the number of students enrolled in special education programs, the U.S. Department of Education said in a report on Thursday.

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Accused N.Y. subway bomber pleads not guilty to terrorism charges

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Bangladeshi man accused of attempting an Islamic State-inspired suicide bomb attack on a busy New York City commuter hub in December pleaded not guilty on Thursday to federal terrorism charges.

domesticNews reuters.com

Puerto Rico governor orders probe of discovery of hurricane recovery materials

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Puerto Rico's governor has ordered an investigation of materials discovered in a warehouse belonging to the U.S. territory's electric authority that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said are critical to restoring power following September's Hurricane Maria.

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Missouri legislators seek probe of governor over affair

(Reuters) - Missouri Governor Eric Greitens said he had an extramarital affair with a woman before his election in November 2016 but denied a local television report that he tried to blackmail her to keep their relationship a secret.

domesticNews reuters.com

U.S. service member in Afghanistan wounded in possible insider attack

KABUL (Reuters) - The U.S. military in Afghanistan is investigating an incident in the eastern province of Nangarhar in which one of its forces was wounded in an apparent insider attack by members of a pro-government militia.

Special Education nytimes.com

Texas Illegally Excluded Thousands From Special Education, Federal Officials Say

A state “target” meant to limit the number of students receiving special education services violated federal law, regulators said in a letter ordering the state to make amends.

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Teens get probation for livestreaming of Chicago sex assault

(Reuters) - Two teenage boys who pleaded guilty in the sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl that was streamed live on Facebook have been sentenced to five years of probation, Chicago prosecutors said on Thursday.

domesticNews reuters.com

U.S. Marshals to hold auction of seized bitcoin on Jan. 22

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. government will hold an auction of about 3,813 bitcoins that were seized in federal criminal, civil and administrative cases, the U.S. Marshals Service said on Thursday.

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Missouri governor admits to extramarital affair before taking office

(Reuters) - Missouri Governor Eric Greitens said he had an extramarital affair before his election in November 2016 after a St. Louis television station aired a recording of a woman confessing to a sexual encounter with him to her now ex-husband.

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-Resverlogix Receives FDA Protocol Acceptance For Ongoing Phase 3 Betonmace Trial

* RESVERLOGIX RECEIVES FDA PROTOCOL ACCEPTANCE FOR THE ONGOING PHASE 3 BETONMACE TRIAL

domesticNews reuters.com

Californian man dies hiking Australia's sweltering outback

SYDNEY (Reuters) - An American tourist has died in the Australian outback while hiking though sweltering conditions on the Larapinta Trail, renowned for its ancient Aboriginal sacred sites, police said on Thursday.

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Judge denies effort to stop Mulvaney from heading consumer watchdog

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. District Court judge denied on Wednesday a preliminary injunction filed by Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Deputy Director Leandra English seeking to stop White House budget director Mick Mulvaney from taking control of the agency.

domesticNews reuters.com

Investor Rich Hall leaves Harvard to return to University of Texas

BOSTON (Reuters) - Richard Hall, who oversaw private equity investing at Harvard University's $37 billion endowment, is leaving the Ivy League school to become the deputy chief investment officer at the University of Texas' endowment.

domesticNews reuters.com

U.S. grand jury indicts man accused of Manhattan terror attack

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Bangladeshi man accused of attempting a suicide bombing in a busy New York City commuter hub in the name of Islamic State in December was indicted on U.S. terrorism charges by a grand jury on Wednesday.

domesticNews reuters.com

U.S. immigration operation targets 7-Eleven stores in 17 states

(Reuters) - U.S. immigration agents fanned out to nearly 100 7-Eleven convenience stores nationwide on Wednesday, arresting 21 people suspected of being in the country illegally and giving owners a tight deadline to prove other employees are authorized to work.

domesticNews reuters.com

New construction to lift Manhattan office rents in 2018: Cushman

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The largest amount of new construction to hit Manhattan since the 1980s will lift asking rents this year for office space in New York as demand likely continues to grow faster than the U.S. average, executives from Cushman & Wakefield said on Wednesday.

domesticNews reuters.com

California proposes a $131.7 billion budget for fiscal year 2018-19

(Reuters) - California Governor Jerry Brown proposes a $131.7 billion general fund budget for the upcoming fiscal year 2018-19, a 5.0 percent increase from the current fiscal year.

Drug Abuse and Traffic nytimes.com

Iran Eases Death Penalty for Drug Crimes, Saving Potentially Thousands of Lives

A rare overhaul by Iran’s hard-line dominated judiciary came amid domestic and international pressure to reduce its executions, which are second only to China’s.

domesticNews reuters.com

U.S. says Massachusetts cannot sue student loan servicer

BOSTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department has filed papers arguing Massachusetts's attorney general cannot pursue claims that one of the nation's largest student loan servicers undermined a federal debt forgiveness program.

domesticNews reuters.com

U.S. judges order overhaul of North Carolina's partisan congressional districts

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (Reuters) - A three-judge federal panel ordered congressional districts in North Carolina to be redrawn ahead of the 2018 elections, ruling on Tuesday that the Republican-drawn map was illegal and unconstitutionally partisan.

domesticNews reuters.com

California mudslides kill at least 13 people in area ravaged by wildfire

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Mudslides, boulders and cascading debris killed at least 13 people on Tuesday in an area of Southern California's Pacific Coast ravaged by a series of intense wildfires that burned off protective vegetation last month.

domesticNews reuters.com

Judges order overhaul of North Carolina's partisan congressional districts

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (Reuters) - A three-judge federal panel ordered congressional districts in North Carolina to be redrawn ahead of the 2018 elections, ruling on Tuesday that the current Republican-drawn map was illegal and unconstitutionally partisan.

domesticNews reuters.com

U.S. top court considers putting brakes on police vehicle searches

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Supreme Court justices on Tuesday wrestled with the scope of police authority to search vehicles without warrants, with Chief Justice John Roberts referencing the shiny red convertible taken for a joyride in the 1986 comedy film "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" to make a serious legal point.

domesticNews reuters.com

New York state lawmaker charged with fraud, obstructing justice

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A New York state lawmaker was charged with 11 counts of fraud and obstruction of justice, accused of defrauding government agencies out of tens of thousands of dollars, including hurricane relief money, prosecutors said on Tuesday.

domesticNews reuters.com

U.S. justices weigh lawfulness of police vehicle searches

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Supreme Court justices on Tuesday wrestled with the scope of police authority to search vehicles without warrants in two distinct circumstances: a rental car driven by a man who was not authorized to do so and a motorcycle covered by a tarpaulin and parked on private property.

domesticNews reuters.com

Billionaire Rennert files malpractice lawsuit over $213 million judgment

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Billionaire Ira Rennert has filed a $214 million malpractice lawsuit against his former law firm, after a jury found him liable for looting his magnesium company to build a huge mansion in New York's Hamptons.

companyNews reuters.com

BRIEF-Inflarx Receives IND Acceptance To Proceed With A Phase IIB Trial With Lead Candidate IFX-1 In Hidradenitis Suppurativa

* INFLARX RECEIVES IND ACCEPTANCE TO PROCEED WITH A PHASE IIB TRIAL WITH LEAD CANDIDATE IFX-1 IN HIDRADENITIS SUPPURATIVA

domesticNews reuters.com

Thousands in California flee homes ahead of possible mudslides

(Reuters) - Thousands of Southern Californians fled their homes on Monday as a powerful rain storm that could cause flash floods and trigger mudslides soaked steep slopes where a series of intense wildfires burned off vegetation last month.

domesticNews reuters.com

Four sentenced to prison, college fraternity banned for hazing death

STROUDSBURG, Pa. (Reuters) - A Pennsylvania court on Monday sentenced four members of a national college fraternity to a maximum of two years in prison and banned the group from operating in the state for 10 years because of the 2013 death of a student during hazing incident.

domesticNews reuters.com

No free pass for Massachusetts pot businesses from feds-prosecutor

BOSTON (Reuters) - Massachusetts' top federal prosecutor will not rule out prosecuting businesses dealing in marijuana, he said on Monday, days after the Trump administration rescinded an Obama-era policy easing enforcement in states that legalized the drug.

domesticNews reuters.com

New York City traffic deaths fall to record low under safety program

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Led by a sharp drop in pedestrian deaths, overall traffic fatalities in New York City fell for the fourth consecutive year in 2017 to their lowest on record, thanks at least in part to an ongoing safety improvement program, city officials said on Monday.

domesticNews reuters.com

Massachusetts federal prosecutor will not rule out busting pot businesses

BOSTON (Reuters) - Massachusetts' top federal prosecutor will not rule out prosecuting businesses dealing in marijuana, he said on Monday, less than a week after the Trump administration rescinded an Obama-era policy easing enforcement in states that legalized the drug.

domesticNews reuters.com

Supreme Court sides with death row inmate over racist juror claim

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday paved the way for a black Georgia inmate to challenge his 1991 death sentence for killing his sister-in-law after he argued the case was tainted by a racist white juror who questioned whether black people have souls.

domesticNews reuters.com

College fraternity banned from Pennsylvania for hazing death

STROUDSBURG, Pa. (Reuters) - A Pennsylvania court on Monday banned a national college fraternity from operating in the state for 10 years because of the death of a student during an alcohol-fueled hazing incident in 2013.

domesticNews reuters.com

Four face prison time in fraternity hazing death in Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG, Pa (Reuters) - Four former members of a New York college fraternity chapter face prison time when they are sentenced on Monday after pleading guilty to the most serious charges in a freshman's 2013 hazing death in Pennsylvania.

domesticNews reuters.com

U.S. ends protected status for 200,000 Salvadorans

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Around 200,000 Salvadorans allowed to live in the United States since 2001 after earthquakes in El Salvador must leave the country in 2019, U.S. officials said on Monday, marking the Trump administration's latest move to tighten immigration law enforcement.

Capital Punishment nytimes.com

Death Penalty Case Heard by Racist Juror Is Reopened by Supreme Court

In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that a juror’s racist statements required an appeals court to reconsider a death row inmate’s case.

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U.S. to end protected status for Salvadoran immigrants: Senate aide

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration will announce on Monday it plans to end the Temporary Protected Status that has allowed 200,000 Salvadoran immigrants to remain in the United States, a U.S. Senate aide said.

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Three injured in fire atop N.Y.'s Trump Tower, officials say

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Three people were injured in an early-morning fire at the top of Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan, the New York Fire Department said on Monday, as the city's workday rush began.

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U.S. to end protected status for many Salvadoran immigrants: Washington Post

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Homeland Security will not renew the Temporary Protected Status that has allowed 200,000 Salvadoran immigrants to remain in the United States, the Washington Post reported on Monday.

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Two injured in fire at New York's Trump Tower, officials say

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Two people were injured in a brief early-morning fire near the top of Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan as the city's workday rush began, the New York Fire Department said on Monday.

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U.S. Supreme Court sides with death row inmate over racist juror claim

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday paved the way for a black Georgia inmate to challenge his 1991 death sentence for killing his sister-in-law after he argued the case was tainted by a racist white juror who questioned whether black people have souls.

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Arconic to freeze pension plans for 7,900 U.S. employees

(Reuters) - U.S. specialty metals makers Arconic Inc said on Monday it would freeze defined benefit pension plans for all 7,900 of its U.S.-based salaried and non-bargained hourly employees, effective April 1.

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Two injured in fire at New York's Trump Tower: officials

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Two people were injured, one seriously, in an early-morning fire near the top of Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan, the New York Fire Department said on Monday.

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BRIEF-Selecta Biosciences Says Expects To Report Initial Results For Phase 2 Clinical Trial Of SEL-212 In Chronic Severe Gout In April 2018

* SELECTA BIOSCIENCES SAYS EXPECTS TO REPORT INITIAL RESULTS FOR PHASE 2 CLINICAL TRIAL OF SEL-212 IN CHRONIC SEVERE GOUT IN APRIL 2018 - SEC FILING

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Fire reported at N.Y.'s Trump Tower, no injuries - officials

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Firefighters responded to an early morning fire at Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan, but no injuries were reported, the New York Fire Department said on Monday.

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Policeman in Washington state shot dead by suspected burglar

(Reuters) - A deputy sheriff in Washington state was fatally shot on Sunday night while chasing two suspected burglars, one of whom was found dead at the scene, police and local media said.

cnn.com

Texas Rex stands his ground in the face of chaos

If President Donald Trump really wants Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to leave, he'll have to tell him to go.

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Six people killed in wrong-way California highway crash

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Six people were killed on Sunday when a vehicle going the wrong direction on a northern California highway collided with another vehicle, causing a fire that engulfed both cars, police said.

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One winning ticket sold in $570 million Powerball jackpot

(Reuters) - One Powerball ticket purchased in New Hampshire matched all six numbers for Saturday's estimated $570 million jackpot drawing, the fifth largest grand prize in the game's 15-year history, lottery officials said.

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Winning Powerball numbers drawn for $570 million jackpot

(Reuters) - The winning numbers drawn for Saturday's estimated $570 million Powerball grand prize are: 12, 29, 30, 33, 61, and Powerball 26.

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Mega Millions numbers drawn for fourth largest jackpot in game's history

(Reuters) - Mega Millions numbers were drawn on Friday for estimated an $450 million jackpot, the fourth largest jackpot prize in the game's history, according to the California Lottery.

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U.S.-Korea trade talks pit pickup trucks against nuclear threat

WASHINGTON/SEOUL (Reuters) - The United States and South Korea completed the first round of talks on reviewing a bilateral trade deal on Friday with Washington saying there was "much work to do" to reach a new agreement.

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Illegal immigrant acquitted in California death gets prison on gun charge

(Reuters) - An illegal immigrant acquitted in a fatal San Francisco shooting, in a verdict condemned by President Donald Trump, was sentenced to three years in prison on a lesser gun charge on Friday.

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High tech, low tech: Big U.S. cities embrace twin approach to crime

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Gun violence in major U.S. cities fell in 2017 as police used the latest crime-fighting software combined with a revival of old-fashioned community policing to build trust with a skeptical public.

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Fire at Moore accuser's Alabama home not linked to allegations: sheriff

(Reuters) - The home of an Alabama woman who accused Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexually assaulting her has been destroyed by a fire, but the local sheriff said on Friday the blaze does not appear to be linked to the case.

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Illegal immigrant acquitted in California shooting gets three years on gun charge

(Reuters) - An illegal immigrant acquitted in a fatal San Francisco shooting, in a verdict condemned by President Donald Trump, was sentenced to three years in prison on a lesser gun charge on Friday but credited for time already served behind bars, authorities said.

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California bill uses donations to avoid Trump tax changes

(Reuters) - A new proposal in California would allow residents to make donations instead of paying taxes in order to avoid the new federal tax plan’s cap on deductions of state taxes.

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Democratic U.S. Representative Cummings hospitalized

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings was treated on Friday for a bacterial infection in his knee at a Maryland hospital, his office said in a statement.

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Lottery fever: U.S. Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots top $1 billion

CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.S. lottery players on Friday and Saturday night will get two shots at record Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots that together topped $1 billion after going months without a winner.

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Ex-U.N. chief Ban's nephew pleads guilty to U.S. corruption charges

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A nephew of former U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon pleaded guilty on Friday to U.S. charges that he took part in a scheme to bribe an official at a sovereign wealth fund in order to sell a building complex in Vietnam.

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BRIEF-Enanta Pharmaceuticals Says Phase 1 Clinical Study Of Edp-938 For Respiratory Syncytial Virus Initiated

* ENANTA PHARMACEUTICALS TO PROVIDE UPDATES ON ITS RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS AND BUSINESS OUTLOOK FOR 2018 DURING THE 36TH ANNUAL J.P. MORGAN HEALTHCARE CONFERENCE

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Britain outlines plans for 2025 coal-power phase out

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain will set an emission limit on coal-fired power generators from Oct. 1, 2025, forcing them to close unless they are fitted with carbon capture technology, the government said on Friday.

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UK to set emission limit on power generation from Oct. 2025 to phase out coal

LONDON (Reuters) - Britian will set a limit on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from power generators from Oct. 1, 2025, as a part of its plans to phase-out coal power generation, the government said on Friday.

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Singapore fines five electronics firms $14.7 million in biggest anti-competition penalty

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore on Friday fined five electronics parts makers a total of S$19.5 million ($14.7 million) for price-fixing and other cartel activities, the biggest anti-competition penalty in the city-state, the Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS) said.

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Alabama woman who accused Roy Moore of sexual abuse sues for defamation

(Reuters) - An Alabama woman who accused former U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexually abusing her when she was 14 years old sued Moore and his campaign on Thursday for what she said was defamation.

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Trump administration to delay Obama-era fair housing rule: NYT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The administration of President Donald Trump plans to delay until 2020 enforcement of a federal rule that requires communities to assess racial segregation in housing and offer plans to correct it, The New York Times reported on Thursday.

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Marijuana businesses brace for investment chill as U.S. changes policy

SAN FRANCISCO/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Cannabis businesses across the United States said they are bracing for an investment slowdown following the U.S. Justice Department’s Thursday directive that will allow the enforcement of federal marijuana laws in states that have legalized the drug.

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Accused Colorado abortion clinic gunman can be forcibly medicated

(Reuters) - A man accused of fatally shooting three people at a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic in 2015, who was deemed mentally unfit to stand trial, can be forcibly medicated in an effort to restore him to competency, an appeals court ruled on Thursday.

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U.S. FCC chairman cancels tech event appearance after threats: sources

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai has canceled a scheduled appearance next week at a large consumer electronics event in Las Vegas after receiving unspecified deaths threats, two sources briefed on the matter said on Thursday.

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States with legal pot denounce federal marijuana crackdown

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Lawmakers in U.S. states that have legalized marijuana denounced a move by the Trump administration on Thursday to cancel a policy that kept federal prosecutors at bay from the fledgling cannabis industries and vowed to uphold their state laws.

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Man charged with kidnapping two girls after their mother was killed

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - A man suspected of abducting two girls from an Austin, Texas-area home, where their mother was found dead, has been arrested in Colorado and charged with kidnapping, U.S. prosecutors said on Thursday.

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States with legal pot denounce Sessions' marijuana crackdown

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Lawmakers in U.S. states that have legalized marijuana criticized the Trump administration on Thursday for cancelling a policy that had kept federal prosecutors at bay, saying the move amounted to meddling in states' affairs and ignored more pressing priorities like the opioid crisis.

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Court voids Idaho ban on secret farm videos, revives some curbs on probes

(Reuters) - A federal appeals court on Thursday declared unconstitutional Idaho's bans on shooting secret videos and lying to enter factory farms to expose animal abuse, but revived other parts of the state's law to curb undercover probes into the practice.

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Puerto Rico sets 90-day target for review of hurricane deaths

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Facing mounting criticism that his administration understated the death toll from September’s Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello on Thursday established a 90-day process to review the causes of thousands of recent deaths.

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U.S. says Washington state Amtrak derailment damage topped $40 million

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The damage from a deadly Amtrak train crash in Washington state in December topped $40.4 million, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board said in a preliminary report on Thursday.

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Trump administration rule would let more Americans drop Obamacare

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration on Thursday proposed a rule to allow Americans who are self-employed or work for small businesses to buy health insurance that does not comply with all Obamacare requirements in an effort to unwind the 2010 healthcare law.

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BRIEF-Auris Medical Announces Further Results From Healos Phase 3 Trial

* AURIS MEDICAL HOLDING AG SAYS ANNOUNCED FURTHER CLINICAL RESULTS FROM THE HEALOS PHASE 3 CLINICAL TRIAL, PROVIDES UPDATE ON AM-111 DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

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BRIEF-Catalyst Biosciences Initiates Phase 2/3 Trial Of Marzeptacog Alfa (Activated)

* CATALYST BIOSCIENCES INITIATES PHASE 2/3 TRIAL OF MARZEPTACOG ALFA (ACTIVATED) FOR PROPHYLAXIS IN HEMOPHILIA A OR B WITH INHIBITORS

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U.S. says Washington Amtrak train derailment damage topped $40 million

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board said in a preliminary report Thursday that damage from a deadly December Amtrak train crash in Washington State topped $40.4 million.

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New York City's JFK Airport temporarily closed due to snowstorm: FAA

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York City's John F. Kennedy Airport was temporarily closed on Thursday due to heavy snow, ice and harsh winds in the area, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

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BRIEF-Lycera Corp Announces Initiation Of Phase 1b Study Of Novel Immuno-Oncology Candidate LYC-55716 In Combination With Pembrolizumab

* LYCERA CORP ANNOUNCES INITIATION OF PHASE 1B STUDY OF NOVEL IMMUNO-ONCOLOGY CANDIDATE LYC-55716 IN COMBINATION WITH PEMBROLIZUMAB Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-ImmunoGen Announces First Patient Dosed In Phase 1 Study Of IMGN632 For Hematological Malignancies

* IMMUNOGEN ANNOUNCES FIRST PATIENT DOSED IN PHASE 1 STUDY OF IMGN632 FOR HEMATOLOGICAL MALIGNANCIES Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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BRIEF-Rigel to Provide Business Review and Updated Phase 2 Results for Fostamatinib

* RIGEL PHARMACEUTICALS - ‍FDA HAS CONFIRMED IT DOES NOT PLAN TO CONVENE ONCOLOGY DRUGS ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEETING TO DISCUSS NDA FOR FOSTAMATINIB​

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Sustained tremor shakes Oakland, California, USGS says magnitude 4.4

OAKLAND, CA (Reuters) - Sharp tremors lasting several seconds struck Oakland, California, early on Thursday, a Reuters witness said.

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Ex-U.S. NSA contractor to plead guilty to massive theft of secret data

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A former U.S. National Security Agency contractor has agreed to plead guilty to stealing classified information, according to court filings on Wednesday, in what may have been the largest heist of U.S. government secrets in history.

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Man charged with threatening to kill Trump during visit to Utah

(Reuters) - A Utah man was charged on Wednesday with using a police tip line to threaten to kill President Donald Trump last month when Trump was visiting the western state.

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Firefighters extinguish small fire at Clintons' property in Chappaqua, New York

(Reuters) - A small fire broke out on Wednesday at a structure used by the Secret Service behind the home of former President Bill Clinton and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in Chappaqua, New York, the agency said.

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U.S. Attorney General appoints 17 interim top prosecutors

(Reuters) - U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday appointed 17 current and former federal prosecutors as interim U.S. Attorneys in jurisdictions around the country, the Department of Justice said.

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Firefighters put out blaze at Clintons' property in Chappaqua, New York

(Reuters) - Firefighters put out a blaze on Wednesday at a Secret Service building on the property of the home of former President Bill Clinton and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in Chappaqua, New York, police and a Clinton spokesman said.

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California suspect accepts extradition in Kansas 'swatting' case

(Reuters) - A California man suspected of making a hoax call that led police in Kansas to kill an unarmed man will not fight extradition to the Midwestern state, prosecutors said on Wednesday.

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Firefighters respond to fire at Clintons' home in Chappaqua, New York

(Reuters) - Firefighters were called to fight a fire on Thursday at the Chappaqua, New York, home of former President Bill Clinton and former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, police said.

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U.S. Attorney General names 17 interim federal prosecutors

(Reuters) - U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday appointed 17 current and former federal prosecutors as interim U.S. Attorneys in jurisdictions around the country, the Department of Justice said.

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Israeli death penalty advocates win preliminary vote in parliament

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel's parliament gave preliminary approval on Wednesday for legislation that would make it easier for a court to impose a death sentence on assailants convicted of murder in attacks classified as terrorism.

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Mormon President Thomas Monson dies at 90

(Reuters) - Mormon President Thomas Monson, who headed one of the world’s fastest growing and most affluent religions, has died at his home in Salt Lake City, Utah, the church said on Wednesday.

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Mormon President Thomas Monson dies aged 90 in Utah: church

(Reuters) - Mormon President Thomas Monson, who headed one of the world’s fastest growing and most affluent religions, has died at his home in Salt Lake City, Utah, the church said on Wednesday.

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BRIEF-Basilea starts clinical phase 1 study in collaboration with U.S. Adult Brain Tumor Consortium ​

* ‍INITIATION OF A PHASE 1 STUDY CONDUCTED UNDER ITS CLINICAL STUDY AGREEMENT WITH ADULT BRAIN TUMOR CONSORTIUM IN U.S.​

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U.S. office vacancy rate rises in fourth quarter: Reis

(Reuters) - U.S. office vacancy rate rose to 16.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017, from 16.1 percent a year earlier, rising for the first time in at least five years, according to real estate research firm Reis Inc .

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FEMA allows churches to apply retroactively for disaster aid

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency said on Tuesday that churches may apply for aid relating to disasters declared after Aug. 23, 2017, following pressure from President Donald Trump and a lawsuit by Texas churches.

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Senior U.S. refugee official to retire this month

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - One of the top U.S. government officials working on refugee issues on Tuesday announced her impending retirement, as the U.S. refugee program has come under continued pressure from the Trump administration.

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At least 23 people injured in Bronx apartment fire

NEW YORK (Reuters) - At least 23 people, including one firefighter, were hurt on Tuesday morning after a fire tore through an apartment building in New York City's Bronx borough, days after another blaze in the area killed 12 people, a fire department spokesman said.

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U.S. urges railroads to quickly install anti-crash safety system

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao urged the nation's railroads and transit agencies to "take all possible measures" to meet deadlines to install a safety system called positive train control to prevent crashes.

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Maryland man indicted in 2017 workplace shooting that killed three

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Maryland man accused in a 2017 workplace shooting that left three co-workers dead at a kitchen countertop company was indicted on first-degree murder charges on Tuesday, prosecutors said.

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BRIEF-Progenics Pharmaceuticals Completes Enrollment In Phase 3 Study Of Psma-Targeted Imaging Agent 1404

* PROGENICS PHARMACEUTICALS COMPLETES ENROLLMENT IN PHASE 3 STUDY OF PSMA-TARGETED IMAGING AGENT 1404 Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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At least 12 people injured in Bronx apartment fire

NEW YORK (Reuters) - At least 12 people were hurt on Tuesday as a fire tore through an apartment building in the Bronx, just days after another blaze in the New York City borough killed 12 people, a New York City Fire Department spokesman said.

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Truck strikes pedestrians, vehicle in San Francisco, injuring seven

(Reuters) - At least seven people suffered injuries when a truck hit pedestrians and another vehicle in San Francisco on Monday, an incident that police said was not related to terrorism, authorities and local media reported.

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Record-shattering U.S. cold reaches into Florida

(Reuters) - Record-shattering arctic cold reached as far south as Florida on Monday with freeze warnings in place from Texas to the Atlantic Coast and the northeastern United States facing another cold wave at the end of the week, forecasters said.

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Mechanical trouble aboard U.S. airliner sends four to hospital

(Reuters) - Mechanical trouble forced an American Airlines jetliner to return to the gate at Boston's Logan Airport on Monday and four people were taken to hospitals to be evaluated, an airline spokesman said.

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Chicago homicides fall 16 percent in 2017

(Reuters) - Homicides in Chicago fell 16 percent in 2017 while shootings were down and firearms arrests were up, police said on Monday, marking a reduction in bloodshed that made the city a symbol of U.S. gun violence and an object of criticism for President Donald Trump.

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Four shot dead in New Jersey home; 16-year-old arrested

(Reuters) - Police arrested a 16-year-old boy suspected of killing four people including his parents and sister with an assault rifle at their New Jersey home on New Year's Eve, prosecutors said on Monday.

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U.S. military to accept transgender recruits on Monday: Pentagon

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon said on Friday that the U.S. armed forces will begin accepting transgender recruits on Monday as ordered by federal courts after the Trump administration decided not to appeal rulings that blocked President Donald Trump's transgender ban.

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Gunman kills two at Houston garage, takes his own life

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - A former worker at a Houston auto repair shop fatally shot two employees on Friday and then committed suicide, Houston police said.

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Trio of grisly crimes darken U.S. holiday season

(Reuters) - In the Christmas week, there were reports of a man accused of murdering his girlfriend with a samurai sword in Texas, an Ohio woman indicted for killing her husband and hiding his body parts in their house, and a Florida man arrested for trying to electrocute his wife by rigging a booby trap to a door.

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U.S. crime novelist Sue Grafton dies of cancer

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Crime novelist Sue Grafton, whose Kinsey Millhone Alphabet series became world-wide best sellers, has died after a two-year battle with cancer, her daughter said on Friday.

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Boy playing with stove caused deadly New York fire, officials say

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A 3-year-old boy playing with the burners on a kitchen stove started a fire in a New York City apartment building that killed 12 people, including four children, city officials said on Friday.

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BRIEF-Ignyta To Commence Phase 1 Study For RXDX-106 In Early 2018

* IGNYTA REPORTS FDA CLEARANCE OF IND FOR RXDX-106, A NOVEL IMMUNOMODULATORY AGENT AND TYRO3, AXL, MER (TAM) INHIBITOR

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BRIEF-Atara Biotherapeutics Gets FDA Clearance To Initiate Two Phase 3 Clinical Studies To Evaluate Tabelecleucel

* ATARA BIOTHERAPEUTICS ANNOUNCES FDA CLEARANCE TO INITIATE TWO PHASE 3 CLINICAL STUDIES TO EVALUATE TABELECLEUCEL IN PATIENTS WITH RITUXIMAB-REFRACTORY EPSTEIN-BARR VIRUS ASSOCIATED POST-TRANSPLANT LYMPHOPROLIFERATIVE DISORDER (EBV+PTLD)

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Chicago board finds policeman's fatal shooting of two not justified: newspapers

(Reuters) - A Chicago city oversight board has found that a policeman was unjustified in fatally shooting a 19-year-old college student and a 55-year-old grandmother about two years ago, newspaper reports on Thursday said.

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Oregon appeals court upholds damages in gay wedding cake case

(Reuters) - An Oregon state appeals court on Thursday let stand $135,000 in damages levied against the owners of a Portland-area bakery for discrimination after they refused on religious grounds to prepare a wedding cake for a local lesbian couple.

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NY City police act to halt threat of suicide bombers on New Year's Eve

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The New York City Police Department is providing officers with specialized training to stop suicide bombers at Sunday's New Year's Eve celebration, when up to 2 million people are expected to flood the streets in and around Times Square, officials said on Thursday.

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Rushing to pay taxes? New law spurs confused pre-payment push

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y./FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (Reuters) - Americans scrambling to prepay 2018 state and local taxes before year end may not get the federal deductions they hoped for, but that did not slow the rush on Thursday in some of the nation's highest-taxed municipalities.

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Prosecutors delay decision on Minnesota cop who fatally shot Australian

(Reuters) - Minneapolis' top prosecutor on Thursday said more investigation is needed before he decides whether or not to charge a police officer in the fatal shooting of an Australian woman in July that led to the police chief's resignation.

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State governor approves local control plan for Philadelphia schools

HARRISBURG, Pa. (Reuters) - Public schools in Philadelphia, the 8th largest school district in the United States, will begin a return to local control on July 1 following approval this week by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and his Education Secretary.

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New York to cross milestone in decades-long drop in murders

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York is on track to record fewer than 300 murders in 2017, a sharp drop from the previous year and a fresh milestone in a decades-long decline that began in the early 1990s, when the annual death toll in the city exceeded 2,000 people.

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Van jumps Seattle sidewalk, hits pedestrians, at least 5 injured

(Reuters) - A van driver who apparently passed out jumped his vehicle onto a downtown Seattle sidewalk, hit pedestrians and crashed into a building on Thursday, injuring at least five people, police said.

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Van jumps Seattle sidewalk, hits pedestrians, at least 4 injured

(Reuters) - Four people were taken to a hospital after a van jumped onto a downtown Seattle sidewalk, hit pedestrians and crashed into a building on Thursday, the Seattle Fire Department said on its Twitter feed.

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US charges Romanians with hacking police cameras before Trump inauguration

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States has charged two Romanian nationals, alleging that they hacked the Washington police department's surveillance cameras days before U.S. President Donald Trump's Jan. 20 inauguration, the Department of Justice said on Thursday.

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BRIEF-21st Century Oncology To Pay $2.3 Mln Civil Penalty To U.S. Dept. Of HHS

Dec 28 (Reuters) - U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

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New York City murders seen dropping below 300 in 2017

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York City is on track to record fewer than 300 murders in 2017, marking a steep decline since the early 1990s when the annual death toll exceeded 2,000 people.

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BRIEF-Intercept Pharma Says Shifting Guidance For Announcement Of Phase 3 Reverse Trial In Nash Patients With Compensated Cirrhosis To Q1 2018

* INTERCEPT PHARMA SAYS SHIFTING GUIDANCE FOR ANNOUNCEMENT OF PHASE 3 REVERSE TRIAL IN NASH PATIENTS WITH COMPENSATED CIRRHOSIS TO Q1 2018 - SEC FILING Source text: (http://bit.ly/2CgH2Og) Further company coverage: