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Man convicted on terrorism charge in 2017 Michigan airport stabbing

Man convicted on terrorism charge in 2017 Michigan airport stabbing A jury in Flint, Michigan, found Amor Ftouhi, 51, of the Canadian province of Quebec, guilty on charges of committing an act of violence at an international airport, interference with airport security and committing an act of terrorism, the court said. Ftouhi had pleaded not guilty and the trial began last week in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.


Sitting in the embers, Californians wonder: can Paradise be rebuilt?

Sitting in the embers, Californians wonder: can Paradise be rebuilt? Like many residents of this town of about 27,000 in the Sierra Nevada foothills of Northern California, Reasons came to Paradise for its spectacular natural vistas and affordability. By Tuesday, the fire about 175 miles (280 km) north of San Francisco expanded to 125,000 acres. "We consider ourselves survivors, and we will come back from the ashes," said Paradise Emergency Operations Coordinator Jim Broshears, a resident since 1974. "We are fully committed to building a new Paradise".   Rebuilding will take a lot of work, but those who love the town say it will be worth it.


Teams 'look for skulls' in ashes of California's deadliest wildfire

Teams 'look for skulls' in ashes of California's deadliest wildfire The intensified effort to locate victims came on the sixth day of a blaze that incinerated over 7,000 homes and other buildings, including most of the town of Paradise in the Sierra foothills of rural Butte County about 175 miles (280 km) north of San Francisco. County Sheriff Kory Honea said 228 people were listed as missing, and his office also was conducting "well-being checks" on nearly 1,300 individuals whose loved ones had reported concern for their whereabouts. By Tuesday, the killer blaze dubbed the Camp Fire had blackened 125,000 acres (50,500 hectares) of drought-parched scrub and brush, up 8,000 acres from the night before, but crews had carved containment lines around nearly a third of the fire's expanding perimeter.


El Chapo is a scapegoat for drug lord who bribed Mexico's president: lawyer

El Chapo is a scapegoat for drug lord who bribed Mexico's president: lawyer "He's blamed for being the leader while the real leaders are living freely and openly in Mexico," attorney Jeffrey Lichtman said on the first day of Guzman's trial for drug smuggling in Brooklyn federal court, which is expected to last up to four months. Mayo Zambada did." Lichtman also said that Zambada had been left free because he "bribes the entire government of Mexico including up to the very top, the current president of Mexico," Enrique Pena Nieto. Pena Nieto's spokesman said of the accusation: "That is false." Lichtman's statement came after Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Fels laid out the U.S. government's case, describing how prosecutors would prove that Guzman rose from a low-level marijuana trafficker in the 1970s to lead the powerful Sinaloa Cartel.


House Democrats to probe Trump impact on FBI, Justice: lawmaker

House Democrats to probe Trump impact on FBI, Justice: lawmaker Representative Jerrold Nadler, now the panel's top Democrat, gave acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and FBI Director Christopher Wray until Dec. 31 to respond to more than 100 letters House Democrats have already sent concerning Trump's behavior toward U.S. law enforcement, including verbal attacks on senior officials. "I write with growing concern over President Trump's repeated attacks on the integrity of the Department of Justice and the FBI," Nadler told Whitaker and Wray in the Nov. 13 letter that was made public.


Pentagon official: 'No fundamental concern' over defense consolidation

Pentagon official: 'No fundamental concern' over defense consolidation The U.S. government is still reviewing a merger of Harris Corp and L3 Technologies, a top Pentagon official said on Tuesday, adding that she had no fundamental concerns about further consolidation in the U.S. defense sector. Harris and L3, maker of military communications equipment and other weapons, on Oct. 14 said they planned an all-stock merger that will create the sixth-largest U.S. defense contractor with a market value of $34 billion.


Motorists drove 0.8 percent fewer miles on U.S. roads in September: DOT

Motorists drove 0.8 percent fewer miles on U.S. roads in September: DOT Motorists drove 0.8 percent fewer miles on U.S. roads and highways in September versus last year, according to figures released on Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Travel for the month is estimated to be 260.6 billion vehicle miles, DOT says, down from 262.6 billion miles last year. Motorists increased miles traveled on U.S. roads and highways for the sixth consecutive year in 2017, according to DOT.


U.S. judge to hold hearing on CNN White House lawsuit

U.S. judge to hold hearing on CNN White House lawsuit In its lawsuit filed on Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Washington, the cable news network said the White House violated the First Amendment right to free speech as well as the due process clause of the Constitution providing fair treatment through judicial process. Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, dismissed the action as "just more grandstanding from CNN, and we will vigorously defend against this lawsuit." U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly on Tuesday ordered the Trump administration to respond to the lawsuit by 11 a.m. (1600 GMT) on Wednesday and he set a hearing for 3:30 p.m. (2030 GMT) that day on the request for a restraining order. Kelly, a former lawyer for the Senate Judiciary Committee, was nominated to the bench by Trump last year.


U.S. anti-Semitic hate crimes spiked 37 percent in 2017: FBI

U.S. anti-Semitic hate crimes spiked 37 percent in 2017: FBI The release of the data comes just weeks after a gunman burst into a Pittsburgh synagogue and shot dead 11 worshippers while shouting "All Jews must die." According to the FBI's annual Hate Crime Statistics report, there were a total of 7,175 hate crime incidents reported last year by law enforcement agencies, up from 6,121 incidents in 2016. Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said in a statement that hate crimes were "despicable violations" of America's values. "I am particularly troubled by the increase in anti-Semitic hate crimes," Whitaker said.


Hugh Jackman on 'The Front Runner': I told Gary Hart I took his legacy 'very seriously'

Hugh Jackman on 'The Front Runner': I told Gary Hart I took his legacy 'very seriously' The filmmakers behind “The Front Runner” discussed the importance of former Sen. Gary Hart’s unsuccessful 1988 presidential campaign after a screening Monday.


Factbox: The career of Mexico's brutal Robin Hood, 'El Chapo' Guzman

Factbox: The career of Mexico's brutal Robin Hood, 'El Chapo' Guzman The evidence likely to be presented at the New York trial of Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman will paint a picture of a Robin Hood figure, albeit a brutal one, who amassed a $14 billion fortune by bribery, murdering rivals and smuggling huge amounts of drugs. Guzman’s lawyers have signaled that they intend to downplay their client’s role in the Sinaloa Cartel which prosecutors say he led for years, at the trial which starts on Tuesday. The following includes some of the most colorful claims made by the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) in pre-trial documents: * Guzman started as a teenager cultivating marijuana and growing poppies for heroin production, going on to become the main leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, "the world’s largest and most prolific drug trafficking organization." * While he was guarded by a virtual army of enforcers and cartel assassins, Guzman was also known to carry a gold-plated AK-47 assault rifle and a diamond-encrusted pistol for his own personal protection.


Cory Booker: I will 'take some time over the coming months' to consider 2020 bid

Cory Booker: I will 'take some time over the coming months' to consider 2020 bid “Right now, … this is those wonderful moments in Washington where we should be able to come together and get good work done before we start balkanizing ourselves for presidential ambitions,” Booker said.


Ohio lays murder charges in deaths of eight people in rural family feud

Ohio lays murder charges in deaths of eight people in rural family feud Four members of the Wagner family were charged with murdering seven members of the Rhoden family and a fiancée of one of the victims, DeWine said by Twitter. In April 2016, Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader and DeWine said it was clear the victims, ranging in age from 16 to 44, had been deliberately singled out for attack at four different crime scenes, most of them while they slept.


Rumors of a major shakeup rock a White House that's mum

Rumors of a major shakeup rock a White House that's mum News that several senior officials in the Trump administration were set to be fired rocked the White House on Tuesday. President Trump is said to be considering replacing his chief of staff, John Kelly, according to a Wall Street Journal report published on Tuesday. The Journal reported the move would be part of a larger “shake-up” that would begin with the removal of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.


Man convicted on terrorism charge in 2017 Michigan airport stabbing

Man convicted on terrorism charge in 2017 Michigan airport stabbing A jury in Flint, Michigan, found Amor Ftouhi guilty on charges of committing an act of violence at an international airport, interference with airport security and committing an act of terrorism, the court said.


As populism rises, fragile democracies move to weaken their courts

As populism rises, fragile democracies move to weaken their courts It’s not even just the fact no American president has muzzled, jailed, or, in some cases, killed, real or perceived rivals, as have leaders of those and other authoritarian regimes. The fundamental dividing line, which is becoming increasingly stark worldwide, and spotlighted by the controversy around President Trump’s post-election shakeup of his Justice Department, is the existence of the rule of law, underpinned by an independent judiciary. Not just in the US, but other countries with judicial oversight, politicians have bristled not just at specific court challenges, but at the fact judges are in a position to make them in the first place.


Vote counts: In Georgia, questions of fairness remain week after Election Day

Vote counts: In Georgia, questions of fairness remain week after Election Day A week after the 2018 mid-term elections, Democratic lawyers are searching for provisional ballots that may have been lost in the mail in Georgia’s Doherty County. On Election Day, Chatham County voters said they were told that they could not cast provisional ballots because there were none left.


Vote counts: In Florida, recount fuels widening electoral distrust

Vote counts: In Florida, recount fuels widening electoral distrust There are 27,195 reasons why Republicans in Florida distrust Brenda Snipes. Broward County’s supervisor of elections has been at the center of a number of election controversies in her 15 years on the job. On election night, Gov. Rick Scott (R) appeared headed for victory in his bid to oust incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson (D).


'Megafire' that torched town now common in California

'Megafire' that torched town now common in California Born of tinder dry conditions and erratic winds, the "Camp Fire" was the latest California megafire, a huge blaze that burns more intensely and quickly than anything the state has experienced before. In recent years authorities in California have reported an increase in such large, explosive and swiftly spreading wildfires over a virtually year-round fire season. Four out of the five largest fires in California history have occurred in the last six years.


California’s fires as both tragedy and lesson

California’s fires as both tragedy and lesson It also hints at the question of whether humans are disrupting that order – such as with climate change – even as they struggle to find a harmonious place in it. Ancient humans may have “discovered” fire. Compared with other states, California has done well in dealing with an increase in wildfires and in trying to find a balance between human structures and the grasslands, brush, and trees that are tinder for wildfires.


Official at center of Florida vote controversy says she may leave job after recount

Official at center of Florida vote controversy says she may leave job after recount Brenda Snipes has been found at fault in a number of disputes over her handling of elections over the past few years, exasperating both Republicans and Democrats in the state.


Iowa senator says expect fewer biofuel waivers from Wheeler's EPA

Iowa senator says expect fewer biofuel waivers from Wheeler's EPA The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may issue fewer biofuel waivers to small refineries under Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler than it did under its previous leadership, Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa said on Tuesday. "I sense that Wheeler has a feeling that (former Administrator Scott Pruitt) was very liberal on his issuing of waivers," Grassley told a conference call.


U.S. top court to review Virginia voting districts in race case

U.S. top court to review Virginia voting districts in race case The high court will hear an appeal by the Republican-led state House of Delegates of a June ruling by a federal three-judge panel that said the 11 state House districts in question all violated the rights of black voters to equal protection under the law under the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment. Democrats have accused Republicans in Virginia and other states of crafting such legislative maps in a way that crams black and other minority voters into certain districts in order to reduce their overall sway in the state. The justices said the lower court had not sufficiently analyzed the consideration of race by the Republican legislators in the process of drawing Virginia's electoral map.


Trump rips Macron for denouncing nationalism: 'MAKE FRANCE GREAT AGAIN!'

Trump rips Macron for denouncing nationalism: 'MAKE FRANCE GREAT AGAIN!' President Trump lashed out at France on Twitter Tuesday, chastising French President Emmanuel Macron for denouncing nationalism.


U.S. court orders Georgia to continue review of governor's race

U.S. court orders Georgia to continue review of governor's race Georgia voters will wait until at least Friday for the final word on who will be their next governor after a U.S. federal judge ordered state election officials to review provisional ballots cast in last week's election. In an order late on Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Amy Totenberg urged county election officials to conduct a "good faith" or "independent" review of ballots cast by voters on a provisional basis in the race between Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican and former Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp.


Colorado voters reject tougher rules on oil and gas drilling

Colorado voters reject tougher rules on oil and gas drilling The measure was defeated in an election that saw oil companies pour millions of dollars into efforts to combat the proposal and was one of several ballot initiatives that sought to curb fossil fuels use. Shares in producers active in the state gained ground on Wednesday, including Anadarko Petroleum Corp , which rose 5.7 percent, and Noble Energy Inc , which climbed 4.2 percent. It garnered 43 percent of votes, according to final data from the Colorado Secretary of State's office.


U.S. plans new limits on heavy-duty truck emissions

U.S. plans new limits on heavy-duty truck emissions The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will announce plans to propose new rules to significantly decrease emissions of smog-forming nitrogen oxide from diesel-powered heavy-duty trucks, an agency official said. Industry groups and state environmental officials have urged the EPA to set new nationwide rules as the state of California has been moving forward with plans to set new state emissions limits. California also wants nationwide rules, in part because more than half of all trucks delivering goods in the state are registered in other states.


Trump seeks end of Florida recount; Democrats win Arizona Senate seat

Trump seeks end of Florida recount; Democrats win Arizona Senate seat TAMPA, Fla./WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday urged Florida election officials to end a recount and declare his fellow Republicans the winners of disputed races in last week's elections, while Democrats picked up a U.S. Senate seat in Arizona. U.S. Representative Kyrsten Sinema declared victory and Republican opponent Martha McSally conceded after multiple media outlets called the closely contested Arizona race for the Democrat. Sinema will succeed Republican Senator Jeff Flake, a frequent Trump critic, who did not seek-election.


Army push to end a peacekeeping institute sparks wider debate

Army push to end a peacekeeping institute sparks wider debate The Army’s top civilian leader has proposed shutting down the Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute, which has played a large role in preparing the military and civilians to work in regions recovering from war.


At least 42 fatalities tallied in California's deadliest wildfire ever

At least 42 fatalities tallied in California's deadliest wildfire ever The latest death toll, up from 29 tallied over the weekend, was announced by Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea at an evening news conference in the nearby city of Chico after authorities found the bodies of 13 more victims of the devastating blaze dubbed the Camp Fire. The fire already ranked as the most destructive on record in California in terms of property losses, having consumed more than 7,100 homes and other structures since igniting on Thursday in Butte County's Sierra foothills, about 175 miles (280 km) north of San Francisco. Honea said 228 people were officially listed as missing in the disaster, but added that his office had received requests to check on the wellbeing of more than 1,500 people who had not been heard from by loved ones.


Fewer foreign students coming to United States for second year in row: survey

Fewer foreign students coming to United States for second year in row: survey The number of international students entering U.S. colleges and universities has fallen for the second year in a row, a nonprofit group said on Tuesday, amid efforts by the Trump administration to tighten restrictions on foreigners studying in the United States. Visa and immigration policy changes by the Trump administration have deterred some international students from enrolling, college administrators and immigration analysts said. A strong dollar has made U.S. college tuition relatively more expensive, Canadian and European universities are competing fiercely for the same students and headlines about mass shootings also may have deterred some students, said Allan Goodman, president of IIE.


Carpenter erects wooden crosses in honor of shooting rampage victims

Carpenter erects wooden crosses in honor of shooting rampage victims Mourners returned on Monday to the scene of a shooting rampage at a bar in the Los Angeles suburb of Thousand Oaks, where a Chicago-area carpenter erected wooden crosses dedicated to each of the 12 victims. Greg Zanis, who has been building crosses to remember shooting victims for more than two decades, said he arrived in Thousand Oaks, 40 miles northwest of Los Angeles, early on Sunday morning to meet the families and put up the crosses. A former U.S. Marine combat veteran opened fire last week in the Borderline Bar and Grill bar, which was packed with line-dancing college students, killing 12 people in a mass shooting that stunned Thousand Oaks, a bucolic Southern California community with a reputation for safety.


California's PG&E reports outage in area at time Camp wildfire erupted

California's PG&E reports outage in area at time Camp wildfire erupted In a regulatory filing, PG&E said it "observed by aerial patrol damage to a transmission tower" one mile (1.6 km) northeast of the town of Pulga, which is about 27 miles (43 km)from the town of Paradise, which was devastated by the wildfire. Shares of PG&E Corp , which operates in the northern part of California, dropped 16 percent on Monday, bringing its loss over two sessions to 29 percent, equivalent to $8 billion. Emergency teams searched on Monday for more than 200 people listed as missing in the deadliest northern California wildfire on record as officials voiced concerns the casualty toll will climb higher and crews battled for a fifth day to suppress the flames.


Paradise lost: Grim search under way in incinerated California town

Paradise lost: Grim search under way in incinerated California town University anthropologists, trained in spotting bone fragments and other blackened body parts, systematically mined the ash and detritus of buildings wiped out when a wildfire swept through the town of Paradise, 100 miles north of Sacramento, on Thursday. For friends and relatives of the unaccounted-for in and around the town of 26,000 residents, the wait has been excruciating, knowing that the remains of some of the dead may never be recovered. "In some cases, the fire burned so intensely that it burned everything to the ground, and in some cases it melted the metal," Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea told reporters on Sunday.


At least 42 killed in northern California wildfire, now deadliest in U.S. history: sheriff

At least 42 killed in northern California wildfire, now deadliest in U.S. history: sheriff Remains have been recovered from at least 42 people killed by a devastating wildfire that largely incinerated the town of Paradise in northern California, making it the deadliest in U.S. history, the Butte County sheriff said on Monday. The latest death toll was announced after authorities located the remains of 13 additional victims from the Camp Fire, which also ranks as the most destructive on record in California, having leveled more than 7,100 homes and other buildings since it erupted on Thursday, officials said.


Factbox: Too close to call - U.S. federal, state elections still in flux

Factbox: Too close to call - U.S. federal, state elections still in flux The outcomes of two Senate races, 13 House seats and two governorships had yet to be settled on Monday. The results of Arizona's U.S. Senate race became clear on Monday, when Democratic candidate Kyrsten Sinema declared victory and Republican candidate Martha McSally conceded after multiple media outlets called the race for Sinema. Florida ordered a recount in the race where Democratic Senator Bill Nelson trailed his Republican challenger, Florida Governor Rick Scott.


Key Florida county prepares for recounts in too-close-to-call races

Key Florida county prepares for recounts in too-close-to-call races Broward County officials have been working around the clock to complete a recount of the races for governor and U.S. Senate.


How the Florida recount will unfold - and why it matters

How the Florida recount will unfold - and why it matters Florida elections officials are racing to recount ballots this week after razor-thin voting margins left the state's marquee contests for the U.S. Senate and governor too close to call. President Donald Trump is calling for the recounts to end, saying without evidence that Democrats are out to steal his party's wins in America's largest political battleground state. The drama, which has included dueling lawsuits and unsubstantiated allegations of electoral fraud, has evoked memories of the state's 2000 presidential vote recount where the winner of the White House hung in the balance for weeks before the U.S. Supreme Court stopped the counting and Republican George W. Bush triumphed over Democrat Al Gore.


Northern California officials fear record wildfire death toll could rise

Northern California officials fear record wildfire death toll could rise The deadly Camp Fire also ranked as California's most destructive ever in terms of property losses, having incinerated more than 6,700 homes and other buildings in the Sierra foothills of Butte County, about 175 miles (280 km) north of San Francisco. Most of the devastation and loss of life was in and around the town of Paradise, where flames reduced most of the buildings to ash and charred rubble on Thursday night, just hours after the blaze erupted. At least 29 fatalities have been confirmed so far, a tally that ranks as the most ever from a single northern California wildfire - surpassing the 25 lives lost in the 1991 Oakland Hills firestorm - and ties the all-time statewide record set in 1933 by the Griffith Park blaze in Los Angeles.


California fire evacuees trickle back to deal with the ashes

California fire evacuees trickle back to deal with the ashes "We were surrounded by rapidly approaching fire." Instead of smoldering wreckage, however, they found that their neighborhood Tiffany Oaks, which consists of 13 homes spanning two cul-de-sacs, had been saved by firefighters, an oasis in an otherwise scorched landscape. The Camp Fire in northern California has killed 29 with over 200 missing. It flared up on Thursday afternoon in the Simi Valley northwest of Los Angeles and has since burned 113,000 acres and is only 25 percent contained.