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After a war on leaks, Obama makes U-turn, commutes Chelsea Manning's sentence

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WASHINGTON -- With barely 72 hours left in office, President Barack Obama Tuesday did an abrupt U-turn on his yearslong assault on government leaks and showed leniency toward two military figures who had helped make public highly sensitive secrets.

Both Democrats and Republicans said they were bewildered -- even angered -- by Obama's ...Read more

Gov. Nikki Haley faces many questions about her experience in hearing for UN role

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WASHINGTON -- South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is about to leave behind her comfort zone -- being a popular governor in a state she knows well -- and enter a world of international politics that is complicated, can be brutal and is certainly well outside her experience.

Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will raise hard ...Read more

Regulators conclude Aliso Canyon could reopen even though cause of gas leak still undetermined

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LOS ANGELES -- The troubled Aliso Canyon underground storage field can reopen at a third of its original size, state regulators concluded Tuesday, even though the cause of a massive leak that forced thousands to flee their homes has not been determined.

The next step in the process will be two public hearings on reopening the Southern ...Read more

Trump set to make major policy changes in first hours of presidency

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WASHINGTON -- Once the parade winds down and the spectators leave the National Mall on Friday, incoming President Donald J. Trump is set to use his first hours in office to reverse some of his predecessor's highest-profile policies.

Even before he begins dismantling the Affordable Care Act and building a wall on the border with Mexico, Trump ...Read more

Obama earmarks more money to combat global climate change

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With the clock running out on his administration, President Barack Obama pledged another $500 million to an international fund for combating climate change, increasing the country's financial commitment before his successor takes office on Friday.

President-elect Donald Trump has called for halting contributions to the fund, which was created ...Read more

US must confront Russian aggression, departing UN envoy says

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NEW YORK -- The U.S. must confront Russian aggression just as it took on fascism and Communism in earlier decades, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said in a farewell address.

Power called steps taken by Russia under President Vladimir Putin a "major threat" aimed at undermining the international order created after World ...Read more

Nearly 100 false killer whales died in South Florida. Now scientists want to know why

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MIAMI -- By the time rescuers returned to a mass stranding of false killer whales on the remote coast of Southwest Florida early Sunday, most had died overnight, their corpses now drawing aggressive, and hungry, bull and tiger sharks.

With waters too dangerous to enter and chances of survival unlikely, the team turned their attention to ...Read more

Nation and world news briefs

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Marine killed in live-fire training exercise in Southern California

LOS ANGELES -- A U.S. Marine was killed and another was injured last week during a live-fire training exercise at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms.

The Marines were participating in small arms live-fire training Friday just after 5 p.m. in ...Read more

Trump worries European allies before inauguration

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WASHINGTON -- Even before he enters the White House on Friday, President-elect Donald Trump has signaled that his foreign policy could include a diminished Europe and an unfettered Russia, creating deep unease in many of America's traditional allies.

In recent days, he has called the North Atlantic Treaty Organization military alliance "...Read more

Democrats hope to dent Trump's health pick, raise questions about stock trades

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WASHINGTON -- Senate Democrats are expected Wednesday to grill President-elect Donald Trump's choice to oversee the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, focusing on what they say is a "pattern" of questionable stock trades he made while serving as a member of Congress.

Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., goes before the Senate Health, Education, ...Read more

Interior nominee Zinke disputes Trump on climate change

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WASHINGTON -- U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke of Montana, nominated to serve as secretary of the Department of Interior, became Donald Trump's latest Cabinet pick on Tuesday to separate himself from the president-elect on a key policy position.

During a Senate confirmation hearing, Zinke said that global climate change was "not a hoax," a contradiction to...Read more

Theresa May hits the phones with key EU players to pitch her Brexit plan

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LONDON -- British Prime Minister Theresa May called key European Union leaders one by one as she began the process of selling her plan for a new Brexit trade deal to the other 27 countries in the bloc.

Speaking by phone from London, May told her German and French counterparts as well as European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and ...Read more

EPA nominee Pruitt didn't just sue the agency, he also asked industry for the money to do it

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WASHINGTON -- It is hardly unusual for a Republican president to select an Environmental Protection Agency chief who has close ties to the industries he or she will regulate.

Yet by selecting Scott Pruitt as EPA administrator, Donald Trump put forth a nominee who not only has sued the agency numerous times but also has turned to the industries ...Read more

Supreme Court justices skeptical of deportation order against Bay Area burglar

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WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court, hearing arguments Tuesday in a California deportation case, signaled it may make it harder for the government to forcibly remove legal immigrants with certain kinds of crimes on their record.

The case involves a native Filipino and longtime legal resident of the Bay Area who was convicted of breaking into a ...Read more

Victims of mistaken identity among the 10 sent from Guantanamo to Oman

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MIAMI -- The Arabian Sea nation of Oman has taken in eight Yemenis and two Afghans from Guantanamo, the Pentagon said Tuesday, including several men cleared for release for years who were mistakenly profiled as captives of consequence.

But U.S. officials anticipated there would be more releases in coming days -- over the objection of President-...Read more

Prosecutors release recording of Florida musician's final words in police shooting

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Stranded along a highway off-ramp in the middle of the night, Corey Jones can be heard pleading, "Hold on. Hold on."

For the first time, the public on Tuesday could listen to the final words the drummer spoke at 3:15 a.m. on Oct. 18, 2015, just before he was shot to death by then-plainclothes Palm Beach Gardens Police ...Read more

President Obama commutes sentence of Chelsea Manning

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WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama has sharply reduced the sentence of Chelsea Manning, the U.S. Army private convicted of leaking thousands of classified reports to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.

The president also pardoned a retired Marine Corps general, James E. Cartwright, who pleaded guilty in October to lying to FBI agents about ...Read more

Marine killed in live-fire training exercise in Southern California

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LOS ANGELES -- A U.S. Marine was killed and another was injured last week during a live-fire training exercise at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms.

The Marines were participating in small arms live-fire training Friday just after 5 p.m. in preparation for an integrated training exercise, said Lt. Karen Holliday, a ...Read more

Donald Trump may have accidentally created a new women's movement

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WASHINGTON -- When Marin Alsop was 9 years old, her father took her to see Leonard Bernstein direct the New York Philharmonic. The next day, she got a bracing response when she told her violin teacher she wanted to be a conductor. She couldn't. She was a girl.

Today, Alsop is music director and conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Yet...Read more

UC President Janet Napolitano hospitalized amid cancer treatment

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University of California President Janet Napolitano is nearly finished with an undisclosed cancer treatment that began more than four months ago, the university system announced Tuesday, a day after "she experienced side effects that required her to be hospitalized."

In a statement, UC said Napolitano was diagnosed with the cancer at the end of...Read more

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