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Flooding threatens U.S. Mid-Atlantic, central Appalachians

Flooding threatens U.S. Mid-Atlantic, central Appalachians (Reuters) - Heavy rains will drench the U.S. Mid-Atlantic and central Appalachians on Saturday after flooding overnight closed roadways and forced water rescues across the region, forecasters said. A swathe of land from eastern North Carolina up through Washington D.C. and southern Pennsylvania could expect an additional 2 to 5 inches (5 to 13 cm) on Saturday after more than 4 inches (10 cm) fell in parts of the region, the National Weather Service said in advisories. "Flash flooding from heavy rain will cause a potentially life threatening situation overnight," the National Weather Service said early on Saturday morning in flash flood warnings and watches it issued for the region.


Ford to repair U.S. police vehicles after carbon monoxide concerns

Ford to repair U.S. police vehicles after carbon monoxide concerns Ford Motor Co said Friday it will pay to repair police versions of its Ford Explorer SUVs to correct possible carbon monoxide leaks that may be linked to crashes and injuries after U.S. regulators escalated an investigation into 1.33 million vehicles. Ford said it will cover the costs of specific repairs in every Police Interceptor Explorer SUVs that may be tied to after-market installation of police equipment. "If the holes are not properly sealed, it creates an opening where exhaust could enter the cabin," Ford said in a statement.


DoubleLine's Gundlach sues California wine merchant over bogus Bordeaux

DoubleLine's Gundlach sues California wine merchant over bogus Bordeaux Jeffrey Gundlach, one of the world's best-known bond investors, has sued a California wine merchant he said sold him several dozen bottles of fake wine, including Bordeaux that experts consider among the greatest wines ever made. In lawsuits filed on Friday, the founder of DoubleLine Capital claimed that at least 67 bottles he bought from Soutirage were fake, and that it would cost more than $1 million to replace them.


Trump replaces chief of staff Priebus with retired General Kelly

Trump replaces chief of staff Priebus with retired General Kelly President Donald Trump replaced his beleaguered White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus, after only six months on the job on Friday, installing retired General John Kelly in his place in a major shake-up of his top team. Trump announced the move in a tweet a day after his new communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, accused Priebus of leaking information to reporters in a profanity-laced tirade. Kelly, 67, a retired four-star Marine Corps general, is currently secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and will assume the chief of staff post on Monday.


U.S. West Coast dockworkers ratify contract extension with shippers

U.S. West Coast dockworkers ratify contract extension with shippers Dockworkers at 29 ports in California, Oregon and Washington are expected to ratify a three-year extension of their contract with shipping companies, union officials said on Friday, likely ensuring labor peace on the West Coast waterfront until at least 2022. Early returns from ballots cast by members of the International Longshore Workers Union (ILWU) showed 67 percent of the rank-and-file voting in favor of the contract extension, the union said in a statement. The current contract was agreed to in February 2015 after nine months of negotiations between the ILWU and the Pacific Maritime Association, which represents major shippers and terminal operators along the West Coast.


Chicago sugary drink tax to take effect next week after ruling

Chicago sugary drink tax to take effect next week after ruling By Julia Jacobs CHICAGO (Reuters) - A sweetened beverage tax will take effect in Chicago on Wednesday after an Illinois judge threw out a lawsuit by retailers that argued the measure was vague and unlawful. Cook County, which includes Chicago and surrounding suburbs, joins a growing number of localities across the United States that have adopted measures to cut consumption of sugary drinks for health reasons, including Seattle and San Francisco. Cook County Circuit Court Judge Daniel Kubasiak decided in the county's favor on Friday, about a month after he had halted implementation of the penny-per-ounce tax in response to the lawsuit by the Illinois Retail Merchants Association.


Trump replaces chief of staff Priebus with retired General Kelly

Trump replaces chief of staff Priebus with retired General Kelly By Steve Holland and Roberta Rampton WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump replaced his beleaguered White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus, after only six months on the job on Friday, installing retired General John Kelly in his place in a major shake-up of his top team. Trump announced the move in a tweet a day after his new communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, accused Priebus of leaking information to reporters in a profanity-laced tirade. Kelly, 67, who retired from the Marine Corps, was most recently secretary for the Department of Homeland Security.


New York spent legal settlement funds on budget relief: comptroller

New York spent legal settlement funds on budget relief: comptroller Half of the money spent so far from New York state's $10 billion in legal settlement windfall has gone to support the state budget rather than the capital projects for which it should be used, the state's chief fiscal watchdog said on Friday. Of the huge pot of funds that has streamed in since 2014, mostly from banks accused of wrongdoing in the recession, Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration has spent just $3.15 billion so far.


Snake Wraps Around Woman's Neck

Snake Wraps Around Woman's Neck Firefighters in Ohio were forced to cut off snake's neck to protect a woman.


Hundreds of counties at risk for no Obamacare insurer in 2018

Hundreds of counties at risk for no Obamacare insurer in 2018 By Caroline Humer NEW YORK (Reuters) - With Republican efforts to dismantle Obamacare in disarray, hundreds of U.S. counties are at risk of losing access to private health coverage in 2018 as insurers consider pulling out of those markets in the coming months. Republican senators failed this week to repeal and replace Obamacare, former President Barack Obama's signature healthcare reform law, creating new uncertainty over how the program providing health benefits to 20 million Americans will be funded and managed in 2018. In response, Republican President Donald Trump on Friday again suggested that his administration would let the Obamacare program “implode.” He has weakened enforcement of the law’s requirement for individuals to buy insurance, threatened to cut off funding and sought to change plan benefits through regulations.


Struggling to govern, Trump faces growing Republican unease

Struggling to govern, Trump faces growing Republican unease By Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) - As fellow Republicans labored to repeal Obamacare this week, U.S. President Donald Trump repeatedly swerved off-topic, escalating concerns in his party about his ability to govern the country six months after taking office. While senators grappled with healthcare, Trump banned transgender people from the military. In the end, the Senate's efforts collapsed in a predawn vote on Friday, magnifying the ineffectiveness that often goes with the chaos around Trump, the constant storm of tweets, the White House infighting, the self-inflicted wounds.


South Carolina court delays same-sex domestic violence ruling

South Carolina court delays same-sex domestic violence ruling The court had ruled on Wednesday that the state's domestic violence law violated constitutional rights to equal protection by setting out gender-based designations for household members, defining them as either male or female. Friday's stay was issued pending a motion for a hearing but no court dates have been set, said Robert Kittle, a spokesman for South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson.


U.S. appeals court lets Louisiana inmate keep dreadlocks

U.S. appeals court lets Louisiana inmate keep dreadlocks Ware argued the grooming policies violated the U.S. Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), which allows for reasonable accommodations when possible for inmates to maintain their religious beliefs. The Louisiana Department of Corrections (DOC), a defendant in the suit, is reviewing the court's decision and exploring its options, department spokesman Ken Pastorick said in an email. The appeals court said the department did not provide adequate reasoning why it could not make an accommodation in this case for the inmate.


No suspension for Michigan judge who locked up 3 siblings

No suspension for Michigan judge who locked up 3 siblings DETROIT (AP) — A judge who sent three children to juvenile detention for failing to see their divorced father during a fierce dispute over parenting time won't be suspended from the bench, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled Friday.


U.S. proposes cigarette nicotine cut, shift toward e-cigarettes

U.S. proposes cigarette nicotine cut, shift toward e-cigarettes By Toni Clarke WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government proposed cutting nicotine in cigarettes to "non-addictive" levels on Friday in a major regulatory shift designed to move smokers toward potentially less harmful e-cigarettes. Shares of major tobacco companies in the United States and UK slumped in heavy trading volume after the proposal was unveiled by the head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, with the world's biggest producers losing about $26 billion of market value. "Nicotine itself is not responsible for the cancer, the lung disease and heart disease that kill hundreds of thousands of Americans each year," FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said.


Honolulu targets 'smartphone zombies' with crosswalk ban

Honolulu targets 'smartphone zombies' with crosswalk ban Starting Oct. 25, Honolulu pedestrians can be fined between $15 and $99, depending on the number of times police catch them looking at a phone or tablet device as they cross the street, Mayor Kirk Caldwell told reporters gathered near one of the city's busiest downtown intersections on Thursday. "We hold the unfortunate distinction of being a major city with more pedestrians being hit in crosswalks, particularly our seniors, than almost any other city in the county," Caldwell said. Honolulu data on distracted-walking incidents was not immediately available.


Animals evacuated to Turkey from 'neglected' Syria zoo

Animals evacuated to Turkey from 'neglected' Syria zoo An international animal welfare charity was on Friday completing the evacuation of a dozen animals stranded in a neglected zoo in the conflict-torn Aleppo province of northern Syria. The Four Paws group was seeking to move two lions and two domestic dogs from the "Magic World" zoo and amusement park in Syria over the border into Turkey and then to an animal protection centre in the north of the country, a spokesman for the charity told AFP. The convoy with the animals crossed the Syria-Turkey border late Friday and was now on their way to the animal protection facility in Karacabey, outside the northwestern Turkish city of Bursa, said spokesman Martin Bauer.


Brooklyn jurors to begin deliberating in Martin Shkreli's fraud case

Brooklyn jurors to begin deliberating in Martin Shkreli's fraud case The fate of former drug company executive Martin Shkreli now rests with jurors in Brooklyn federal court, who will begin deliberating Monday morning after a month-long trial. Shkreli, 34, is best known for raising the price of anti-infection drug Daraprim by 5,000 percent in 2015 as chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals. The charges he now faces relate not to Turing but to Shkreli's management of his previous drug company, Retrophin Inc, and hedge funds MSMB Capital and MSMB Healthcare, between 2009 and 2014.


Trump, vowing gang crackdown, urges cops ‘don’t be too nice’

Trump, vowing gang crackdown, urges cops ‘don’t be too nice’ In a speech about the violent MS-13 gang, President Trump encouraged police officers not to be “too nice” with “thugs” when putting them in the back of police vans.


US and South Korea discuss 'military options' in wake of latest North Korea ICBM test

US and South Korea discuss 'military options' in wake of latest North Korea ICBM test The US and South Korea have said they are considering military responses after the latest test of a intercontinental missile by North Korea. Earlier this month, US officials said they believed North Korea had the capability of firing a missile that could reach Alaska. At the same time, reports said US intelligence officials believed North Korea was just one year away from completing a nuclear weapon that could be attached to such a weapon.


Trump to cite gang violence in New York town in pressing for deportations

Trump to cite gang violence in New York town in pressing for deportations By Roberta Rampton and Mica Rosenberg WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - President Donald Trump arrived in New York on Friday for a visit to a community shocked by a recent spate of graphic gang murders to highlight his efforts to stop illegal immigration and boost deportations. Trump's trip to Brentwood on Long Island east of the city gives the president an opportunity to showcase some progress on his agenda even as his push to overhaul healthcare failed in Congress - and some respite from the chaos of a nasty power struggle among his senior staff that blew up on Thursday. Trump will highlight his administration's push to deport members of the Mara Salvatrucha gang, better known as MS-13, the existence of which his White House blames on lax enforcement of illegal immigration from Central America.


Exclusive: Majority of Americans support transgender military service - poll

Exclusive: Majority of Americans support transgender military service - poll By Chris Kahn NEW YORK (Reuters) - A majority of Americans believe that transgender individuals should be allowed to serve in the military, according to an exclusive Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Friday. The July 26-28 poll suggested that the country largely disagrees with President Donald Trump's announcement this week that he will ban transgender personnel from the armed forces.


Robot that dived into Washington, D.C., fountain not victim of 'foul play'

Robot that dived into Washington, D.C., fountain not victim of 'foul play' Its Silicon Valley-based maker, Knightscope Inc., said data from STEVE's "black box," as well as video and tests, showed the unscheduled water stop was caused not by foul play or rain, but by an algorithm failing to detect the uneven surface, resulting in a skid. "...Developing state-of-the-art autonomous technology must be done in real-world environments. It is not commercially reasonable to be developed in constrained laboratory settings," Knightscope said in a statement.


Regulator letter to railroad CSX highlights customer complaints

Regulator letter to railroad CSX highlights customer complaints A letter from the top U.S. rail regulator to CSX Corp this week highlights growing customer dissatisfaction with the No. 3 U.S. railroad's service problems since its new chief executive officer Hunter Harrison was appointed to the spot amid investor and analyst fanfare in March. The Surface Transportation Board's (STB) July 27 letter to Harrison, a septuagenarian railroad legend famed for turning around two Canadian railroads - Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd and Canadian National Railway Co , lists a litany of complaints about CSX's service.


Regulator letter to railroad CSX highlights customer complaints

Regulator letter to railroad CSX highlights customer complaints A letter from the top U.S. rail regulator to CSX Corp this week highlights growing customer dissatisfaction with the No. 3 U.S. railroad's service problems since its new chief executive officer Hunter Harrison was appointed to the spot amid investor and analyst fanfare in March. The Surface Transportation Board's (STB) July 27 letter to Harrison, a septuagenarian railroad legend famed for turning around two Canadian railroads - Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd and Canadian National Railway Co , lists a litany of complaints about CSX's service.


Bollinger unveils B1 electric sport utility truck

Bollinger unveils B1 electric sport utility truck When an entirely new vehicle is revealed these days it's only to be expected there will be a high degree of cutting-edge technology onboard, especially when it's a brand new sport utility truck with an all-electric propulsion system we're talking about. For anyone who likes the idea of an electric vehicle that doesn't exactly shout to the world that what they're driving is an electric vehicle, in the way something like the Nissan Leaf does, the B1 could be the perfect solution. Despite its thoroughly modern all-electric powertrain, the B1 is a classic three-box design with unashamedly retro and minimalistic military styling.


Man 'murders his wife and tries to throw her body off cruise ship because she would not stop laughing at him'

Man 'murders his wife and tries to throw her body off cruise ship because she would not stop laughing at him' Kenneth Manzanares has been charged with the murder of his wife Kirsty after she was found in their cabin with a severe head wound during the cruise as it was sailing through Alaska on Tuesday night. Medical workers and security personnel were reportedly called to the couple’s cabin at around 9pm but the mother of three was pronounced dead at the scene around 20 minutes later. A witness, who arrived at the cabin before the crew said they found Manzanares with blood on his hands and clothes.


U.S. regulators approve 2017 Fiat Chrysler diesel vehicles for sale

U.S. regulators approve 2017 Fiat Chrysler diesel vehicles for sale By David Shepardson WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Fiat Chrysler Automobiles won approval from U.S. and California regulators on Friday to sell 2017 diesel vehicles after it came under scrutiny for alleged excess emissions in older diesel vehicles. Fiat Chrysler hopes to use updated emissions software in the 2017 vehicles as the basis of a fix to address agencies' concerns over 2014-2016 Fiat Chrysler diesel vehicles after the Justice Department sued the automaker in May, alleging excess emissions.


Parents of student sue University of Alabama over suicide

Parents of student sue University of Alabama over suicide TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — A lawsuit filed by the parents of a Texas woman who killed herself after reporting she was sexually assaulted while attending the University of Alabama has been amended to include the school as a defendant.


Anthony Scaramucci Tries to Clarify Expletive-Laden Interview: 'I Sometimes Use Colorful Language'

Anthony Scaramucci Tries to Clarify Expletive-Laden Interview: 'I Sometimes Use Colorful Language' The Mooch, 53, is a native of Long Island, N.Y., and has had a friendship with Trump over the years.


U.S. Justice Department says anti-bias law does not protect gay workers

U.S. Justice Department says anti-bias law does not protect gay workers (In this July 27 story, corrects paragraph 7 to reflect that Zarda died in a BASE-jumping accident, not a skydiving accident) By Daniel Wiessner (Reuters) - The Trump administration told a U.S. appeals court that federal law does not ban discrimination against gay employees, a sharp reversal of the position former President Barack Obama took on a key civil rights issue. The U.S. Department of Justice, in a friend of the court brief, told the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan on Wednesday that Congress never intended Title VII, which bans sex discrimination in the workplace, to apply to gay workers.


U.S. upgrades probe into 1.33 million Ford Explorers over exhaust odors

U.S. upgrades probe into 1.33 million Ford Explorers over exhaust odors By David Shepardson WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is upgrading and expanding a probe into 1.33 million Ford Explorer SUVs over reports of exhaust odors in vehicle compartments and exposure to carbon monoxide that may be linked to crashes and injuries. The auto safety agency said in a statement on Thursday it was aware of more than 2,700 complaints and three crashes that may be linked to exposure to carbon monoxide and 41 injuries among police and civilian vehicles in the probe covering 2011-2017 model year Ford Explorer sport utility vehicles. Ford has issued multiple technical service bulletins related to the exhaust odor issue to address complaints from police fleets and other owners, NHTSA said.


IS claims deadly attack in Syria against US-backed force

IS claims deadly attack in Syria against US-backed force BEIRUT (AP) — Islamic State militants have carried out a deadly attack on U.S.-backed forces in Syria, killing and wounding many fighters and civilians, Syrian monitors and an IS-linked media outlet said Friday.


Dozens injured in Barcelona commuter train crash

Dozens injured in Barcelona commuter train crash

A commuter train slammed into the end of the platform during the morning rush hour at a busy station in Barcelona on Friday, leaving dozens of people injured, emergency services said.

One person was seriously injured, 19 were injured “less seriously” including the driver, and 34 were lightly injured in the accident at Francia station in the center of the Spanish city, emergency services said on Twitter.

A French citizen and a Romanian were among the injured, a spokesman for the civil protection agency said. The rest were Spanish nationals.

The regional train, traveling from the town of Sant Vicenc de Calders located about 70 kilometers (40 miles) southwest of Barcelona, ran into the buffers at 7:15 am (0515 GMT), Spanish train operator Renfe said. (AFP)

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McCain’s ‘no’ vote on GOP health bill elicits gasps in Senate chamber

McCain’s ‘no’ vote on GOP health bill elicits gasps in Senate chamber Sen. John McCain lived up to his nickname, “maverick,” in voting against his fellow Republicans on the “skinny” amendment to repeal and replace Obamacare.


U.S. expresses 'strong disappointment and protest' over Russia retaliation

U.S. expresses 'strong disappointment and protest' over Russia retaliation The U.S. Ambassador to Moscow, John Tefft, has "expressed his strong disappointment and protest" over Russia's decision to cut U.S. diplomatic staff in Moscow and seize a dacha compound and warehouse used by American diplomats, a State Department official said on Friday. Russia's moves came a day after the U.S. Senate voted to slap new sanctions on Russia, putting President Donald Trump in a tough position by forcing him to take a hard line against Moscow or veto the legislation and anger his own Republican Party.


Vietnam says others should respect its right to drill for South China Sea oil

Vietnam says others should respect its right to drill for South China Sea oil Vietnam on Friday said other countries should respect its legitimate right to drill for oil in its waters amid growing tension with China over energy development in the South China Sea. The drilling began in mid-June in Vietnam's Block 136/3, which is licensed to Vietnam's state oil firm, Spain's Repsol and Mubadala Development Co [MUDEV.UL] of the United Arab Emirates. The block lies inside the U-shaped "nine-dash line" that marks the vast area that China claims in the sea and overlaps what it says are its own oil concessions.


'Reinforcements' caught sneaking into Philippine warzone

'Reinforcements' caught sneaking into Philippine warzone Philippine troops have seized 59 suspected militants trying to reinforce Islamist gunmen holed up in the southern city of Marawai who have been battling government forces for more than two months, military officials said Friday. The capture of the "suspicious persons" in the troubled Mindanao region has raised questions about how the Islamic State-inspired fighters have been able to hold out in Marawi for almost 70 days. Thirty-two suspected militants were arrested at a military checkpoint in Ipil town while 27 others were taken at a house in Zamboanga City on Tuesday, regional military spokeswoman Captain Jo-Ann Petinglay said.


Science journalist retires at 98 and warns of generation of Americans who suffer from a thinking 'disability’

Science journalist retires at 98 and warns of generation of Americans who suffer from a thinking 'disability’ A 98-year-old US science journalist, who has finally decided to retire, has said a generation of Americans are suffering from a “major disability in what they can think about and understand”. David Perlman, who has not only won awards but had them named after him, said this was one reason why so many people refused to recognise climate change was real. Speaking to the website of the Poynter Institute, which trains the media, The San Francisco Chronicle journalist described cuts in science coverage by newspapers as “absolutely obscene”.


American Airlines launches baggage alert system for bags gone astray

American Airlines launches baggage alert system for bags gone astray American Airlines has launched a new baggage alert system that will inform customers about the status of their luggage and save them from waiting around at baggage carrousel.