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Austin mulls pulling Ford Explorer police cruisers off the road

The state capital of Texas is considering pulling its police department’s entire fleet of Ford Explorer SUVs off the road.  More than 120 are already out of service. Sgt. Zachary LaHood is one of 18 Austin police officers who have been treated for carbon monoxide exposure after driving the department’s Ford Explorers. “I don’t remember if we hit a curb or if my head just hit the window and it woke me up but I remember swerving to miss a head-on collision,” LaHood said. He is now suing Ford. Play…

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Senate passes sanctions bill targeting Russia, Iran and North Korea

The Senate has passed a sweeping sanctions package targeting Russia, Iran and North Korea with an overwhelming bipartisan majority, 97-2. The U.S. House passed the sanctions package Tuesday in a 419-3 vote, sending the legislation to the Senate. The White House has not definitively said that President Trump will sign the bill, but the the measure won a veto-proof majority in both the House and Senate. The measure — a reprimand for Russian interference in the 2016 election cycle, among other things — requires congressional approval before the president can…

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Lawyer for Wasserman Schultz’ ex-IT aide: Fraud count might be ‘placeholder’ for more charges

The attorney for a House IT staffer arrested this week as he was trying to leave the country fired back at the feds in an interview with Fox News, while also speculating that the bank fraud count he faces could be a “placeholder” for more charges. Imran Awan — a former IT aide for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., who had kept him on the payroll for months — has been at the center of a congressional computer equipment scandal. Law enforcement officials from multiple federal agencies were involved in…

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Italy Plans Naval Mission Off Libya to Stop Migrant Boats

“It is very relevant news in the fight against human trafficking in Libya, if we respond positively,” Mr. Gentiloni said after the meeting. “I believe this is necessary.” But the potential hurdles confronting such a strategy are manifold. Not least it requires the approval of parliament, which is scheduled to begin debating the potential deployment next Tuesday. Once parliament gives consent, which is expected, the defense ministry says that it can quickly begin a mission and expects three to six ships, but also helicopters, fighter jets and drones, to be…

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18-year-old man killed on fair ride just joined Marines

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The 18-year-old man killed when a thrill ride broke apart at the Ohio State Fair had just signed up with the Marines a week ago, the Marine Corps said Thursday. The corps said in a statement that Tyler Jarrell of Columbus had enlisted last Friday and was to begin basic training next summer. “We are truly proud to have known him as one of the brave few willing to step up and serve his country in the United States Marine Corps,” the statement said. Jarrell wanted to…

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Skills Gap: Switching Careers Is Hard. It Doesn’t Have to Be.

For some whose jobs have disappeared — particularly those without college degrees who worked in jobs requiring routine, physical labor — it can be nearly impossible to find a stable, well-paying new one. These jobs are more isolated, in terms of skills, from the rest of the labor market. Extensive research has shown that there are fewer middle-skill jobs, and that some displaced workers never recover, especially if they live in communities that no longer have jobs similar to their old ones or they don’t have higher education. “They have…

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Skills Gap: Switching Careers Is Hard. It Doesn’t Have to Be.

For some whose jobs have disappeared — particularly those without college degrees who worked in jobs requiring routine, physical labor — it can be nearly impossible to find a stable, well-paying new one. These jobs are more isolated, in terms of skills, from the rest of the labor market. Extensive research has shown that there are fewer middle-skill jobs, and that some displaced workers never recover, especially if they live in communities that no longer have jobs similar to their old ones or they don’t have higher education. “They have…

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Sarah Palin to subpoena two dozen New York Times staffers in lawsuit

Sarah Palin is planning to subpoena almost two dozen New York Times staffers as part of her defamation lawsuit against the newspaper. In a motion arguing for the case to be dismissed, attorneys for The New York Times said that Palin’s lawyers had served notice that she plans to subpoena “23 non-party current and former Times reporters, editors and other employees — most of whom had nothing to do with the editorial issue,” according to court documents the New York Post obtained Wednesday. Palin’s legal team also reportedly plans to…

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Soyuz crew set for trip to space station

Launch of a Russian Soyuz spacecraft Friday carrying three fresh crew members to the International Space Station will boost the lab’s crew back to six and, most important from NASA’s perspective, dramatically boost research with four crew members — three NASA astronauts and a veteran European flier — available to operate experiments in the American segment of the laboratory. Soyuz MS-05 commander Sergey Ryazanskiy, NASA flight engineer Randy Bresnik and European Space Agency astronaut Paolo Nespoli, are scheduled for launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 11:41 a.m. EDT Friday (GMT-4;…

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Justice Dept. Weighs In Against Protections for Gays in the Workplace

Photo Attorney General Jeff Sessions boarded a plane for a trip to El Salvador on Thursday where he will meet with local leaders about fighting gang violence. Credit Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press The Department of Justice has filed court papers arguing that a major federal civil rights law does not protect employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation in a case now being considered by a New York appeals court. The department’s decision to file a brief in the case was a rare example of top officials in Washington weighing…

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