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L.A. Times - National News

L.A.'s leading national news source. Up-to-date coverage of breaking U.S. news and top stories.

Last Build Date: Tue, 12 Dec 2017 06:27:20 -0800

Copyright: ©2017 Los Angeles Times

Three things to watch in Alabama's Senate election

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 05:00:00 PST

It’s a surreal spectacle to see a Democrat running a viable campaign for U.S. Senate from Alabama.

President Trump won more than 62% of the Alabama vote last year, one of his biggest victories in the nation. Both of Alabama’s U.S. senators are Republican, and so are six of its seven House members....


Amid the rush to finish GOP tax bill, a sudden slowdown for second thoughts

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 16:35:00 PST

The rush to finish the GOP tax overhaul has hit a snag as Republicans grapple with substantial differences between the House and Senate bills, and pause to consider unintended consequences of the most massive rewrite of the tax code in a generation.

Lawmakers are eager to pass the bill, President...


Alabama Senate race churns into final hours, still too close to predict

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 06:10:00 PST

With the help of two high-profile surrogates, Roy Moore and Doug Jones scrambled Monday to stake their final claims in Alabama’s cliffhanger of a U.S. Senate race.

Moore, who largely disappeared from public view after being accused of sexual misconduct, resurfaced for an election eve rally with...


When his wife got a traffic ticket, he tried to fight the system with science. It turned into a battle over free speech

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 03:00:00 PST

In 2013, Mats Järlström’s wife got a $260 ticket in the mail for running a red light.

It wasn’t exactly the crime of the century. A camera caught her Volkswagen passing through a Beaverton, Ore., intersection 0.12 second after the light turned from yellow to red.

Other people might curse, pay the...


Suspect in New York bomb attack said to have been inspired by Islamic State's call for Christmas attacks

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 17:50:00 PST

The suspect in a bomb attack in New York City’s transit system Monday told investigators he had been inspired by Islamic State’s recent call for attacks in Western cities around the Christmas holidays, a federal law enforcement official said.

The suspect, identified as 27-year-old Akayed Ullah,...


Trump links New York bomb attack to immigration debate

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 15:50:00 PST

President Trump cited the suspect in the New York subway bombing on Monday as an argument for his crackdown on legal as well as illegal immigration, after the administration said the man entered the country in 2011 on a family immigrant visa.

“Today’s attempted mass murder attack in New York City...


Supreme Court puts off hearing a case on job protections for LGBT employees

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 15:40:00 PST

The Supreme Court has put off for a year or more a ruling on whether gays and lesbians are protected from job discrimination under the federal civil rights law.

The justices without comment or dissent declined to hear a Georgia woman’s suit that alleged she was pushed out of her job as a hospital...


Polls in Alabama are all over the map. Why's it so hard to know who's ahead?

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 12:25:00 PST

The latest polls in the Alabama Senate race have Doug Jones, the Democrat, ahead by 10 points. Or Roy Moore, the Republican, ahead by 9. Why is this election so hard to forecast?(image)

Black voters are key to Democratic hopes in Alabama's Senate race. Will they turn out?

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 10:55:00 PST

Two minutes into Sunday’s invocation, after blessing the sunshine and recent snowfall and its swift melting, the pastor turned to the political contest that has riveted the nation’s attention on the Deep South.

He asked the Lord to lift up the country, from the White House to City Hall, and asked...


Ghost of Justice Scalia looms as Supreme Court debates religion and civil rights law

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 03:00:00 PST

The ghost of Justice Antonin Scalia often hangs over the Supreme Court, perhaps never more so than as the justices struggle with the case of the Christian baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex marriage.

Scalia often spoke of his strong Catholic faith. But he also believed the...


The flow is receding, but Puerto Rican evacuees are still pouring into Florida

Sun, 10 Dec 2017 17:20:00 PST

Ashley Mendez arrived in Orlando before sunrise Thursday, her eyes red from crying, a single duffel bag holding all her worldly possessions. The 20-year-old already ached for her mother, left behind in Puerto Rico.

She made her way through a special welcome center at Orlando International Airport...


As businesses rush to exploit GOP tax cuts, government revenue may shrink more than expected

Sun, 10 Dec 2017 07:00:00 PST

As soon as the last major tax overhaul was enacted in the fall of 1986, accountant Edward Mendlowitz remembers working around the clock to convert corporations into partnerships and other so-called pass-through businesses to take advantage of the new tax code.

Now with congressional Republicans...


Mysterious disease wastes South Florida's corals, and scientists are racing to find a cure

Sun, 10 Dec 2017 04:00:00 PST

A mysterious epidemic continues to sweep South Florida’s reefs, transforming corals into lifeless skeletons and threatening undersea structures that support tourism, provide hurricane protection and serve as homes to a vast range of marine life.

Called white plague, white blotch and other names,...


In Alabama Senate race, Republicans fear they may lose even if Roy Moore wins

Sat, 9 Dec 2017 19:15:00 PST

With more than 48 hours of campaigning still left in Alabama’s scandal-shrouded U.S. Senate campaign — and the outcome far from clear — some Republicans have already conceded defeat.

From their perspective, Tuesday will yield one of two unhappy results.

Either voters will elect a Democratic U.S....


'Mr. President, we don’t need you in Mississippi.' Protests as Trump speaks at new civil rights museum

Sat, 9 Dec 2017 17:20:00 PST

President Trump made a brief visit to Mississippi’s capital on Saturday to attend the opening of a new civil rights museum as his presence sparked a boycott by lawmakers, civil rights icons and protesters who questioned his commitment to racial equality.

“Trump does not care about human rights!...


European allies give Tillerson an earful about Trump's decision on Jerusalem

Sat, 9 Dec 2017 03:00:00 PST

It was Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s bad luck that he was in Europe meeting with dozens of U.S. allies when President Trump, on Wednesday, announced formal U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a move that angered much of the world.

Tillerson, who wound up a five-day, four-city,...


In Florida, Trump attacks credibility of Roy Moore accuser as he rallies support for Alabama Senate hopeful

Fri, 8 Dec 2017 19:35:00 PST

President Trump defended embattled U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama on Friday by trying to undercut the credibility of a woman who has accused him of sexually assaulting her when she was 16.

At a campaign rally just over the Alabama state line in Pensacola, Fla., Trump tried to buttress...


Snowmen in Alabama? Sledding in Mississippi? From Texas to Georgia, snow blankets the South

Fri, 8 Dec 2017 18:05:00 PST

Snow blanketed a vast swath of the Deep South on Friday, triggering a flurry of winter weather warnings that closed businesses and schools, canceled hundreds of flights and caused traffic gridlock. It also unleashed a flurry of snowman construction and sledding in places more accustomed to sunshine...


Trump doubles down on his demand for a border wall

Fri, 8 Dec 2017 16:00:00 PST

President Trump still wants his wall.

Minutes after he signed a stopgap measure to give Congress two more weeks to negotiate a spending deal and avoid a government shutdown, the president renewed his call for lawmakers to fund his signature campaign promise — a large physical wall along the 2,000...


The unarmed man crouched and cried in fear before the policeman shot him five times. But the officer was acquitted

Fri, 8 Dec 2017 15:15:00 PST

The man knelt in the hotel hallway and pleaded with the officers: “Please do not shoot me.”

It was January 2016 and police in Mesa, Ariz., rushed to a La Quinta Inns & Suites in response to reports of a man pointing a firearm out a window. When Philip Brailsford and five other officers arrived,...


Trump turns celebration of Mississippi Civil Rights Museum ‘into a slap in the face,’ say activists who plan to protest

Fri, 8 Dec 2017 14:55:00 PST

Four years after it broke ground and nearly two decades after civil rights veterans began pushing for its establishment, the country’s first state-sponsored civil rights museum will open Saturday in Mississippi at a cost of more than $90 million.

But for all the work that went into it and a companion...


Roy Moore calls accuser a liar after she admits she added notes to his yearbook inscription

Fri, 8 Dec 2017 14:45:00 PST

U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama stepped up his attacks Friday on the integrity of a woman who says that he sexually assaulted her when she was a 16-year-old waitress at a restaurant where he often dined when he was a prosecutor in his 30s.

The woman, Beverly Young Nelson, conceded in...


Trump denies that Wells Fargo may avoid federal penalties for alleged mortgage lending abuses

Fri, 8 Dec 2017 10:50:00 PST

President Trump on Friday denied a report that the federal consumer financial watchdog might drop sanctions against Wells Fargo & Co. for alleged mortgage lending abuses, and said the bank could face even tougher penalties.

Trump’s comments on Twitter appeared to be in response to a Reuters report...


Rep. Devin Nunes cleared of allegations that he disclosed classified information in Russia investigation

Thu, 7 Dec 2017 17:40:00 PST

The House Ethics Committee on Thursday cleared Rep. Devin Nunes of allegations that he disclosed classified information related to the House investigation of Russian meddling in last year’s election.

The committee said in a statement that experts it interviewed determined that the information the...


In an emotional speech on the Senate floor, Al Franken says he'll resign amid allegations of sexual misdeeds

Thu, 7 Dec 2017 16:30:00 PST

Al Franken announced Thursday he will resign his Senate seat, falling to a whirlwind of sexual misconduct allegations like those that have enmeshed other politicians, business leaders and media figures across the country in recent months.

Hours later, Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona, a Republican...