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Cautious Texas among last states to OK medical marijuana

MANCHACA, Texas (AP) — When California rings in the new year with the sale of recreational pot for the first time, Texas will be tiptoeing into its own marijuana milestone: a medical cannabis program so restrictive that doubts swirl over who will even use it. Texas is the last big state to allow some form of medical marijuana, albeit an ... Read More »

Manhattan prosecutor returns 3 ancient sculptures to Lebanon

NEW YORK (AP) — Three ancient sculptures are being returned to their rightful owners in Lebanon as the Manhattan district attorney forms a new antiquities trafficking unit whose goal is to repatriate stolen pieces from around the world. At a news conference in his office Friday, District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. stood by the more than 2,000-year-old treasures that were ... Read More »

Amazon making nice, prepares sales of Apple TV, Chromecast

Google Chromecast

MENLO PARK, Calif. (AP) — Amazon is angling for a truce in its two-year battle with Apple and Google over streaming gadgets: It says it is preparing to put Apple TV and Chromecast back on sale. A spokeswoman for Amazon confirmed Friday it is preparing to sell the devices. However, fresh links for the products that went live on Thursday ... Read More »

Kentucky reeling from sexual assault, harassment accusations

Jeff Hoover

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — As sexual assault and harassment allegations sweep through statehouses around the country, no place has been impacted quite like Kentucky: A state forced to confront its past salacious behavior in the midst of an historic transition to Republican rule. Kentucky’s GOP House Speaker resigned his leadership position after acknowledging he secretly settled a sexual harassment claim ... Read More »

Military hero McRaven leaving post as Texas chancellor

William McRaven, Bill McRaven

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — University of Texas System Chancellor William McRaven, the former head of U.S. Special Operations Command who directed the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, announced Friday that he’ll leave the school in May. McRaven, 62, divulged in 2015 that he was diagnosed with leukemia five years earlier. He cited unspecified health concerns Friday as a factor ... Read More »

Tax bill guts unpopular ‘Obamacare’ insurance mandate

Kevin Brady

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans didn’t get their wish to repeal former President Barack Obama’s health care law, but the tax bill barreling toward a final vote in Congress guts its most unpopular provision, the requirement that virtually all Americans carry health insurance. Politically, the move is a winner for Republicans, who otherwise would have little to show for all their ... Read More »

World unites against NKorea nuke ambitions _ North ignores

Ja Song Na

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — North Korea’s friends and enemies joined forces Friday in opposing its determination to be recognized as a nuclear weapons state and calling on leader Kim Jong Un to negotiate the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula — but the North gave no sign of budging on its nuclear ambitions. In a very rare appearance by a North ... Read More »

Border arrests surge, erasing much of Trump’s early gains

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The U.S. government posted a seventh straight monthly increase in people being arrested or denied entry along the Mexican border, erasing much of the early gains of President Donald Trump’s push to strengthen border security. Customs and Border Protection said Friday that denials of entry at official crossings and border arrests reached more than 39,000 in ... Read More »

2 rare sea lion attacks shut down cove in San Francisco Bay

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Two unusual sea lion attacks in a San Francisco Bay cove led authorities to close the popular area to swimmers Friday as officials try to determine the reason for the aggressive behavior. A sea lion bit a man in the groin area Friday as he swam in the waters off San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park, ... Read More »

The Latest: GOP tax bill guts health insurance mandate

Orrin Hatch, Chris Coons

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Republican tax overhaul legislation (all times local): 5:45 p.m. The tax bill barreling toward a final vote in Congress guts the most unpopular “Obamacare” provision, its requirement that virtually all Americans carry health insurance or face fines. Politically, the move is a winner for Republicans, who otherwise would have little to show for seven ... Read More »