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Top U.S. officials are sounding new alarms about China, warning that Beijing, more than Russia, poses the most serious long-term threat to the United States.  The officials, from the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department, say the Chinese are increasingly targeting U.S. vulnerabilities in cyberspace, as well as leveraging some members of the Chinese diaspora to steal...

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Source: Voice of America - Washington, United States
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Michael Cohen, the longtime personal attorney for U.S. President Donald Trump, was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison, after telling a New York judge that his 'blind loyalty' to the U.S. leader led him to 'cover up his dirty deeds.'U.S. Judge William Pauley imposed the sentence on Cohen for an array of crimes, including his role in arranging $280,000 in hush money payments to two women who alleged...

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Source: Voice of America - Washington, United States
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The U.S. Geological Survey says an earthquake that struck eastern Tennessee could be felt as far away as AtlantaAn earthquake that struck eastern Tennessee early Wednesday could be felt as far away as Atlanta, the U.S. Geological Survey said.The light earthquake occurred about 4:15 a.m., and was centered about 7 miles (about 10 kilometers) northeast of Decatur. About 15 minutes later, a 3.3 magnitude aftershock struck....

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Source: Voice of America - Washington, United States
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Andre Pittman and Gregory Cornes are on a mission to rid Washington of opportunistic vermin.    But their target isn't corrupt officials or shady political fixers; it's Rattus Norvegicus, the common Norway rat.  The nation's capital is facing a spiraling rat infestation, fueled by mild winters and a human population boom. Washington's government is struggling to keep pace, with the pest control department fielding a re...

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Source: Voice of America - Washington, United States
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More suspected Iranian-made weapons have been found in Yemen, the United Nations says in a report that will be discussed Wednesday by the Security Council.The Gulf monarchies and United States accuse Iran of supporting Huthi rebels in Yemen — and see this as justification for the military campaign they have been waging in Yemen since 2015.Iran supports the rebels politically but denies supplying them with arms.The report from UN S...

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Source: Voice of America - Washington, United States
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China said Wednesday a former Canadian diplomat to China who was arrested in Beijing Monday was detained on charges of jeopardizing China's national security.Michael Kovrig was arrested on suspicions of 'engaging in activities that endanger' the country's security, China's official news media reported without elaborating.Previous reports said Kovrig was arrested for reasons that were unclear.Kovrig was detained less than a week af...

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Source: Voice of America - Washington, United States
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A 21-year-old man was found guilty Wednesday of first-degree murder in the beating death of a University of Southern California graduate student from China.Albert Ochoa is the fourth person convicted in the 2014 attack on 24-year-old engineering student Xinran Ji.Ochoa and three others attacked Ji while trying to rob him as he was walking home from a study group near the USC campus, June 24, 2014, prosecutors said.Ji w...

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Source: Voice of America - Washington, United States
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California regulators are considering a plan to charge a fee for text messaging on mobile phones to help support programs that make phone service accessible to the poor.The Mercury News reports Wednesday that the proposal is scheduled for a vote next month by the state Public Utilities Commission.The wireless industry and business groups have been working to defeat the plan.Jim Wunderman of the Bay Area Council, a business-sponsor...

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Source: Voice of America - Washington, United States
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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday that U.S. authorities are still investigating the killing of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside Riyadh's consulate in Istanbul.The top U.S. diplomat told Fox News that the United States would hold those found responsible accountable for his death, noting that the U.S. has already imposed sanctions on 17 Saudi agents it believes were responsible.Pompeo called Khashog...

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Source: Voice of America - Washington, United States
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Sports, disaster and death were among the top searches on Google last year.Each December, the technology company releases it's top trending searches of the year. Topics that drew the interest of Americans included the World Cup, Hurricane Florence and three people who died in 2018 — rapper Mac Miller, designer Kate Spade and TV host and author Anthony Bourdain.Google does not come up with its lists based on the n...

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Source: Voice of America - Washington, United States
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Federal authorities have charged a second person in connection with a domestic terrorism investigation in Ohio.The FBI and Department of Justice say 23-year-old Vincent Armstrong of Toledo was charged with making false statements. He lived with a woman who was charged earlier this week with buying bomb-making supplies. Armstrong appeared in court Wednesday and waived a preliminary hearing. His attorney says it's too early to speak about...

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Source: Voice of America - Washington, United States
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Congress on Wednesday gave final passage to legislation that would shut down legal cockfights in U.S. territories including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, ending an institution dating from the colonial era that generates millions of dollars each year.Opponents of the measure approved by the House said it will have a devastating effect on the islands' economies, noting that in Puerto Rico alone the cockfighting indu...

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Source: Voice of America - Washington, United States
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Venezuela's socialist President Nicolas Maduro said Wednesday he's uncovered an assassination plot that leads directly to the White House.Maduro repeated his frequent warning that a U.S. invasion is imminent — this time giving some details but no evidence.He accused President Donald Trump's National Security Adviser John Bolton of overseeing a plot to replace him with a dictator. He alleged that Washington is using 'dirty dollars,...

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Source: Voice of America - Washington, United States
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The U.S. Senate was poised late Wednesday to deal a historic rebuke to Saudi Arabia, a longtime U.S. ally, advancing a resolution to end American support for the kingdom's military intervention in Yemen's civil war.The Republican-led chamber voted 60-39 to begin debate on the measure, acting in defiance of the Trump administration, which had strenuously argued against a rupture of cooperation between Washington a...

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Source: Voice of America - Washington, United States
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Minnesota lawmakers are considering steps they could take to rein in the soaring cost of insulin, which one couple says has become so expensive that their diabetic son could no longer afford it and died.State Sen. Matt Little convened an informal discussion at the state Capitol on Tuesday to gather information ahead of the legislative session that begins next month. The Lakeville Democrat said the cost of insulin is 'immorally hig...

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Source: Voice of America - Washington, United States
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U.S. officials increased workplace raids in the first full fiscal year under the Trump administration, leading to the arrests of thousands of undocumented workers, while the number of indicted managers remained on par with the figure from 2017.The agency tasked with carrying on the investigations, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, reported data Tuesday for fiscal 2018 showing its agents: — Opened 6,...

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Source: Voice of America - Washington, United States
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Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill says she won't run for another office after her term expires next month, but that she will remain active in Democratic politics.The veteran senator sought re-election to a third term last month but lost to Republican state Attorney General Josh Hawley. On Thursday, she will give her final Senate floor speech before she leaves office in January.In an interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch fr...

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Source: Voice of America - Washington, United States
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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the U.N. Security Council Wednesday that Iran's ballistic missile activity has been growing since the 2015 nuclear deal was agreed upon, and he urged stronger restrictions to prevent such activity. 'Iran has exploited the goodwill of nations and defied multiple Security Council resolutions in its quest for a robust ballistic missile force,' Pompeo told the council at its semiannual me...

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Source: Voice of America - Washington, United States
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Insurance claims from last month's California wildfires already are at $9 billion and expected to increase, the state's insurance commissioner announced Wednesday.About $7 billion in claims are from the Camp Fire that destroyed the Northern California city of Paradise and killed at least 86 people, making it the deadliest U.S. wildfire in at least a century. The rest is from the Woolsey and Hill fires in Southern California....

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Source: Voice of America - Washington, United States
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Intelligence experts say Russian outreach to the Trump campaign fits the pattern of an intelligence operation.Former officials have reviewed the attempts by Russians to establish contact as laid out in recent court filings by special counsel Robert Mueller. They conclude they were apparently targeted and more frequent than would be expected during a typical presidential campaign.Mueller has been investigating Russian interference in the...

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Source: Voice of America - Washington, United States
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