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Santa Barbara Hit by Big Quake? False Alarm!

The U.S. Geological Survey sent out an alert Wednesday for a large 6.8-magnitude earthquake off the coast of Santa Barbara, California, but it all turned out to be a false alarm. Scientists at the University of California Santa Barbara were adjusting records of an earthquake that struck just off the U.S. West Coast in 1925, and when they shifted the precise epicenter of that century-old quake by 10 kilometers, a live alarm inadvertently went out on the USGS email server and was flashed to newsrooms and scientists worldwide. The alarm…

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Tribute to Slain Muslim Teen is Set Afire in Washington

A memorial of flowers and posters honoring a slain Muslim teenager was set afire Wednesday morning in Washington’s Dupont Circle neighborhood. Police arrested Jonathan Solomon, 24, of South Carolina and charged him with vandalism. Officers told VOA it did not appear that the memorial itself, at a fountain in the center of Dupont Circle, was specifically targeted. People placed flowers and lit candles there Tuesday evening to commemorate Nabra Hassanen, 17, who was beaten to death with a baseball bat early Sunday as she walked to a mosque near her…

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US Says Gulf States Have Prepared List of Demands for Qatar

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says Saudi Arabia and its allies have prepared a list of demands for Qatar, and he emphasized the United States looks forward to the diplomatic dispute between the Gulf states “moving toward a resolution.” “We hope the list of demands will soon be presented to Qatar and will be reasonable and actionable,” Tillerson said in a statement. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates imposed measures to isolate Qatar two weeks ago, causing the worst Gulf Arab crisis in years. The countries…

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FBI: Gunman Who Attacked Republican Lawmakers Acted Alone

The gunman who shot and wounded Congressman Steve Scalise in an attack on Republican lawmakers last week acted alone and did not post any online threats to members of Congress, FBI officials said Wednesday. The gunman, James Hodgkinson, 66, of Belleville, Illinois, was shot dead by Capitol Police officers last week after opening fire on lawmakers practicing for an annual Congressional baseball game in Alexandria, Virginia. Four other people were wounded in the incident. An FBI statement Wednesday said items found on Hodgkinson, who had been living in his vehicle…

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Passengers Evacuated After Police Stabbing at Michigan Airport

An airport in the Midwestern state of Michigan was evacuated Wednesday after a police officer was stabbed in the neck, authorities said. Michigan State Police said the officer was in critical condition after being stabbed as he patrolled in the main terminal of Bishop International Airport, a small regional airport in Flint, Michigan. Airport officials posted a statement on Facebook that all passengers were safe. Flint Mayor Karen Weaver said in a release “the situation is under control,” but she urged officials to take “extra precautions” in light of the…

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Russia Cancels Talks With US After New Sanctions

Russian officials reacted to new sanctions unveiled by the U.S. by canceling upcoming talks between Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and Undersecretary of State Thomas Shannon. Ryabkov said that “the situation is not conducive to holding a round of this dialogue.” The U.S. State Department expressed regret at the cancellation of Friday’s talks. “We regret that Russia has decided to turn away from an opportunity to discuss bilateral obstacles that hinder U.S.-Russia relations,” spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement. On Tuesday, the U.S. Treasury Department announced additional sanctions…

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DC Roundup: Poroshenko at White House, Russia Sanctions, Cybersecurity Hearing

Developments in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday include President Donald Trump meeting with Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko, the U.S. Treasury expanding sanctions against Russia and Ukraine separatists, a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing planned for U.S. election officials and cybersecurity experts regarding Russian hacking, and a poll that shows the president’s approval rating at a new low. White House Hosts Ukraine President, Says Russia Sanctions to Remain in Place — Sanctions against the Russians will remain in place until “they are out of eastern Ukraine,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said…

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US Expands Sanctions Against Russia, Ukraine Separatists

The United States Treasury Department announced additional sanctions Tuesday against Russia, pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, and individuals and companies associated with them. The move comes on the heels of a White House meeting Tuesday between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. The increased sanctions is in response to continued Russian support for pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine. Prior to his meeting with Trump, Poroshenko stressed the importance of taking such action before the U.S. president’s meeting with Russian leader Vladimir Putin. The sanctions will target 38 individuals…

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Second Bangladeshi Official in US Charged With Worker Abuse

U.S. prosecutors have charged a Bangladeshi economist working for the United Nations in New York with allegedly mistreating a domestic worker.   Hamidur Rashid was arrested Tuesday, becoming the second official from Bangladesh charged in New York in eight days. According to a complaint, Rashid, identified as a program director at the U.N. Development Program in Manhattan, initially contracted with the employee to pay her $420 per week and submitted that contract to the U.S. State Department to obtain a visa for her. Acting U.S. Attorney for Manhattan Joon Kim…

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US Women’s Soccer Coach DiCicco Dead at 68

Tony DiCicco, one of the most popular figures and leaders in women’s soccer history in the United States, died late Monday at age 68. U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati said DiCicco was “one of the most influential coaches in U.S. Soccer history.” His teams posted a 103-8-8 record from 1994 to 1999, making him the winningest coach in U.S. Soccer history and the only coach to win more than 100 games. DiCicco led the U.S. women to their first Olympic gold medal at the 1996 games in Atlanta. That victory…

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