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Neanderthal life not especially risky, skull analysis shows

NEW YORK (AP) — Life as a Neanderthal was no picnic, but a new analysis says it was no more dangerous than what our own species faced in ancient times. That challenges what the authors call the prevailing view of our evolutionary cousins, that they lived risky, stressful lives. Some studies have suggested they had high injury rates, which have …

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The Latest: Authorities probe 3rd S. California fire death

Roger Kelton

CHICO, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on the wildfires in California (all times local): 10 a.m. Authorities say they are investigating a third apparent fire-related death in the burn zone of a Southern California wildfire. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said Wednesday that human remains were found in a burned home in the suburban Agoura Hills area of the …

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Houston skyscrapers may have worsened Hurricane Harvey rain

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two new studies show how humans made recent hurricanes even wetter but in different ways. One study found last year’s Hurricane Harvey snagged on Houston’s skyscrapers, causing the storm to slow and dump more rain than it normally would. And the city’s massive amounts of paving had an even bigger impact by reducing drainage. The study authors …

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Senate GOP welcomes first woman to leadership in years

Kevin McCarthy

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republicans welcomed the first woman to their leadership team in years Wednesday as they sought to address the optics of the GOP side of the aisle being dominated by men. Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst called her selection to the leadership ranks “a great honor.” “It’s a great opportunity for those of us that are in some …

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Judge admonishes El Chapo’s lawyer for opening statement

NEW YORK (AP) — A federal judge admonished the lawyer for Mexican drug smuggler El Chapo on Wednesday after an opening statement that riled Mexican presidents by accusing them of taking bribes. Federal prosecutors had asked U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan to throw out the defense’s opening statement at the New York trial of Joaquin Guzman, saying it was “permeated …

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Republicans face renewed pressure on Mueller protection bill

Chris Coons

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republicans are facing renewed pressure to pass legislation to protect special counsel Robert Mueller, with a handful of GOP senators urging their leadership to hold a vote now that President Donald Trump has pushed out Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Republican Sen. Jeff Flake and Democratic Sen. Chris Coons say they will try to bring up the …

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Pelosi challenges unhappy Dems to block her bid for speaker

Nancy Pelosi

WASHINGTON (AP) — A defiant Nancy Pelosi challenged maverick Democrats Wednesday to produce a rival who could win enough votes to prevent her from becoming the House’s a new speaker. “Come on in, the water’s warm,” Pelosi, D-Calif., told a reporter about her message to rebellious colleagues. A handful of Democrats, arguing it’s time for a fresh leadership team, say …

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Overheating machines complicate Florida’s recount battle

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida’s election recount drama is intensifying as lawyers return to court and tallying machines break down ahead of a Thursday deadline to complete reviews of the U.S. Senate and governor races. Amid the turmoil, Republican Gov. Rick Scott agreed to step down from the state panel responsible for certifying the final results. Scott is locked in …

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Report cites weak reporting on missing, killed Native women

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A study released by a Native American nonprofit says numerous police departments in cities nationwide are not adequately identifying or reporting cases of missing and murdered indigenous women. In a report released Wednesday, the Seattle-based Urban Indian Health Institute says researchers found some 500 missing persons and homicide cases involving Native American women in 71 cities. …

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AP Top 25 Podcast: UCF forces its way to national prominence

No. 11 Central Florida has won 22 straight games and is making a run at another major bowl bid. ESPN’s “College GameDay” is coming to the schools’ Orlando, Florida, campus this week So why are Knights fans so mad online? On the latest AP Top 25 College Football Podcast , Matt Murschel of the Orlando Sentinel joins AP’s Ralph Russo …

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