House votes to avert federal shutdown, Senate chances dim WASHINGTON (AP) - A divided House on Thursday passed an eleventh-hour plan to keep the government running. But the GOP-written measure faced gloomy prospects in the Senate, and it remained unclear whether lawmakers would be able to find a way to keep federal offices open past a Friday night deadline. The House voted by a near party-line 230-197 vote to approve the legislation, which would keep agency doors open and hundreds of thousands of federal employees at work through Feb. 16. The measure is designed to give White House and congressional bargainers more time to work through disputes on immigration and the budget that they've tangled over for months.
Abuse in house of torture was 'severe, pervasive, prolonged' RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) - A California couple tortured a dozen of their children for years, starving them to the point that their growth was stunted, chaining them to their beds for up to months, preventing them from using the toilet at times and forbidding them from showering more than once a year, a prosecutor said Thursday. "The victimization appeared to intensify over time," Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin said in announcing charges. "What started out as neglect became severe, pervasive, prolonged child abuse." David Turpin, 56, and Louise Turpin, 49, were charged with multiple counts of torture, child abuse, dependent adult abuse and false imprisonment.
10 Things to Know for Friday Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday: 1. BUDGET BATTLE ROLLS ON A divided Congress barrels toward a possible election-year government shutdown, with disagreements over immigration and other issues still unresolved. 2. PONTIFF'S REMARKS PROVOKE SHOCK Pope Francis accuses victims of Chile's most notorious pedophile of slander, in an astonishing end to a visit that was meant to help heal the wounds of a sex abuse scandal. 3. PROSECUTOR: PARENTS WHO TORTURED CHILDREN WERE 'DEPRAVED' A California couple tortured a dozen of their children for years, starving them to the point that their growth was stunted and chaining them to their beds for months at a time, a prosecutor says.
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Pope shocks Chile by accusing sex abuse victims of slander SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) - Pope Francis accused victims of Chile's most notorious pedophile of slander Thursday, an astonishing end to a visit meant to help heal the wounds of a sex abuse scandal that has cost the Catholic Church its credibility in the country. Francis said that until he sees proof that Bishop Juan Barros was complicit in covering up the sex crimes of the Rev. Fernando Karadimas, such accusations against Barros are "all calumny." The pope's remarks drew shock from Chileans and immediate rebuke from victims and their advocates. They noted the accusers were deemed credible enough by the Vatican that it sentenced Karadima to a lifetime of "penance and prayer" for his crimes in 2011.
Blood test to detect 8 cancers early gives promising results Scientists are reporting progress on a blood test to detect many types of cancer at an early stage, including some of the most deadly ones that lack screening tools now. Many groups are working on liquid biopsy tests, which look for DNA and other things that tumors shed into blood, to try to find cancer before it spreads, when chances of cure are best. In a study Thursday in the journal Science, Johns Hopkins University scientists looked to see how well their experimental test detected cancer in people already known to have the disease. The blood tests found about 70 percent of eight common types of cancer in the 1,005 patients.
New Trump office would protect conscience rights of doctors WASHINGTON (AP) - Reinforcing its strong connection with social conservatives, the Trump administration announced Thursday a new federal office to protect medical providers refusing to participate in abortion, assisted suicide or other procedures on moral or religious grounds. Leading Democrats and LGBT groups immediately denounced the move, saying "conscience protections" could become a license to discriminate, particularly against gay and transgender people. The announcement by the Department of Health and Human Services came a day ahead of the annual march on Washington by abortion opponents, who will be addressed via video link by President Donald Trump. HHS put on a formal event in the department's Great Hall, with Republican lawmakers and activists for conscience protections as invited speakers.
Amazon sweepstakes is narrowed down to 20 competitors NEW YORK (AP) - Amazon's second home could be in an already tech-heavy city, such as Boston, New York or Austin, Texas. Or it could be in the Midwest, say, Indianapolis or Columbus, Ohio. Or the company could go outside the U.S. altogether and set up shop in Toronto. Those six locations, as well as 14 others, made it onto Amazon's not-so-short shortlist Thursday of places under consideration for the online retailing giant's second headquarters. The 20 picks, narrowed down from 238 proposals, are concentrated mostly in the East and the Midwest and include several of the biggest metro areas in the country, such as Chicago, Washington and Los Angeles, the only West Coast city on the list.
Trump wades into PA race seen as test of GOP strength CORAOPOLIS, Pa. (AP) - President Donald Trump waded into a potentially risky race on Thursday, throwing his support behind a Pennsylvania Republican in a contest widely viewed as a test of whether his party can stave off Democratic 2018 gains. Speaking at a Pittsburgh-area factory, Trump praised state lawmaker Rick Saccone as "a real friend and a spectacular man." And he told reporters he planned to come back to Pennsylvania - where he won in 2016 - to campaign for Saccone, who is trying to keep a House seat in Republican hands in the first congressional race of the year. "I'll be back for Rick, and we're going to fill up a stadium and we're going to do something really special for Rick.
Report links hacking campaign to Lebanese security agency LONDON (AP) - A major hacking operation tied to one of the most powerful security and intelligence agencies in Lebanon has been exposed after careless spies left hundreds of gigabytes of intercepted data exposed to the open internet, according to a report published Thursday. Mobile security firm Lookout, Inc. and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights group, said the haul, which includes nearly half a million intercepted text messages, had simply been left online by hackers linked to Lebanon's General Directorate of General Security. "It's almost like thieves robbed the bank and forgot to lock the door where they stashed the money," said Mike Murray, Lookout's head of intelligence.
Phoenix police: Serial killing suspect tied to 9 attacks PHOENIX (AP) - A serial killing suspect shot and killed nine people, including his own mother, and used a victim's gun in some of the slayings that unfolded in a three-week span late last year, authorities said Thursday. Shell casings, DNA, stolen jewelry and a cellphone taken from a victim were among the pieces of evidence that investigators used to tie Cleophus Cooksey Jr., 35, to the killings, according to court documents. "It should appall every one of us in the room that he managed to kill nine people period, let alone in such a short period of three weeks," said Sgt.