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China, South Korea urge calm as North Korea prepares big celebration

Military force cannot resolve tension over North Korea, China said on Thursday, while an influential Chinese newspaper urged the North to halt its nuclear programme in exchange for Chinese protection.

With a U.S. aircraft carrier group steaming to the area and tension rising, South Korea said it believed the United States would consult it before any pre-emptive strike against the North.

Fears have been growing that the reclusive North could soon conduct its sixth nuclear test or more missile launches in defiance of U.N. sanctions and stark warnings from the United States that a policy of patience was over.

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Motorcycle rider beheaded in San Bernardino freak accident

Amotorcycle rider has been decapitated in a freak accident in San Bernardino.

Authorities say 27-year-old Fabian Zepeda was killed Tuesday morning when he drove into a wire stretched across a road from a snapped utility pole.

Police told the Riverside Press-Enterprise that minutes earlier, a driver had lost control of a Ford Taurus, which hit a mailbox and ran across a lawn.

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United Airlines vows not to call police on passengers as CEO apologizes for fiasco

United Airlines said it will no longer call on law enforcement to remove paid and seated passengers who have not agreed to give up their places on sold-out flights, one of several moves the airline announced Wednesday to try to quell a week of consumer outrage.

The Chicago airline’s chief executive, Oscar Munoz, told ABC News’ “Good Morning America” on Wednesday morning that he felt “shame” when he watched the video of a passenger, Dr. David Dao, being dragged off a sold-out United flight bound for Louisville, Ky., on Sunday by Chicago airport police.

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Trump Is Resettling Syrian Refugees At A Much Quicker Pace Than Obama

President Donald Trump called Syrian refugees a “great Trojan horse” during the 2016 campaign, but his administration has resettled them in a quicker pace than President Barack Obama did.
Since Trump was inaugurated, 1,401 Syrian refugees have been resettled, State Department figures as of Wednesday reveal. This is more than double the 625 Syrian refugees resettled under President Obama in the same time frame last year.

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Acosta: Dissing CNN ‘Does Real Damage’ To First Amendment

On Wednesday, CNN’s Jim Acosta accused President Donald Trump of undermining the First Amendment via criticisms of the news media industry. Joining a panel discussion at the Newseum entitled “Covering the Trump White House,” he blamed Trump for broad public distrust of the news media.

Criticizing CNN and similar news media outlets, suggested Acosta, was antithetical to American values. In defending his employer’s journalistic bona fides, Acosta invoked White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon’s derision of CNN as part of the “opposition party” (emphases added):

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White House calls for deep agency cuts

The White House on Wednesday will direct federal agencies to make deep personnel cuts over the next year, according to the White House budget chief and documents provided to POLITICO.

Agency heads will receive a 14-page memorandum outlining changes. The memo, which replaces the federal hiring ban President Donald Trump enacted in January, outlines cuts based on Trump’s “skinny” budget, released last month. The budget proposal called for deep cuts to domestic programs and an increase in military spending.

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United’s stock falls 1.1%, wipes out $255 million off the airline’s market cap

Shares in United Continental Holdings Inc. on Tuesday came off their worst levels, but ended 1.1% lower as the airline continued to draw flak for having a passenger forcibly dragged off a plane Sunday.

United UAL, -1.10% wiped about $255 million off its market capitalization in Tuesday’s session, leaving it with a market cap of around $22.25 billion, according to FactSet data.

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United Airlines Promised Federal Regulators That All Ticketed Passengers Are Guaranteed Seats

Less than three years before a passenger was forcibly removed from one of its aircrafts, United Airlines assured federal regulators that all ticketed passengers are guaranteed seats on flights. The promise was delivered in federal filings reviewed by International Business Times.

In September 2014 comments to federal officials, the Chicago-based airline outlined its opposition to proposed rules that sought more disclosure of the fees airlines charge to customers. One of the rules at issue was designed to compel airlines to more explicitly disclose fees charged for reserving specific seats.

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United Airlines finally apologizes, as image takes beating

The chief executive of embattled United Airlines unequivocally apologized Tuesday for an incident in which a passenger was dragged off a plane, and promised a thorough review of the airline’s practices.

The apology came after a torrent of criticism of the carrier’s action on a flight Sunday and its initial explanation of it. In images now seen around the world, a passenger was forcefully removed and bloodied in the process — the entire event captured on video by passengers and posted on social media.

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GOP infighting imperils agenda

Three months into the new Congress, some Republicans are fearful that their failure to repeal ­ObamaCare could spell doom for the rest of President Trump’s legislative agenda.

Some Capitol Hill Republicans have envisioned the nightmare scenario for 2017, and it goes like this: No ­ObamaCare repeal. No tax reform. No trillion-dollar infrastructure package. No border wall.

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Republican Ron Estes prevails in tough Kansas congressional race–What Does It Say About Trump?

Republican Ron Estes will be the next congressman from the state of Kansas, but his victory Tuesday night did not come as easily as many expected in the deep-red state.

GOP strategists warned in recent days that Democrat James Thompson, a civil rights attorney, was in striking distance against Estes, the Kansas state treasurer from Wichita, in the special election to replace Mike Pompeo.

Estes trailed Thompson early in the night, but began to pull ahead around 9 p.m. In the end, Estes prevailed with 53 percent to Thompson’s 46 percent. Libertarian candidate Chris Rockhold drew about 2 percent of the vote.

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Judge refuses to stop euthanization order for Dakota the dog

The fate of Dakota the dog still hangs in the balance after a judge on Tuesday refused to stop a euthanization order.

Judge Valerie Stanfill said she didn’t believe Dakota’s new owner, Linda Janeski, had standing to ask that the original judgment that declared Dakota a dangerous dog, and ordered her destroyed within 48 hours, be withdrawn.

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