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Puerto Rico Officials Say All of Island Now Has Power Again

VOA News/Associated Press SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO — Power has been restored to all of Puerto Rico for the first time since Hurricane Maria struck nearly 11 months ago, officials said Tuesday. The island's electric utility announced that crews working in the southern city of Ponce reconnected the last neighborhood that had been offline since the Sept. 20 storm knocked out the territory's power grid. Ponce resident Charlie Colon Nazario told El Nuevo Dia that he was looking forward to no longer having to use a generator to light his house. "No more lamps, no more candles, no more extension cords," he said…
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US Believes Missing Journalist Tice Still Alive After Six Years

VOA News/Agence France-Presse WASHINGTON — The Trump administration believes missing journalist Austin Tice, thought to have been captured in Syria six years ago, is still alive. "We believe him to be alive," State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said on the sixth anniversary of his disappearance. "We remain deeply concerned about his well-being, and we are actively working to bring Austin Tice home." Nauert declined to provide details about the conclusion or where Tice is thought to be held, and by whom. Tice was a 31-year-old freelance photojournalist working for AFP, McClatchy News, The Washington Post, CBS, and other news organizations when he…
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Jurors: 300-plus Priests Abused Scores of Kids in Pennsylvania

VOA News More than 300 Catholic priests sexually abused at least 1,000 children over the last 70 years and church leaders did all they could to cover it up, a Pennsylvania grand jury report released Tuesday said. The report said the number of victims might actually be in the thousands because church records have been lost and some victims were too scared to report the crimes. Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro speaks during a news conference at the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa., Aug. 14, 2018. A Pennsylvania grand jury says its investigation of clergy sexual abuse identified more than…
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Terms of Trump-Mueller Interview Still Being Negotiated

WHITE HOUSE — Fifteen months since special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed to head the probe into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election, prosecutors and lawyers for President Donald Trump are still negotiating over what questions investigators can ask the president. News reports Wednesday quoted the president's lawyers as saying they are trying to narrow the scope of Mueller's questions by declining to allow the president to answer questions about possible obstruction of justice. In an interview with CNN, Rudy Giuliani, one of Trump's lawyers on the case, said the team is sending a new letter today with a counteroffer. Giuliani…
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US News

Trump Defends 2016 Meeting Between Son, Kremlin-linked Lawyer

VOA News/Ken Bredemeier President Donald Trump on Sunday defended the 2016 meeting his oldest son, Donald Trump Jr., held with a Kremlin-linked lawyer to "get information" on his opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton, saying it was "totally legal and done all the time in politics." In his most definitive statement on the meeting at his Trump Tower campaign headquarters in New York, Trump said on Twitter that he did not know about the talks ahead of time that his son held with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and that the meeting "went nowhere." President Trump a year ago dictated a misleading statement…
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US News

California Seeks Federal Aid to Fight Wildfires; 7th Person Dies

VOA News California Governor Jerry Brown said Saturday that he had asked President Donald Trump for emergency aid to help the state fight wildfires that are ravaging communities up and down the drought-stricken West Coast state. The governor visited Northern California on Saturday to look at the damage done by a fire in the city of Redding. He said he was confident Trump would respond to California's request for aid. Carol Smith, far right in blue, her daughter Suzie Scatena, third from right, and husband Tim, third from left, tour their fire-ravaged neighborhood along with support crews, Aug. 2, 2018,…
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NASA Taps Astronauts for Commercial Flights

VOA News The space agency NASA on Friday introduced the nine astronauts who will ride the first commercial space capsules into orbit next year. The move marks a significant shift in the space program, which will now combine NASA-trained astronauts with private sector space capsules. The capsules, made by SpaceX and Boeing, will ferry the astronauts and cargo back and forth to the International Space Station. Since NASA’s space shuttle program was shut down in 2011, it has had to rely on Russia to fly astronauts to the space station. "For the first time since 2011, we are on the…
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Family Separation Policy Galvanizes Americans

VOA News/Bill Rodgers GETTYSBURG, PA — On a recent Thursday evening, residents of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, brought bags filled with school supplies, toiletries, games and other items to be donated to a shelter in Baltimore, Maryland, that houses migrant children who have been separated from their families. Galvanized by the Trump administration's now-ended policy of separating detained migrant parents and children, dozens of residents of the historic town showed up with their donations and to attend a forum to learn more about immigration advocacy. "It has hit a nerve with a lot of individuals in our neighborhood," said Gettysburg resident Annette Ehly,…
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Road Damage from Earthquakes Is Latest Hawaii Volcano Peril

Associated Press HONOLULU — Officials on Hawaii's Big Island, where the Kilauea volcano has been spewing huge amounts of lava for months, are bracing for the possibility that frequent earthquakes will cut off a major highway. Emergency officials dealing with the eruption are turning their focus to the aptly named village of Volcano, where dozens of small earthquakes shake the ground every hour as Kilauea undergoes dramatic changes. The summit caldera is also collapsing, causing even larger temblors almost daily. Officials are worried about cracks and holes in Highway 11, a 45-minute lifeline connecting a rural district with Hilo, the island's…
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US News

US Administration Proposes Freezing Auto Fuel Efficiency Standards

VOA News The Trump administration has announced plans to freeze fuel efficiency standards for vehicles. The administration also announced Thursday it wants to rescind the authority of California and other states to set more stringent vehicle mileage standards to address environmental issues like climate change and smog. New fuel-efficiency requirements, which were set to take effect in 2020, would be frozen through 2026. The freeze, proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Transportation Department, would increase projected daily oil consumption by 500,000 barrels by the 2030's, the administration also said the freeze would save up to 1,000 lives each…
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