Iraqi forces secured a series of cautious advances as the military's elite fighting forces joined the push toward Islamic State-held western Mosul SOUTH OF MOSUL, Iraq (AP) - Closely supported by the U.S.-led international coalition, Iraqi forces secured a series of cautious advances on Thursday, pushing into a sprawling military base outside of Mosul and onto the grounds of the city's airport, where they took control of the runway. The three-pronged attack began just after sunrise, with three convoys of Iraqi forces snaking north across Nineveh's hilly desert on Mosul's southern approach. Iraq's special forces joined federal police and rapid response units in the push - part of a major assault that started earlier this week to drive IS from the western half of Iraq's second-largest city.
Authorities have cleared a protest camp where opponents of the Dakota Access oil pipeline had gathered for the better part of a year CANNON BALL, N.D. (AP) - Authorities on Thursday cleared a protest camp where opponents of the Dakota Access oil pipeline had gathered for the better part of a year, searching tents and huts and arresting three dozen holdouts who had defied a government order to leave. It took 3 ½ hours for about 220 officers and 18 National Guardsmen to methodically search the protesters' temporary homes and arrest people, including a man who climbed atop a building and stayed there for more than an hour before surrendering. Native Americans who oppose the $3.8 billion pipeline established the Oceti Sakowin camp last April on federal land near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation to draw attention to their concerns that the project will hurt the environment and sacred sites - claims Dallas-based pipeline developer Energy Transfer Partners disputes.
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In a White House with multiple competing power centers, a trio of military men is emerging as a force to be reckoned with _ and President Donald Trump is taking notice WASHINGTON (AP) - In a White House laden with competing power centers, a trio of military men has emerged as a force to be reckoned with. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and Joint Chiefs Chairman Joseph Dunford have quickly formed a stabilizing alliance in an administration whose earliest days have been marked by turmoil. At working dinners and meetings with President Donald Trump, the men - all retired or current generals -have sought to guide the new leader and foreign policy novice. And they have increasingly represented Trump around the world, seeking to allay concerns about the new president and his nascent foreign policy.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer says the Justice Department may crack down on states that have legalized recreational marijuana WASHINGTON (AP) - The Justice Department will step up enforcement of federal laws against recreational marijuana, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Thursday, offering the Trump administration's strongest indication to date of a looming crackdown on the drug, even as a solid majority of Americans believe it should be legal. "I do believe you'll see greater enforcement of it," Spicer said in response to a question during a news conference. He offered no details about what such enforcement would entail. President Donald Trump does not oppose medical marijuana, he added, but "that's very differ than recreational use, which is something the Department of Justice will be further looking into."
Bills to curtail transgender people's access to public restrooms are pending in a dozen states, but even in conservative bastions such as Texas and Arkansas they may be doomed by high-powered opposition Bills to curtail transgender people's access to public restrooms are pending in about a dozen states, but even in conservative bastions such as Texas and Arkansas they may be doomed by high-powered opposition. The bills have taken on a new significance this week following the decision by President Donald Trump's administration to revoke an Obama-era federal directive instructing public schools to let transgender students use bathrooms and locker rooms of their chosen gender. Many conservative leaders hailed the assertions by top Trump appointees that the issue was best handled at the state and local level. Yet at the state level, bills that would limit transgender bathroom access are floundering even though nearly all have surfaced in Republican-controlled legislatures that share common ground politically with Trump.
Blacks who celebrate the civil rights movement and whites who commemorate the Civil War are finally fighting the same foe in historic Selma, Alabama: City Hall BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Blacks who celebrate the civil rights movement and whites who commemorate the Civil War are suddenly finding themselves fighting on the same side in historic Selma, Alabama: against City Hall. Both groups say the city is squeezing them with demands for thousands of dollars in up-front payments to stage annual events that bring tens of thousands of visitors to an otherwise sleepy community where unemployment is high and boarded-up homes and businesses are a common sight. Plans for next month's Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee, which commemorates the Selma-to-Montgomery voting rights march of 1965, are up in the air over the city's demand.
An off-duty California officer who didn't want teens walking across his lawn fired his gun in a struggle with a group of youths, igniting unruly protests after video of the fight surfaced ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - An off-duty California officer who didn't want teens walking across his lawn fired his gun during a struggle with a 13-year-old boy and other youths, igniting unruly protests after video of the fight surfaced and two boys were arrested. No one was hurt during the struggle, but hundreds of people marched through suburban Anaheim streets late Wednesday, some blocking traffic and carrying signs that said "no shooting zone." Police arrested two dozen people, including children, after the crowd ignored orders to disperse. The fight Tuesday between the off-duty Los Angeles police officer and the group of kids stemmed from ongoing issues with teens walking across the man's property in Anaheim, said Anaheim Police Chief Raul Quezada.