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Inside Daily Brief (Nov 14th, 2017)

Police say a gunman killed five people and wounded multiple others, including at least two elementary school students, in a small town in northern California on Tuesday. The gunman, whose name is not yet released, was killed by officers after engaging in a shooting spree in Rancho Tehama Reserve, about 130 miles northwest of Sacramento. "A number of students" were evacuated from Rancho Tehama Elementary School, an assistant sheriff said. The Los Angeles Times reports that the shooter "appeared to pick targets at random" after what may have started out as a domestic violence incident. At least five crime scenes are involved. This story is developing. - SACBEE

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions denied lying under oath when he said he wasn't aware of any contact between President Trump’s campaign and Russia. In a hearing on Tuesday before the House Judiciary Committee, Sessions said he “always told the truth” about his knowledge of communications, despite court documents showing that Sessions oversaw a 2016 meeting in which campaign aide George Papadopoulos proposed a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Sessions said he remembered rejecting the idea of a Trump-Putin meeting, but also said he "had no recollection of this meeting" until he saw news reports. "I do now recall the March 2016 meeting that Mr. Papadopoulos attended, but I have no clear recollection of the details of what he said during that meeting," he said. - NYT

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Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said allegations of sexual misconduct against Roy Moore are "credible" and the Senate candidate should "step aside." Ryan joins Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and many other Republican lawmakers in asking Moore, 70, to end his run for the Alabama Senate seat in the December election. If Moore "cares about the values and the people he claims to care about, then he should step aside," Ryan said. Attorney General Jeff Sessions told the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday that, "I have no reason to doubt these young women." Five women have now accused Moore of pursuing them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s. Moore denied the latest allegations on Monday, saying "I never did what she said I did. I don't even know the woman." - NPR

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A report found that 18 nations experienced election interference last year similar to the Russian social-media campaign in the United States. The 2017 Freedom on the Net report, released on Tuesday, found that global press freedoms sank for a seventh consecutive year. Freedom House, an independent watchdog group, examined how governments, automated bots and paid commentators influenced online discussions in 65 nations, which make up nearly 90 percent of the global population with Internet access. In 30 countries, governments were found to use armies of "opinion shapers" to influence elections, the report found. While some governments, such as Russia, attempted to disseminate their interests abroad, "in most cases they used these methods inside their own borders to maintain their hold on power," Freedom House said. - THEHILL

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Three UCLA basketball players detained in China for alleged shoplifting are on their way back to the United States. Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said on Tuesday that “the matter has been resolved to the satisfaction of the Chinese authorities.” LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley were accused of shoplifting sunglasses at a Louis Vuitton store near their hotel in Hangzhou last week. Chinese police arrested and questioned the three, who were released on bail and returned to their hotel during the investigation. While wrapping up a 12-day tour of Asia this week, President Trump said he spoke with China's president, Xi Jinping, about their release. Trump said Xi "been terrific on that subject” and he was hopeful for the players' return. They are due back in Los Angeles shortly after 5 p.m. PST. - LATIMES

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Colorado will be the testing ground for a hyperloop-inspired system that could transport cars at speeds of up to 200 mph. The state's Department of Transportation and a highway authority partnered with Los Angeles-based Arrivo to start planning the tube network in the Denver area. A feasibility study for the project is due out next year. If the plans work out, construction on the first segment could begin as early as 2019 near the E-470 Toll Highway. Officials forecasted that the tubes of high-speed trays to transport vehicles could dramatically cut down on commute times. A drive from downtown Denver to the airport, which takes slightly over an hour, would take only 9 minutes under Arrivo's system. - AP

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The Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning against kratom, an herbal supplement. Regulators know of at least 36 deaths connected to products containing the plant, which can produce opium-like symptoms. Kratom has been found to ease the effects of opioid withdrawal, according to USA Today. Supplements containing the plant, native to Southeast Asia, can have addictive properties and pose risks for abuse and even death. "We've learned a tragic lesson from the opioid crisis: that we must pay early attention to the potential for new products to cause addiction and we must take strong, decisive measures to intervene," FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement. - CNN

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Local officials rescued six out of 10 whales that became stranded on the beach in Indonesia’s northern Aceh province. The beached whales were found early Monday at Ujung Kareng Beach, west of Malaysia. Rescuers worked past midnight to save the mammals using boats, tarpaulins and nets, the New York Times reports. Seven of the sperm whales were saved; three died at the beach. One whale that was initially rescued returned and later died. WWF Indonesia is investigating how the animals became stranded. Autopsies will be performed. - CNN

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A man who was shot and killed in a Tampa neighborhood is believed to be the fourth victim of a serial killer in the area, police said. A spokesman said police will treat the shooting of Ronald Felton, 60, as linked to the three deaths that occurred in the Seminole Heights neighborhood in October. Felton was shot in the back early Tuesday as he walked to a church to feed the homeless. “This has got to stop," Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said on Tuesday. "We will hunt this person down until we find them." Buckhorn told the network HLN that the murders have all occurred in a "10-block, 15-block area." A witness provided a description of a suspect. Police described him as a "black male between 6 feet and 6 feet 2 inches with a thin build and a light complexion," CNN reports. Police believe the killer lives in the area. - WAPO

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Actor Bryan Cranston said that Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey could redeem themselves after sexual abuse allegations, but "it would take time." In an interview with the BBC, the "Breaking Bad" star said that "It would take a society to forgive them. And it would take tremendous contrition on their part. And a knowingness that they have a deeply-rooted, psychological, emotional problem that takes years to mend." Cranston also denied that sexual abuse and predatory actions are only a Hollywood problem. "It's a societal problem and we're seeing that everywhere," he said. The Emmy winner lauded the recent efforts to expose abusive behavior and sexual harassment. "Young men and women should not have to tolerate being mistreated," he said. We're an enlightened society. Enough already." - USAT

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