National

U.S. Senate votes overwhelmingly to renew farm programs

WASHINGTON — The Senate voted overwhelmingly Tuesday for a sweeping agriculture bill that will fund key farm safety net programs for the next five years without making significant changes to the food stamp program. The vote was 87-13. The House is expected to pass the measure soon and send ...

U.S. Supreme Court won’t hear Kansas’ appeal in Planned Parenthood case

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday avoided a high-profile case by rejecting appeals from Kansas and Louisiana in their effort to strip Medicaid money from Planned Parenthood, over the dissenting votes of three justices. The court's order reflected a split among its conservative ...

Kobach says he worries voter fraud occurred in North Carolina race

WASHINGTON — Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach worries fraud might have tainted a North Carolina congressional race that a fellow Republican appeared to have narrowly won. The Washington Post reports that Kobach said during an interview that his concerns are "based on what I have read" ...

In Kansas City, Trump demands border wall money as shutdown showdown nears

KANSAS CITY, MO. — President Donald Trump said Friday that Congress should provide all the money he wants for his promised U.S.-Mexico border wall, and he called illegal immigration a "threat to the well-being of every American community." Trump spoke hours after signing a short-term ...

Dole’s salute stands out amid funeral events for former president Bush

WASHINGTON — A salute by former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole at the casket of late President George H.W. Bush stood out among a host of tributes leading up to a state funeral Wednesday. As long lines wound through the hushed Capitol Rotunda on Tuesday, Dole was helped out of his wheelchair by an ...

Top doctor-recommended toys for kids? Empty boxes

Skip the costly electronic games and flashy digital gizmos. Pediatricians say the best toys for tots are old-fashioned hands-on playthings that young children can enjoy with parents — things like blocks, puzzles, even throwaway cardboard boxes — that spark imagination and creativity. “A ...

Suicide, at 50-year peak, pushes down U.S. life expectancy

New York — Suicides and drug overdoses pushed up U.S. deaths last year, and drove a continuing decline in how long Americans are expected to live. Overall, there were more than 2.8 million U.S. deaths in 2017, or nearly 70,000 more than the previous year, the Centers for Disease Control and ...

Former President George H.W. Bush dies at 94

HOUSTON — George H.W. Bush, a patrician New Englander whose presidency soared with the coalition victory over Iraq in Kuwait, but then plummeted in the throes of a weak economy that led voters to turn him out of office after a single term, has died. He was 94. The World War II hero, who also ...

U.S. officials: It’s OK to eat some romaine; look for labels

New York — It’s OK to eat some romaine lettuce again, U.S. health officials said. Just check the label. The Food and Drug Administration narrowed its blanket warning from last week, when it said people shouldn’t eat any romaine because of an E. coli outbreak. The agency said Monday the ...

U.S. health officials warn against eating romaine lettuce

NEW YORK — Health officials in the U.S. and Canada told people on Tuesday to stop eating romaine lettuce because of a new E. coli outbreak. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it is working with officials in Canada on the outbreak, which has sickened 32 people in 11 states and 18 ...

FBI report shows 17 percent spike in hate crimes in 2017

NEW YORK — Hate crimes across the United States spiked 17 percent in 2017 — marking a rise for the third straight year — with a 37 percent increase in anti-Semitic hate crimes, according to an FBI report released Tuesday. There were 7,175 reported hate crimes last year, up from 6,121 in ...

New exercise guidelines: Move more, sit less, start younger

CHICAGO — Move more, sit less and get kids active as young as age 3, say new federal guidelines that stress that any amount and any type of exercise helps health. The advice is the first update since the government's physical activity guidelines came out a decade ago. Since then, the list of ...

Democrats assessing what happened in 2nd District campaign

TOPEKA — Going into the 2018 elections, Democrat Paul Davis looked like he had a clear advantage in the race for Kansas' 2nd District congressional seat. He was a well-known candidate who had carried the district in his unsuccessful bid for governor in 2014. And he was running in a year that ...

Trump administration finalizes birth-control opt out

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is finalizing an exemption that allows some employers with religious or moral objections to opt out of providing no-cost birth control for women workers. The new regulations were announced Wednesday, a day after Republicans retained their Senate ...

Trump forces out Sessions as attorney general after year of attacks

WASHINGTON — Attorney General Jeff Sessions was pushed out Wednesday as the country's chief law enforcement officer after enduring more than a year of blistering and personal attacks from President Donald Trump over his recusal from the Russia investigation. Trump announced in a tweet that ...

Political novice Steve Watkins wins 2nd District race over Paul Davis

TOPEKA – Republican political newcomer Steve Watkins declared victory in the 2nd District congressional race Tuesday night, preventing what was otherwise considered a “blue wave” in U.S. House races from reaching fully into eastern Kansas. With all but four precincts reporting in the ...

Democrats on track to take control of U.S. House, but Republicans retain Senate

WASHINGTON — Democrats were on track to gain House control Tuesday night, but Republicans held their Senate majority as voters rendered a mixed verdict in the first nationwide election of Donald Trump's turbulent presidency. The Democrats picked up the 23 seats they would need to take from ...

Candidates remain hopeful as voting begins in Kansas

TOPEKA - Candidates in two close races on Tuesday's ballot expressed cautious optimism as they went into the polls to cast their own ballots. Laura Kelly, the Democratic candidate for governor, cast her vote in central Topeka around 9 a.m., while Steve Watkins, the Republican candidate in the ...