Obama avoids pipeline comment but urges tribal sovereignty

U.S. President Obama holds a baby as he poses with children at Cannon Ball Flag Day Celebration in Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North DakotaBy Valerie Volcovici and Julia Harte WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday avoided direct mention of a pipeline that has provoked high-profile protests from Native Americans but urged tribal leaders to use the spotlight to continue pushing for recognition even after he leaves office. Obama spoke at his eighth and final Tribal Nations Conference, which he created during his first year in office. Leaders of more than 560 Native American tribes gathered for the Washington event as one of the largest Native American protests in decades continues in North Dakota.

Judge orders girls' bathroom access for transgender student
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A federal judge has rejected an Ohio school district's challenge to Democratic President Barack Obama's rule on transgender bathrooms.

Mother sues U.S. hospital for discriminating against dead transgender son
The mother of a transgender boy filed a lawsuit against a U.S. hospital on Monday claiming its medical staff repeatedly addressed her son - who later committed suicide - as a girl. In the landmark case, Katharine Prescott argues the Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego (RCHSD) in California discriminated against her transgender son based on his sex. The 14-year-old transgender boy, Kyler Prescott, committed suicide about five weeks after staying at the hospital in 2015 where he was treated for having suicidal thoughts and self-inflicted wounds.

Pentagon chief calls Russia out over 'nuclear saber-rattling'

US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter expresses concern over Russia's atomic weapon system and the emerging nuclear threat that is North KoreaRussia could be more willing to deploy nuclear weapons today than the Soviet Union ever was during the Cold War, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter warned Monday. Speaking at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota near the Canadian border, he accused Moscow of "nuclear saber-rattling," expressing concerns over Russia's push to overhaul its atomic weapons systems. It "raises serious questions about its leaders' commitment to strategic stability, their regard for long-established accords against using nuclear weapons, and whether they respect the profound caution that Cold War-era leaders showed with respect to brandishing nuclear weapons," Carter told troops.

Presidential candidates neck and neck as they go toe-to-toe

Trump holds a rally with supporters in Roanoke, Virginia, U.S.By John Whitesides and Steve Holland HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (Reuters) - Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump will seek to win over undecided voters on Monday in their first, high-stakes presidential debate, which could rank as one of the most watched and highly anticipated political showdowns in U.S. history. The tight race for the White House and the unpredictable clash in styles between two well-known but polarizing opponents has generated wide interest in the potentially pivotal debate, which comes six weeks before the Nov. 8 election after a campaign that has stretched over more than a year. The gap between the two candidates in recent national opinion polls has narrowed in the past week, with the latest Reuters/Ipsos polling showing Clinton ahead by 4 percentage points, with 41 percent of likely voters.

Obama says US making progress on Native American issues

President Barack Obama wears a ceremonial blanket and hat given to him during the 2016 White House Tribal Nations Conference, Monday, Sept. 26, 2016, at the Mellon Auditorium in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. has made significant progress improving conditions for Native Americans but has more work to do, President Barack Obama said Monday at the White House Tribal Nations Conference.

US hits Chinese firm with sanctions over N. Korea trade

Dandong Hongxiang did more than $530 million worth of trade with North Korea between 2011 and 2015, according to a report by the Asian Institute for Policy Studies in Seoul and C4ADS in WashingtonThe United States moved to tighten the economic noose around North Korea Monday, charging and sanctioning a firm owned by a prominent Chinese businesswoman for extensive trade ties with the regime. In a move designed to choke-off North Korea's external economic lifeline, the US government targeted 44-year-old Ma Xiaohong and her vast conglomerate based in China's frontier city of Dandong. The firm, Dandong Hongxiang, and a host of officials are accused of making up a "key illicit network supporting North Korea's weapons proliferation," according to Treasury sanctions tsar Adam Szubin.

The Latest: McCarthy says as Trump improves, so does GOP

FILE - In this Sept. 16, 2016 file photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Miami. The 2016 campaign for president reaches what may be a decisive milestone: the first debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. This is an analytical reader that should largely stand until mid-afternoon, with updates on merits in the event of breaking news. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the U.S. presidential race ahead of the first debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Monday at Hofstra University (all times EDT):

Mexicans prefer Clinton to Donald Trump, poll shows

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton boards her campaign plane at the Westchester County airport in White Plains, New YorkThe poll, conducted by Consulta Mitofsky and released last week, showed that 2.9 percent of Mexicans have a favorable opinion of Trump, compared to 30.4 percent for Clinton. The poll comes almost a month after a meeting between Trump and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto in Mexico City sparked outrage across the country and led to the resignation of Luis Videgaray as finance minister.

Who can inspire civility in the presidential campaign?
With the start of the presidential debates between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, voters will now take a closer measure of the candidates with one important yardstick: their degree of civility toward each other. Last Saturday, for example, President Obama and former President George W. Bush opened the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington. Mr. Bush helped launch the project and Mr. Obama, as the first black president, had the honor to see it finished.

U.S. sanctions Chinese firm tied to North Korea's nuclear program

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meets scientists and technicians in the field of research into nuclear weaponsBy David Brunnstrom WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States said on Monday it had sanctioned a Chinese industrial machinery and equipment wholesaler, a new step in tightening the financial noose around North Korea's nuclear program after its fifth nuclear test this month. The U.S. Treasury said it was sanctioning Dandong Hongxiang Industrial Development Co (DHID) and four of its executives, including the firm's founder Ma Xiaohong, under U.S. regulations targeting proliferators of weapons of mass destruction. It accused the firm of acting on behalf of North Korea's Korea Kwangson Banking Corp (KKBC), which has been under U.S. and U.N. sanctions for supporting proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Senate sets Wednesday vote on Obama veto of Saudi September 11 bill

United States senator Mitch McConnell prepares to speak at the Republican Convention in ClevelandThe U.S. Senate will vote on Wednesday on whether to override President Barack Obama's veto of a bill allowing relatives of victims in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks to sue Saudi Arabia. The vote, which Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell set as the chamber reconvened on Monday, would be the first action in an attempt by lawmakers to override Obama's Sept. 23 veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act. A successful override requires support from two-thirds of lawmakers in both the Senate and House of Representatives, which are controlled by Republicans.

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