Scotland's government began moves Friday to hold a new referendum on independence from the U.K. after the "Brexit" vote, saying it was forced out of the European Union against its will.
Scots voted by 62 percent to 38 percent to remain in the EU, according to Friday's results, in contrast to the overall U.K.-wide result of 52 percent to 48 percent in favor of quitting the bloc.
First Minister and Scottish National Party (SNP) leader Nicola Sturgeon said officials would plan for a "highly likely" vote on separation from the rest of the U.K.
The issue raises concerns in Washington because Scotland, which is home to 58 U.S. Trident II D-5 missiles, wants to ban nuclear weapons in on moral grounds within four years of gaining independence. This would force London to relocate the weapons to alternative bases in England or return the weapons to the U.S. at a time of heightened regional security concerns.
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The Obama administration is poised to announce it believes around 100 civilians have died in nearly 500 U.S. drone strikes since 2009, U.S. officials tell NBC News.
The number is a far lower estimate than those of three independent human rights groups that seek to track the secret operations in the Middle East, South Asia and Africa, which puts civilian casualties from drones at over 1,000.
In the latest attempt by the president to fulfill his promises to be more transparent about the controversial secret killing program, Obama is also expected to issue an executive order requiring annual disclosures of civilians killed in counter-terrorism strikes, officials say, a development first reported by the Daily Beast.
The disparity in the civilian casualty numbers, however, is likely to fuel the debate about whether U.S. officials can be trusted to grade their own work based on evidence no one else can see.
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A Republican-backed compromise amendment to prevent people on the "no fly list" from acquiring firearms survived an effort to kill the measure Thursday — but at the moment it likely lacks the votes to pass it.
The amendment, sponsored by moderate Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, would allow the Justice Department to block people on the no-fly list and one other watchlist from buying guns, but would give them an ability to appeal.
A procedural vote to table, or essentially kill, the amendment failed 46-52. Eight Republicans voted against tabling the bill. If Thursday's motion is seen as a test vote, supporters of the amendment lack a handful of votes to pass it.
"I'm very pleased with where we stand," Collins said after the vote. "Obviously I'd like to get to 60 but this was a good day."
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National Desert Storm War Memorial Association
Nearly 700,000 U.S. troops served in Operation Desert Storm, and 25 years later, plans are underway to add a memorial on Washington, D.C.'s National Mall to honor their sacrifices.
The effort to create the National Desert Storm Veterans War Memorial is gaining strength. The memorial is planned for the northwestern corner of the National Mall — steps from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial.
"We feel that it belongs here, close to the others, especially Vietnam," said Scott Stump, the CEO and president of the National Desert Storm War Memorial Association.
A teenage boy told his ex-girlfriend he would shoot up her home, school and her mother's workplace, according to D.C. police — and they say they found he had the assault rifle and ammunition to do it.
D.C. police searched the home of a 17-year-old boy last week after he sent text messages to his ex-girlfriend saying he would kill her and her family, Police Chief Cathy Lanier said Thursday.
Officers found an AK-47 and more than 180 rounds of ammunition in the teen's home in Southeast D.C., court records show.
President Barack Obama said Thursday he would veto a bill the House and Senate are preparing to fight the Zika epidemic, NBC News reports.
The House passed a measure on Wednesday to provide $1.1 billion to prepare for, study and fight the virus. The Senate is ready to take it up next week, or after the July 4 recess.
Obama asked for $1.9 billion, and the White House says the bill also carries some riders aimed at damaging family planning groups, including Planned Parenthood.
House Speaker Paul Ryan calls the measure a “responsible plan.” It unused funds set aside for territories for Obamacare and from funds allocated to fight Ebola in West Africa.
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The mysterious "zombie bee" parasite that kills honeybees has reached the southern United States after scientists confirmed a case in Virginia about an hour outside Roanoke, researchers announced this week.
The discovery suggests the phenomenon is more widespread than previously thought, although researchers still know little about how many bees it actually kills.
Flies attach themselves to the bees and inject their eggs, causing erratic "zombie-like" behavior in the bees such as flying at night and toward light. The bees often die within hours. Fly larvae burst out of their carcasses days later.
Two people have died in a wildfire that exploded in size Friday to nearly 30 square miles, consuming about 100 structures, including homes, as it tore through several rural communities in Central California, northeast of Bakersfield, authorities said.
The wildfire, called the Erskine Fire, broke out near Lake Isabella late Thursday afternoon amid heat in the 90s and single-digit humidity, climbing over at least three ridges into hillside neighborhoods, Kern County fire Capt. Tyler Townsend said. The latest measurement at midmorning Friday is more than double the previous estimate.
"The forces of nature collided with a spark," Kern County Fire Chief Brian Marshall said. "The mountainous terrain, five years of drought and wind gusts of over 20 mph all drove a fire over 11 miles in 13 hours."
There was no containment estimate Friday afternoon.
Ralph Stanley, a patriarch of Appalachian music who with his brother Carter helped expand and popularize the genre that became known as bluegrass, has died. He was 89.
Stanley died Thursday at his home in Sandy Ridge, Virginia, because of difficulties from skin cancer, publicist Kirt Webster said.
Although he influenced generations of musicians throughout his long career, Stanley brought his old-time mountain music into a new century when he was featured in the soundtrack for the popular film "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" in 2000, for which he won a Grammy.
San Diego County Animal Services
As crews work to contain the massive Border Fire burning in southeast San Diego County, countless animals left temporarily homeless are reuniting with their owners.
Over the past several days, San Diego County Animal Control workers and the San Diego Humane Society have been scooping up wayward animals, including horses, chickens, donkeys, emus, dogs, sheep and rabbits, and keeping them at makeshift shelter locations.
On Thursday, many of them went home.
Transcripts from three depositions of Donald Trump associated with two Trump University lawsuits were released into the public court record late Wednesday. Throughout the 651 pages, Trump is asked basic questions ranging from what university he attended, how he spells his name and if he owns a personal computer. The real estate magnate told questioners the shuttered for-profit school was "very important" to him, and said the man running the school called "once in a while" to discuss it and introduce educators to him. The depositions are associated with two different lawsuits being heard in San Diego federal court.
Rescuers in eastern China searched Friday for survivors of a tornado and hailstorm that killed at least 78 people as it swept over a city's outskirts, destroying buildings, smashing trees and flipping vehicles on their roofs.
The tornado hit a densely populated area of farms and factories Thursday near the city of Yancheng in Jiangsu province, about 500 miles south of Beijing.
Nearly 500 people were injured, 200 of them critically, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. Roads were blocked with trees, downed power lines and other debris.
A tie vote by the Supreme Court is keeping on hold President Barack Obama's immigration plan that sought to shield millions living in the U.S. illegally from deportation.
The justices' one-sentence opinion on Thursday effectively kills the plan for the rest of Obama's presidency. The outcome underscores that the direction of U.S. immigration policy will be determined in large part by this fall's presidential election, a campaign in which immigration already has played an outsized role.
Obama, reacting from the White House on Thursday, called the decision "heartbreaking" for millions of immigrants.
"I know a lot of people are going to disappointed today," he said.
He said the move "takes us further from the country we aspire to be" but that "sooner or later immigration reform will get done."