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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A former agent with the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department has pleaded guilty to extortion charges. Federal prosecutors announced Larry Mendoza's plea on Friday. He could face up to 20 years in prison and a fine not to exceed $250,000. Sentencing has yet to be scheduled. He was accused earlier this year of abusing his position to extort $2,500 from a business owner in return for reducing the owner's tax liability.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Democratic gubernatorial candidate Michelle Lujan Grisham says Democratic Sen. Michael Padilla should end his bid for lieutenant governor over claims he harassed women as a city of Albuquerque supervisor. Padilla has long denied the claims from 2007, but Lujan Grisham said Friday that he was wrong and "there is no room for excuses" for the alleged abuse. Two federal lawsuits say Padilla harassed women while managing the Albuquerque's 311 Call Center.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Two suspects in a stolen vehicle have been killed after a pursuit by deputies in Albuquerque. Bernalillo County Sheriff Manuel Gonzales said at a news conference Friday morning that the incident began shortly before 4 a.m. A sheriff's office helicopter located a pick-up truck that had been reported stolen. According to Gonzales, the truck began driving erratically and was stopped near Coors and Glen Rio NW. He says at that point the deputies felt threatened and at least one shot was fired. Authorities pronounced two people in the truck dead.

Drilling rules still up for debate in New Mexico county

14 hours ago

BERNALILLO, N.M. (AP) — Frustrated tribal leaders won a temporary victory early Friday at a marathon meeting on a much-disputed energy development proposal for a large swath of land bordering New Mexico's largest metropolitan area and numerous Native American communities. Sandoval County commissioners heard hours of public testimony that stretched passed midnight before adopting amendments. The changes mean the commission will have to consider the new version at a future meeting. Some critics held protest signs and others raised their fists as a show of solidarity.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A judge presiding over federally-mandated reforms of the Albuquerque police force is taking the city to task for trying to disqualify an independent monitor. U.S. District Judge Robert Brack Thursday denied a motion Thursday in which the city questioned monitor James Ginger's objectivity. The motion cited comments Ginger made in 2016 that were caught on a police body camera and a remark from his staff that he "has an ax to grind." Brack says neither was evidence of bias.

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The family of a woman killed by a Silver City police captain during a violent domestic rampage is suing the town and its police department for failing to stop him from stalking. The lawsuit, which moved to U.S. District Court in Albuquerque this week, alleges that the Silver City police hired Mark Contreras despite his history of violence. After Contreras was hired, court documents say the police department did little to stop his physical abuse toward his ex-girlfriend, Nikki Bascom, and eventually promoted him to captain.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Federal water managers say good spring runoff and heavy rains in the fall helped to boost reservoir levels in New Mexico this year. The Bureau of Reclamation announced this week that the Rio Grande in 2017 marked its highest spring runoff since 2008. The Rio Chama, the largest tributary to the Rio Grande in New Mexico, had its sixth best spring runoff since 1956. Officials say the good flows allowed for the first time in four years a full allocation of water to those who depend on the San Juan-Chama project. Heron Reservoir stores water from the project.

After gunman Kevin Janson Neal killed his wife and then two neighbors Tuesday morning he headed for Rancho Tehama Elementary School, weapons in hand.

It was just before 8 a.m. when teachers heard the crackle of gunfire in the small, rural town of Rancho Tehama, in Northern California. The elementary school — with about 100 students and 9 staff — immediately went on lockdown.

Former Sicilian Mafia godfather Salvatore "Toto" Riina — who ordered the murder of Italian prosecutors and law enforcement officials who tried to bring him down — died Friday in the prison wing of a hospital in northern Italy.

Riina had reportedly been suffering from heart disease and Parkinson's. At the time of his death, a day after he turned 87, he been in a medically induced coma after two operations for cancer.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The Harvey Weinstein effect has reached Capitol Hill. Minnesota Senator Al Franken is apologizing after a woman said that he forcibly kissed her 11 years ago.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

A Saudi-led blockade of Yemen continues to exacerbate a humanitarian crisis that aid groups are calling the most severe in decades.

Ask people in Canada what they make of U.S. health care, and the answer typically falls between bewilderment and outrage.

Canada, after all, prides itself on a health system that guarantees government insurance for everyone. And many Canadians find it baffling that there's anybody in the United States who can't afford a visit to the doctor.

The law intended to shine a light on foreign entities and foreign governments working to influence policy in Washington, D.C., has been called everything from "toothless" to "a complete joke."

But Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller isn't laughing — and neither may potential violators if he decides to make it his new weapon of choice.

Raqqa, the de facto capital of the Islamic State, is taken and in ruins.

U.S. troops and civilian aid workers are in the Syrian city, helping local officials restore basic services such as food, water and electricity.

But the recapture of ISIS-held territory in Iraq and Syria is only a partial win for U.S. policy. After seven years of civil war, the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad remains in power. The other U.S. objectives — the end of the Assad regime, a new Syrian constitution and democratic elections — remain unfulfilled.

Astronomers in California are building the largest digital camera in the world. It will go on a giant telescope taking shape in Chile called the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope.

LSST is different from most large telescopes. Instead of staring at a tiny patch of the sky and taking essentially one snapshot in time, LSST will take a panorama of every part of the sky...and it will do so over and over and over. The idea is to see what's moving or changing in the heavens.

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