BEIJING — Animal rights groups on Saturday cheered the release of 37 spotted seal pups rescued from traffickers into the wild in northern China in a small victory for efforts to save the country's endangered species.

WOOSTER, Ohio — The grandmother of a boy who disappeared in 2011 from Illinois said she believes her grandson is still alive and hopes publicity surrounding a hoax perpetrated by an Ohio man claiming to be the 14-year-old boy will generate new leads in the search for him.

ATLANTA — Stacey Abrams stepped onto the biggest stage of her political career Tuesday and accused President Donald Trump and his fellow Republicans of abandoning working Americans and fomenting partisan and cultural discord.

Trump peppered his remarks with calls for bipartisanship, urging Washington to govern "not as two parties, but as one nation." But his message clashed with the rancorous atmosphere he has helped cultivate in the nation's capital — as well as the desire of most Democrats to block his path during his next two years in office.

WASHINGTON — House Democrats, feeling pressure to display their vision for border security, are preparing a package that would ignore President Donald Trump's demand for $5.7 billion for a wall with Mexico and would instead pay for other ideas aimed at protecting the border.

WASHINGTON — Senate leaders on Tuesday agreed to hold votes this week on dueling proposals to reopen shuttered federal agencies, forcing a political reckoning for senators grappling with the longest shutdown in U.S. history: Side with President Donald Trump or vote to temporarily end the shu…

LOS ANGELES — A federal judge appeared inclined Tuesday to toss out a lawsuit against President Donald Trump by porn actress Stormy Daniels that sought to tear up a hush-money settlement about their alleged affair.

Judges have granted the government delays after the Justice Department explained that without funding, its attorneys are barred from working on cases except in limited circumstances, including "emergencies involving the safety of human life or the protection of property."

WASHINGTON — Special counsel Robert Mueller's office on Friday issued a rare public statement disputing the accuracy of BuzzFeed News' report that said President Donald Trump's attorney told Mueller that the president directed him to lie to Congress.

The Transportation Security Administration  did not say how many of its employees have called out, but it said the call outs have had "minimal impact given that there are 51,739 employees supporting the screening process." The statement said wait times "may be affected" but so far "remain well within TSA standards."

The raises were the result of a pay freeze for top federal officials, including the vice president and cabinet secretaries, that was on the verge of expiring because of the shutdown.

In the memo, Weichert writes that, "In the current absence of Congressional guidance," OPM "believes it would be prudent for agencies to continue to pay these senior political officials at the frozen rate until appropriations legislation is enacted that would clarify the status of the freeze."

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump and Democrats are trading blame for the partial government shutdown but doing little substantive talking with each other, as the disruption in federal services and public employees' pay slogs into another weekend.

WASHINGTON — The federal government was expected to remain partially shut down past Christmas as the standoff deepened Saturday over President Donald Trump's demand for funds to build a border wall with Mexico.