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Former President Obama returned to the campaign trail for the first time since leaving office Thursday campaigning for the Democratic candidates for governor in New Jersey and Virginia.

He put the Virginia race, where he was campaigning for Ralph Northam, in the starkest terms.

"We need you to take this seriously, because our democracy is at stake," Obama told a crowd of 7,500 at a packed convention center, "and it's at stake right here in Virginia."

The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein after an Italian model-actress alleged that he raped her at her hotel in 2013.

As NPR's Mandalit Del Barco reports, "A spokesman for the LAPD says the department is interviewing a 'potential victim' of sexual assault by Harvey Weinstein in 2013."

The allegations of sexual assault are the first reported in Los Angeles. Police in New York and London are investigating allegations that Weinstein sexually assaulted five women in those cities.

Another toddler has reportedly been crushed to death by an unsecured Ikea dresser, after the furniture giant recalled millions of chests and dressers over the risk of deadly tip-over accidents.

Jozef Dudek, 2, died in May, according to lawyers for his family, when he was crushed by an Ikea Malm dresser in his parents' room after he was put down for a nap.

Exposure to polluted air, water and soil caused nine million premature deaths in 2015, according to a report published Thursday in The Lancet.

The causes of death vary — cancer, lung disease, heart disease. The report links them to pollution, drawing upon previous studies that show how pollution is tied to a wider range of diseases than previously thought.

This winter is going to be a warm one for the majority of the United States, according to forecasters at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center.

They say that the La Niña weather pattern is likely to develop. That means "greater-than-average snowfall around the Great Lakes and in the northern Rockies, with less-than-average snowfall throughout the Mid-Atlantic region," Mike Halpert of the Climate Prediction Center said in a forecast Thursday.

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White House chief of staff John Kelly says he was stunned and brokenhearted hearing criticism of President Trump's calls to grieving parents this week.

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For more than a week, Marisol Paniagua has been living at an evacuation center. She had been scheduled to pick grapes at a vineyard near the city of Santa Rosa, Calif. But that work was canceled because of the wildfires ravaging Northern California.

"It's very difficult right now because we just have a little bit of gas left in our car. That's how we are still able to drive around," said Paniagua, 37. "But the fact is, we have nothing."

Typically, when law enforcement pursues a suspect who has failed to turn himself in on several outstanding warrants, it takes the dedicated effort of officers and some tips from the community to finally bring the person in.

It's fair to say what happened in Redford Township, Mich., this month was not typical: A suspect turned himself in after making — and losing — a pretty inadvisable bet with police ... involving doughnuts.

On a scale of 1 to 10, President Trump said Thursday that his administration deserves a "10" for its response to the devastation caused on Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria.

Trump spoke after his meeting in the Oval Office with the U.S. territory's governor, Ricardo Rossello, who — when asked by Trump "did we do a great job?" — said, "You responded immediately, sir."

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