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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Self-described "ass-kicking, motorcycle-riding, Texas Democrat" MJ Hegar, a candidate for Texas’ deep-red 31st district, has a novel approach to environmental politics: she doesn’t care if her supporters believe in man-made climate change, but says it's hard to deny the corrupting effects of petroleum dependence on American foreign policy.

"Our dependence on foreign oil is just so damaging to our country on so many levels," Hegar told ABC News in a June interview. "I respect other people’s freedom to be discerning and to make their own decisions. But they can’t deny that the U.S. military pays the price for our dependence on foreign oil – that our diplomacy and foreign policy is complicated by our dependence."

Hegar is one of a number of progressive veterans running for Congress who have made climate change action a key part of their platforms.

"I don’t think another country, or another entity, like OPEC, should be able to have such an impact on our economy," she said.

An Air Force veteran who received a Purple Heart for wounds sustained in combat and led a 2012 fight to overturn a policy barring women from direct ground combat, Hegar is challenging Rep. John Carter, a Tea Party Republican who has held his seat for fifteen years.

She sees her military background as compatible with many traditionally progressive causes: for Hegar, a robust defense strategy includes opposing travel bans, gaining independence from foreign oil, and support for environmental legislation.

In December, issuing his first major update to U.S. National Security strategy, President Donald Trump omitted climate change from the list of recognized national security threats, reversing the Pentagon consensus to define climate change as a security risk.

Candidates across the country are pushing back on that notion, by not only stressing environmental concerns like the upsurge in natural disasters, but by describing climate change as a national security threat and foreign policy issue, as well as an arena for potential economic leadership.

Maura Sullivan, a former U.S. Marine officer in the Iraq War and Department of Veterans Affairs official in the Obama administration, is the Democratic candidate for New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District. Sullivan describes her growing worry over numerous environmental threats to national security, from displaced refugees in developing countries, to rising sea levels that could damage billions of dollars of U.S. military equipment.

"We face the potential for water shortage and famine – something we’ve seen the United States military respond to around the globe," she told ABC News. "Our ability to respond to these crises is also significantly impaired by the threat of climate change itself. We’ve got billions of dollars of coastal assets, bases, that rising sea levels threaten."

Sullivan referenced Obama-era reports by military officials and security experts that commonly described climate change as a "threat multiplier."

In 2014, for instance, the Defense Department’s Quadrennial Review cited "threat multiplier" effects, arguing that the pressures of climate change "will aggravate stressors abroad such as poverty, environmental degradation, political instability, and social tensions – conditions that can enable terrorist activity and other forms of violence."

Like Hegar, Sullivan saw the devastating effects of oil dependency firsthand during her time in the military – in particular, while serving as an operations and logistics officer in Iraq. She pointed out that over 3,000 American service members were killed in fuel supply convoys between 2003 and 2007 in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"A part of that is just purely caused by a dependence on oil. And, if we had a stored a replenishable energy source... there would simply be need for fewer convoys, and that saves thousands of American lives," Sullivan said.

In Wisconsin, Randy "Ironstache" Bryce is the candidate vying for House Speaker Paul Ryan’s old seat in the 1st Congressional District. If he wins, he would flip the southeastern district blue after two decades of conservative control. He faces Bryan Steil, an attorney and former staffer for Ryan, whose website does not include any mention of climate change.

Bryce is among the most vocal candidates in 2018 on the urgency of climate action – he has built his campaign around a 'Green New Deal' plan for environmentally sustainable jobs that pay a living wage. An army veteran, he told ABC News his time in the military convinced him that the threat of climate change extends beyond extreme weather and rising temperatures.

"As a result of being dependent on fossil fuels... we send troops to protect resources like oil," Bryce said, citing the Iraq war as an example of why the U.S. must invest in independent, renewable energy sources.

Bryce is a member of Ironworkers Local 8 Union, and has firsthand experience working in the energy industry. He argued that environmentally sustainable development is often much better for construction workers’ health and safety.

Describing his work in iron ore mining, Bryce said that after he finished each 12-hour shift, he would be "covered with red, everywhere." It took him three showers to get the red dust off his body, he said, and even then, he felt the toll the work took on his health.

"It’s just filthy. When you get done working, you’re coughing – I stopped smoking, but I felt like I smoked a carton after every shift. And that’s with the safety equipment on, too, with the respirators," he said. "When you compare that to something like putting up a wind turbine, its completely the opposite – you’re tired from the work, and sometimes dirty, but it’s a clean dirt."

In addition to creating green jobs that offer workers a higher standard of living, Bryce wants to hold polluters accountable, including by prosecuting Exxon Mobil for the negative health effects of fossil fuels on the public.

Asked why he is calling to prosecute Exxon Mobil, Bryce didn’t equivocate.

"We have records that show that they knew about the negative effects of fossil fuels on the health of the public, both long and short term, and intentionally just continued profiting off it. We need to make them accountable to the communities that have been hurt by their pipelines and pollution," he said.

Exxon Mobil did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment on Bryce's claims.

Bryce’s "Green New Deal" stimulus aims to get the U.S. entirely off fossil fuels by 2035 while creating thousands of new jobs in the renewable energy sector.

Proponents of a "Green New Deal" – which is also touted by democratic-socialist insurgent Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – say that a radical strategy for economic and environmental overhaul is the only plan commensurate with tackling the threat of climate change.

Many left-wing environmentalists argue that moderate concessions – from the straw ban to plastic bag taxes and cap-and-trade programs – are short-term remedies that don’t begin to address the scale of the crisis.

One recent study from the National Academy of Sciences, dubbed the "Hothouse Earth" report, gained attention for its grim assessment of impending catastrophe. Researchers argued that only a rapid response to climate change that includes political and economic reforms stands a chance of averting crisis.

"Incremental linear changes to the present socio-economic system are not enough to stabilize the Earth System," the researchers wrote, insisting that "widespread, rapid, and fundamental transformations" in political economy are necessary to stave off disastrous outcomes.

Amy McGrath in Kentucky and Mikie Sherrill in New Jersey are two more Air Force veterans running for Congress pitching climate change as a key plank in their national security platforms.

On her campaign website, Sherrill denounces the "false choice between creating jobs, fighting climate change, and keeping our air and water clean," framing environmental concerns instead as an "economic and national security issue" that will particularly impact citizens of New Jersey, who live along 130 miles of coastline.

Meanwhile, in Kentucky – a state with an economy fueled by the coal industry - McGrath does not mince words in her description of environmental threats.

"A changing climate has had and will continue to have hugely disruptive effects not only on the environment, but also on migration patterns, economies, disease vectors, and political unrest around the world," her climate change platform reads. "In the 20th century, we fought wars over values or economic conflicts; in the 21st century, it will be over food, water and resources."

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ABC News (CHICAGO) -- Sister Mary Jo Sobieck isn't on the Chicago White Sox roster, but it sure looks like they could use her.

The nun at Marian Catholic High School took the mound for the ceremonial first pitch ahead of the team's game Saturday against the Kansas City Royals.

Sobieck, who was celebrating her school’s “Night with the White Sox” at Chicago’s Guaranteed Rate Field, confidently strolled to the mound wearing a traditional habit and donning a white Marian Catholic High School jersey.

Sobieck, wearing No. 60, was so confident in her skills that she gave the fans and players a treat -- by doing an arm-bounce trick before the pitch.

And that's when the righty hurler fired off a perfect strike to the plate.

“That was awesome,” White Sox pitcher Lucas Giolito, who was on the receiving end of the strike, told MLB.com after the game. “She had a whole routine. She had it planned out. I was just lucky to be back there. She threw a perfect pitch.”

The White Sox tweeted: "One of the most impressive first pitches of all time."

After leaving the mound and shaking Giolito's hand, Sobieck took in the cheers and pointed to the stands.

Her performance left people wondering whether she had previous experience with the sport.

“She was pretty good, actually,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria told MLB.com. "I'm like, 'Wait a minute.' He (Giolito) threw it back to her and she fielded it barehanded.

Sobie comes from a large athletic family, according to an article published in 2008 by The Times of Northwest Indiana. She played both volleyball and softball while attending The College of St. Scholastica in Minnesota after her graduation from Cathedral High School in 1987.

The White Sox -- who played the rest of the game without Sobieck -- lost to the Royals, 3-1.

After the game, Renteria joked about adding the nun to the team.

"I was like, 'OK, she looks like she can play a little bit,' so we started talking to her," he said. ""I think she said, 'I played center and short.'

"I said to her, 'Can you play for us?'" he continued. "She said, 'Sure.'"

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Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- National Security Adviser John Bolton said Russia is only one of four countries that could potentially try to interfere in the 2018 U.S. midterm elections.

In an exclusive interview Sunday morning, Bolton told ABC News Chief Global Affairs Correspondent and This Week Co-Anchor Martha Raddatz that the U.S. is also concerned about possible election meddling by China, North Korea and Iran.

“I can say definitively that it's a sufficient national security concern about Chinese meddling, Iranian meddling and North Korean meddling that we're taking steps to try to prevent it, so it's all four of those countries, really,” Bolton said.

Raddatz pressed, “But have you seen anything in the past specifically to China?”

Bolton said he wasn't going to discuss "what I've seen or haven't seen." He added, "But I'm telling you, looking at the 2018 election, those are the four countries that we're most concerned about.”

On Saturday, President Trump suggested in a tweet that investigators should expand the scope of election meddling beyond Russia, writing, “All of the fools that are so focused on looking only at Russia should start also looking in another direction, China.”

Raddatz spoke with Bolton in Jerusalem at the King David Hotel on the first leg of his foreign trip. He is also set to meet with his Russian counterpart next week in Geneva, a follow-up to the July 16 summit between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.

President Trump came under harsh and widespread criticism for a comment at a news conference with Putin in Helsinki when he appeared to accept the Russian leader's denial of meddling in U.S. elections despite American intelligence agencies' having concluded the opposite.

"I have President Putin. He just said it's not Russia," Trump said. "I will say this: I don't see any reason why it would be."

He added, “So I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.”

Trump has also said previously that "it could be other people also" besides Russia behind the U.S. election meddling in 2016.

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iStock/Thinkstock(SACRAMENTO) -- A teenager who was stopped by Sacramento police for not having a light on his bicycle ended up being hit by a cop car going 27 mph in dramatic video released by the department on Friday.

The incident, which has already prompted the department to promise to improve its training, is earning more criticism for a department under fire for the shooting death of Stephon Clark earlier this year.

The collision happened on July 22 when the 16-year-old was pulled over by an officer while riding his bike because he did not have a light on it. It happened at about 10 p.m. in the city's Del Paso Heights neighborhood in northeast Sacramento.

The video showed the officer engaging in conversation with the teen before he took off running. The officer who was speaking to the cyclist chased him on foot, according to police, while a second police SUV was called to assist in the pursuit.

In the video, the officer driving the SUV was seen turning left suddenly -- as the teen is running down the sidewalk -- and slamming into him at 27 mph, according to the preliminary information on the dash cam released by the Sacramento Police Department. The video showed the teen being tossed into the air by the impact.

The police officer immediately exited the vehicle and handcuffed the teenager, who can be heard swearing and then shouting repeatedly, "I'm sorry."

The suspect suffered only minor injuries in the collision.

"Clearly, this collision could have been tragic," Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn said in a statement. "I am grateful the young man was not more seriously injured and that no one else was injured. Our training is designed to prevent this sort of thing from happening. We are going to make sure our training -- and the officer's adherence to that training -- is as solid as it can be."

The police department blamed the accident on understeer, using a diagram to show how the vehicle did not turn as the officer intended and instead slammed into the fleeing teenager.

“This is something that, you know what I mean, shouldn’t have took place,” Lavar Washington, a family member of the injured teenager who also witnessed the collision, told Sacramento ABC affiliate KXTV.

It took 10 minutes for the ambulance to arrive to treat him, with Sacramento Police Department Detective James Allen saying, "There was a short delay in the response in the medical aid due to the officers having to facilitate the safe ingress of medical personnel and the egress with the suspect. This delay was due to officers having to maintain scene security due to a large crowd that had gathered."

Bystanders in the neighborhood can almost immediately be seen and heard shouting at the officers and yelling, "Why did you hit him?" In body camera footage, someone can be heard shouting, "Now I see why y'all get killed."

The teenager was given a citation for resisting arrest once released from the hospital two hours after the accident, police said.

"Ultimately, the investigation has shown that the collision was unintended," Allen said in video released by the department. "Due to the speed that the turn was initiated at, the officer lost control of the patrol vehicle and began to understeer. The officer did not regain control of the vehicle until moments before, or at the time the patrol vehicle came to a stop after the collision had already occurred."

Police relations with the community in Sacramento are especially poor after the police shooting of Clark, who was killed on March 18 in his grandmother's backyard after police said they believed his cellphone was a gun. The death triggered widespread protests in the city and even the delay of a Sacramento Kings NBA game after protesters blocked entrances. Protesters also gathered 100,000 signatures, which they submitted to the Sacramento District Attorney's Office calling for the officers to be criminally charged.

The Sacramento County coroner's office determined Clark was struck seven times, while a private autopsy requested by the family said he was struck eight times.

The two police officers have not been charged and returned to work on April 20.

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Prodip Guha/Hindustan Times via Getty Images(MUMBAI) -- Quantico star Priyanka Chopra and pop star Nick Jonas are finally Instagram official: The couple confirmed their rumored engagement with a posting on Chopra's social media.

"The only way to do this... with Family and God. Thank you all for your wishes and blessings," Chopra, 36, wrote, captioning a photo of herself and Nick, 25.  She's wearing a traditional Indian outfit, but is sporting a large diamond ring on her finger.  The couple is shown standing in front of a hedge decorated with the intertwined initials "N" and "P."

She also posted a photo of herself looking adoringly into Jonas' eyes, with her ring prominently displayed. "Taken.. With all my heart and soul," reads the caption.  The singer posted the same photo with the caption, "Future Mrs. Jonas. My heart. My love."

People magazine reports that the couple celebrated their engagement with a party in Mumbai, India, attended by both their families.  Chopra shared a gallery of photos from the party, known as a roka ceremony, including a photo of Jonas' parents posing with Chopra's mom and brother.

In one photo, which People says was taken during a Hindu prayer ceremony known as a "pruja," the couple is shown wearing traditional Indian garb.

A friend of Priyanka's, Anusha Dandekar, posted a photo of herself posing with couple.  She wrote, "I always knew one thing was certain, she deserved true love. Then her Prince came along for real... not to rescue her because god knows she does that all on her own and HOW! But someone to love her the way she loves, laugh with her endlessly, keep it [100] & live the happily ever after that everyone who wants to love and be loved deserve."

She added, "I am beyond happy for you @priyankachopra @nickjonas you make love look so easy, beautiful & special... Congratulations."

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iStock/Thinkstock(ORANGE COUNTY, Calif.) -- Residents of several Orange County, California cities are complaining about a strange, mysterious odor in the air -- and local municipal agencies seem to be pointing fingers at each other as to the cause of the bad smell.

The odor is affecting cities like Orange, Anaheim Hills, Costa Mesa, Newport Beach and Huntington Beach, according to Patrick Chandler, spokesperson for the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

Orange County Fire Authority Chief Tony Bommarito told ABC News that the odor "appears to be vector control spray for mosquitoes.”

But a spokesperson for the Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District subsequently denied this claim, insisting that “the spray is odorless.”

Residents are reporting smells similar to petroleum, paint thinner or butane in the air.

The ongoing investigation is now being handled by South Coast Air Quality Management, officials said.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- CEOs at the 350 largest U.S. companies received 312 times as much in compensation as typical employees in 2017, according to a study released Thursday.

The average chief executive received $18.9 million last year, a 17.6 percent increase from 2016, as the wages of a typical worker rose just 0.3 percent, according to research by the Economic Policy Institute, a Washington-based think tank.

The highest CEO-to-worker pay ratio ever recorded is 344-to-1, in 2000.

In 1965, it was 20-to-1.

In 1989, it was 58-to-1.

Last year, it was 270-to-1.

"CEO compensation has grown far faster than stock prices or corporate profits," EPI said in an online summary of the findings. "CEO compensation rose by 979 percent [based on stock options granted] or 1,070 percent [based on stock options realized] between 1978 and 2017."

"CEO pay continues to be very, very high and has grown far faster in recent decades than typical worker pay," the summary continued. "Higher CEO pay does not reflect correspondingly higher output or better firm performance. Exorbitant CEO pay therefore means that the fruits of economic growth are not going to ordinary workers."

The median household income in the U.S. in 2016 was about $59,000, according to a U.S. Census report released last year.

EPI, according to its website, is "an independent, nonprofit think tank that researches the impact of economic trends and policies on working people in the United States."

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