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In the aftermath of Michael Brown's death, legal activists suggested that some of the raw anger that erupted in suburban St. Louis had its roots in an unlikely place — traffic court.
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Court documents: Suspect destroyed kidnap evidence

By Holly Ramer, Associated Press  |  posted 26 minutes ago
Courts documents say the New Hampshire man charged with kidnapping, imprisoning and sexually assaulting a teenage girl over nine months ordered his captive to lie to police and help him destroy evidence.
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Marathon bombing suspect due in court Thursday

By Denise Lavoie, Associated Press  |  posted 47 minutes ago
Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has not been seen in public since he was arraigned on 30 federal charges in July 2013, when he still bore signs of the bloody standoff with police that led to his capture and the death of his older brother, Tamerlan.
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Charlie Brown and a city's ugly Christmas tree

By Michael Rubinkam, Associated Press  |  posted Dec 17th - 11:13pm
Reading's official Christmas tree has brought the city plenty of grief. Good grief.
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US, Cuba patch torn relations in historic accord

By Julie Pace and Matthew Lee, Associated Press  |  posted Dec 17th - 10:42pm
After a half-century of Cold War acrimony, the United States and Cuba moved on Wednesday to restore diplomatic relations — a historic shift that could revitalize the flow of money and people across the narrow waters that separate the two nations.
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Testimony: No warrant for FBI ruse in Vegas case

By Ken Ritter, Associated Press  |  posted Dec 17th - 9:11pm
A Nevada casino regulator told a federal judge Wednesday that he and FBI agents briefed an assistant U.S. attorney but not a judge before posing as Internet repairmen to enter high-roller suites at Caesars Palace and collect evidence for a warrant in what they believed was an illegal online sports gambling operation.
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California gets more rain, 1 big mudslide

By Christopher Weber, Associated Press  |  posted Dec 17th - 9:01pm
The latest in a string of storms noisily marched across Southern California on Wednesday, hurling lightning bolts, coating mountains with snow and unleashing downpours that triggered a freeway-blocking mudslide before mostly moving on.
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Castro survived odd, often inept, US schemes

By Jack Gillum and Desmond Butler, Associated Press  |  posted Dec 17th - 8:51pm
For over half a century, the U.S. government's schemes to overthrow the Castro government were, if not successful, always creative: the poisonous cigars, the exploding seashell, the secret Twitter-like service in Cuba.
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Prosecutor to mom: Bring daughter out of hiding

The Associated Press  |  posted 17 minutes ago
Mary Nunes was a child when her mother fled with her to Central America in a custody dispute 10 years ago.
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Competency hearings set in Slender Man stabbing

The Associated Press  |  posted 18 minutes ago
Two Wisconsin girls accused of trying to kill a classmate to please the fictional character Slender Man will go before a judge considering their competency to stand trial.
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Lab tests: pesticide killed Portland crows

The Associated Press  |  posted 18 minutes ago
A wildlife official says tests have confirmed that a pesticide killed more than two dozen crows found in downtown Portland, but investigators still can't say whether the birds were poisoned intentionally.
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Hearing set for suspect in Jewish site shootings

The Associated Press  |  posted 27 minutes ago
A white supremacist who admits killing three people outside two suburban Kansas City Jewish sites is set to appear in court for a hearing on whether he's mentally competent to stand trial.
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Executions, new death sentences continue to fall

By Mark Sherman, Associated Press  |  posted 46 minutes ago
Executions and new death sentences dropped to their lowest numbers in decades in 2014, an anti-death penalty group said in a new report.
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Marshall University President Stephen Kopp dies

The Associated Press  |  posted 47 minutes ago
Stephen J. Kopp, who oversaw $200 million in new buildings and renovations over nearly a decade as president of Marshall University, has died.
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1 dead after car hits as many as 12 pedestrians

The Associated Press  |  posted 47 minutes ago
Police say one person is dead and as many as 12 may be injured after a woman drove into a group of pedestrians outside a Southern California church where a Christmas performance had just ended.
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US man convicted in German student's death

By Lisa Baumann, Associated Press  |  posted Dec 17th - 10:52pm
A man who shot and killed a German exchange student caught trespassing in his garage was convicted of deliberate homicide in a case that attracted attention as a test of "stand your ground" laws in the U.S. that govern the use of deadly force against attackers.
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Things to know about Montana exchange student killing

By The Associated Press  |  posted Dec 17th - 10:41pm
Markus Kaarma, a 30-year-old Montana man, was convicted of deliberate homicide for shooting Diren Dede, a 17-year-old German exchange student caught trespassing in his garage. Kaarma's attorneys unsuccessfully argued his actions were justified by a state law allowing the use of deadly force if a person reasonably fears for his or her safety or their property. Some key legal issues raised by the case:
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AP IMPACT: Abused kids die as authorities fail to protect

By Holbrook Mohr and Garance Burke, Associated Press  |  posted Dec 17th - 10:31pm
An Associated Press investigation has found that at least 786 children died of abuse or neglect in the U.S. in a six-year span while in plain view of child protection officials.
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AP investigation finds that 786 children died in plain view of abuse-and-neglect authorities

The Associated Press  |  posted Dec 17th - 10:21pm
AP investigation finds that 786 children died in plain view of abuse-and-neglect authorities.
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Ferry crew, nurse provide CPR in heart attack

The Associated Press  |  posted Dec 17th - 9:50pm
Authorities say a well-trained Washington State Ferries crew and a registered nurse who happened to be nearby swung into action and provided CPR to an 80-year-old man who had an apparent heart attack as he walked onto a state ferry.
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Missouri school takes cane from blind student, 8

The Associated Press  |  posted Dec 17th - 9:30pm
A Missouri school district has apologized to the family of a blind student whose cane was replaced with a swimming pool noodle after he allegedly misbehaved on the bus.
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AP source: US probe links NKorea to Sony hacking

The Associated Press  |  posted Dec 17th - 8:51pm
It's not clear how the federal government will respond, but a U.S. official says federal investigators have established a link between the hacking of Sony Pictures Entertainment to North Korea.
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EPA begins Oshkosh ricin decontamination

The Associated Press  |  posted Dec 17th - 7:41pm
Federal authorities have begun cleaning up contamination at the home of a University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh student accused of making ricin.
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