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Elephants have always been part of The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, ever since showman P.T. Barnum brought Jumbo, "a massive 12-foot African elephant," to America in 1882 to star in the "Greatest Show on Earth." Whenever the circus came to town, parades of pachyderms heralded its arrival, drawing patriotic crowds that boosted sales and even attracted vote-hungry politicians. Feld Entertainment, which owns the circus, still keeps 43 elephants, 13 of which are performing. But years of pressure from activists alleging abuse have caused a "mood shift" among consumers, circus executive Alana Feld told The Associated Press, and the Feld family would rather spend money on elephant care than lawyers. The Felds say they'll phase out elephant acts by 2018 as the remaining performers retire to their 200-acre Center for Elephant Conservation in central Florida.
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California man sentenced to probation airplane groping case

The Associated Press  |  posted 16 minutes ago
A California man accused of groping and sexually propositioning a teenage girl on a flight from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City was sentenced to three years of probation Friday.
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Authorities provide security for holdout juror in Arias case

Jacques Billeaud and Terry Tang, Associated Press  |  posted 36 minutes ago
Authorities are providing security for the sole juror who voted to spare the life of convicted murderer Jodi Arias.
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Man convicted in 'American Sniper' case at intake center

The Associated Press  |  posted 56 minutes ago
A former Marine found guilty in the shooting deaths of "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle and another man is being processed at an intake center of the Texas prison system to determine where he will serve his life sentence.
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Police: Slain officer a hero in 'fierce' gunbattle with 2

Sean Carlin, Associated Press  |  posted Mar 6th - 4:32pm
A police officer who went to a video game store to buy a present for his son ended up in a fierce gunbattle with two would-be robbers, fighting to the end of his life to protect patrons and employees, a police captain said Friday.
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'Heroic' Detroit judge was wounded trying to protect family

Ed White, Associated Press  |  posted Mar 6th - 4:05pm
A federal judge who was shot in the leg acted heroically by trying to keep the assailants out of his home during an attempted robbery, a prosecutor said Friday.
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Body of Mexican man shot by police flown to Mexico, buried

Nicholas K. Geranios, Associated Press  |  posted 6 minutes ago
The body of a Mexican man shot dead by police last month has been flown to Mexico and buried in the man's home village, the Mexican Consulate in Seattle said Friday.
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AP Source: Federal charges expected against Sen. Menendez

Eric Tucker, Associated Press  |  posted 15 minutes ago
Sen. Bob Menendez, under federal investigation for his relationship with a Florida doctor and political donor, is expected to face criminal charges in the coming weeks, a person familiar with the matter said Friday.
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Massachusetts teen charged in school threat, suicide pact

The Associated Press  |  posted 16 minutes ago
Tewksbury police have arrested a local high school student in connection with social media posts that threatened school shootings and a suicide pact.
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Groups ask judge to order gay-marriage licenses in Alabama

The Associated Press  |  posted 16 minutes ago
A group of civil rights organizations filed a motion Friday asking a federal judge to order Alabama probate judges to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and to add plaintiffs to a suit challenging the state's gay-marriage ban.
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Ohio terrorism suspect says he would have shot Obama

Lisa Cornwell, Associated Press  |  posted 16 minutes ago
A man accused of plotting to attack the U.S. Capitol says in an interview that if he hadn't been arrested, he would've gone to Washington and put a gun to President Barack Obama's head.
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Data shows GOP plan trims Kansas school aid $51M this year

John Hanna, Associated Press  |  posted 36 minutes ago
Public schools in Kansas would lose $51 million of the state dollars they expected to receive before the end of June under an education funding plan from top Republican legislators, state Department of Education figures showed Friday.
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House bill would remove limitations on cancer hospital

Bill Hendrick, Associated Press  |  posted 46 minutes ago
A House bill that would remove limitations placed on a for-profit cancer hospital under a 2008 deal with Georgia lawmakers has run into stiff opposition.
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Anti-drone protesters arrested, cited at Nevada air base

Sally Ho, Associated Press  |  posted 46 minutes ago
Anti-drone protesters who said they wanted to spotlight war crimes and connect with pilots were arrested after trying to block the entrance Friday at a US Air Force base in southern Nevada.
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New Jersey man who gassed his dog to death gets probation

The Associated Press  |  posted 56 minutes ago
A New Jersey man who killed his dog with vehicle exhaust has been sentenced to probation.
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New Mexico House to take up abortion bills

Vik Jolly, Associated Press  |  posted 56 minutes ago
The New Mexico House is expected to consider two abortion bills, one banning late-term abortions and the other requiring parental notification within 48 hours when a minor is seeking to end a pregnancy.
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New Orleans School Board member indicted in a bribery scheme

Kevin McGill, Associated Press  |  posted Mar 6th - 4:31pm
A New Orleans school board member and Southern University police chief who ran unsuccessfully for sheriff in 2014, has been charged with bribery in an alleged scheme involving a school system contract, U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite said Friday.
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Bill would let terminally ill people try experimental drugs

Michelle Rindels, Associated Press  |  posted Mar 6th - 4:31pm
Terminally ill patients in Nevada could take advantage of experimental drugs that haven't finished a lengthy vetting by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration if a "right to try" bill passes the state Legislature.
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Ferguson police chief stays on the job after federal report

Jim Salter, Associated Press  |  posted Mar 6th - 4:31pm
Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson was still on the job Friday, two days after a government report blasted his beleaguered department for years of racial profiling, and the mayor refused to speculate about the chief's future, saying his role was not to "just chop heads."
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Union faults Baker for tapping charter school advocate

The Associated Press  |  posted Mar 6th - 4:21pm
The state's biggest teacher union is faulting Gov. Charlie Baker for tapping another charter school advocate for a top state education post.
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States say Obama administration misled judge on immigration

Juan A. Lozano, Associated Press  |  posted Mar 6th - 4:12pm
A coalition of states suing to stop President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration alleges the government misled a judge about not implementing part of the plan before the judge temporarily halted it.
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6 students at Phoenix elementary school taken to a hospital

The Associated Press  |  posted Mar 6th - 4:11pm
Authorities say six students at a north Phoenix elementary school have been taken to a hospital after ingesting an unknown substance.
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Man charged with killing 3 will remain in Washington state

The Associated Press  |  posted Mar 6th - 4:02pm
An Idaho man charged with killing his mother and two other people during a shooting spree in Moscow, Idaho, will not be returned there immediately to face murder charges, a judge ruled Friday.
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