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For the second time this year, criminal charges against a top New York lawmaker have thrown one of America's most powerful state capitals into turmoil.
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Afghan poppy farmers say new seeds will boost opium output

Mirwais Khan and Lynne O'Donnell, Associated Press  |  posted May 5th - 12:10am
It's the cash crop of the Taliban and the scourge of Afghanistan — the country's intractable opium cultivation. This year, many Afghan poppy farmers are expecting a windfall as they get ready to harvest opium from a new variety of poppy seeds said to boost yield of the resin that produces heroin.
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Cleanup of Superfund town would leave some asbestos behind

Matthew Brown, Associated Press  |  posted May 4th - 11:34pm
A long-delayed cleanup proposal for a Montana community where thousands have been sickened by asbestos exposure would leave the dangerous material inside some houses rather than remove it, as government officials seek to wind down an effort that has lasted more than 15 years and cost $540 million.
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Obama on protests: 'There are consequences to indifference'

Nedra Pickler and Jim Kuhnhenn, Associated Press  |  posted May 4th - 9:40pm
In a deeply personal response to outbreaks of racially motivated protests, President Barack Obama on Monday blamed a lack of opportunity in minority communities and harsher treatment of black and Hispanic men by police for fueling a sense of "unfairness and powerlessness."
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Adelson denies Vegas executives had hand in Macau CEO firing

Ken Ritter, Associated Press  |  posted May 4th - 8:41pm
Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson spent an entire day Monday denying that Las Vegas Sands officials had a hand in firing Steven Jacobs as Sands China Ltd. president in July 2010. He also denied any knowledge of an "exorcism strategy."
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Colorado theater shooter asked police if children were hurt

Sadie Gurman, Associated Press  |  posted May 4th - 7:11pm
Sounding dazed in the hours after his arrest, Colorado theater shooter James Holmes asked detectives, "There weren't any children hurt, were there?"
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CalFire chief seeks to change discipline after scandal

Don Thompson, Associated Press  |  posted May 4th - 6:51pm
Two captains demoted after a scandal at California's firefighting training academy were restored to their previous rank within a month, prompting the agency's chief to say Monday that he will try to demote them again.
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Senate slated to vote on GOP budget compromise

The Associated Press  |  posted 6 minutes ago
The Senate is poised to approve a compromise Republican budget that makes deep cuts in spending while boosting Pentagon accounts by an additional $38 billion next year.
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Australia cuts interest rate to record low 2 percent

Rod McGuirk, Associated Press  |  posted 47 minutes ago
Australia's central bank cut its benchmark interest rate to a record low of 2 percent on Tuesday in a bid to jolt the nation's economy which is weighed by falling commodity prices and weakening demand from China.
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Protesters take on racial profiling at Providence College

The Associated Press  |  posted May 4th - 11:51pm
More than 100 Providence College students, supporters and faculty and staff members rallied against racial profiling they say is widespread among security guards at the private Catholic school.
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NY Senate boss, charged in corruption case, claims innocence

Larry Neumeister and Tom Hays, Associated Press  |  posted May 4th - 10:33pm
The leader of the New York Senate was arrested Monday on charges including extortion and soliciting bribes after investigators looking into the awarding of a $12 million contract to a company that hired his son said they captured him on wiretaps boasting of his power.
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Legislature hits home stretch with many issues unresolved

Dave Gram, Associated Press  |  posted May 4th - 8:41pm
Vermont lawmakers head into what are expected to be the final two weeks of their 2015 session with debates still unresolved on taxes, water quality, education, vaccines and other issues.
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UC Berkeley's Mark Twain project finds cache of new writing

Janie Har, Associated Press  |  posted May 4th - 8:21pm
Scholars at the University of California, Berkeley have pieced together a collection of dispatches written by Mark Twain when the author was a young newsman in San Francisco.
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DaVita to pay $450M to settle Atlanta whistleblower lawsuit

The Associated Press  |  posted May 4th - 7:11pm
DaVita HealthCare Partners agreed Monday to pay $450 million to settle a lawsuit claiming the company defrauded the federal Medicare program out of millions of dollars.
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Riviera casino closes doors after 60 years on Vegas Strip

Kimberly Pierceall, Associated Press  |  posted May 4th - 6:33pm
If the ghosts of Frank Sinatra and Liberace were still hanging around the Riviera Hotel and Casino on Monday morning, they wouldn't have found a seat at the bar.
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Yellen says she met with analyst but meeting not linked

Marcy Gordon, Associated Press  |  posted May 4th - 5:42pm
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Monday disclosed that she met with a financial analyst at the center of an investigation into a possible leak of confidential interest-rate information. But she says the meeting occurred several months before the private Fed discussions at issue took place, and dealt with general economic matters.
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