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US casts watchful eye on Cuban crossings after Castro death

Adrian Sainz, Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 2nd - 3:10pm

Rodolfo Lledes departed Cuba and headed for Florida with 26 others on a motorized raft made of empty 55-gallon drums. Claudia Cruz Perez wound her way on buses, boats and planes through South America to the U.S.-Mexico border, eventually landing in Miami.

Duke names Univ. of Pennsylvania provost as next president

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 2nd - 3:01pm

The University of Pennsylvania's chief academic officer will take the helm of Duke University next year.

Records: Judge pulled off case after series of mistakes

Michael Kunzelman, Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 2nd - 3:01pm

A federal judge in Louisiana was pulled off a criminal case following a series of mistakes in routine trial procedures and after she apparently delegated some of her judicial duties to a prosecutor, according to court documents reviewed by The Associated Press.

305 claims approved for Pulse nightclub victims' fund

Mike Schneider, Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 2nd - 3:01pm

Officials with a fund created from donations for victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting say they will distribute $29.5 million on 305 claims when the process is completed.

Tiger cubs raise cuteness quotient at Milwaukee County Zoo

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 2nd - 2:51pm

Three 11-week old Amur tiger cubs romped and wrestled together as they made their public debut at the Milwaukee County Zoo.

Police: Slain teen had BB gun in waistband, nothing in hands

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 2nd - 2:41pm

A black West Virginia teenager had a BB gun in his waistband but nothing in his hands when he was fatally shot by a white man, a police detective has testified.

Utah power players eye Senate run as Hatch flirts with 2018

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 2nd - 2:41pm

As the dust clears on the 2016 election, Utah Republicans are already turning their focus to 2018 and whether longtime U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch will stick to his word that he wouldn't run for re-election.

Co-conspirator gets 20 years in Indianapolis house explosion

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 2nd - 2:41pm

One of five people charged in a deadly house explosion that devastated an Indianapolis neighborhood was sentenced Friday to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit arson.

UPDATED

Donald Trump goes off on Evan McMullin at Ohio victory rally

Dennis Romboy  |  Posted  Dec 2nd - 2:41pm

President-elect Donald Trump went off on independent candidate and Utah native Evan McMullin without mentioning his name during the first stop on his "thank you" victory tour in Ohio.

Attempted murder charge against mom in fecal injection case

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 2nd - 2:32pm

A northwestern Indiana woman is charged with attempted murder after telling police she injected fecal matter into her son's IV tube while he was hospitalized for leukemia.

The Latest: Man had crowbar when shot by officer in church

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 2nd - 2:31pm

The Latest on the fatal shooting of a Kentucky man who had broken into a church (all times local):

2 rare Canada lynx shot dead in Maine; feds investigating

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 2nd - 2:21pm

Two rare Canada lynx have been shot dead, and state and federal wildlife authorities are investigating.

San Bernardino recalls terror attack with silence, speakers

Amy Taxin, Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 2nd - 2:21pm

At the moment when shooters unleashed terror on San Bernardino a year ago, county employees remembered their fallen colleagues in silence late Friday morning.

Chicago-area judge who let clerk take bench has Alzheimer's

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 2nd - 2:13pm

A judicial board says a Chicago-area judge who let a law clerk wear robes and preside over traffic cases has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

The Latest: Trump preference for military men raises concern

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 2nd - 2:02pm

The Latest on President-elect Donald Trump (all times EST):

Alabama inmate seeks execution stay from US Supreme Court

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 2nd - 2:01pm

An Alabama inmate is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to stay his upcoming execution to consider whether a judge should have been able to give him a death sentence when the jury recommended life imprisonment.

Alaska town's new Inupiat name challenged in court

Rachel D'Oro, Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 2nd - 2:01pm

On paper, the new Inupiat Eskimo name of the nation's northernmost town is now official. But not so fast. The reality is not so simple.

People complained about suspected serial killer years ago

Seanna Adcox, Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 2nd - 2:01pm

People complained to South Carolina's licensing agency about Todd Kohlhepp's threats, grim statements and obscene Facebook posts years before authorities found a woman chained on his property and charged him in seven killings, redacted documents show.

Extraordinary Smokies wildfire moved fast on path to city

Kristin M. Hall, Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 2nd - 2:01pm

The wildfire that popped up on a steep, rugged peak in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was just one of a dozen that fire crews had been fighting over the last month because of the drought.