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Los Angeles schools closed by threat...Saudis propose Islamic alliance against terror...Higher graduation rate



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LOS ANGELES (AP) — All schools in the vast Los Angeles school district have been ordered closed due to a threat. A school police official says an "electronic" threat led to the decision to shut down the nation's second-largest school district. He says the threat is still being evaluated. The school superintendent says the threat was against students, and not just a single school. The district has 640,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade and. It spans 720 square miles including Los Angeles and all or part of more than 30 smaller cities.

BALTIMORE (AP) — A judge has denied defense motions for a mistrial and change of venue as the jury deliberates in the manslaughter trial of a Baltimore police officer charged in the death of Freddie Gray. Circuit Judge Barry Williams said today that the renewed motions were not appropriate at this stage of Officer William Porter's trial. The judge also denied a defense request to ask jurors whether they have seen a letter that the city schools chief sent home with children, warning of consequences for violent responses to the eventual verdict.

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey (AP) — U.S. officials are looking for more details on a Saudi Arabian proposal for a 34-nation Islamic military alliance against terrorism. Defense Secretary Ash Carter says at first glance, it appears to be in line with what the U.S. has been calling for -- greater involvement by Arab countries in the campaign against the Islamic State group. A defense official says the U.S. didn't know in advance about the proposal.

DENVER (AP) — The biggest winter storm to hit the Denver area so far this season has been making the morning commute a mess, causing many spinouts and crashes in the slippery snow and delaying flights by an average of about an hour and a-half at Denver International Airport. About 5 inches of snow is expected at the airport by the end of the day, but some areas could get up to 10 inches through the afternoon, when the storm will move into Nebraska and South Dakota.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation's high school graduation rate has reached 82 percent, a new high. The Education Department says the rate for the 2013-14 school year is the highest since it started using a new, uniform measure in 2010. Still, the numbers show nearly 1 in 5 students leaving high school without a diploma. The newly released data showed that black and Hispanic students made some progress in closing the achievement gap with their white counterparts. About 72 percent of black students and 76 percent of Hispanic students earned diplomas in 2013-2014. For white students, the rate was 87 percent.

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The Associated Press

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