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Las Vegas debate undercard underway ... Schools-Threat of Violence ... Graduation Rates



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LAS VEGAS (AP) — Four Republican presidential candidates debating on the undercard stage in Las Vegas tonight are offering conflicting views of Islam and the extent to which the religion itself poses a risk. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum says Islam is not just a religion, but a political governing structure and legal system. South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham says at least 3,500 American Muslims are currently serving in the U.S. armed services and deserve to be thanked. He says, "Your religion is not the enemy."

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Two big-city school systems have responded differently today to a threat of violence in schools. Officials in Los Angeles responded by shutting down the entire district. But New York officials dismissed the threat as an amateurish hoax, and held class as usual. New York's police commissioner said it looked like whoever had sent the threat had been watching the Showtime terrorism drama "Homeland."

WASHINGTON (AP) — Although the nation's high school graduation rate is inching higher, there are still wide differences, depending on where students live. Iowa has a graduation rate of 91 percent, while the District of Columbia's rate is just 61 percent. Overall, education officials say, 82 percent of students are completing a high school education.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional aides say the Obama administration is planning its first arms sale to Taiwan in four years. It's a move that will draw stiff criticism from Beijing but is unlikely to derail U.S.-China relations. One of the aides said the planned $1.8 billion sale would include two decommissioned U.S. Navy frigates, minesweepers, Stinger missiles, and anti-armor and anti-tank missiles.

SEATTLE (AP) — An assistant football coach at a high school in Washington state -- who was suspended for praying at midfield after games -- has filed a discrimination complaint against the district. Among other things, coach Joe Kennedy claims that the district didn't punish the team's offensive coordinator for performing post-game Buddhist chants. The law firm representing Kennedy says he filed the complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

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The Associated Press

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