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Trump defends proposed ban on Muslims ... US high graduation rates improve slightly ... Colorado blizzard

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — Republican front-runner Donald Trump defended his provocative call for banning Muslims from the United States in tonight's presidential debate. But his plan was brushed aside as unserious by his rivals as they outlined their own approaches for preventing attacks in the United States. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Trump is "great at the one-liners," but that he'd be a "chaos president." Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said Trump's proposal "isn't going to happen."

WASHINGTON (AP) — New federal data indicates that the high school graduation rate in America inched up to 82 percent and the achievement gap narrowed. The latest figures released today by the Education Department showed wide disparities in graduation rates according to where students live. Leading the way was Iowa, with a graduation rate of nearly 91 percent. The District of Columbia had the lowest rate, 61 percent.

LONGMONT, Colo. (AP) — A powerful late-autumn storm clubbed Colorado today, dumping up to two feet of snow in the mountains and forcing cancellation of over 400 airline flights at Denver's airport. The snow tapered off this afternoon as the storm moved northeast, leaving behind drifts up to four feet high. It was the first big storm of the season for most of Colorado and Utah. Schools closed in some towns in at least four states.

SALEM, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts teenager has been convicted of raping and killing his high school math teacher. Philip Chism was convicted today in the 2013 slaying of Colleen Ritzer, an algebra teacher at Danvers High School, about 25 miles north of Boston. Chism was 14 when he followed Ritzer into a school bathroom, strangled her, stabbed her at least 16 times with a box cutter and raped her. Ritzer's body was found in woods near the school.

BALTIMORE (AP) — A jury in Baltimore completed its first full day of deliberations in the trial of a police officer in connection with the death of Freddie Gray. But jurors told the judge that they're deadlocked. They've been told to keep deliberating. Officer William Porter is the first of six officers to stand trial on charges stemming from Gray's death in police custody in April.

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