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Floods threaten homes near St. Louis...Home prices rise...Former defense chief warns of nuclear terror threat

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ST. LOUIS (AP) — More than 100 volunteers have turned out in blustery cold weather to fill sandbags in St. Louis, where a flooded waterway threatened hundreds of homes. The sandbags will be piled together in a low-lying area near Interstate 55. Meanwhile, a wastewater treatment plant has stopped operating near St. Louis, causing sewage to go directly into nearby rivers and streams. Utility officials said the plant is designed for 6.75 million gallons per day of flow, but was treating nearly 24 million gallons per day at the time of the malfunction.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Steady job growth, low mortgage rates and tight inventories are helping to boost home prices. The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 5.5 percent in the 12 months ending in October. Strong hiring has bolstered a real estate market still recovering from a housing bust that began about eight years ago.

MULTAN, Pakistan (AP) — Counterterrorism officials in Pakistan say authorities have detained 13 local militants who were trying to set up an Islamic State affiliate. They say the men were captured this week during a raid in the eastern Punjab province. Local authorities in Pakistan insist that the Islamic State group has no footprint in their country, which has battled the Taliban and other homegrown militias.

WASHINGTON (AP) — He played a central role in developing and modernizing nuclear forces during the Cold War. But now, at the age of 88, William Perry is warning of what he calls a "real and growing danger" of nuclear doom. The former defense secretary, in an interview, says a terrorist attack using a nuclear bomb or an improvised nuclear device could happen "any time now." He's also worried about the possibility of a shooting war with Russia that, through miscalculation, turns nuclear.

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Maybe it's the cheap gas prices. For whatever reason, many of the country's most prominent national parks, including Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and Zion, set new visitation records in 2015. And officials say the records could soon be broken as the National Park Service celebrates its centennial in 2016, when even bigger crowds are expected. The agency has been urging Americans to rediscover the scenic wonders.

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