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FOR RELEASE FRIDAY, DECEMBER 26, 2014, AT 12:01 - FILE-- In this May 9, 2014 photograph, an electronic highway sign on Interstate 93 shows the term "Use Yah Blinkah" in Boston. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation posted the message "Changing Lanes? Use Yah Blinkah" on the signs around the city. "Blinkah" is how Bostonians pronounce "blinker". (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

Pigs, gun tattoos topped 2014 New England oddities

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

BOSTON — Pigs nearly managed to fly in Connecticut, terrorized hikers in Maine and drew a police response with squeals that turned out to be X-rated. It was the Chinese year of the horse, but porkers hogged the headlines in New England in 2014. There was no shortage of weirdness involving other species, too, including Homo sapiens. Here’s your guide …

Storms kill 4 in South

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

JACKSON, Miss. — Severe weather slamming the southern U.S. two days before Christmas killed at least four people, flipped cars, knocked out power to thousands and damaged several homes and businesses. In Mississippi, Gov. Phil Bryant declared an emergency for two southeastern counties where officials say four people died in the storms and …

NY congressman pleads guilty to federal tax evasion

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

NEW YORK — U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm admitted Tuesday to federal tax evasion, pleading guilty to charges he had fought as he won re-election in November, but he remained determined to stay in office even with his sentencing now looming. “As long as I’m able to serve, I’m going to serve,” the Staten …

Warren backers set up shop in Iowa

Thursday, December 18, 2014

DES MOINES, Iowa — Liberal activists eager to draft Sen. Elizabeth Warren into a run for president are working the ground in Iowa, the pivotal early-voting state where an organizing effort is already in place — for Hillary …

US, Cuba patch torn relations in historic accord

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

WASHINGTON — After a half-century of Cold War acrimony, the United States and Cuba moved on Wednesday to restore diplomatic relations — a historic shift that could revitalize the flow of money and people across the narrow waters …

Victims of school massacre buried

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — As they buried their children Wednesday, the families spoke of their dreams. One boy had just gotten high marks on his midterm and hoped to become a pilot. A 13-year-old wanted to become a doctor. …

Colombian rebels announce unilateral cease-fire

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

HAVANA — Colombia’s largest rebel group announced an indefinite, unilateral cease-fire Wednesday, saying guerrillas will refrain from staging attacks so long as they aren’t targeted by the U.S.-backed military. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia made the announcement …

141 dead in school attack in Pakistan

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — In the deadliest slaughter of innocents in Pakistan in years, Taliban gunmen attacked a military-run school Tuesday and killed 141 people — almost all of them students — before government troops ended the siege. The …

Australian PM: System didn’t track gunman

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

SYDNEY — Australia’s prime minister acknowledged Wednesday that the nation’s security system failed to keep track of a gunman responsible for a deadly siege at a Sydney cafe, and promised a transparent investigation into why the man was …

Suspect in 6 killings found dead in woods

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

PENNSBURG, Pa. — An Iraq War veteran suspected of killing his ex-wife and five of her relatives in a shooting and slashing frenzy was found dead of self-inflicted stab wounds Tuesday in the woods of suburban Philadelphia, ending …

Jeb Bush gets set to run

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Jeb Bush answered the biggest question looming over the Republican Party’s next campaign for the White House on Tuesday, all but declaring his candidacy for president more than a year before the first primaries. Bush, …

Mom heads to court on charges of giving son medical marijuana

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

MINNEAPOLIS — A Minnesota mother heads to court this week, charged with medicating her sick child with marijuana - an act that will be legal in a matter of months. Angela Brown of Madison faces two gross misdemeanor charges of child endangerment for giving cannabis oil to her …

Carolinas politicians get payouts from broker

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Soon after taking office, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory and U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford of South Carolina accepted six-figure stock payouts from an online mortgage broker accused by regulators of deceiving its customers. The two …