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FILE - In this Aug. 11, 2014 file photo, the Hilltop Women's Reproductive clinic is photographed in El Paso, Texas. A federal judge Friday, Aug. 29, 2014, threw out new Texas abortion restrictions that would have effectively closed more than a dozen clinics in the state. U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel sided with clinics that sued over one of the most disputed measures of a sweeping anti-abortion bill signed by Republican Gov. Rick Perry in 2013.  (AP Photo/Juan Carlos Llorca, File)

US judge halts key part of Texas abortion law

Friday, August 29, 2014

AUSTIN, Texas — A federal judge Friday threw out new Texas abortion restrictions that would have effectively closed more than a dozen clinics in the state. U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel sided with clinics that sued over one of the most disputed measures of a sweeping anti-abortion bill signed by Republican Gov. Rick Perry in 2013. The ruling stops new … 0

Okla. transgender candidate misses history by 22 votes

Friday, August 29, 2014

Oklahoma’s 88th legislative district is a bright blue dot in a deep red state, a district that has sent liberal and openly gay lawmakers to the state Capitol. And last week, it came within 22 votes of electing the state’s first openly transgender candidate. Paula Sophia, 48 — Democrat, author, retired Oklahoma City cop and Army veteran — lost 990 to 968 in … 0

Valley Views Local photographers aim their cameras outdoors

Friday, August 29, 2014

TUFTED TITMOUSE Route 9, Belchertown Photograph and text by Anne E. Ely of South Hadley “Peter, Peter, Peter” would have been what I would have heard from this tufted titmouse, should it have decided to sing while perched on this covered dead branch. Unfortunately it sat in silence. The image was captured with … 0

Kinder Morgan to make case for pipeline in Dalton

Sunday, August 24, 2014

DALTON (AP) — Representatives of Kinder Morgan are scheduled to visit western Massachusetts to present their side in a debate over a natural gas pipeline expansion. The Berkshire Eagle reports that Dalton officials intend to organize a panel of residents to argue the other side. Kinder Morgan, parent … 0

Columbia Gas donates $5,000 to NoFIRES nonprofit

Sunday, August 24, 2014

NORTHAMPTON (AP) — Columbia Gas of Massachusetts has donated $5,000 to an organization that offers education and intervention to children who set fires. NoFIRES, a nonprofit, was developed in 2012 by the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office, fire and law enforcement officials, mental health care providers and social service … 0

Hamas kills 18 suspected spies

Friday, August 22, 2014

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Gaza militants Friday gunned down 18 alleged spies for Israel in an apparent attempt to plug security breaches and deter others, a day after Israel killed three top Hamas military commanders in an … 0

Birth control tweak gives religious groups new option

Friday, August 22, 2014

WASHINGTON — Seeking to quell a politically charged controversy, the Obama administration announced new measures Friday to allow religious nonprofits and some companies to opt out of paying for birth control for female employees while still ensuring those … 0

Florida father, girlfriend charged in death of boy mauled by dogs

Friday, August 22, 2014

MIAMI — Four-year-old Javon Dade Jr., was mauled to death by a pack of bull terriers and a pit bull last week while his father and his girlfriend were sleeping off a night of smoking weed laced with cocaine, police said. Javon Dade Sr. stayed up past 5 … 0

Fuel cell cars, facing hurdles, slow to catch on

Friday, August 22, 2014

EarthTalk: Is it true that fuel cell cars aren’t really any greener than conventional gas-powered internal combustion cars? — Michelle Adamo, Portland, Oregon A decade ago cars powered by fuel cells seemed like the future of green automotive … 0

Marathon bombing suspect’s friend pleads guilty

Thursday, August 21, 2014

BOSTON — A college friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev pleaded guilty Thursday to impeding the investigation by removing incriminating evidence from Tsarnaev’s dorm room several days after the deadly attack. Dias Kadyrbayev, 20, admitted in … 0

Governor taking National Guard out of Ferguson

Thursday, August 21, 2014

FERGUSON, Mo. — Gov. Jay Nixon on Thursday ordered the Missouri National Guard to begin withdrawing from Ferguson, where nightly scenes of unrest have erupted since a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black 18-year-old nearly two … 0

Israel kills 3 Hamas military commanders in Gaza Hamas leader admits group behind kidnapping, killing of 3 teens

Thursday, August 21, 2014

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Israel stepped up its campaign against Gaza’s ruling Hamas on Thursday, killing three of the group’s senior military commanders in an airstrike that pulverized a four-story home, the second such attack targeting top … 0

US mission to rescue hostages in Syria failed

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama sent special operations troops to Syria this summer on a secret mission to rescue American hostages, including journalist James Foley, held by Islamic State extremists, but they did not find them, the Obama administration said Wednesday. Officials said the rescue mission was authorized … 0