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Nation / World

Musician Stevie Wonder celebrates as President Barack Obama awards him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington.  President Obama is presenting the nation's highest civilian honor to 19 artists, activists, public servants and others.  (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Obama bestows top civilian honor on 18

Monday, November 24, 2014

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Monday bestowed America’s highest civilian honor on trailblazers in the arts, sports and politics, along with a couple of entertainers who are among his personal favorites. The 18 notables who gathered in the White House East Room to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom left even the president himself in awe. Obama said the …

Grand jury won’t indict Mo. officer; protests over slain teen grow violent

Monday, November 24, 2014

FERGUSON, Mo. — A grand jury declined Monday to indict white police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, the unarmed, black 18-year-old whose fatal shooting sparked weeks of sometimes-violent protests and inflamed deep racial tensions between many African-Americans and police. Within minutes of the announcement by St. Louis County’s top …

Pentagon chief Hagel out under pressure

Monday, November 24, 2014

WASHINGTON — Under pressure from President Barack Obama, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel submitted his resignation Monday amid White House concerns about his effectiveness and broader criticism from outside about the administration’s Middle East crisis management. The president said he and Hagel had determined it was an “appropriate time for him to complete his …

Some question legacy of John Muir, patron saint of environmentalism, as centennial of his death nears

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

LOS ANGELES — John Muir is the patron saint of environmentalism, an epic figure whose writings of mystical enlightenment attained during lone treks in California’s wilderness glorified individualism, saved Yosemite and helped establish the national park system. As the first president of the Sierra Club, Muir shaped enduring …

Debra Tate says plan by Charles Manson to wed 26-year-old ‘insane’

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

LOS ANGELES — Debra Tate, whose pregnant sister Sharon was slain in 1969 by the murderous followers of Charles Manson, has spent much of her life trying to divert attention from the cult leader and keep him in …

Four dead in wake of NY blizzard

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Four people died during a storm that dumped more than 4 feet of snow around Buffalo and forced motorists in 150 vehicles, including a women’s basketball team, to ride it out on a day when …

Five killed in attack at Israeli synagogue

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

JERUSALEM — Israel vowed harsh retaliation Tuesday for a Palestinian attack that killed five people and left blood-smeared prayer books and shawls on the floor of a synagogue in Jerusalem — an assault that sharply escalated already-high tensions …

Keystone pipeline rejected; Senate 1 vote short, but GOP vows replay

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

WASHINGTON — In a combustible blend of oil and politics, the Democratic-controlled Senate rejected legislation Tuesday night to force completion of the Keystone XL Pipeline. Republicans vowed to resurrect the controversial issue soon after taking two-house control of …

Senate blocks bill to end NSA bulk data collection

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

WASHINGTON — The Senate on Tuesday blocked a bill to end bulk collection of American phone records by the National Security Agency, dealing a blow to President Barack Obama’s primary proposal to rein in domestic surveillance. The 58-42 vote was two short of the 60 needed to proceed …

UN presses N. Korea on human rights issue

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

UNITED NATIONS — The world’s boldest effort yet to hold North Korea and leader Kim Jong Un accountable for alleged crimes against humanity moved forward Tuesday at the United Nations, where a Pyongyang envoy threatened further nuclear tests. …

Small plane crash-lands inches from sleeping Chicago couple

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

CHICAGO (AP) — A small twin-engine cargo plane crashed into a home on Chicago’s southwest side Tuesday, killing the pilot but sparing a couple who were asleep just inches away. The Aero Commander 500-B slammed nose-down into the …

Reid urges Obama to act quickly on immigration

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday that President Barack Obama should take executive action as quickly as possible to remake the nation’s immigration system. It was a shift from last week when Reid said Obama …

Pope Francis confirms plan to attend World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia

Monday, November 17, 2014

PHILADELPHIA — A pontiff who has long championed humble acts — sneaking off to break bread with the homeless as an archbishop and washing the feet of young prisoners early in his papacy — is coming to the …