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Nation / World

President Barack Obama speaks the economy, Iraq, and Ukraine, Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014, in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, before convening a meeting with his national security team on the militant threat in Syria and Iraq. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Obama tamps down prospect of Syria strikes

Thursday, August 28, 2014

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama tamped down the prospect of imminent U.S. military action in Syria on Thursday, saying “we don’t have a strategy yet” for degrading the violent militant group seeking to establish a caliphate in the Middle East. The president spoke shortly before convening a meeting of his national security advisers to discuss a range of Pentagon options … 0

Attempt to call missing jet may alter search area

Thursday, August 28, 2014

CANBERRA, Australia — Shortly after the missing Malaysian airliner disappeared from radar, airline officials on the ground tried repeatedly to call the crew of the Boeing 777 using a satellite phone that might have left clues to the jet’s flight path. Now an analysis of those failed attempts to reach Flight 370 could … 0

State to offer tax amnesty

Thursday, August 28, 2014

BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts Department of Revenue has announced a two-month amnesty program designed to encourage the payment of delinquent taxes by individuals and businesses. The amnesty program will run from Sept. 1 through Oct. 31. It applies to unpaid taxes billed on or before July 1. About 300,000 taxpayers will receive a notice next month notifying them that they qualify for … 0

Study: Toothless ‘dragon’ pterosaurs once ruled skies

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Ancient winged reptiles called pterosaurs were so successful that they ruled Earth’s skies for tens of millions of years, according to a study published in the journal ZooKeys. The fearsome fliers, part of a family of pterosaurs named Azhdarchidae, get their name from azdarha, the Persian word for … 0

Court tosses conviction in Massachusetts killing

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

BOSTON — The highest court in Massachusetts on Tuesday overturned a first-degree murder conviction against a Boston man who stabbed his girlfriend to death, finding that jurors were given faulty instructions on how they could consider his use of alcohol the night of the killing. The Supreme Judicial … 0

Interim schools chief seeks to keep steady course, foster communication

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

BELCHERTOWN — Continuity will be a goal for the upcoming school year as the district adjusts to an interim educational leader while the School Committee resumes its search for a permanent superintendent. Robert Gazda, who is taking a … 0

New leadership, college-credit classes in the mix at Smith Voke

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — New administrators, new classes and new animals are just some of the changes that will greet Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School students in September. “Next year is going to be a very, very exciting year … 0

Inside

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Hatfield, Smith Vocational Page C2 Amherst, Chinese Immersion Charter, Leverett, Shutesbury Page C3 Belchertown, Berkshire Trail, Hadley Page C4 Hampshire Regional, Gateway Regional Page C5 Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter, South Hadley Page C6 Frontier Regional/Union 28, Granby … 0

Cape Cod accident jills one, injures three

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

WELLFLEET (AP) — Authorities say one person has died and three people have been injured in a three-vehicle crash in Wellfleet. The crash on Route 6 was reported at about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday. The crash involved a box truck, a pickup truck and a minivan operated by a … 0

US officials confirm video shows Islamic State militants beheading American journalist James Foley

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

WASHINGTON — A grisly video released Tuesday shows Islamic State militants beheading American journalist James Foley, U.S. officials said, in what the extremists called retribution for recent U.S. airstrikes in Iraq. The militants threatened to kill another captive … 0

Video purports to show killing of US journalist by Islamic State

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

WASHINGTON — The Islamic State on Wednesday posted a video purportedly showing the beheading of an American photographer and threatened to execute a second American captive if President Barack Obama didn’t halt U.S. airstrikes against its fighters in northern Iraq. The video, posted on YouTube and disseminated on … 0

‘Severe’ drought in 99.8% of California

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

LOS ANGELES — Drought conditions may have leveled off across California, but nearly 100 percent of the state remains in the third-harshest category for dryness, according to the latest measurements. For the past two weeks, California’s drought picture has remained the same, halting a steady march toward worse. … 0

Fire near Yosemite that 1,000 fled doesn’t grow

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

OAKHURST, Calif. — A wildfire that forced about 1,000 people from their homes in the foothills near Yosemite National Park held steady Tuesday as humidity and calmer winds aided the fight against the second blaze around the park … 0