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Christchurch hit by 2 major earthquakes

By David Barber WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Nineteen people were injured when two major earthquakes and a swarm of aftershocks hit New Zealand’s second-largest city, Christchurch, on Friday, news reports…

At least 30 reported dead as 2 explosions rock Syrian capital

At least 30 reported dead as 2 explosions rock Syrian capital

By Alexandra Zavis, Los Angeles Times – BEIRUT — Two explosions targeting buildings used by government security forces rocked the Syrian capital of Damascus on Friday, killing at least 30 people,…

Federal appeals court throws out ‘birthers’ lawsuit against Obama

Federal appeals court throws out ‘birthers’ lawsuit against Obama

By Carol J. Williams, Los Angeles Times LOS ANGELES — A group of Southern Californians who insist President Barack Obama was born in Africa and should be ousted from the Oval…

Opportunities growing for squatters

By Tina Susman, Los Angeles Times – NEW YORK — Slips of paper are pasted to the broken door of the corner row house, violations for the garbage piled near the…

Same-sex kiss a first for Navy tradition

By Tony Perry, Los Angeles Times – SAN DIEGO — A public embrace this week between two female sailors from California is being hailed as “the kiss heard ’round the world’”…

More than 30 rescued from huge, floating ice sheet in Minnesota

By David Chanen, Star Tribune (Minneapolis) An enormous, thick sheet of ice broke from the shore of one of Minnesota’s most popular and largest ice fishing lakes Wednesday night, leaving at…

Justice Department rejects South Carolina voter ID law

By Adam Beam, McClatchy Newspapers – COLUMBIA, S.C. — The U.S. Justice Department has rejected South Carolina’s controversial voter ID law. South Carolina officials can appeal the ruling, but until then…

Study on HIV treatment called biggest breakthrough of 2011

By Jay Price, McClatchy Newspapers – CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — An HIV discovery from researchers led by a University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill scientist is the biggest scientific breakthrough of 2011, according…

Chicago cardinal under fire for comparing gay movement to KKK

By Cynthia Dizikes, Chicago Tribune – CHICAGO — Cardinal Francis George has never been shy about expressing his views on divisive issues like abortion rights and civil unions for same-sex…

Regulators approve nuclear reactor design for Southeast utilities

By Curtis Morgan, McClatchy Newspapers – MIAMI — Federal regulators on Thursday signed off on a next-generation nuclear reactor slated for Florida Power & Light’s Turkey Point plant and five…

Yale study uncovers some of fluoride’s mysteries

By William Weir, The Hartford Courant – HARTFORD, Conn. — The way we use fluoride hasn’t changed much since the mid 20th century, but a new Yale University study could…

Car bombs kill 65 in Baghdad, worsening crisis

Car bombs kill 65 in Baghdad, worsening crisis

By Roy Gutman and Sahar Issa, McClatchy Newspapers – BAGHDAD — A dozen car bombs detonated Thursday in the Iraqi capital, killing 65 people and wounding more than 200, in…

Russian president pledges political reforms

By Sergei L. Loiko, Los Angeles Times – MOSCOW — In his final state of the nation speech, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday promised a series of political reforms…

Turkey fumes as French lawmakers adopt Armenian genocide bill

By Clare Byrne and Jasper Mortimer PARIS — The already strained relations between France and Turkey suffered a further blow Thursday after France’s National Assembly adopted a bill making it…

Spanish village wins jackpot in world’s richest lottery

By Sinikka Tarvainen MADRID — The world’s biggest lottery on Thursday showered prizes worth $3.3 billion on Spaniards, with the jackpot going to a small farming village. The Christmas lottery…

Residents of Bethlehem fear Israeli expansion

Residents of Bethlehem fear Israeli expansion

By Sheera Frenkel, McClatchy Newspapers – BETHLEHEM, West Bank — The Alam family used to boast of their biblical view over the lush valley outside the Palestinian city of Bethlehem.…

AP opens North Korea news bureau, but celebration will wait

By Curtis Tate, McClatchy Newspapers – WASHINGTON — The Associated Press was ready to formally dedicate a new bureau in North Korea’s capital this week, giving AP the first permanent…

U.S. says both sides erred in deadly Pakistani border incident

By Tom Hussain, McClatchy Newspapers – ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — A U.S. military investigation has blamed poor coordination between American and Pakistani forces for the deaths of 24 Pakistani soldiers in…

Iowa DNR Awards Watershed Improvement Projects

Six contracts with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Division of Soil Conservation for five watershed improvement projects and one water quality-farming education project were approved Dec. 20…

5 Polish soldiers killed by bomb in Afghanistan

By Laura King, Los Angeles Times – KABUL, Afghanistan — A roadside bomb killed five Polish soldiers in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, officials said, marking that country’s largest single troop…

Crisis-hit Spaniards pin hopes on world’s biggest lottery

By Sinikka Tarvainen MADRID — Spaniards impoverished by the economic crisis are pinning their hopes on the world’s biggest lottery, which will shower prizes worth a total of $3.3 billion…

Jury awards $150 billion to family of burned boy

By Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Los Angeles Times – HOUSTON — A Texas jury has awarded a record $150 billion in punitive damages to the parents and estate of Robert Ray “Robbie”…

Texas Gains the Most in Population Since the Census

First Population Estimates Since 2010 Show Slowest National Growth Since the 1940s Texas gained more people than any other state between April 1, 2010, and July 1, 2011 (529,000), followed…

Death toll in floods in Philippines surpasses 950

MANILA, Philippines — The death toll from devastating floods in the Philippines reached 957 after bodies swept to sea were retrieved, the Office of Civil Defense said Tuesday. The southern…

North Dakota flood victims still await aid

North Dakota flood victims still await aid

By Kim Murphy, Los Angeles Times – MINOT, N.D. — In the middle of winter, when the temperature slips toward zero and bone-numbing winds blow in off the prairie, living…

Seattle approves ban on plastic shopping bags

By Lynn Thompson, The Seattle Times – SEATTLE — The fight over plastic bags could move to the Washington state Legislature in the coming session as environmentalists seek to expand…

5 dead in small plane crash in New Jersey

By Shawn Boburg, Hannan Adely, Chris Harris and Rebecca O’Brien The Record (Hackensack N.J.) MORRIS TOWNSHIP, N.J. — A small plane that took off from Teterboro, N.J., Tuesday morning crashed…

Sports complex pushing forward in Ft. Madison, Iowa

Jeff Hunt – The Hawk Eye, Burlington, Iowa – FORT MADISON – When Matt Morris, president of the Fort Madison Bank and Trust Co., told the Lee County Board of…

FACT SHEET: The United States National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security

FACT SHEET: The United States National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security

“The goal is as simple as it is profound: to empower half the world’s population as equal partners in preventing conflict and building peace in countries threatened and affected by…

World leaders react to death of Kim Jong Il

World leaders react to death of Kim Jong Il

By John M. Glionna, Los Angeles Times – SEOUL, South Korea — World leaders weighed in Monday on the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, with many expressing wary optimism…

Drummond column: Man donates sperm, fathers over a dozen children

Tammerlin Drummond, The Oakland Tribune, Calif. – Trent Arsenault was raised in Missouri in the heart of the Bible Belt — the son of an evangelical preacher. Perhaps that helps to…

Crew of stricken Antarctic fishing boat awaits air drop

By David Barber WELLINGTON, New Zealand—The crew fighting to stop their iceberg-damaged fishing boat from sinking in the Antarctic waited Monday for an air drop of equipment to help them…

Philippines death toll from storm rises to more than 700

By John M. Glionna – LA TIMES – SEOUL, South Korea — The death toll from a devastating late-season storm in the southern Philippines rose to more than 700 Sunday…

North Korean leader Kim Jong Il dies

North Korean leader Kim Jong Il dies

By Barbara Demick and John M. Glionna, Los Angeles Times – SEOUL, South Korea — North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, the mercurial strongman who styled himself as a “Dear…

Soldier surprises children at Northwood school

By Kelli Lageson, Albert Lea Tribune, Minn. – NORTHWOOD, Iowa — Three children got a special Christmas wish granted Monday afternoon, December 12th. Sgt. Thomas Estes, of Albert Lea’s Delta…

Battle over eagles’ impact on wind farm divides community

By Josephine Marcotty MINNEAPOLIS — A large number of eagles really are active around the footprint of a controversial wind farm under development in Goodhue County, according to a wildlife…

Southern California Edison office shooting victims, killer identified

By Irfan Khan and Hector Becerra, Los Angeles Times LOS ANGELES — Authorities on Saturday identified two men killed in a workplace shooting at a Southern California Edison office in…

Nuclear materials to Tehran discovered in luggage at Moscow airport

By Stefan Korshak MOSCOW — Inspectors at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport found 18 cylinders of radioactive Sodium-22 in luggage bound for Iran on Thursday and were searching for the shipment’s owners.…

Report alleges rampant abuse of Dutch Catholic children

By Henry Chu, Los Angeles Times LONDON — Tens of thousands of Dutch children were sexually abused by priests and other Roman Catholic religious figures in the past half-century, but…

For Palestinians, prison time is a badge of honor

For Palestinians, prison time is a badge of honor

By Sheera Frenkel, McClatchy Newspapers NEBI SALAH, West Bank — Uday Tamimi kept one eye on his family and the other on a line of Israeli military vehicles parked at…