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Rockets hit Turkey’s embassy in Iraq amid rising acrimony

By Sahar Issa, McClatchy Newspapers – BAGHDAD — A rocket attack on Turkey’s embassy in Baghdad this week has highlighted the rapid deterioration in relations between Turkey and Iraq, a development…

Reconstruction of I-380 in Waterloo set to begin this spring

MASON CITY, Iowa – Jan. 19, 2012 –  Travelers on Interstate 380 between U.S. 20 and River Forest Road in Waterloo will be noticing signs of a change coming this…

TSA to test its airport scanner operators for radiation exposure

By Hugo Martin, Los Angeles Times – After years of rebuffing health concerns over airport scanners, the Transportation Security Administration plans to conduct new tests on the potential radiation exposure from…

Haiti workers can now apply for U.S. guest worker visas

By Jacqueline Charles, McClatchy Newspapers – MIAMI — Low-skilled workers in an earthquake-ravaged Haiti are now eligible to work in the United States under a federal guest worker program approved by…

Search continues after body parts turn up in hills near Hollywood sign

Search continues after body parts turn up in hills near Hollywood sign

By Alan Zarembo and Andrew Blankstein, Los Angeles Times – LOS ANGELES — As the sun set over the Hollywood Hills park where police spent Wednesday searching for human body parts,…

California governor begins push for higher taxes

California governor begins push for higher taxes

By David Siders, McClatchy Newspapers – SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Gov. Jerry Brown, calling on lawmakers and voters to help him prove “the declinists about California are wrong,” on Wednesday launched…

‘Recharged’ Occupy movement greets lawmakers back from recess

‘Recharged’ Occupy movement greets lawmakers back from recess

By Emily Seagrave Kennedy and Kelsi Loos, McClatchy Newspapers – WASHINGTON — Protesters from across the nation rallied Tuesday on Capitol Hill under the banner of the grassroots Occupy movement, saying…

A hero emerges in Italy’s ship drama

By Hanns-Jochen Kaffsack ROME — The captain of the capsized Costa Concordia, Francesco Schettino, has made worldwide headlines as the “man to hate” after seemingly abandoning his ship and leaving…

Panel to decide where to house transgender inmate

By Brian L. Cox, Chicago Tribune – CHICAGO — A “Gender Identity Committee” will decide where a transgender woman with an extensive criminal record will be housed after she was sentenced…

Obama administration to deny Keystone XL oil pipeline permit

Neela Banerjee and Christi Parsons, Los Angeles Times –  The Obama administration has decided that it will not issue a permit before Feb. 21 for the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline from…

Minnesota sees spike in unbelted motorists dying in crashes

Paul Walsh, Star Tribune, Minneapolis – An overwhelming majority of traffic deaths on Minnesota roads in the past six weeks or so have involved vehicle occupants who were not wearing their…

Petition drive to overturn Seattle plastic-bag ban falls short of needed signatures

By Lynn Thompson, The Seattle Times – SEATTLE — An effort to collect enough signatures to place a Seattle plastic-bag ban before voters has fallen short. Craig Keller, a Republican activist…

Alaska expands aerial shooting of bears

By Kim Murphy, Los Angeles Times – SEATTLE — In a new package of policies criticized even by some hunters, the Alaska Board of Game on Tuesday opened the door to…

L.A. approves condom rule for porn performers

By Rong-Gong Lin II, Los Angeles Times – LOS ANGELES — In a major defeat for porn studios, the Los Angeles City Council has given final approval to a city ordinance…

Miss America celebrated in Wisconsin

By Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – MILWAUKEE — Laura Kaeppeler didn’t know she would cry. Otherwise, she would have used waterproof mascara. When the 23-year-old Kenosha, Wis., native was crowned…

Supreme Court upholds religious freedom

McClatchy-Tribune News Service – In a case involving a teacher fired by an Evangelical Lutheran school in Michigan, President Obama’s Justice Department climbed way out on a limb in arguing…

Costa Concordia’s tragedy needs to be kept in perspective

Op-ed, McClatchy-Tribune News Service The harrowing stories told by the survivors of the Costa Concordia tragedy strike a deep chord around South Florida, home to America’s cruise industry and headquarters…

Report on shooting spree finds deep mistrust between U.S., Afghan forces

By Nancy A. Youssef, McClatchy Newspapers – WASHINGTON — An Air Force investigation into a shooting spree by an Afghan colonel that left nine U.S. military trainers dead last year found…

Action figure of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs canceled

By Jeremy C. Owens, San Jose Mercury News – SAN JOSE, Calif. — The company that advertised a lifelike Steve Jobs doll for sale earlier this year has decided not to…

Maryland man first in the US to get synthetic trachea transplant

By Andrea K. Walker, The Baltimore Sun – BALTIMORE — Doctors in America told Chris Lyles a cancerous tumor on his windpipe was inoperable, but he and his family wouldn’t…

Chicago planning for world summits is mostly secret

By Jeff Coen, Chicago Tribune – CHICAGO — The business group appointed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to oversee the Group of 8 and NATO summits is accelerating planning and fundraising…

Fla. couple survives Costa cruise sinking: ‘We’ve been blessed’

By Susan Miller Degnan, McClatchy Newspapers – MIAMI — As thousands of screaming men, women and children ran for their lives Friday night amid the sinking Costa Concordia off the…

On MLK Day, Eric Holder vows to enforce Voting Rights Act

On MLK Day, Eric Holder vows to enforce Voting Rights Act

By Michael Muskal, Los Angeles Times LOS ANGELES — U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Monday pledged to use the full force of the Justice Department to defend the…

Bed-sharing deaths of infants persist despite safety warnings

By Kate Thayer and Duaa Eldeib, Chicago Tribune – CHICAGO — James Robinson will tell you the hardest part of his son’s death was having to face his fiancee. The Chicago…

Pakistan’s military, high court both fed up with president

By Alex Rodriguez, Los Angeles Times – ISLAMABAD — In its standoff with President Asif Ali Zardari’s administration, Pakistan’s powerful military is relying on an institution that experts say is equally…

Homeless in Orange County, Calif., feel sense of relief after arrest in slayings

Homeless in Orange County, Calif., feel sense of relief after arrest in slayings

By Tony Barboza and Nicole Santa Cruz, Los Angeles Times – ANAHEIM, Calif. — As word spread of an arrest in the killing of four Orange County homeless men, people came…

In fog of Syria, observers can’t tell what they are seeing

By Alexandra Zavis, Los Angeles Times – ZABADANI, Syria — When observers from the Arab League drove into this mountain town in southwestern Syria, a hotbed of dissent against President Bashar…

4 dead, 1 injured in Fresno apartment complex

By Bonhia Lee, McClatchy Newspapers – FRESNO, Calif. — Fresno police were trying Sunday to unravel a tragic mystery at a Fresno apartment complex: what led to the shooting deaths of…

NAACP says Iowa mayor should resign over racial slur

William Smith, The Hawk Eye, Burlington, Iowa – NEW LONDON – The Burlington branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is asking for the resignation of newly…

Illinois man’s short MMA career ends in tragedy

Jared S. Hopkins, Chicago Tribune – The room at Mojoes in Joliet was filled with, at most, a few hundred people. The crowd wasn’t loud. Maybe it was bored after having…

Bain Capital made millions off S.C. steelmaker as mill morale, finances suffered

By David Wren, McClatchy Newspapers – MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — Boston-based Bain Capital LLC more than doubled its money on GS Industries Inc. — the former parent company of Georgetown Steel…

Iraq bombing kills more than 50 Shiite Muslim pilgrims

By Raheem Salman and Jeffrey Fleishman, Los Angeles Times – BAGHDAD, Iraq — A bomb killed at least 53 Shiite Muslim pilgrims in southern Iraq on Saturday, an attack certain to…

On Iran, how far is too far?

McClatchy-Tribune News Service – Iran’s development of nuclear weapons poses a grave threat to world stability and possibly an existential threat to this country’s Middle Eastern ally, Israel. But how…

Taliban talks not likely to effect an honorable U.S. exit from Afghanistan

By Trudy Rubin , The Philadelphia Inquirer – Now that U.S. troops have left Iraq, the administration is seeking to negotiate an end to the Afghan war. So there was some…

Iran confirms IAEA visit but says it will make no concessions

By Farshid Motahari   TEHRAN, Iran — Iran confirmed Saturday a visit by inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), official news agency IRNA reported. At the same time…

Six dead, thousands evacuated from cruise ship off Italy

By Peter Mayer ROME — Six people were reported killed after a cruise ship apparently hit a shoal and began taking water off Italy’s western coast, reports quoted rescue workers…

Traffic deaths in Minnesota reach lowest level since ’44

Amanda Lillie, Austin Daily Herald – The number of traffic-related deaths in Minnesota nose-dived in 2011, with three of the fatal crashes taking place in Mower County. According to the Minnesota…

Woman killed, man burned in Blue Earth, MN house fire

Sarah Stultz, Albert Lea Tribune A woman died and a man was severely burned Wednesday in a house fire in Blue Earth. Authorities stated the woman, Susan Jean Domek, 57, of…

Saudi king replaces chief of religious police

By Nehal El-Sherif RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — The chief of Saudi Arabia’s religious police has been replaced, following a decree issued Friday by King Abdullah, which is seen as part…

Opponents start Guantanamo prison’s second decade with jumpsuit protests

Opponents start Guantanamo prison’s second decade with jumpsuit protests

By Carol Rosenberg, McClatchy Newspapers – MIAMI — Guantanamo captives hung protest signs inside their cellblocks in Cuba on Wednesday while opponents of the 10-year-old prison camps donned orange jumpsuits and…