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Lawmakers, state officials to receive pay raises January 28, 2015

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Report gives mostly high marks for attorney general nominee

Justice Department evaluators gave mostly high ratings to the management skills of Loretta Lynch, President Barack Obama’s nominee for attorney general, in a report made public five days before she faces a Senate confirmation hearing.

Family remembers 4 kids, grandparents believed dead in fire

The big sister wanted to be known as a gamer, and she loved making videos with her pet guinea pig, Oreo.

Forensic group to take look at unsolved 1992 Zywicki killing

Illinois State Police say they are turning over to a private forensics group the unsolved 1992 slaying of an Iowa-bound college student from New Jersey.

US reports slight decline in union membership during 2014

Union membership in the U.S. is down slightly, making up just over 11 percent of the workforce last year.

Courthouse quote isn’t Washington’s; ‘Unknown’ now credited

A quote about respect for military veterans that had been attributed to George Washington and displayed prominently at the Deschutes County Courthouse has a new credit: “Unknown.”

Garden gnome fans fret: SkyMall files for bankruptcy

Apparently, airline passengers aren’t buying enough garden gnomes, superhero pajamas and heated cat shelters.

Challenges on multiple fronts likely to test new Saudi king

Saudi Arabia’s new monarch inherits the throne at a moment when the oil-rich kingdom is being buffeted by a plunge in the value of its most valuable commodity, growing challenges by activists at home and deepening turmoil on its borders that stands to benefit rival Iran.

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After 37 years in prison, innocent N.C. man freed

For the first time in nearly 40 years, Joseph Sledge woke up behind bars with a chance of becoming a free man.

Pot-related poison control calls up in Washington, Colorado

Marijuana-related calls to poison control centers in Washington and Colorado have spiked since the states began allowing legal sales last year, with an especially troubling increase in calls concerning young children.

Mayor, NAACP confident in police shooting investigation

Elected officials, the state NAACP and local religious leaders said Friday they have confidence in an investigation into a fatal police shooting at a traffic stop that was captured by a patrol car camera.

Prayers said for Japanese hostages held by Islamic militants

Prayers were offered Friday at Tokyo’s largest mosque for two Japanese hostages threatened with beheading by Islamic militants who had demanded a $200 million ransom for their release.

Ex-volunteer firefighter accused of luring, raping children

A former volunteer firefighter already charged with arson faces new allegations he lured children with toys and money and sexually assaulted them.

Federal judge strikes down gay-marriage ban in Alabama

Alabama became the latest state to see its ban on gay marriage fall to a federal court ruling Friday, as the issue of same-sex marriage heads to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Pro-Russian rebels reject peace deal, launch new offensive

Pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine rejected a previously signed peace deal Friday and launched a new multipronged offensive against Ukrainian government troops, upending recent European attempts to mediate an end to the fighting.

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Got Battery? Lots of low battery hacks but no quick fix

Smartphone users are tired of begging to charge devices behind bars or hunting for hidden electrical outlets in airports and train stations. Where, oh where, is a better battery?

Stocks fall, snapping 4-day winning streak; UPS slumps

A batch of mixed earnings reports Friday helped push the stock market to its first day of losses this week.

Obama to pass on meeting Netanyahu during Washington visit

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s planned trip to Washington in March is kicking up a diplomatic dust storm in the nation’s capital.

GOP pushes abortion bill through House on March for Life Day

With thousands of abortion protesters swarming the city in their annual March for Life, Republicans muscled broadened abortion restrictions through the House on Thursday after a GOP rebellion forced leaders into an awkward retreat on an earlier version.

Prosecutor: Bombings defendant was top Osama bin Laden aide

A man charged in the deadly 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa was a top aide to Osama bin Laden in the early days of al-Qaida and worked hard to spread his message to kill Americans, a prosecutor said Thursday at the start of his terrorism trial.

4 bears die of chocolate overdoses; expert proposes ban

New Hampshire’s bear expert is proposing to eliminate the use of chocolate as bait after four bears were found dead at one trapping site due to a chocolate overdose.