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The Associated Press

Stories by The Associated

Moniteau prosecutor seeks change of venue

A central Missouri prosecutor facing five felony charges after crashing his car into a popular downtown Columbia restaurant is seeking a change of venue to move the case out of Boone County.

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US, Cuba patch torn relations in historic accord

President Barack Obama abruptly announced the U.S. is re-establishing long-broken diplomatic relations with Cuba on Wednesday, declaring an end to America’s “outdated approach” to the communist island in a historic shift aimed at ending a half-century of Cold War enmity.

Changes in Cuba mean changes for MLB

Fred Claire can see the day when Major League Baseball teams open academies for prospects in Cuba.

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Abused kids die as officials fail to protect

At least 786 children died of abuse or neglect in the U.S. in a six-year span in plain view of child protection authorities — many of them beaten, starved or left alone to drown while agencies had good reason to know they were in danger, the Associated Press has found.

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Charges: Stun gun, zip ties used on abducted teen

A man used death threats, a stun gun, zip ties and a shock collar to control a teenage girl he’s accused of kidnapping at gunpoint, imprisoning and sexually assaulting over nine months, according to indictments released Wednesday.

Steelers run defense to go against potent Chiefs

The numbers, at least by James Harrison’s impeccably high standards, aren’t good enough. Not by a long shot.

Chiefs face challenge against balanced Steelers

The Kansas City Chiefs’ hopes for a postseason berth go through a daunting matchup at the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Pump fake an old standby tool in QB’s belt

Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers had first-and-goal at Carolina, poised to break open that September game in the third quarter.

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Gaines lone rookie CB in NFL to start every game

Defensive back E.J. Gaines slipped into St. Louis Rams training camp as an afterthought. Turns out, the sixth-round pick has been a steal.

Lawsuit over immigrant license data

Immigrant advocates filed a lawsuit Wednesday over concerns that federal immigration agents could use state driver’s license databases to track down people for deportation.

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113th Congress ends with more fights than feats

The tempestuous 113th Congress has limped out of Washington for the last time, capping two years of modest and infrequent legislating that was overshadowed by partisan clashes, gridlock and investigations.

Tulsa tops Missouri State, 74-70

James Woodard scored 26 points — with a career-high six 3-pointers — and Shaquille Harrison knocked down 23 points with seven assists Wednesday night as Tulsa defeated Missouri State 74-70.

St. Louis wins against Texas-Pan American

Mike Crawford scored 19 points — including an 8-of-10 performance from the line — and Saint Louis made a late run to beat Texas-Pan American 75-69 on Wednesday.

Pelini ripped AD in last talk with Nebraska players

On the day he was introduced as Youngstown State’s new head coach, the ugly nature of Bo Pelini’s departure from Nebraska was revealed.

Titans, Jaguars offer little outside of draft positioning

There are few, if any, reasons to watch Tennessee and Jacksonville tonight.

Wednesday's Top 25 College Men's Basketball Capsules

Games played on Dec. 17, 2014

COLLEGE MEN'S BASKETBALL ROUNDUP: Farad Cobb hit a 3-pointer that put Cincinnati in control in overtime, and the Bearcats pulled away to a 71-62 victory over No. 19 San Diego State on Wednesday night after letting a late lead slip away in regulation.

Wednesday's NHL Capsules

Games played on Dec. 17, 2014

NHL ROUNDUP: Loui Eriksson's goal 1:30 into overtime gave Boston a 3-2 win over Minnesota on Wednesday night, only the second victory for the Bruins in eight games and the fourth loss for the Wild in the past six.

Fed to be ‘patient’ about a rate hike

The Federal Reserve is edging closer to raising interest rates from record lows given a strengthening U.S. economy. But it will be “patient” in deciding when to do so.

Wednesday's NBA Capsules

Games played on Dec. 17, 2014

NBA ROUNDUP: Shelvin Mack scored a career-high 24 points and the Atlanta Hawks routed the Cleveland Cavaliers 127-98 Wednesday night for their 11th victory in 12 games.

Stocks gain most in more than a year on Fed, oil

A pledge from the Federal Reserve to remain “patient” when deciding when to lift interest rates gave the stock market its biggest gain in more than a year.

Wednesday's Top 25 College Women's Basketball Capsules

Games played on Dec. 17, 2014

COLLEGE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL ROUNDUP: Tiffany Mitchell made six 3-pointers and scored 20 points, helping No. 1 South Carolina beat Hampton 69-49 on Wednesday night.

Washington U. gets $30 M for Alzheimer's studies

Federal funds will provide $30 million for Alzheimer's disease research at Washington University in St. Louis over the next five years.

Protest leads to closing of St. Louis City Hall

Protesters upset with police over their handling of demonstrations related to the Michael Brown shooting managed to shut down St. Louis City Hall.

Missouri's education department has a new leader

A new Missouri education commissioner has been chosen to replace a leader who faced frequent criticism while dealing with struggling districts.

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Vatican signals new tone on US nuns

An unprecedented Vatican investigation of U.S. women’s religious orders that alarmed Roman Catholic sisters when the inquiry began years ago ended Tuesday with a report signaling a softer approach under Pope Francis.

Suarez enters guilty plea for taking part in conspiracy to smuggle Puig

A South Florida businessman pleaded guilty Tuesday to taking part in a conspiracy to smuggle Los Angeles Dodgers star Yasiel Puig out of Cuba in return for a sizable cut of the outfielder’s multimillion-dollar salary.

Tuesday's NBA Capsules

Games played on Dec. 16, 2014

NBA ROUNDUP: Marc Gasol scored 24 points, and the Memphis Grizzlies snapped the Golden State Warriors' NBA-best 16-game winning streak with a 105-98 victory on Tuesday night.

Yankees GM Cashman says A-Rod now a DH

Alex Rodriguez faces a diminished role in his return to the New York Yankees, who have stripped A-Rod of his third-base job and plan to limit his role to full-time designated hitter — at most.

Nose tackle says Broncos will win it all

John Fox has no problem with nose tackle Terrance “Pot Roast” Knighton’s Super Bowl bravado.

Michigan close to banning unions formed by student-athletes

Athletes would be blocked from unionizing at public universities under a bill that won final passage Tuesday, making Michigan at least the second state to respond after Northwestern University football players were allowed to vote this year on union representation.

Tuesday's Top 25 College Men's Basketball Capsules

Games played on Dec. 16, 2014

COLLEGE MEN'S BASKETBALL ROUNDUP: Freshman Stanley Johnson matched his season high with 18 points to lead five Arizona players in double figures and the No. 3-ranked Wildcats wrapped up their nonconference home schedule with a 101-64 rout of Oakland on Tuesday night.

Obama signs $1.1 trillion spending bill

With little fanfare to mark a rare bipartisan achievement, President Barack Obama on Tuesday signed a massive, $1.1 trillion spending bill that keeps the government operating over the next nine months.

Tuesday's NHL Capsules

Games played on Dec. 16, 2014

NHL ROUNDUP: Nick Bjugstad scored the winning goal in the longest shootout in NHL history to lift the Florida Panthers over the Washington Capitals 2-1 on Tuesday night.

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141 killed in Taliban attack

Most of dead are Pakistani children slaughtered at school

In the deadliest slaughter of innocents in Pakistan in years, Taliban gunmen attacked a military-run school Tuesday and killed 141 people — almost all of them students — before government troops ended the siege.

Poor choice of words gets Rams' Cook in trouble

Jared Cook spoke eloquently about why he and four St. Louis Rams teammates did the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” gesture, but comments about his coach got him in trouble last week.

Sprint to end NASCAR series sponsorship after 2016 season

Sprint has informed NASCAR it won’t extend title sponsorship of the top Sprint Cup Series beyond its current contract, which expires after the 2016 season.

Playoff participants stack AP All-America team

The College Football Playoff participants are well represented on the Associated Press All-America team.

Mocs looking to upset another national power

Chattanooga’s Jim Foster has used connections he’s developed during his Hall of Fame coaching career to produce the kind of home schedule rarely seen from a mid-major women’s basketball program.

Winslow resigns as Florida A&M AD

College and Pro Football Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow resigned as Florida A&M University’s athletic director eight months after taking over the program, the school announced Monday.

Morales finalizes deal with Royals

Kendrys Morales missed out on a postseason appearance last season when his Seattle Mariners fell just short of a wild card.

#IllRideWithYou — Aussies offer support to Muslims

Some Australian social media users sent a message of solidarity to Muslims as the Sydney cafe siege went on for almost a day, offering to accompany anyone who felt intimidated on public transit.

Horror over deadly Sydney siege turns to anger

Horror over a deadly siege morphed into anger Tuesday as leaders of a grieving nation demanded to know how a man with a violent criminal history slipped through the cracks and ended up in the downtown Sydney cafe where he took 17 people hostage.

Tainted feed blamed for 4 horse deaths at Florida stable

Eighteen poisoned horses are being treated to spa days in their Florida stables, with their young riders brushing their manes and tails, painting their hooves, feeding them hay and petting their noses.

Islamic State recruits broadly, not just fighters

As it looks to expand its territorial base across broad swaths of Iraq and Syria, the Islamic State group is recruiting for more than just fighters.

Immigration end game: No deal, just divisions

A Congress that began with bright hopes for immigration legislation is ending in bitter divisions on the issue even as some Republicans warn that the political imperative for acting is stronger than ever for the GOP.

Tuesday's Top 25 College Women's Basketball Capsules

Games played on Dec. 16, 2014

COLLEGE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL ROUNDUP: Ruth Hamblin had 17 points and 10 rebounds to help No. 16 Oregon State beat No. 6 North Carolina 70-55 on Tuesday night.

Boeing 737 factory to move to clean energy

Boeing said Tuesday it plans to buy renewable energy credits to replace fossil-fuel power at the factory in Washington state where it assembles its 737 commercial airplanes.

Early rally fizzles, leaving US indexes lower

Sudden twists in the price of oil and currency trading turned the stock market into a roller-coaster ride on Tuesday.

Apple wins class-action lawsuit over iPad prices

A federal jury decided Tuesday that Apple didn’t compete unfairly when it sold music players and songs with copy-protection software that was incompatible with rival devices and music from competing online stores.

Man imprisoned for Iraq transfers nears release

A Columbia man serving a three-year federal prison sentence for sending money to his relatives in Iraq in defiance of U.S. sanctions has been released to a local halfway house.