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The Associated Press

Stories by The Associated

Manfred takes over as baseball commissioner

Rob Manfred knows he’ll get pounded now that he’s baseball commissioner — his name is printed in blue script on the sweet spot between the seams of every big league ball.

Source says Yankees may not make $6M payment to A-Rod

The New York Yankees are thinking about not making a $6 million payment to Alex Rodriguez if he hits six home runs and ties Willie Mays at 660 for fourth place on the career list.

Kyle Busch annoyed by being confused with brother Kurt

Kyle Busch said Monday he has not gotten involved in his older brother’s personal issues and is disappointed he has been mistaken for Kurt in coverage of assault allegations against the 2004 NASCAR champion.

NASCAR to leave championship format unchanged

NASCAR won’t change its new championship format, which chairman Brian France said Monday is “overwhelmingly popular” with fans.

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Rams notify St. Louis they’ll go year-to-year on lease

The Rams took the first step toward lame-duck status in St. Louis and a possible move back to the West Coast, notifying the city’s Convention and Visitors Commission on Monday they intend to shift to a year-to-year lease agreement for their use of the Edward Jones Dome.

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Snowstorm threatens to paralyze region crowded by millions

Tens of millions of people along the Philadelphia-to-Boston corridor rushed to get home and settle in Monday as a fearsome storm swirled in with the potential for hurricane-force winds and 1 to 3 feet of snow that could paralyze the Northeast for days.

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Hobbyist claims drone that crashes at White Houes

A two-foot-long drone apparently flown by a hobbyist crashed on the White House grounds Monday in an extraordinary, if unintended, breach that raised fresh questions about the president’s security — and a growing threat from the sky.

$376,000 spent flying commissioners to meetings

Missouri spent $376,000 to fly commissioners to meetings across the state when hundreds of thousands of dollars could have been saved if they drove instead, according to the state audit.

Hearing shows support for review of entire state tax code

Business groups say they support a proposed multi-year review of Missouri’s tax code by a panel of experts.

Proposal would exempt banks from Missouri consumer protection law

Exempting financial institutions from a Missouri law governing advertising, merchandising and related lawsuits would leave individuals little recourse if they are mistreated, a state consumer protection official told lawmakers Monday.

Co-founders of firm leading Joplin redevelopment resign

The president of a Texas-based contractor hired to lead tornado recovery efforts in Joplin announced Monday that he and another co-founder had resigned as their firm mysteriously left town.

Japan seeks Jordan’s help in release of hostage

A Japanese diplomat emerged from talks in Jordan on Monday with no signs of progress in securing the release of a freelance journalist held hostage by the extremist Islamic State group.

10 dead, 21 hurt in crash of Greek F-16 jet in Spain

A Greek F-16 fighter jet crashed into other aircraft on the ground during NATO training in southeastern Spain Monday, killing at least 10 French and Greek military personnel, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said.

Gunman wounds worker at LA-area mental clinic

A man described as paranoid shot and wounded a mental health worker Monday during a struggle at a Los Angeles-area clinic where he had sought help, but the employee was expected to survive, officials said.

Bodies found near vehicle of missing Ga. couple

The car belonging to a Georgia couple who were reported missing after traveling to meet a person claiming to sell a classic auto has been found in a lake and two bodies were found nearby, authorities said Monday.

Lawyer: Boy Scout files depict ‘sordid’ history of abuse

The sexual abuse of a 13-year-old scout by an adult volunteer was part of a “sordid history of child sexual abuse” within the Boy Scouts that has been documented internally by the organization for nearly a century, the victim’s attorney said Monday in his opening statement at a civil trial in California.

Cops: Disable popular police-tracking app

Law enforcement is concerned that the popular Waze mobile traffic app by Google Inc., which provides real-time road conditions, can also be used to hunt and harm police.

US announces charges in NY Russian spy ring

Three Russian citizens were charged Monday in connection with a Cold War-style Russian spy ring that spoke in code, passed information concealed in bags and magazines, and tried to recruit people with ties to an unnamed New York City university, authorities said.

S&P downgrades Russia credit rating to junk

Standard & Poor’s rating agency on Monday downgraded Russia’s credit grade by one notch to junk status, citing a weakened economic outlook.

Stocks eke out small gains after driftin most of day

U.S. stocks eked out tiny gains on Monday after spending much of the day drifting sideways.

Low inflation likely to keep Fed ‘patient’ on a rate hike

The Federal Reserve ended 2014 with a pledge to be “patient” in raising interest rates from record lows. The way things are going, its patience may endure for a long while.

Melissa Rivers files lawsuit in mother’s death

Melissa Rivers filed a malpractice lawsuit Monday against doctors and the clinic where her mother, Joan Rivers, had a routine medical procedure, stopped breathing and later died.

Sundance doc 'Hot Girls Wanted' exposes amateur porn

“Teen” is the most searched term in online pornography, and thousands of young people enter the amateur porn industry every day, lured by promises of quick money and hopes for fame.

Sundance documentary pulls back curtain on Scientology

“Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival to a packed house — not with a star-studded red carpet, but with police protection.

Miss Colombia crowned 2015 Miss Universe

Miss Colombia Paulina Vega, a relative pageant newcomer, has been crowned Miss Universe, beating out first runner-up Miss USA Nia Sanchez and contestants from more than 80 other countries at Sunday’s pageant in Miami.

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SAG win sends 'Birdman' Oscar hopes soaring

Oscar hopes for “Birdman” got an enormous updraft over the weekend with big wins from the acting and producing guilds, possibly sending the comedy soaring over the perceived Academy Awards front-runner “Boyhood.”

Thieves have change of heart, return stolen Boy Scouts gear

A guilty conscience and news coverage apparently led some thieves to return a cargo trailer and camping gear that was stolen from a Montana Boy Scout troop earlier this month.

Hometown boy does good in NHL All-Star game

Johansen gets nod in MVP vote

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Blue Jackets forward Ryan Johansen spent the past few days showing off Columbus to his fellow NHL All-Stars. On Sunday, Johansen did some showing off of his own by winning an online fan vote to be named the game’s MVP.

Not a lot of defense in NHL All-Star game

Team Toews tops Team Foligno

COLUMBUS, Ohio — It was enough to give a goalie nightmares: A record 29 goals, 25 players with at least two points and eight with at least four.

Friendly Pro Bowl

Watt gets two turnovers, dances

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Few moved very fast, no one flattened a quarterback and there were no bone-jarring hits in the gentle, friendly version of football played at the Pro Bowl Sunday.

Patriots’ Browner was with Seahawks last season

Brandon Browner received a Super Bowl ring last year even though he was watching from home 3,000 miles from the Seattle Seahawks when they won the title.

Injured Thomas plans to play in Super Bowl

Seahawks All-Pro safety Earl Thomas promises he will play in the Super Bowl and will remain fearless when he gets on the field.

Haas takes title at Humana Challenge

Bill Haas pulled off another imaginative escape to win the Humana Challenge.

Murder trial of ex-Patriot Hernandez ready to begin

Aaron Hernandez once seemed to be a man with a bright future. At age 23 he had a Super Bowl appearance under his belt and a $40-million contract as a star tight end with the New England Patriots. He and his fiancee had started a family, living in a mansion in the Boston suburbs with their 8-month-old daughter.

Cubs great Banks passed away from heart attack

Chicago Cubs great Ernie Banks died after a heart attack, an attorney representing the Hall of Famer’s family said Sunday.

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Krzyzewski gets 1,000th win as Duke tops St. John’s

Coach 1K. How grand.

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Sherman believes NFL will take it easy on Patriots

Relishing no longer being in the “villain” role, Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman is painting his team’s Super Bowl opponent as occupying that position.

Source: Gordon fails another drug test

Josh Gordon’s troubles have deepened. He may be out of chances — and time.

Japan working to gain release of IS hostage, analyzing video

Japan was working Monday to coordinate efforts with Jordan and other countries to save a hostage held by the extremist Islamic State group.

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Obama seeks bigger wilderness designation for Alaska refuge

President Barack Obama is proposing to designate the vast majority of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as a wilderness area, including its potentially oil-rich coastal plain, drawing an angry response from top state elected officials who see it as a land grab by the federal government.

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Northeast fears storm of ‘historic’ proportions

A “potentially historic” storm could dump 2 to 3 feet of snow from northern New Jersey to southern Maine starting Monday, crippling a region that has largely been spared so far this winter, the National Weather Service said.

Nixon’s budget plan faces challenges in state legislature

Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon has asked lawmakers for more money this year and next, but with an even stronger grip on the Legislature and new checks on the governor’s power, Republicans are unlikely to give him what he wants.

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Ukraine: Calls prove rebels attacked city, killed 30

Ukraine’s president said Sunday that intercepted radio and telephone conversations prove that Russia-backed separatists were responsible for firing the rockets that pounded the southeastern city of Mariupol and killed at least 30 people.

Obama, Modi declare era of 'new trust' in US-India relations

President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday declared an era of “new trust” in the often fraught relationship between their nations as the U.S. leader opened a three-day visit to New Delhi.

Obama: Counterterrorism operations in Yemen not affected

President Barack Obama defended his counterterrorism strategy in tumultuous Yemen Sunday, saying efforts to root out a dangerous al-Qaida affiliate there would not be affected by the political vacuum in the country.

Special prosecutor re-examining cuffed Iowa man’s Missouri drowning

A special prosecutor is taking a fresh look at the death of a handcuffed Iowa suspect who went overboard as a State Highway Patrol boat was transporting him.

Added protectons for consumer information on health website

The Obama administration appears to be making broader changes to protect consumer information on the government’s health insurance website, after objections from lawmakers and privacy advocates.

Government policy change aims to help first-time homebuyers

Uncle Sam wants to make it more affordable for Americans to buy their first home.

1 killed, 1 wounded in northwest Missouri shooting

A 34-year-old man has been charged with killing a man and wounding a woman after driving through the closed garage door of a rural northwest Missouri home.

Experts say prices, demand for beef to remain high

High beef prices are here to stay for a while, as recent drought conditions in Texas and around the country have reduced the nation’s cattle supply to its lowest numbers in more than 50 years, according to agricultural experts.