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Senate approves Obama pick for surgeon general

The Senate on Monday approved President Barack Obama’s nomination of Dr. Vivek Murthy to serve as U.S. surgeon general, despite opposition from Republicans and some Democrats over his support for gun control and past statements that gun violence is a public health issue.

Artists take credit for hanging black effigies

Artists claimed responsibility for hanging three cardboard images of black lynching victims at a Northern California university, leading campus authorities to say Monday they no longer view the life-size effigies as a hate crime.

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Obama declares 'turning point' for US military

Marking what he called a “turning point” for the U.S. military, President Barack Obama on Monday saluted troops returning from Afghanistan and declared the United States is moving past the time for large deployments aimed at nation building.

6 dead, suspect on loose in shooting

A man suspected of going to three houses in the Philadelphia suburbs and fatally shooting six people, including his ex-wife and her 14-year-old niece, was at large Monday night, and a prosecutor said investigators didn’t know where he was or how he was getting around.

Stocks fall after biggest weekly loss since 2012

Falling oil prices pushed U.S. stocks down broadly on Monday, extending losses into a second week.

Factory output eclipses pre-recession high

U.S. manufacturing output in November surpassed its pre-recession peak, as auto production kicked into a higher gear.

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‘Gone with the Wind’ premiere sparked tension

Seventy-five years after the premiere of the movie “Gone with the Wind,” research is shedding light on the racial tensions that existed at the time between the producer and city of Atlanta officials.

Rings given to Salvation Army fetch $21,000 for toys

Not even J.R.R. Tolkien could dream up rings as precious as these.

Sony threatens to sue for publishing stolen emails

A lawyer representing Sony Pictures Entertainment is warning news organizations not to publish details of company files leaked by hackers in one of the largest digital breaches ever against an American company.

Merriam-Webster: ‘Culture’ word of the year

A nation, a workplace, an ethnicity, a passion, an outsized personality. The people who comprise these things, who fawn or rail against them, are behind Merriam-Webster’s 2014 word of the year: culture.

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Sydney cafe siege ends; 3 dead, including gunman

The deadly siege began in the most incongruous of ways, on a sunny Monday morning inside a cheerful cafe in the heart of Australia’s largest city. An Iranian-born gunman burst in, took 17 people hostage, and forced some to hold a flag with an Islamic declaration of faith above the shop window’s festive inscription of “Merry Christmas.”

Governor cites need for Missouri Capitol repairs

Gov. Jay Nixon is planning to tour the nooks and crannies of the Missouri Capitol to get a first-hand look at repairs that could be financed through a bonding plan.

NFL Capsules: Cowboys take control of NFC East

With win against Eagles

PHILADELPHIA — Dez Bryant caught a career-best three touchdown catches from Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys rallied to beat the Philadelphia Eagles 38-27 on Sunday night after wasting a 21-0 lead.

Manziel falls flat in debut

As starter for Browns

CLEVELAND — Wearing large headphones to block out the world, Johnny Manziel walked slowly from the Browns’ locker room, pausing to sign an autograph for a young fan who painted his face for the occassion.

Looking ahead to the 2015 Heisman Trophy

Some early favorites

NEW YORK — Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota will likely be taking his game to the NFL next season. Runner-up Melvin Gordon has already said he will be skipping his last year of eligibility at Wisconsin to enter the NFL draft. Alabama receiver Amari Cooper, the other finalist who finished third in the Heisman voting, also is probably on his way to the NFL after the Crimson Tide are done chasing another national championship.

Police arrest Kansas State player

Early Sunday morning

MANHATTAN, Kan. — Police reports show Kansas State backup defensive tackle Terrell Clinkscales has been arrested on a failure to appear in court warrant and suspicion of witness/victim intimidation.

Oklahoma’s Knight OK to play

Quarterback for Sooners

NORMAN, Okla. — Oklahoma quarterback Trevor Knight has been cleared to play after missing more than a month with a neck injury.

Three Tennessee freshmen planning to transfer

Football players

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tight end Daniel Helm, defensive end Dewayne Hendrix and running back Derrell Scott have decided to transfer from Tennessee.

Two college playoff games a strain on the budget

For families of players

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Take out a loan or even a second mortgage, forgo Christmas presents or split a hotel room.

Auburn football player killed

Jakell Mitchell shot early Sunday morning

AUBURN, Ala. — The girlfriend of a slain Auburn football player said he was arguing with a man at a party when a third man pulled a handgun and opened fire.

Lamberson heading to Kearney

University of Central Missouri offensive coordinator Josh Lamberson has been named head football coach at Nebraska-Kearney.

Virginia tops UCLA on PKs for title

Virginia beat UCLA 4-2 on penalty kicks after a scoreless tie to win the NCAA men’s soccer title Sunday.

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Bryant now No. 3 on scoring list

All-time in the NBA

MINNEAPOLIS — Kobe Bryant has reached rarefied air.

Steckel accepts coaching job at Missouri State

Will stay at Missouri through bowl game

SPRINGFIELD — Missouri State has hired Missouri defensive coordinator Dave Steckel as its new football head coach.

Spending deal may not offer 2015 Congress road map

Optimists might think twice before seeing Congress’ bipartisan agreement to keep the government running another year as a road map for 2015.

$1.1T bill: School lunches, light bulbs, pot

School kids, truckers, marijuana smokers and fans of old-fashioned light bulbs are among the millions of people who had something extra riding on the big spending bill passed by Congress to keep the government running.

CIA report revives legal debate on interrogation

When the CIA sought permission to use harsh interrogation methods on a captured al-Qaida operative, the response from Bush administration lawyers was encouraging, even clinical.

Dozens treated for carbon monoxide at ice rink

A suspected carbon monoxide leak during a junior hockey game at a Wisconsin ice rink sent dozens of people to hospitals, and the arena said Sunday that it will investigate whether an ice resurfacing machine may have been the source of the deadly gas.

45 arrested after police protests in SF Bay area

Police arrested 45 people Saturday in the hours after thousands of protesters took to the streets of San Francisco and Oakland in largely peaceful protests, joining in a national demonstration against police killings.

Police arrest second man in Portland shooting

An 18-year-old man arrested Sunday is the second of three people believed to be involved in a shooting outside an alternative Portland high school, police said.

Newtown victim's mom speaks out on gun violence

The mother of a first-grader killed in the Newtown school shooting rampage spoke out against gun violence Sunday on the second anniversary of the massacre, saying it has broken the hearts of other mothers across the country.

Mormons say race remains taboo topic in church

year after Mormon leaders published a landmark essay on the church’s past ban on blacks in the priesthood, some members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints say race seems to remain a taboo topic.

Crunch time again for health insurance sign-ups

President Barack Obama’s push to cover America’s uninsured faces another big test Monday. This time, it’s not only how the website functions, but how well the program itself works for millions who are starting to count on it.

Doctor won't be disciplined for botched operation

A former health care company neurosurgeon in suburban St. Louis will face no state disciplinary action for operating on the wrong side of a woman’s brain.

Bill would ban aid for immigrant students

Some Missouri student immigrants spared from potential deportation could qualify for the same community college scholarships as state residents who are citizens under a proposal under fire from a Republican lawmaker.

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Wahlberg's plea points up risk of issuing pardons

Actor Mark Wahlberg’s plea for a pardon has focused fresh attention on excusing criminal acts — something governors rarely do because it’s so politically risky.

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People find 'waze' to once-hidden streets

When the people whose houses hug the narrow warren of streets paralleling the busiest urban freeway in America began to see bumper-to-bumper traffic crawling by their homes a year or so ago, they were baffled.

Pope: Enough gloom, try joy ahead of Christmas

Pope Francis is encouraging people to be joyful, saying, “We’ve never heard of a sad saint.”

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32 dead, 76 missing in central Indonesia mudslide

Rescuers pulled more bodies from the debris Sunday after heavy rain in central Indonesia loosened soil and collapsed a hill, setting off a landslide that killed at least 32 villagers and left 76 others missing under piles of mud.

American man in NKorea says he’s not detained

North Korea on Sunday presented to the media an American man who says he illegally crossed into the country but has not been put into custody and is seeking asylum in Venezuela.

Deal salvaged at UN climate talks

A compromise deal salvaged by climate negotiators in Lima early Sunday sets the stage for a global pact in Paris next year, but a consensus could not be reached on nations submitting to a rigorous review of their plans for greenhouse gas emissions limits.

Russia denies another near collision over Baltic

Russia’s Defense Ministry on Sunday denied Swedish claims that for the second time this year a Russian military aircraft had nearly collided with a passenger jet over Sweden, insisting that the two planes were never less than 42 miles apart.

4 ways to hold on to your cash when renting a car

Heading home for the holidays can come with a hefty price tag.

Sunday's Top 25 College Men's Basketball Capsules

Games played on Dec. 14, 2014

COLLEGE MEN'S BASKETBALL ROUNDUP: Josh Hart and Darrun Hilliard each scored 20 points to lead No. 7 Villanova to an 85-62 win over Temple on Sunday.

Sunday's Top 25 College Women's Basketball Capsules

Games played on Dec. 14, 2014

COLLEGE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL ROUNDUP: A'ja Wilson scored 23 points and Elem Ibiam had 21, both career highs, and No. 1 South Carolina routed Savannah State 111-49 on Sunday.

Sunday's NFL Capsules

Games played on Dec. 14, 2014

NFL ROUNDUP: Johnny Manziel spent his first NFL start being chased and taunted by Cincinnati defenders as the Bengals rudely welcomed the hyped rookie quarterback to the league with a 30-0 demolition of the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

Sunday's Golf Capsules

Tournaments played on Dec. 14, 2014

GOLF TOURNAMENT ROUNDUP: Adam Scott three-putted for bogey on the seventh hole of a playoff Sunday to hand the Australian PGA Championship to fellow Australian Greg Chalmers.

Developments in Newtown 2 years after massacre

As the second anniversary of the Newtown school shooting arrives on Sunday, local officials and others touched by the tragedy have been busy on many fronts as the town continues its recovery from the massacre of 20 children and six educators.

Famed stadium may become part of national park

One of the last remaining stadiums in America where Negro League baseball was played may soon become part of a national park in New Jersey.

Iowa State defensive lineman Cousin suspended

Iowa State defensive lineman Devlyn Cousin has been suspended indefinitely from the team after being arrested and charged with simple domestic assault.