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Baltimore asks Justice Department to investigate police practices

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- Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake asked the U.S. Justice Department on Wednesday to investigate the city's police department for civil rights violations after the death of a black man from injuries sustained in police custody. | Video

California approves new uniform rules for ocean desalination

SACRAMENTO - California water regulators on Wednesday adopted a new uniform permitting process for ocean desalination projects that are expected to expand in number as the drought-stricken state increasingly turns to the sea to supplement its drinking supplies.

Environment 6:20pm EDT

Bill Clinton says tough '90s crime bill went too far

WASHINGTON - Former President Bill Clinton acknowledged on Wednesday that an anti-crime crackdown he pushed in 1994 went too far, and said he now supports his wife Hillary's plans to reverse some of those justice policies.

Politics, 3:15pm EDT

Boston bomber volunteered as family fell apart, jurors told

BOSTON - Lawyers seeking to spare convicted Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev from the death penalty called witnesses on Wednesday who described his volunteer work with disabled children, his respect for his older brother, and his father's mental illness in the years before the attack.

5:29pm EDT

U.S. probing Islamic State claims it was behind Texas cartoon attack

WASHINGTON - U.S. investigators were looking into claims by the Islamic State that it was behind a failed attack on a Texas exhibit of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in which two gunmen were killed, but officials said on Tuesday they doubted the militant group's direct involvement. | Video

4:28am EDT

Tornadoes hit southwest of Oklahoma City

- A series of tornadoes touched down southwest of Oklahoma City on Wednesday, causing damage to some structures, but there were no immediate reports of injuries, officials and local TV reports said.

Environment 6:15pm EDT

Texas attack shows evolution of 'lone wolf' militants -U.S. officials

WASHINGTON/AUSTIN, Texas - U.S. investigators believe two men killed after opening fire on a Texas event that offered a prize for cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad represent an evolving model of “lone wolf” militants who are radicalized partly by themselves and partly through long-distance engagement with organized militants.

Syria 4:47pm EDT

Oklahoma passes bill allowing designated school staff to carry guns

OKLAHOMA CITY - School districts in Oklahoma would be able to designate an employee to carry handguns on school property under a bill approved on Wednesday by the state Senate and sent to Governor Mary Fallin.

3:52pm EDT

New York jury to return for 17th day of deliberations in 1979 missing boy murder trial

NEW YORK - A New York jury ended its 16th day of deliberations on Wednesday with no verdict in the murder trial of a former deli worker who confessed to the 1979 killing of Etan Patz, a 6-year-old whose disappearance changed the way the United States responds to reports of missing children.

5:16pm EDT

Florida woman's online order asks for pizza, police help

ORLANDO, Fla. - Employees at a Pizza Hut in Florida were praised on Wednesday for helping rescue a customer who wrote a message in her online pizza order that she was being held hostage and needed someone to call 911, authorities said. | Video

Oddly Enough 10:36am EDT

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