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Accused Boston bomber says satisfied with defense lawyers

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BOSTON - The Boston Marathon bombing suspect, in his first court appearance in more than a year, told a judge on Thursday that he was satisfied with his lawyers' preparations for the January start of his trial over the deadly 2013 attack.

U.S., Cuba restore ties after 50 years

HAVANA/WASHINGTON - The United States and Cuba agreed on Wednesday to restore diplomatic ties that Washington severed more than 50 years ago, and President Barack Obama called for an end to the long economic embargo against its old Cold War enemy. | Video

World, Politics, 1:02pm EST

NYC subway extension may transform Manhattan neighborhood

NEW YORK - Work crews are scrambling underneath New York City to finish the city's first major new subway stop in 25 years, a fast-track project intended to revitalize a long-neglected slice of Manhattan.

9:06am EST

Wisconsin girl in Slenderman case ruled competent to stand trial

WAUKESHA, Wisc. - A Wisconsin girl accused of luring a classmate into the woods and repeatedly stabbing her to please a fictional Internet character named Slenderman has been ruled competent to stand trial, a judge ruled on Thursday.

3:13pm EST

U.S. to sue NYC over rights violations of teen Rikers inmates

NEW YORK - The U.S. Department of Justice plans to sue New York City over widespread violations of the civil rights of teenage inmates at the Rikers Island jail complex, it said on Thursday, raising the prospect of years of federal oversight of the troubled jail.

3:16pm EST

White House does not dismiss idea of Castro visit

WASHINGTON - The White House does not dismiss the possibility of an eventual, precedent-shattering visit to Washington by Cuban President Raul Castro as part of President Barack Obama's plans to normalize relations with Havana.

Politics, Cuba 3:02pm EST

Black-market chemist pleads guilty in U.S. baseball doping scandal

MIAMI - A black-market chemist pleaded guilty on Thursday to concocting testosterone in the garage lab of his Florida home that was used to supply performance-enhancing drugs linked to the U.S. baseball doping scandal.

3:17pm EST

White supremacist charged in Kansas deaths found competent for trial

KANSAS CITY, Kan - A Kansas judge on Thursday found that a white supremacist accused in the murder of three people at Jewish facilities is competent to stand trial, after reviewing a psychological report requested by his defense lawyers.

2:29pm EST

New York Mayor de Blasio named PETA's Person of the Year

NEW YORK - New York Mayor Bill de Blasio was named 2014 Person of the Year by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) for opposing horse-drawn carriages in Manhattan and advocating other animal friendly causes, the group said on Thursday.

Environment, 1:55pm EST

Ford expands Takata driver-side air bag recall in U.S.

DETROIT - Ford Motor Co on Thursday expanded the recall of older-model Mustang cars that have driver-side Takata air bags with inflators, to include about 502,500 vehicles.

2:21pm EST

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