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Obama says U.S. blacks better off overall than when he began presidency

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WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama said on Friday that U.S. blacks are better off now than they were when he began his presidency in 2009, but that the gap between blacks and whites remains. | Video

Friend of accused Boston bomber pleads guilty to gun, drug charges

BOSTON - A high school friend of the accused Boston Marathon bombers pleaded guilty on Friday to charges including having possessed a gun that prosecutors contend the suspects used to shoot dead a university police officer as they tried to flee the city.

Kyrgyzstan, 4:39pm EST

Protesters from both sides of policing controversy face off in NYC

NEW YORK - Scores of protesters denouncing police violence against non-whites rallied alongside dozens of supporters of New York City police officers on Friday in a tense standoff outside City Hall that comes amid weeks of mostly peaceful protests.

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U.S. Supreme Court allows gay marriage to proceed in Florida next month

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday declined to extend a stay sought by Florida officials defending the state's ban on same-sex marriages, allowing gay marriages to proceed in Florida next month.

Subjects, Gay Marriage 7:56pm EST

Ferguson wants peace instead of protests, but anger still simmers

FERGUSON, Mo - It is hard to find much healing in Ferguson, Missouri.

4:56pm EST

Remains of two infants found in California storage locker

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Officials in northern California have asked for help finding information about the grisly discovery of two infants or fetuses in an abandoned storage unit.

6:52pm EST

Obama's year-end message to Americans: I'm not a lame duck

WASHINGTON - If U.S. President Barack Obama is feeling the pain from a rough year at the office, he did a great job of covering it up on Friday.

Politics, 5:09pm EST

Jerry Sandusky's pension appeal denied but lawyer vows to keep fighting

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State assistant football coach sentenced to decades in prison for sexually molesting boys, has lost his first appeal of a decision to strip him of his $4,900 monthly pension, but his lawyer says the fight is not over.

Sports, 5:55pm EST

Parents of Colorado theater gunman plead for son’s life to be spared

DENVER - The parents of the man charged in the fatal shootings of 12 people at a Colorado movie theater broke their silence over the 2012 killings on Friday, saying their son is mentally ill, "not a monster," and should be spared the death penalty.

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White House releases snapshot of plan to rate U.S. colleges

WASHINGTON - The White House on Friday released a draft of its plan to rate U.S. colleges and tie federal aid to performance as a way to coax institutions to pull up their socks.

Politics, 12:06am EST

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