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Rebellious Nevada rancher's slavery remarks dim Republican support

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- Two Republican U.S. senators who voiced support for a Nevada cattleman in his showdown with federal agents over grazing rights on public land condemned the rebellious rancher's remarks about whether African-Americans would be "better off as slaves."

California school bus crash injures driver, 11 children

LOS ANGELES - Eleven middle school students and a bus driver were injured on Thursday, three critically, when their bus veered off a Southern California road, authorities said.

24 Apr 2014

Judge strikes down NY limits on donations to 'super PACs'

NEW YORK - A federal judge on Thursday reluctantly struck down New York's limits on donations to independent political action committees as unconstitutional, potentially ushering in a new era of "super PACs" in state campaigns.

Politics 24 Apr 2014

Oregon's broken healthcare exchange may move to federal network

PORTLAND - Top officials for Oregon's troubled health insurance network, dogged by technical glitches that have kept a single subscriber from enrolling online, recommended on Thursday dumping the state website in favor of a federally run healthcare exchange.

24 Apr 2014

California lawmakers aim to tighten handgun restrictions

SACRAMENTO, California - A bill banning the sale of single-shot handguns that can be modified into semi-automatic weapons advanced in the California legislature on Thursday as lawmakers sought to close what the bill's supporters say is a loophole in the state's gun safety laws.

Politics 24 Apr 2014

Arkansas judge strikes down voter ID law as unconstitutional

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas - An Arkansas judge declared the state's new voter identification law unconstitutional on Thursday since it stipulates that voters must meet an additional requirement before casting a ballot.

Politics 24 Apr 2014

Fewer communities risk running out of water in California drought

SACRAMENTO, California - A moderate dose of winter rainfall hasn't ended California's historic drought, but it has dropped just enough moisture on the beleaguered state to help 14 communities that had risked running out of water.

Environment 24 Apr 2014

Witnesses in U.S. Army hearing call 2007 Iraq shootings unjustified

TACOMA, Washington - Two former U.S. soldiers testifying at the pre-trial hearing of a one-time comrade charged with killing two unarmed Iraqi boys said on Thursday that the 2007 shootings were unjustified.

24 Apr 2014

Colorado lawmakers advance bill to crack down on 'revenge porn'

DENVER - A bill that would criminalize the posting of intimate images over the Internet as an act of humiliation - so-called "revenge porn" - passed its first test in the Colorado state legislature on Thursday, sailing unanimously through a key committee.

Accused Kansas killer with 'murder' tattoo to wear turtleneck

WICHITA, Kansas - Jurors in the trial of a man accused of a 2011 killing could be looking across a steamy Kansas courtroom this summer at a defendant wearing a turtleneck.

24 Apr 2014

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