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AROUND THE NATION

Chinese crested wins title of ugliest dog

PETALUMA, Calif. (AP) -- A Chinese crested's short snout, beady eyes and white whiskers earned it the title of World's Ugliest Dog at the annual contest in Northern California on Friday.

Competing for fame, $1,000 and a year's worth of dog cookies, Mugly won the honor by beating out 28 other ugly dogs from around the world.

The 8-year-old rescue dog from the United Kingdom will also be invited for a photo shoot and will receive a VIP stay at the local Sheraton.

"I couldn't speak when they announced Mugly's name," said Bev Nicholson, the dog's owner. "I didn't know which way to look. I was shaking as much as the dog."

It's not the first time Mugly has been recognized for his unattractiveness. Nicholson said he was named Britain's ugliest dog in 2005.

Organizers say the competing dogs are judged for what they term their "natural ugliness in both pedigree and mutt classes."

Mugly's victory was the latest for a Chinese crested. Last year's winner, Yoda, was a Chinese crested and Chihuahua mix.

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Obama calls for action on student loan rates

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Obama on Saturday pressed Congress to reach agreement on a transportation bill and a plan to prevent students from having their loan rates double.

Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address that Congress should do everything it can to help students attain higher education and repair the nation's crumbling roads and bridges.

Congressional negotiators are working on a deal to avert a July 1 doubling of interest rates on federal loans to 7.4 million college students and a separate plan to overhaul federal transportation programs.

In the Republican address, Louisiana Rep. Bill Cassidy said that if the Supreme Court doesn't repeal the entire health care law, Congress should repeal what is left and implement common-sense reforms that protect access to health care and lower costs.

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Cheney's daughter ties knot with partner

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Mary Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, has married her longtime partner, Heather Poe.

In a statement, Cheney and his wife, Lynne, said the couple got married in Washington on Friday. The Cheneys said the two had been in a committed relationship for many years and they were delighted that they could take advantage of the "opportunity to have the relationship recognized."

The District of Columbia and six states have legalized gay marriage.

Mary Cheney and Poe have two children.

In the 2004 election, Republicans backing the ticket of President George W. Bush and Cheney pushed for state ballot initiatives rejecting gay marriage. More recently, President Obama expressed his support for same-sex marriage.