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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The mayor and police chief of San Francisco announced Wednesday they'll dedicate more police, beef up coordination and make it easier to report shoplifters in an attempt to crack down on brazen commercial thieving that has added to the city's reputation as soft on crime.

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SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (AP) — The last person seen with Kristin Smart before she vanished from a college campus 25 years ago on the Central California coast will stand trial on a murder charge in her suspected death and his father faces trial as an accomplice for allegedly helping bury her body, a judge ruled Wednesday.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — Prosecutors in Virginia dropped all charges against a man charged with hiring a hitman to kill his ex-wife after the accused hitman withdrew his guilty pleas and refused to cooperate with the investigation into the 2004 double slayings that also left the woman's 7-year-old son dead.

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LONDON (AP) — A coroner presiding over an inquest into the death of British woman who was poisoned by a Soviet-developed nerve agent after an attack targeting a Russian ex-spy said Wednesday that she wants the probe to be turned into a public inquiry so she can examine Russia's possible involvement.

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NEW YORK (AP) — A prosecutor began closing arguments in the R. Kelly sex trafficking trial Wednesday by telling jurors that the government had delivered on its promises to prove that the R&B singer had for years commanded close associates to help him target, groom and exploit girls, boys, and young women for his own sexual gratification.

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NASHVILLE, Tennessee (AP) — A top Southern Baptist Convention committee agreed Tuesday to fund a third-party investigation into its handling of sexual abuse allegations but held off on waiving its attorney-client privilege for the probe, delaying for the future a decision seen as a key demand of the thousands of Southern Baptists who set the review in motion.

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The corruption trial of former South African President Jacob Zuma was postponed until Oct. 26 while the judge considers a plea from Zuma's lawyer that the prosecution team be dismissed from the case for being biased.

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