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WASHINGTON – The ongoing technical problems that have hampered enrollment in the online health insurance exchanges resulted from the failure of a major software component, designed by private contractors, that crashed under the weight of millions of users last week, federal officials said Monday.Todd Park, President Obama’s top technology adviser, said the failure occurred…

WASHINGTON – When Navy SEALs were met with gunfire as they attempted a raid on a seaside militant compound in southern Somalia early Saturday, the commander of the operation had the authority to call in a U.S. airstrike. Instead, he opted to retreat.The site had been under surveillance, and the operation against an al-Qaida-affiliated group had been in the planning stages,…

BOSTON – A Cape Cod man’s last-chance treatment for cancer has been postponed by the government shutdown because new clinical trials cannot begin until they are registered on a federal website, which has been forced to stop processing applications.Leo Finn said his bone scan was canceled at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston Wednesday, and the 48-year-old father of thr…

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Nearly three years after a band of renegade congressmen brought the tea party insurgency to Washington, there are early rumblings of a political backlash in some of their districts.Here in the Dutch Reformed country of West Michigan, long a bastion of mainstream, mannerly conservatism, voters in 2010 handed the House seat once held by Gerald R. Ford t…

WASHINGTON – A possible national default drew closer Monday as the partial government shutdown lingered, rattling markets in the United States and overseas. A gridlocked Congress showed little or no urgency toward resolving either of the threats.Stocks got a case of the jitters on Wall Street, and halfway around the world, China stressed the importance for the internationa…

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ALBANY – New York is expanding its probe nationwide into the 1980s sale of the rights to the World Trade Center name to a nonprofit for $10, resulting in millions of dollars in fees for use of the name in 28 states, according to an official familiar with the investigation.The official told the Associated Press that letters seeking information on the deals were due to arriv…

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TRIPOLI, Libya – When Delta Force commandos homed in on Abu Anas al-Libi in a neighborhood of Tripoli last weekend, they found him settled with his wife and four children in his family’s traditional home after nearly three decades on the move.According to one son, Abdullah al-Ruqai, 20, they were enjoying being in that home together for the first time in their lives, acqua…

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NEW YORK – Three Americans won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine on Monday for discovering the machinery that regulates how cells transport major molecules in a cargo system that delivers them to the right place at the right time in cells.The Karolinska Institute in Stockholm announced the winners: James E. Rothman of Yale University; Randy W. Schekman of the Unive…

CHEYENNE WELLS, Colo. – The Old West has decided it is fed up with the New West.At Nan’s convenience store here in eastern Colorado, the farmers, crop sprayers, mechanics and retirees who gather for morning coffee say they have had enough of the state and its Democratic leaders. They bristle at gun control laws and marijuana shops, green energy policies and steps to embrac…

The Libyan government on Sunday condemned what it called the “kidnapping” of one of its citizens who was taken into custody outside his home in Tripoli in a highly unusual covert operation carried out by the U.S. military.U.S. officials hailed the capture of Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, known by his alias Anas al-Libi, who was wanted in the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassi…

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KABUL, Afghanistan – Four soldiers from the international coalition were killed by a bomb early Sunday in southern Afghanistan, officials said, the latest deaths in the 12-year war.Javid Faisal, a spokesman for the governor of southern Kandahar province, said the deaths occurred when a NATO patrol was on foot as part of a joint operation with the Afghan army and a bomb det…

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BAGHDAD – A suicide bomber detonated a truck filled with explosives on the playground of an elementary school in northern Iraq on Sunday morning, killing 13 children and the headmaster, the police said.As many as 80 other people, including students and teachers, were wounded in the blast, the first of three attacks that left at least 31 Iraqis dead.Shortly after the attack…

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WASHINGTON – The federal government shutdown is lurching into a second week, and some Republican lawmakers – including Reps. Chris Collins and Tom Reed, who represent Western New York – are looking for a way out.Collins said in an interview late last week that Republicans should move past their demand that the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare,” be delayed in exchange for…

WASHINGTON – Joshua Banka died in his bathroom, surrounded by the drugs that consumed him.A baggie of heroin sat near the sink. Several bottles contained oxycodone tablets and other potent painkillers. Syringes littered the room.Now, the sordid scene discovered in April 2010 by officers in the town of Nevada, Iowa, provides the backdrop for high-minded Supreme Court consid…

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NAMIE, Japan – Every month, Hiroko Watabe, 74, returns for a few hours to her abandoned house near the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant to engage in her own small act of defiance against fate. She dons a surgical mask, hangs two radiation-measuring devices around her neck and crouches down to pull weeds.She is desperate to keep her small yard clean to prove that she has not…