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Nation and World

WASHINGTON – In many ways, the roughly 8-inch-wide stained-glass and metal shard has always acted as a symbol of what the Jimerson family stood for. It rested on a hutch in the dining room and traveled with them as they left the deep South. Melva Brooks Jimerson would take it to women’s groups and Sunday school classes when she was invited to talk about the family’s years …

July 29, 1917 – Sept. 5, 2013WASHINGTON POSTWASHINGTON – Rochus Misch, who spent five years as Adolf Hitler’s square-jawed bodyguard, courier, telephone operator and all-around attendant and was widely believed to be the last surviving veteran of the Nazi leader’s bunker as the Soviet army closed in on Berlin, died Sept. 5 at 96.His death, of undisclosed causes in the Germ…

PHOENIX – Albuquerque may wind up with the nation’s first local ban on some abortions after activists collected enough signatures to put the issue before voters in New Mexico’s largest city.The move to circumvent the Democrats who run the State Legislature and target a clinic in the city comes as abortion foes have racked up unprecedented statehouse victories. Opponents ha…

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TEHRAN, Iran – A series of tweets by Iranian leaders last week has students of diplomatic semantics wondering whether a mere greeting is an opening to the country’s adversaries.Both Iran’s new president, Hasan Rouhani, and the new foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, sent Rosh Hashanah greetings via Twitter to Jews celebrating the new year.Rouhani also announced Thursda…

WASHINGTON – The drop in the unemployment rate in August to a 4½-year low was hardly cause for celebration. The rate fell because more people stopped looking for work.More than 300,000 people were no longer working or looking for a job. Their exodus shrank the so-called labor force participation rate – the percentage of adult Americans with a job or seeking one – to 63.2 p…

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WASHINGTON – The largest single volcano found on Earth so far lay quietly hiding in the depths of the Pacific Ocean, about a thousand miles east of Japan, extinct for millions of years. Scientists have now discovered the dome-shaped behemoth, which has a footprint the size of New Mexico.The discovery topples the previous world record-holder for largest volcano – Mauna Loa,…

WASHINGTON – The United States and China announced Friday they would seek to eliminate some of the world’s most potent greenhouse gases through the 1987 Montreal Protocol, the landmark treaty that successfully phased out ozone-depleting substances decades ago.The move, announced at the Group of 20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, is significant because it provides a clear…

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WASHINGTON – Nearly a week into President Obama’s campaign to convince Congress that airstrikes against Syria are necessary, he has achieved little headway against a wall of skepticism on Capitol Hill.The president’s challenge is made more difficult by the fact that the two parties are splintered on the issue – and that lawmakers say they are hearing virtually no support f…

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ST. PETERSBURG, Russia – President Obama and Russian President Vladimir V. Putin exchanged a handshake, some pleasantries and seemingly little else Thursday as they met prior to an economic summit overshadowed by Obama’s call for a military strike against Putin’s ally, Syria.The 15-second encounter came as Obama arrived at the G-20 meeting of the world’s top 20 economic po…

WASHINGTON – The use of electronic cigarettes among middle and high school students has been growing rapidly, a trend that public health officials worry could undermine decades of efforts to reduce youth smoking and could put more teenagers on a path toward conventional cigarettes.According to data released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the pe…

WASHINGTON – Over the last 12 years, John C. Beale was often away from his job as a high-level staff member at the Environmental Protection Agency. He cultivated an air of mystery and explained his lengthy absences by telling his bosses that he was doing top-secret work, including for the CIA.For years, apparently, no one checked.Now, Beale is charged with stealing nearly …

HOUSTON – A 17-year-old boy has admitted to being the attacker in a stabbing at a Houston-area high school on Wednesday that left three students injured and one student dead, officials said.The teen admitted to the stabbing that killed Joshua Devon Broussard, a fellow 17-year-old student at Spring High School, about 25 miles north of downtown Houston, according to the Harr…

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BEIRUT – The chief of the rebel Free Syrian Army said Wednesday that he hoped any American attack against Syria would be “powerful and effective” enough not only to prevent further chemical weapons attacks but also to end the Syrian airstrikes and ballistic missile raids that continue to target areas under rebel control.The comments by the rebel leader signaled uneasiness …

WASHINGTON – At first glance, they may seem just like pro-Assad thugs and online vandals, commandeering websites in the name of their favorite dictator. But the hacker group known as the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) is getting more ambitious and sophisticated, say experts who’ve looked closely at the tactics underlying their attacks. The hackers may even be receiving outsi…

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WASHINGTON – Even as Congress took a step Wednesday toward authorizing the use of force in Syria, a growing number of lawmakers spoke out strongly against a U.S. military strike and warned that it would draw the United States into an escalating conflict that could spread throughout the Middle East.The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a resolution for a likely mi…