• FSA announces program updates

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency is reminding producers that the recent update of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 extended the authorization of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (the 2008 Farm Bill) for many Commodity Credit …

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  • Lawsuits must be postmarked by March 25

    WASHINGTON — Agri-culture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently reminded Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers who allege discrimination by the USDA in past decades that the filing period closes March 25. “Hispanic and women farmers who believe they have faced discriminatory practices in the past from …

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  • USDA microloan program finalized

    WASHINGTON — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced a new microloan program from the U.S. Department of Agriculture designed to help small and family operations, beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers secure loans under $35,000. “The new microloan program is aimed at bolstering the progress of …

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  • Varied winners at Grammy Awards

    LOS ANGELES — Unlike last year, when the Grammys became the Adele show, each of the leading nominees in a diverse and eclectic field got a chance to bask in the spotlight of music’s biggest night. Fun., whose anthemic and semidark jam “We Are Young” …

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  • Northeast commuters hit roads after digging out

    NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) — As electricity returns and highways reopen, some Northeast residents tried to get back to their weekday routines today following the massive snowstorm that had millions digging out from New York to Maine. But the routine for other New Englanders was disrupted …

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  • Film documents Japanese concentration camp in Arkansas

    ROHWER (AP) — Vivienne Schiffer spent her early childhood playing in the fields and forests near her home in Rohwer. One of her favorite spots was a small cemetery. There were 24 small graves, and in the middle of the burial ground stood a tall …

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  • Pope to resign Feb. 28, says he’s too infirm

    VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI said today he lacks the strength to fulfill his duties and on Feb. 28 will become the first pontiff in 600 years to resign. The announcement sets the stage for a conclave in March to elect a new …

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  • Shipper pulls support after Echols added

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Shipping giant FedEx has pulled out of a business conference after former Arkansas death row inmate Damien Echols was asked to speak. FedEx was a sponsor of Everywhereelse.co: The Startup Conference, which is scheduled for Sunday through Tuesday at the Cook …

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  • First space proposal to take place on Feb. 14

    On Feb. 14, a 35-year-old French man will be the first person to propose to his girlfriend in space at an altitude of 30 kilometers. The space flight will be filmed from the launch to the arrival of the message of love in the stratosphere. …

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  • Catholic bishops conflicted over gays, immigration

    The nation’s Roman Catholic bishops are in a difficult position as the debate over immigration reform gets underway: The immigrant-built American church, known for advocating a broad welcome for migrants and refugees, could end up opposing reform because it would recognize same-sex partners. Proposals by …

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  • Boy Scouts delay decision until May on admitting gays

    IRVING, Texas (AP) — Faced with intense pressure from two flanks, the Boy Scouts of America said Wednesday it needed more time for consultations before deciding whether to move away from its policy of excluding gays as Scouts or adult leaders. Possible changes in the …

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  • Woman in Timbuktu punished for forbidden love

    TIMBUKTU, Mali (AP) — The love story in this fabled desert outpost began over the phone, when he dialed the wrong number. It nearly ended with the couple’s death at the hands of Islamic extremists who considered their romance “haram” — forbidden. What happened in …

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