• Durning, king of character actors, dies

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Charles Durning grew up in poverty, lost five of his nine siblings to disease, barely lived through D-Day and was taken prisoner at the Battle of the Bulge. His hard life and wartime trauma provided the basis for a prolific 50-year …

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  • Discounts rise as stores try to salvage season

    NEW YORK — When it comes to fat holiday discounts, better late than never. This holiday shopping season, many stores haven’t been offering the same blockbuster deals as they did last year. Instead, they’ve dangled offers of free shipping and no-fee layaways to lure shoppers. …

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  • Mass shootings voted top news story of 2012

    NEW YORK (AP) — The horrific massacre of 26 children and staff at a Connecticut elementary school, along with other mass shootings, was the top news story of 2012, narrowly edging out the U.S. election, according to The Associated Press’ annual poll of U.S. editors …

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  • USDA to allow more meat, grains in school lunches

    WASHINGTON — The Agriculture Department is responding to criticism over new school lunch rules by allowing more grains and meat in kids’ meals. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told members of Congress in a letter Friday that the department will do away with daily and weekly …

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  • Newtown, Conn. plans burials as school’s future debated

    NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) — A grieving Connecticut town braced itself today to bury the first two of the 20 small victims of an elementary school gunman and debated when classes could resume — and where, given the carnage in the building and the children’s associations …

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  • Students nervously return to school after shooting

    MIAMI (AP) — By the time Richard Cantlupe received the news of the Connecticut school shooting that left 20 children dead, his students had already gone home for the weekend. And so the American history teacher at Westglades Middle School in Parkland, Fla., was bracing …

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  • Man recalls attack on Pearl Harbor

    PEARCY (AP) — When the bombs began falling at Pearl Harbor 71 years ago, William Chase was in the naval hospital, just below Drydock No. 1, almost completely recovered from the German measles. A U.S. Navy veteran, Chase, 88, was scheduled to report to the …

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  • NORAD is ready to track Santa’s flight

    PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — The North American Aerospace Defense Command is prepared to track Santa’s yuletide journey. The NORAD Tracks Santa website, www.noradsanta.org, went live Friday. The site features a holiday countdown, games,  activities, video messages from students around the world and more. …

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  • Peppermint candy pigs are a smashing tradition in NY

    SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (AP) — A holiday tradition in this upstate New York resort town has a peppermint twist: pig-shaped hard candies are sold with little metal hammers to smash them at Christmas. The peppermint pigs, which can weigh up to a pound, are considered …

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  • Pearl Harbor dead remembered on 71st anniversary

    PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (AP) — More than 2,000 people gathered at Pearl Harbor today to mark the 71st anniversary of the Japanese attack that killed thousands of people and launched the United States into World War II. Ceremonies got under way with a moment of …

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  • Illegal immigration drops after decade-long rise

    WASHINGTON — New census data released Thursday affirm a clear and sustained drop in illegal immigration, ending more than a decade of increases. The number of illegal immigrants in the U.S. dropped to an estimated 11.1 million last year from a peak of 12 million …

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  • Black boxes in automobiles raise privacy concerns

    WASHINGTON — Many motorists don’t know it, but it’s likely that every time they get behind the wheel, there’s a snitch along for the ride. In the next few days, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is expected to propose long-delayed regulations requiring auto manufacturers …

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