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Weather officials confirm tornado hit Ellenboro

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ELLENBORO (AP) — Weather officials confirm there was a tornado in the storm system that swept through parts of western North Carolina this week, flinging mobile homes into valleys, damaging dozens of buildings and injuring nearly 20 people. The storm system struck Rutherford and Burke counties on Wednesday, as a…

Congress’ dysfunction long in the making

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  WASHINGTON (AP) — How did it get this bad on Capitol Hill? Why does Congress barely function today? The legislative branch of the world’s most powerful nation is now widely scorned as it lurches from one near-catastrophe to the next, even on supposedly routine matters such as setting an…

Long road from farm to fork worsens food outbreaks

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  WASHINGTON (AP) — The recent listeria outbreak from cantaloupe demonstrates one likely cause of large-scale occurrences of serious illnesses linked to tainted food: the long and winding road what we eat takes from farm to fork. A cantaloupe grown on a Colorado field may make four or five stops…

Talking skinny, but eating fat

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  NEW YORK (AP) — Americans talk skinny but eat fat. No matter that First Lady Michelle Obama has been on a crusade for a year and a half to slim down the country. Never mind that some restaurants have started listing calories on their menus. Forget even that we…

Obama: Commander in chief must support gay troops

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  WASHINGTON (AP) — In a sharp rebuke of his Republican rivals, President Barack Obama said anyone who wants to be commander in chief must support the entire U.S. military, including gay service members. A combative Obama criticized GOP presidential candidates for staying silent when the crowd at a recent…

Energy Secretary Chu defends loans for solar, wind energy

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  WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration’s energy chief, facing increased pressure over the failure of solar panel maker Solyndra, defended on Saturday a loan guarantee program that has provided billions of dollars for solar energy and other renewable energy projects. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said a stimulus law program…

NC man accused in 3 slayings set for trial

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  GASTONIA, (AP) — A North Carolina man accused of killing three female acquaintances and dumping two of them in South Carolina is scheduled to go on trial for capital murder in one of the cases. Jury selection was scheduled to begin Monday in the first of what will likely…

Congress addresses Chinese currency manipulation

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WASHINGTON (AP) — After years of trying, Congress is taking another stab at retaliating against what many see as Chinese manipulation of its currency to make its exports to the United States cheaper and U.S. goods more expensive in China. The Senate is expected to take up legislation Monday that…

US general sees end to mission in Libya

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The military mission in Libya is largely complete and NATO’s involvement could begin to wrap up as soon as this coming week after allied leaders meet in Brussels, according to the top U.S. commander for Africa. Army Gen. Carter Ham, head of U.S. Africa Command, told The…

NC Muslims tried to change al-Qaida supporter

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CHARLOTTE (AP) — A North Carolina-bred man killed Friday in a U.S. strike on an al-Qaida leader in Yemen described himself as a “traitor to America” as he promoted a Muslim extremist message to the English-speaking world. Samir Khan was killed along with American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, described by President…

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