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  • Michelle Kottke shovels snow with the help of her dog Harlee in Barrington, Ill., Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014. The New Year's Day snow storm stretched into Thursday for parts of Illinois, bringing double-digit snow totals to the suburbs of Chicago. (AP Photo/Daily Herald, Bob Chwedyk) MANDATORY CREDIT; MAGS OUT; TV OUT

    Strong Winter Storm Pushes Into The Northeast

    A storm expected to bring more than a foot of snow, stiff winds and punishing cold pushed into the Northeast on Thursday, extending Christmas break for some students while posing the first test for New York’s new mayor and perhaps […]

  • FILE - In this Oct. 26, 2011 file photo, Rapper and businessman Curtis Jackson III, known as 50 Cent, poses during an interview in New York.  Rapper 50 Cent has lost a bid to end a Florida woman's lawsuit over a sex video posted online with him edited into it as a wig-wearing narrator. In a ruling made public Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014, a Manhattan judge rebuffed the rapper's request to dismiss Lastonia Leviston's suit. Lawyers for both sides haven't immediately returned calls. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

    NY Judge Nixes 50 Cent’s Bid To Toss Video Lawsuit

    NEW YORK (AP) — Rapper 50 Cent has lost a bid to end a Florida woman’s lawsuit over a sex video posted online with him edited into it as a wig-wearing narrator.
    A New York judge rebuffed the rapper’s request to […]

  • A pedestrian walks in the snow on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014, in Albany, N.Y. Up to 5 inches of snow had fallen in eastern New York early Thursday, but the National Weather Service said some areas from Buffalo to Albany could get up to 12 inches by the time the storm subsides on Friday. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

    Fierce Winter Storm Bears Down On Northeast

    HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A winter storm promising significant snowfall, strong winds and frigid air bore down Thursday on the Northeast, making commutes hazardous for the first work day of the new year and giving some students an extra day […]

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  • FILE - In this Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013, file photo, a trader wears glasses celebrating the new year while working on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange in New York. U.S. stock futures are under pressure Jan. 2, 2014,  after markets in 2013 saw their biggest gains in nearly two decades. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

    U.S. Stocks Fall On First Day Of 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. stock market got 2014 off to a weak start Thursday. Major indexes fell after ending last year at record levels. Trading has been quiet this week with many investors on vacation.
    KEEPING SCORE: The Dow […]

  • Employees help customers at the crowded sales counter inside Medicine Man marijuana retail store, which opened as a legal recreational retail outlet in Denver on Wednesday Jan. 1, 2014. Colorado began retail marijuana sales on Jan. 1, a day some are calling "Green Wednesday." (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

    Legal Recreational Pot Industry Opens In Colorado

    DENVER  — Crowds were serenaded by live music as they waited for the nation’s first legal recreational pot shops to open. They ate doughnuts and funnel cakes as a glass-blower made smoking pipes. Some tourists even rode around in a […]

  • Looking from the Marriott Marquis hotel, fireworks erupt from One Times Square as the Waterford Crystal ball that will mark the new year is raised into position at six hours before midnight for New Year's Eve celebrations in New York Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

    New Year’s In Times Square An Endurance Contest

    NEW YORK (AP) — Crowds jammed Times Square on Tuesday to ring in 2014, braving bone-chilling cold and ultra-tight security for the chance to see Miley Cyrus, a final countdown from a U.S. Supreme Court justice and the drop of […]

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  • Looking from the Marriott Marquis hotel, people crowd into Times Square for New Year's Eve celebrations in New York Thursday, Dec. 31, 2013. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

    Confetti And Music But No Mayor For NYC Ball Drop

    NEW YORK (AP) — When revelers pack Times Square to ring in 2014, they will be greeted with some familiar practices: The annual ball drop, a hefty police presence and live musical performances. But for the first time in a […]

  • FILE - This March 15, 2013 file photo shows former Massachusetts Gov., and 2012 Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney at the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md.  MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry is apologizing to Mitt Romney’s family after a picture of the Romney holiday card that showed the 2012 Republican presidential candidate’s adopted, African-American grandson was joked about on her show. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

    MSNBC Host Apologizes For Jokes About Romney Baby

    NEW YORK (AP) — An MSNBC host apologized to Mitt Romney’s family Tuesday after she and guests on her show joked about a Christmas picture that showed the 2012 Republican presidential candidate’s adopted, African-American grandson.
    Melissa Harris-Perry said her intention was […]

  • FILE - This April 13, 2013, file photo shows a NASA Global Hawk robotic jet in a hangar at Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The Federal Aviation Administration announced six states on Monday Dec. 30, 2013, that will develop test sites for drones, a critical next step for the march of the unmanned aircraft into U.S. skies. Alaska, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Texas and Virginia will host the research sites, the agency said. (AP Photo/John Antczak, File)

    Feds Announce Test Sites For Drone Aircraft

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — Six states were named Monday by federal officials to develop test sites for drones – a critical next step for the burgeoning industry that could one day produce thousands of unmanned aircraft for use by businesses, […]

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  • FILE - In this Dec. 11, 2013 file photo, Rosemary Cabelo uses a computer at a public library to access the Affordable Health Care Act website, in San Antonio. The Obama administration says following a December surge, more than 1.1 million people have now enrolled for health insurance through the federal government’s improved website. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

    Federal Health Care Sign-Ups Pass 1 Million Mark

    HONOLULU (AP) — The government’s rehabilitated health insurance website has seen a December surge in customer sign-ups, pushing enrollment past the 1 million mark, the Obama administration says.
    Combined with numbers for state-run markets, that should put total enrollment in the […]

  • This Dec. 21, 2013, photo shows Christmas cards from residents at Village Crossroads, an affordable senior community in Nottingham, Md., on a table in resident Helen Hatchell's apartment. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

    The Most Vulnerable Retirees Struggle To Survive

    It isn’t the retirement George Warren dreamed of.
    Confined to a wheelchair and living on disability payments after losing his job, Warren, 63, figures he would be homeless in old age if not for a senior housing program offered by Catholic […]

  • FILE - In this Dec. 23, 2013 file photo, Lisa Donlea, left, and Susan Roberts, a certified enrollment officer, celebrate after working on Donlea's federal health insurance exchange enrollment online for one hour and 47 minutes in Laguna Beach, Calif. The Obama administration says following a December surge, more than 1.1 million people have now enrolled for health insurance through the federal government’s improved website. (AP Photo/The Orange County Register, Cindy Yamanaka, File)

    Federal Health Market Surpasses 1 Million Signups

    HONOLULU (AP) — A December surge propelled health care sign-ups through the government’s rehabilitated website past the 1 million mark, the Obama administration said Sunday, reflecting new signs of life for the problem-plagued federal insurance exchange.
    Of the more than 1.1 […]

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  • This undated image released by A&E shows brothers Silas "Uncle Si" Robertson, left, and Phil Robertson from the popular series "Duck Dynasty." Phil Robertson was suspended for disparaging comments he made to GQ magazine about gay people but was reinstated by the network on Friday, Dec. 27. In a statement Friday, A&E said it decided to bring Robertson back to the reality series after discussions with the Robertson family and "numerous advocacy groups." (AP Photo/A&E, Zach Dilgard)

    A&E Reverses Decision On ‘Duck Dynasty’ Patriarch

    LOS ANGELES  — “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson will return to work on A&E’s reality show despite his comments about gay immorality, the channel said Friday, reversing its decision to suspend him after facing a backlash and threatened boycott.
    In a […]

  • (Healthcare.gov) 'Obamacare' Enrollment Numbers ...

    That Health Care Law, By The Numbers

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The government churns out tons of numbers, but here’s one you won’t see: 0.0002. That’s the percentage of estimated online visitors to healthcare.gov who actually signed up for coverage the first day.
    Altogether, that’s six people out of […]

  • FILE - In this Dec. 19, 2013 file photo, a passer-by walks near an entrance to a Target retail store in Watertown, Mass. Target on Friday, Dec. 27, 2013 said that customers' encrypted PIN data was removed during the data breach that occurred earlier this month. But the company says it believes the PIN numbers are still safe because the information was strongly encrypted. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

    Target: Customers’ Encrypted PINs Were Stolen

    ATLANTA (AP) — Target said Friday that debit-card PIN numbers were among the financial information stolen from millions of customers who shopped at the retailer earlier this month.
    The company said the stolen personal identification numbers, which customers type in to […]

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  • 1.3 Million Losing Unemployment Benefits Saturday

    1.3 Million Losing Unemployment Benefits Saturday

    WASHINGTON  — More than 1 million Americans are bracing for a harrowing, post-Christmas jolt as federal unemployment benefits come to a sudden halt this weekend.
    The development entails potentially significant implications for the recovering U.S. economy and sets up a tense […]

  • FILE - This June 6, 2013, file photo shows the sign outside the National Security Agency campus in Fort Meade, Md. A presidential advisory panel has recommended dozens of changes to the government's surveillance programs, including stripping the NSA of its ability to store Americans' telephone records and requiring a court to sign off on the individual searches of phone and Internet data.
PATRICK SEMANSKY, FILE — AP Photo

    NY Judge Rules NSA Phone Surveillance Is Legal

    NEW YORK (AP) — A federal judge on Friday found that the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of millions of Americans’ telephone records is legal and a valuable part of the nation’s arsenal to counter the threat of terrorism.
    U.S. District […]

  • President Barack Obama speaks to members of the military and their families in Anderson Hall at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013, in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. The first family is in Hawaii for their annual holiday vacation. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

    Obama Signs Bipartisan Budget Deal, Defense Bill

    HONOLULU (AP) — Rounding out a tough and frustrating year, President Barack Obama signed a bipartisan budget deal Thursday easing spending cuts and a defense bill cracking down on sexual assault in the military, as the president and Congress began […]

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  • Graphic shows selected results of 2014 New Years Eve poll; 2c x 10 inches; 96.3 mm x 254 mm;

    Poll: Americans Hopeful For A Better Year In 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Large number of Americans see 2013 as anything but a banner year and aren’t reluctant to wave goodbye on New Year’s Eve, a new AP-Times Square poll says, reflecting anxiety stretching from the corridors of power in […]

  • VIDEO: We Spy: Was 2013 the Year of Cara Delevingne?

    VIDEO: We Spy: Was 2013 the Year of Cara Delevingne?

    Can you believe that 2013 is basically over? We dedicated this week’s We Spy Style to all the monumental moments of the year. From big trends (hello crop tops, sporty, and black and white!) to Cara Delevingne’s social media takeover […]

  • A traveler walks through Terminal 3 at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago on Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013. The National Weather Service issued a hazardous weather outlook for north central Illinois, northeast Illinois and northwest Indiana Saturday morning. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

    Ice And Snow Frustrate U.S. Holiday Travel Rush

    CHICAGO (AP) — A storm with a 2,000-mile footprint frustrated Christmas travelers Saturday from Texas to Nova Scotia with a little of everything Mother Nature has to offer, from freezing rain, ice and snow to flooding, thunderstorms and even tornadoes.
    Some […]

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  • Containers await departure as crews load and unload consumer products at the Port of New Orleans along the Mississippi River in New Orleans, Louisiana June 23, 2010. REUTERS/Sean Gardner

    U.S. Growth Revised Higher, Economy On Firmer Footing

    WASHINGTON  – The U.S. economy grew at its fastest pace in almost two years in the third quarter, the government said on Friday as it revised its estimates of business and consumer spending higher.
    The upward revisions also extended to exports […]

  • President Barack Obama smiles as he prepares to answer a question during an end-of-the year news conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, Friday, Dec. 20, 2013. Obama will depart later for his home state of Hawaii for his annual Christmas vacation trip. It's the first time in his presidency that his departure plans have not been delayed by legislative action in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

    Obama Puts A Rosy Spin On Rough Presidential Year

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Putting a rosy spin on a difficult year, President Barack Obama acknowledged frustrating “ups and downs” on Friday but exulted that the improving economy is creating new jobs and claimed crucial progress for his troubled health care […]

  • Obama Says 1 Million Signed Up For Health Care

    Obama Says 1 Million Signed Up For Health Care

    WASHINGTON  — His health care plan facing a dicey transition, President Barack Obama said Friday that insurance sign-ups are surging now that the government’s website is working better for consumers. But it was too soon to say the rollout has […]

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  • A passer-by walks near an entrance to a Target retail store Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013 in Watertown, Mass. Target says that about 40 million credit and debit card accounts may have been affected by a data breach that occurred just as the holiday shopping season shifted into high gear. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

    Target Security Breach Affects Up To 40M Cards

    Target’s data-security nightmare threatens to drive off holiday shoppers during the company’s busiest time of year.
    The nation’s second-largest discounter acknowledged Thursday that data connected to about 40 million credit and debit card accounts was stolen as part of a breach […]

  • Obama Commutes Sentences For 8 Drug Convictions

    Obama Commutes Sentences For 8 Drug Convictions

    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Thursday commuted the sentences of eight people he said were serving unduly harsh drug sentences in the most expansive use yet of his power to free inmates.
    All eight were sentenced under old federal guidelines […]

  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks to the chamber for the final votes on the bipartisan budget deal designed to keep Congress from lurching from one fiscal crisis to the next and ease the harshest effects of the automatic budget cuts known as the sequester, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

    Bipartisan Budget Agreement Clears Congress

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress sent President Barack Obama legislation Wednesday scaling back across-the-board cuts on programs ranging from the Pentagon to the national park system, adding a late dusting of bipartisanship to a year more likely to be remembered for […]

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  • In this photo reviewed by the U.S. military, a soldier closes the gate at the now abandoned Camp X-Ray, which was used as the first detention facility for al-Qaida and Taliban militants who were captured after the Sept. 11 attacks at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba, Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013.  Detainees were housed in open air pens until the completion of Camp Delta in April 2002. Many detainees at Guantanamo Bay may be closer to heading home under a bipartisan deal reached in Congress that gives President Barack Obama a rare victory in his fight to close the prison for terror suspects. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

    Defense Bill Gives Obama Guantanamo Victory

    WASHINGTON — Up to half the terror suspects held at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay could be closer to heading home under a bipartisan deal reached in Congress that gives President Barack Obama a rare victory in his […]

  • Gateway Newsstand owner Young Soolee speaks to reporters at her store just off the lobby of the Alliance Center office building in the Buckhead community of Atlanta, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013. Her store sold one of the two winning tickets for the near-record $636 million Mega Millions drawing. (AP Photo/Johnny Clark)

    Lucky Lotto Tickets Sold In Atlanta, San Jose

    ATLANTA — Two lucky winning tickets were sold in Tuesday’s near-record $636 million Mega Millions drawing: one at a tiny newsstand in Atlanta, and the other more than 2,000 miles away in California.
    The lucky Georgia ticket was sold at a […]

  • Builders work on the roof of a new housing construction site in Alexandria, Virginia October 17, 2012. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

    Robust Housing Data Point To Strengthening Economy

    WASHINGTON  – U.S. housing starts surged to their highest level in nearly six years in November, a sign of strength in the housing market that could give the Federal Reserve ammunition to start cutting back its bond purchases.
    The Commerce Department said […]

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  • Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., right, accompanied by Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013, urging their Senate colleagues to change the budget proposal that cuts retirement benefits for current and future military retirees. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

    Year-End Agreement: Budget Heads To Final Passage

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Year-end legislation to ease Congress’ chronic budget brinkmanship and soften across-the-board spending cuts moved to the cusp of final passage Tuesday, a rare display of Senate bipartisanship that masked strong Republican complaints about slicing into military retirement […]

  • FILE - In this  Friday, March 29, 2013, file photo, a homeless man pushes a shopping cart full of his belongings across an intersection in the Skid Row area of Los Angeles. The growing gap between the richest Americans and everyone else isn’t bad just for individuals, it’s hurting the U.S. economy says a majority of more than three dozen economists surveyed in December 2013 by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hon, File)

    AP Survey: U.S. Income Gap Is Holding Back Economy

    WASHINGTON — The growing gap between the richest Americans and everyone else isn’t bad just for individuals.
    It’s hurting the U.S. economy.
    So says a majority of more than three dozen economists surveyed last week by The Associated Press. Their concerns tap […]

  • A woman picks her Mega Millions lottery numbers at a shop in New York's Penn Station, Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013. The Mega Millions jackpot soared to $586 million on Monday, still short of the $656 million U.S. record set in a March 2012 drawing.  (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

    Mega Millions Jackpot Soars To $636 Million

    DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Mega Millions jackpot has soared to an estimated $636 million for Tuesday night’s drawing, making it the second largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history.
    The top prize had been estimated at $586 million, but lottery […]

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  • Jeh Johnson testifies before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee confirmation hearing on his nomination to be the Homeland Security Secretary on Capitol Hill in Washington November 13, 2013. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

    Senate Approves Johnson To Head U.S. Homeland Security

    WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate on Monday confirmed Jeh Johnson, a national security expert who has served as the Pentagon’s top lawyer, as head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
    Johnson, who was the Defense Department’s general counsel during President Barack […]

  • House Budget Committee chairman Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) (C) and Senate Budget Committee chairman Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) (R) hold a news conference to introduce The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, December 10, 2013. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

    U.S. Senate Approval Of Two-Year Budget Deal Likely This Week

    WASHINGTON – Conservatives in the U.S. Senate are unlikely to stop passage of a two-year budget bill this week, with some Republicans expected to join Democrats in the Senate in voting for the measure.
    Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and a […]

  • An undated aerial handout photo shows the National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters building in Fort Meade, Maryland.  REUTERS/NSA/Handout via Reuters   (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS) THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS

    U.S. Judge Rules Phone Surveillance Program Is Likely Unlawful

    WASHINGTON  – The U.S. government’s gathering of Americans’ phone records is likely unlawful, a judge ruled on Monday, raising “serious doubts” about the value of the National Security Agency’s so-called metadata counterterrorism program.
    “I cannot imagine a more ‘indiscriminate’ and ‘arbitrary […]

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  • VIDEO: Tough Question for Fed: Time to Act?

    VIDEO: Tough Question for Fed: Time to Act?

    Federal Reserve officials face a delicate decision at their policy meeting this week, with stronger economic figures and a budget deal adding fuel to the debate over whether to pull back on their bond-buying program. Jon Hilsenrath reports. Photo: Getty […]

  • Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston kisses the Heisman Trophy while posing for photographers after winning the trophy, Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013, in New York. Winston, 19, is the youngest winner of the trophy and the second straight player to win the prestigious award in his first year of college. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

    More Famous Jameis: Winston Wins Heisman Trophy

    NEW YORK (AP) — Jameis Winston left voters no choice but to give him the Heisman Trophy. And like every other Florida State victory this season, it was a blowout.
    The quarterback they call Famous Jameis became the youngest Heisman winner […]

  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, and his friend and fellow Vietnam War veteran Tommy Vallely, right, walk along a street in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnaqm to attend a service at the Notre Dame Cathedral, Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013. Forty-four years after first setting foot in the country as a young naval officer, Kerry returned once more to Vietnam on Saturday, this time as America’s top diplomat offering security assurances and seeking to promote democratic and economic reform. (AP Photo/Brian Snyder, Pool)

    In New Role, Kerry Back In Vietnam’s Mekong Delta

    NAM CAN, Vietnam  — John Kerry returned Sunday to the winding waterways of Vietnam’s Mekong Delta region where he once patrolled on a naval gunboat in the search for communist insurgents.
    But nearly 50 years later, Kerry was promoting sustainable aquaculture […]

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