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Huffington Wires | AP

Family keeps small-time sawmill buzzing in New Hampshire

March 28, 2015 08:49 AM EST | AP


GILMANTON, N.H. (AP) — On Bob Potter's farm, the whine of a saw is heard over the grumbling of a diesel-powered engine as he and his boys carry on a family practice begun nearly half a century ago.

Moving back and forth through the blade on a motorized carriage, long poplar logs that the guys harvested off their Gilmanton farm are cut into planks that they'll use this spring to build a new 30-foot-by-40-foot barn for some of their 85 head of beef cattle.

Popular Nevada governor looms over fight for Reid seat

March 28, 2015 04:27 AM EST | AP


LAS VEGAS (AP) — Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid's decision to retire next year leaves no clear successor in his home state of Nevada, where a popular Republican governor appears reluctant to change jobs and the pending loss of Reid's clout in Washington is causing anxiety over who might replace him.

As of Friday, the list of potential candidates came down to Gov. Brian Sandoval and everyone else. The political centrist who was easily re-elected last year is likely to face intense pressure from national Republicans and business interests to pick up where Reid leaves off on Capitol Hill.

Popular Nevada governor looms over fight for Reid seat

March 28, 2015 04:20 AM EST | AP


LAS VEGAS (AP) — Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid's decision to retire next year leaves no clear successor in his home state of Nevada.

Popular Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval appears reluctant to change jobs.

Wiggly words on immigration from potential Republican field

March 28, 2015 03:02 AM EST | AP


DENVER (AP) — It's become even clearer thanks to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker: Immigration is the banana peel of 2016 Republican presidential politics.

Just ask Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. He stepped up as a Senate leader on immigration only to slip and fall in a tea party ruckus over the issue. In a moment of candor, Rubio remembered the months of trying to get back up as "a real trial for me." Others, too, have shifted on the matter.

Kerry orders a review of recordkeeping at State Department

March 28, 2015 03:04 AM EST | AP


WASHINGTON (AP) — The State Department has ordered an internal audit of its recordkeeping, part of a top-to-bottom look at the agency's practices in the aftermath of revelations that former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton used a private email account and server during her tenure.

The State Department released a letter Friday that Secretary of State John Kerry sent to the department's inspector general earlier this week, asking for the review and calling it critical to "preserve a full and complete record of American foreign policy" and for the U.S. public to have access to that information. Among the questions he outlined were how best to retain records in light of changing technology, the agency's global presence and increasing demands from Congress.

GOP-guided budget sets up battles between Congress and Obama

March 28, 2015 03:03 AM EST | AP


WASHINGTON (AP) — With Republicans muscling a balanced-budget plan through the Senate, Congress is positioned for months of battling President Barack Obama over the GOP's goals of slicing spending and dismantling his health care law.

Working into Friday's pre-dawn hours, senators approved the blueprint by a near party-line 52-46 vote, endorsing a measure that closely follows one the House passed Wednesday. Both budgets embody a conservative vision of shrinking projected federal deficits by more than $5 trillion over the coming decade, mostly by cutting health care and other benefit programs and without raising taxes.

After a few stumbles, GOP lawmakers regain footing on budget

March 28, 2015 03:03 AM EST | AP


WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans are looking like they've finally figured out how to govern.

The GOP's first months in control of both chambers of Congress were marked by high-profile stumbles and a near-shutdown of the Homeland Security Department. But this week, the party celebrated important successes.

Quotations in the News

March 28, 2015 03:02 AM EST | AP


"I'm so grateful to have my life back." — Amanda Knox after Italy's highest court overturned her 2009 murder conviction for the death of her British roommate, Meredith Kercher.

___

Feds indict 1 after noose put on Ole Miss integration statue

March 28, 2015 02:54 AM EST | AP


JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — James Meredith, who integrated the University of Mississippi under federal protection a half century ago, says it's a shame that state authorities deferred to the federal government to bring charges after a noose was left on a campus statue of him.

The Justice Department said Friday that a former Ole Miss student, Graeme Phillip Harris of Alpharetta, Georgia, has been indicted on one count of conspiracy to violate civil rights and one count of using a threat of force to intimidate African-American students because of their race or color.

Search continues for at least 2 after apparent NYC gas blast

March 28, 2015 02:14 AM EST | AP


NEW YORK (AP) — Police are searching for at least two people still missing after an apparent gas line explosion leveled three New York City apartment buildings.

Officials say canines will be used Saturday amid the rubble. Officials from the medical examiners' office will also be at the scene.

Amanda Knox grateful to 'have my life back' after court saga

March 28, 2015 12:04 AM EST | AP


SEATTLE (AP) — Amanda Knox says she's grateful "for the life that's been given to me" after Italy's highest court overturned her murder conviction in the slaying of her roommate.

Speaking briefly Friday evening to reporters outside her mother's Seattle home, Knox expressed her thanks "for the justice I've received and for the support I've had from everyone."

Marriage plans and writing occupy Amanda Knox

March 28, 2015 12:48 AM EST | AP


SEATTLE (AP) — Despite the murder case hanging over her head, Amanda Knox tried to lead a normal life in the more than three years since she was freed from an Italian prison: She recently got engaged and has started writing theater reviews and other articles for a weekly paper in her hometown.

An appeals court in 2011 cleared Knox in the 2007 slaying of British roommate Meredith Kercher and ordered her released after she had spent four years in prison. But her acquittal was overturned and Knox's case has slowly wound its way through the country's judicial system. She was convicted in absentia in 2014. On Friday, Italy's highest court overturned that murder conviction, finally closing Knox's long legal saga.

Indiana officials look to stem religious objections fallout

March 27, 2015 11:36 PM EST | AP


INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The heat over Indiana's new religious objections law spread Friday across social media and to the White House as many local officials and business groups around the state tried to jump in and stem the fallout.

Use of the hashtag #boycottindiana spread across Twitter, spurred on by activists such as "Star Trek" actor George Takei, who argued that the measure opens the door to legalized discrimination against gay people. Apple CEO Tim Cook also tweeted his objections, saying he was "deeply disappointed" in the Indiana law.

University of Oklahoma unveils racist chant probe findings

March 27, 2015 11:00 PM EST | AP


NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Members of a University of Oklahoma fraternity apparently learned a racist chant that recently got their chapter disbanded during a national leadership cruise four years ago that was sponsored by the fraternity's national administration, the university's president said Friday.

President David Boren said the school interviewed more than 160 people during its investigation into members of its now-defunct Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter who were captured on video taking part in the chant, which included references to lynching, a racial slur and the promise that the fraternity would never accept a black member.

US rescues Saudi airmen from water south of Yemen

March 27, 2015 10:52 PM EST | AP


WASHINGTON (AP) — A Defense Department official says U.S. forces rescued two Saudi airmen after they ejected from an F-15 fighter jet over waters south of Yemen, where Saudi Arabia is leading airstrikes against Iran-allied Houthi rebels.

The official says a U.S. helicopter flew Thursday from neighboring Djibouti to the Gulf of Aden and rescued the airmen. Initial reports said the rescued airmen were "ambulatory."

Marriage plans and writing occupy Amanda Knox

March 27, 2015 10:15 PM EST | AP


SEATTLE (AP) — Despite the murder case hanging over her head, Amanda Knox tried to lead a normal life in the more than three years since she was freed from an Italian prison: She recently got engaged and has started writing theater reviews and other articles for a weekly paper in her hometown.

An appeals court in 2011 cleared Knox in the 2007 slaying of British roommate Meredith Kercher and ordered her released after she had spent four years in prison. But her acquittal was overturned and Knox's case has slowly wound its way through the country's judicial system. She was convicted in absentia in 2014. On Friday, Italy's highest court overturned that murder conviction, finally closing Knox's long legal saga.