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POSTED August 1, 2012 9:33 p.m.

POLITICS

GOP DIVISION: Ted Cruz's Senate primary victory in Texas provides an important new boost for tea party-backed, no-compromise conservatives in Congress. His all-but-sure win in November will increase the number of tea party-aligned senators to six, and as many as six others could be elected — ensuring a major impact even if Democrats retain a majority.

ROMNEY'S HORSE: Rarely has an Olympic dressage horse received as much attention as Rafalca. The German-bred 15-year-old bay is part-owned by Mitt Romney's wife and is the butt of jokes questioning how the presidential candidate can claim to understand the problems of ordinary Americans when he inhabits the rarefied world of dressage.

 

WORLD

ISRAEL NOT THRILLED WITH OBAMA:  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, standing next to the U.S. defense chief, says international economic sanctions have had no effect on Iran's nuclear program and suggests Israeli patience is wearing thin. The striking statement amounted to an Israeli indictment of President Barack Obama's policy toward the Islamic republic.

FRANCE PUTS BOUNTY ON SHARKS: France says it will pay fishermen who kill bull sharks in waters off the Indian Ocean island of Reunion, following a spike in shark attacks, including one that killed a surfer. Animal rights groups criticize the plan, calling it "extermination."

TEDDY BEAR INVASION: It's probably the first time in history that teddy bears have defeated generals. President Alexander Lukashenko sacks the air defense chief and the head of the border guards service after a Swedish light plane intrudes on the airspace of Belarus and drops hundreds of teddy bears decked out in parachutes and slogans supporting human rights.

NATION

MARILYN MONROE-INVESTIGATION: Fifty years have not dimmed skeptics' suspicions about the death of Marilyn Monroe, but the intervening decades have seen technological leaps that could alter the investigation were it to occur today. DNA, more sophisticated electronic record-keeping, drug databases and other advances would give investigators more information than they were able to glean after Monroe's Aug. 5, 1962 death.

JACKSON FAMILY WILL TIFF: More than three years after Michael Jackson's death, his youngest brother continues to raise questions about the validity of the pop superstar's will. On Twitter and cable TV, Randy Jackson has called the five-page document signed in 2002 a fake. The one place he hasn't made the claims is a courtroom, where legal experts say he faces almost insurmountable hurdles to invalidate the will and stiff odds against ousting the men who run the lucrative estate.

MARYLAND MAN WHO CALLED HIMSELF 'JOKER' CHARGED: UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (AP) — A Maryland man accused of referring to himself as "a joker" and threatening to shoot up his workplace, raising alarms after Colorado's mass shooting a week earlier, is facing charges of misdemeanor telephone misuse, prosecutors said Wednesday.

The offense carries up to three years in prison and a $500 fine.

Neil E. Prescott, 28, was taken into custody last Friday for an emergency psychiatric evaluation after the threats were reported to the police. Police said they found large quantities of ammunition and about two dozen weapons, including semi-automatic rifles and pistols, in his Crofton apartment.

 

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