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IRS CREDIT CARDS USED FOR WINE, PORN: WASHINGTON - Poor oversight by the Internal Revenue Service allowed workers to use agency credit cards to buy wine for an expensive luncheon, dorky swag for managers' meetings and, for one employee, romance novels and diet pills, an agency watchdog said Tuesday. Two IRS credit cards were used to buy online pornography, though the employees said the cards were stolen. One of the workers reported five agency credit cards lost or stolen. IRS employees used agency credit cards to make more than 273,000 purchases totaling nearly $108 million in 2010 and 2011, according ...

June 25, 2013 | | Nation


Broadway marquees dim in honor of late Gandolfini

NEW YORK (AP) - Broadway theaters will dim their marquee lights Wednesday night in memory of James Gandolfini, "The Sopranos" star who earned a Tony Award nomination in 2009.

June 25, 2013 | | Nation


Texas set to execute 500th inmate

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) - Jim Willett remembers the night of Dec. 6, 1982, when he was assigned to guard a mortuary van that had arrived at the death house at the Huntsville prison.

June 25, 2013 | | Nation


GOP divided on immigration

WASHINGTON (AP) - Senate Republicans are split over the immigration bill steaming toward approval at week's end, a divide that renders the ultimate fate of White House-backed legislation unpredictable in the House and complicates the party's ability to broaden its appeal among Hispanic voters.

June 25, 2013 | | Nation


Zimmerman portrayed as vigilante in shooting

SANFORD, Fla. (AP) - George Zimmerman was fed up with "punks" getting away with crime and shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin "because he wanted to," not because he had to, prosecutors argued Monday, while the neighborhood watch volunteer's attorney said the killing was self-defense against a young man who was slamming Zimmerman's head against the pavement.

June 24, 2013 | | Nation


Gettysburg celebrates 150th anniversary of battle

GETTYSBURG, Pa. (AP) - Gettysburg changed the direction of American history 150 years ago, and the town hasn't been the same since.

June 24, 2013 | | Nation


Rights case ruling favors transgender girl

DENVER (AP) - Colorado officials say a suburban Colorado Springs school district discriminated against a 6-year-old transgender girl by preventing her from using the girls' bathroom, in what advocates described as the first such ruling in the next frontier in civil rights.

June 24, 2013 | | Nation


Minority, poor students gain from charters

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) - Charter schools benefit students from poor families, black students and Hispanic English-language learners more than their peers in other groups, a study shows.

June 24, 2013 | | Nation


IRS also screened liberal groups

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Internal Revenue Service's screening of groups seeking tax-exempt status was broader and lasted longer than has been previously disclosed, the new head of the agency acknowledged Monday. Terms including "Israel," ''Progressive" and "Occupy" were used by agency workers to help pick groups for closer examination, according to an internal IRS document obtained by The Associated Press.

June 24, 2013 | | Nation


Change in weather needed as Colorado fire keeps growing

DEL NORTE, Colo. (AP) - Crews defending small homes, a ski area and a handful of roads against an erratic wildfire in Colorado's southwest mountains hoped Monday for a break - any break - in the weather that will allow them to launch a more strategic assault on the backcountry blaze.

June 24, 2013 | | Nation


Economic well-being of children slips

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - It wasn't so long ago that David Hutchinson spent a month sleeping under a bridge while his wife and young daughter spent their nights at a domestic violence shelter.

June 24, 2013 | | Nation


Nation news briefs

TEXAS TEEN IMPALED ON HORN OF BULL STATUE: LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) - A 14-year-old West Texas boy is dead after he ran into a bull statue on the Texas Tech University campus and impaled himself on one of its horns.

June 24, 2013 | | Nation


Rare June rain bringing drought relief to Nevada

RENO, Nev. (AP) - An uncommon summer rain system moving across the Sierra into Nevada should provide some relief from drought, especially across a band of northern Nevada where extreme drought conditions are reported.

June 24, 2013 | | Nation


Philadelphia schools hunger strike over budget hits 8th day

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Ten thousand unused musical instruments. No sports or art programs. No assistant principals, counselors, cafeteria aides or secretaries.

June 24, 2013 | | Nation


Mormons to use technology, less door-to-door in missionary work

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - The common image of Mormon missionaries has long been two young men wearing white shirts and ties walking through neighborhoods, knocking door-to-door.

June 24, 2013 | | Nation


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Articles by Section - Nation


Inmate religious ceremonies gets new look

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Three Kentucky death row inmates should get another chance to show they have the right to a sweat lodge, powwow and traditional foods to conduct Native American religious ceremonies behind bars at the prison, a federal appeals court ruled on Friday.

August 15, 2014 | | Nation


Specks returned from space may be alien visitors

BERKELEY (AP) - There may be itsy-bitsy aliens among us.

August 14, 2014 | | Nation


Highway Patrol seizes control of Ferguson

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Highway Patrol seized control of a St. Louis suburb Thursday, stripping local police of their law-enforcement authority after four days of clashes between officers in riot gear and furious crowds protesting the death of an unarmed black teen shot by an officer.

August 14, 2014 | | Nation


Woman, girl killed in porn pics case

FREEHOLD, N.J. (AP) - A New Jersey ex-con was charged with strangling his cousin and her 10-year-old foster daughter after the woman found him taking pornographic pictures of the girl, authorities said Thursday.

August 14, 2014 | | Nation


8 arrested in daring NJ casino heist

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) - A recently fired casino security guard used his knowledge of when and where large sums of money would change hands to help plan and pull off a daring robbery that netted more than $180,000, authorities said Thursday.

August 14, 2014 | | Nation


New Orleans clears of 160 homeless

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - City workers wearing gloves - and a few in face masks - threw sofas, armchairs and quilts into garbage trucks Thursday, clearing out a homeless encampment of about 160 people. Officials said it attracted rats and called it a public health hazard.

August 14, 2014 | | Nation


Teacher accused of being drunk in class

PHOENIX (AP) - An Arizona high school teacher who feared she was too inebriated to drive took a cab to work, then continued drinking throughout the day until students alerted administrators that she was cursing and yelling at them, authorities said Thursday.

August 14, 2014 | | Nation


First Guard troops at Texas-Mexico border

HIDALGO, Texas (AP) - The first wave of National Guard troops has taken up observation posts along the Texas-Mexico border.

August 14, 2014 | | Nation


Medics who left dying patient under investigation

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Paramedics attended to a man who was bleeding from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, then left him to be taken to the morgue, saying his injuries were "not compatible with life," according to police documents.

August 14, 2014 | | Nation


NEWS FROM ACROSS THE NATION

• MASSACHUSETTS TO USE MORE HUMOR ON HIGHWAY SIGNS: BOSTON (AP) - The Massachusetts Department of Transportation on Thursday announced the winners of a contest to come up with humorous yet important driver safety messages for electronic highway message boards.

August 14, 2014 | | Nation


Coca-Cola bets on energy drinks

ATLANTA (AP) - Coca-Cola is buying a 16.7 percent stake in Monster Beverage for $2.15 billion, with the world's biggest soda maker hoping to benefit from the surging popularity of energy drinks.

August 14, 2014 | | Nation


Wal-Mart cuts profit outlook

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc. cut its annual profit outlook on Thursday amid sluggish sales, higher-than-expected health care costs and the need to invest more in its e-commerce operations.

August 14, 2014 | | Nation


GE in talks to sell appliance division

NEW YORK (AP) - General Electric confirmed that it is considering the sale of its historic appliance division, part of its effort to focus on selling more complex and profitable industrial equipment.

August 14, 2014 | | Nation


JC Penney posts narrower 2nd quarter loss, sales rise

PLANO, Texas (AP) - J.C. Penney Co. (JCP) reported a narrower loss for its second quarter that beat Wall Street expectations.

August 14, 2014 | | Nation


Stores have solid start to back-to-school retail season

NEW YORK (AP) - The back-to-school shopping season is off to a promising start, but retailers may be sacrificing profit for sales.

August 14, 2014 | | Nation


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