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National Guard start pullout as protests in Ferguson turn calmer

National Guard troops walk through a staging area located at a shopping center parking lot in Ferguson, MissouriBy Scott Malone and Edward McAllister FERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) - Missouri's governor ordered National Guard troops to withdraw from the riot-weary town of Ferguson on Thursday as tensions eased after nearly two weeks of racially charged protests over the fatal police shooting of an unarmed black teenager. Demonstrators were orderly for a second straight evening on Thursday, the calmest night in the St. Louis suburb since 18-year-old Michael Brown was gunned down by a white police officer on Aug. 9 under disputed circumstances. Keep them close." Ferguson erupted in anger after the teenager's slaying, with nightly rallies frequently punctuated by looting, vandalism and clashes between protesters and heavily armed riot police, often ending in volleys of tear gas and dozens of arrests.

Fri, 22 Aug 2014 01:01:12 -0400
Federal judge strikes down Florida's gay marriage ban, stays ruling

Groom figurines are seen on a cake at a ceremony to celebrate the wedding of Jeff Zarrillo and Paul Katami at Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly HillsBy Letitia Stein TAMPA Fla. (Reuters) - A federal judge in north Florida on Thursday struck down the state's gay marriage ban as unconstitutional, but stayed the ruling, leaving same-sex couples still unable to marry in the state. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle of Florida's Northern District in Tallahassee is the fifth judge in the state to rule against a same-sex marriage ban approved by voters in 2008, but the first federal judge to do so. "The institution of marriage survived when bans on interracial marriage were struck down, and the institution will survive when bans on same-sex marriage are struck down," Hinkle wrote. The ruling addressed two lawsuits involving 10 same-sex couples, mostly married in other states and seeking recognition in Florida.

Thu, 21 Aug 2014 18:59:19 -0400
Slain journalist's employer publishes email to family from Islamic State

Sign outside a shop remembers James Foley in his hometown of RochesterThe online news publication that employed slain U.S. Boston-based GlobalPost said on Thursday the Foley family had agreed to release the email that it received from Islamic State a week before the video of his execution was released on Tuesday. We believe the text offers insight into the motivations and tactics of the Islamic State." Foley was beheaded by the group in an act shown in a video released in which Islamic State called for the United States to end its airstrikes in Iraq.

Thu, 21 Aug 2014 22:21:43 -0400
Roads, homes damaged by Washington mudslides

TWISP, Wash. (AP) A north-central Washington area hit hard by recent wildfires was battered by thunderstorms that caused flash flooding and mudslides, damaging roadways and homes and stranding some motorists, authorities said.

Fri, 22 Aug 2014 03:40:36 -0400
National Guard to withdraw from a quieter Ferguson

Protesters march Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. Protesters again gathered Thursday evening, walking in laps near the spot where Michael Brown was shot. Some were in organized groups, such as clergy members. More signs reflected calls by protesters to remove the prosecutor, Robert McCulloch, from the case. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) The streets of Ferguson were peaceful for another night, as protests and tensions were subsiding in the St. Louis suburb where unrest had erupted after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black 18-year-old.

Fri, 22 Aug 2014 03:32:16 -0400
Jell-O can't stop slippery sales slide

This Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014 photo shows boxes of Jell-O on a shelf at a store in Vauxhall, N.J. Despite its enduring place in pop culture, sales of Jell-O have tumbled 19 percent from five years ago, with alternatives such as Greek yogurt surging in poularity. (AP Photo/Dan Goodman)NEW YORK (AP) Jell-O has lost its jiggle and nobody knows how to fix it.

Fri, 22 Aug 2014 03:31:58 -0400
California to appeal ruling tossing death penalty

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) California's attorney general says she will appeal a federal court ruling that called the state's death penalty unconstitutional.

Fri, 22 Aug 2014 03:25:33 -0400
Alaska serial killer dies, decades after murders

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) Convicted Alaska serial killer Robert Hansen, who gained the nickname of "the Butcher Baker" for abducting and hunting down women in the wilderness during the state's oil pipeline construction boom in the 1970s, has died at age 75.

Fri, 22 Aug 2014 03:17:18 -0400
Woman who drank lye-tainted tea suffers nightmares

Attorney Paxton Guymon holds a photograph of Jim and Jan Harding following a news conference Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014, in Salt Lake City. Jan Harding, 67, drank sweet tea containing a toxic cleaning chemical, severely burning her mouth and throat at a Utah restaurant after an employee mistook the substance for sugar and mixed it into a dispenser. Harding is listed in good condition at a Salt Lake City hospital as she continues to improve. Authorities say a worker at Dickey's Barbecue in South Jordan unintentionally put the chemical cleaning compound in a sugar bag last month. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)SALT LAKE CITY (AP) A woman who was in critical condition after unknowingly sipping sweetened iced tea laced with a chemical found in drain cleaner has been steadily improving, but her husband says she's having nightmares about the moment that nearly killed her.

Fri, 22 Aug 2014 03:15:50 -0400
Mud, slides close roads, trap motorists in Wash.

TWISP, Wash. (AP) Thunderstorms dropped heavy rain on areas of north-central Washington hard-hit by wildfires this summer, triggering flash floods and mud slides Thursday night that damaged some homes, blocked portions of at least three highways and stranded some motorists, officials said.

Fri, 22 Aug 2014 02:22:11 -0400
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