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- GOP: Environmental rules keeping agents from accessing border
- John Kerry: Millions displaced by religious fighting in 2013
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia’s gay marriage ban
- White House says Russia ‘losing’ war in Ukraine
- Hamas turns to North Korea for weapons deal, Iran for money
- Syrian casualties surge as jihadis consolidate
Question of the Day
Justice Department seeks immigrant data on students
MONTGOMERY — The U.S. Justice Department is asking every school district in Alabama to hand over enrollment information about all their students as part of its lawsuit challenging that state's tough immigration law.
The department sent letters to school superintendents Monday telling them to provide lists that include the students' race, national origin and whether English is their primary language. Justice Department lawyers also sought the names of students who have withdrawn from school and the date they withdrew.
The Obama administration says it's concerned that Alabama's recently enacted immigration law may chill student participation, and it wants the information to determine if further action is warranted.
Federal courts have put on hold a portion of Alabama's law that requires schools to report the number, but not the names, of students whose immigration status is in question.
Hefty fines OK'd for barking dogs
LOS ANGELES — Barking dogs can lead to a hefty fine in Los Angeles.
The City Council on Tuesday approved an ordinance that fines owners of excessively barking dogs $250 for a first offense, $500 for a second and $1,000 for a third if a Department of Animal Services hearing officer decides the pooch is barking too much.
City prosecutor Dov Lesel told the Los Angeles Times that a dog's barking would be considered excessive if it continued for 10 minutes or more, or intermittently for a half-hour or more within a three-hour period.
The ordinance is expected to get Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's signature. It would go into effect before the end of the year.
Four men accused of planning ricin attacks
GAINESVILLE — Four men in Georgia intended to use an online novel as a script for a real-life wave of terrorism and assassination using explosives and the lethal toxin ricin, according to court documents.
Federal agents raided their north Georgia homes Tuesday and arrested them on charges of conspiring to plan the attacks.
Frederick Thomas, 73; Dan Roberts, 67; Ray Adams, 65; and Samuel Crump, 68, appeared in court Wednesday. Relatives of two of the men said the charges were baseless.
Court documents accused the men of trying to obtain an explosive device and a silencer to carry out targeted attacks on government buildings and employees. Two of the men are also accused of trying to seek out a formula to produce ricin, a biological toxin that can be lethal in small doses.
Trick-or-treater, 12, killed crossing street
LAS VEGAS — The mother of a 12-year-old Las Vegas girl killed when she was struck by a car while trick-or-treating says she never got to say goodbye.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that Faith Love was already dead by the time her mother, Rocquell Love, arrived at the hospital after the Halloween night car crash.
Driver Justin Caramanica, 41, was arrested on a felony drunken-driving charge and is being held at the Clark County jail.
Mrs. Love says she hadn't planned on taking her daughter trick-or-treating that night. But she decided to let her daughter go out with her cousins and an aunt after the girl's 6-year-old brother came down sick.
The girl was dressed as an American Indian princess when she was struck by Mr. Caramanica's 2009 Mazda RX-8.
PTA official: Gay group never got approval
GARDEN CITY — A New York group calling itself the first Parent-Teacher Association unit in the country dedicated to the needs of gay and lesbian youths is under fire from the president of the state PTA.
Maria Fletcher says the Long Island Gay Parent Teacher Association never got permission to use the organization's name. Miss Fletcher did not take a position Wednesday on whether the group should be given permission, but expressed concern that the group was focused too specifically on one constituency.
She said the PTA is an organization for all children, regardless of race, creed, religion or sexual orientation.
Organizer David Kilmnick contended the group merely wants to be another advocate fighting bullying and intimidation of homosexuals in school. The group holds its first meeting Wednesday night in Garden City.
Decades of Billy Graham audio files now online
CHARLOTTE — Six decades' worth of recordings from America's most famous evangelist are now available in a searchable online database.
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association said Wednesday that visitors to www.billygraham.org can find nearly 1,700 audio files from his six decades of public ministry. Mr. Graham is 92.
The files range from sermons at Mr. Graham's famous crusades to radio broadcasts and remarks at President Lyndon B. Johnson's funeral.
The Billy Graham Audio Archives can be searched by location, date and topic, with topics ranging from divorce to Christians' relationship with the world. The association says the archive is unique in sharing, making such a large amount of data public in a single location.
Officers cleared in pepper-spraying of dancers
SALT LAKE CITY — Police in a small town say officers who pepper-sprayed a group performing a traditional Polynesian haka dance after a high school football game last month followed departmental policy and did not violate state law.
A report released Wednesday says that while the two Roosevelt, Utah, officers could have chosen other ways to maintain security, spraying the dancers and using batons was not inappropriate. The officers said the dancers were blocking an exit as players and game officials were trying to leave.
The report says the dancers should have alerted police about their plans before going onto the field.
Woman pleads insanity in fetal abduction
MILWAUKEE — An insanity plea has been entered on behalf of a Milwaukee woman accused of killing a pregnant woman and trying to steal her full-term fetus.
The attorney for Annette Morales-Rodriguez, 33, entered pleas Wednesday of not guilty and not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.
Lawyer Robert D'Arruda said he's not aware that his client has a history of mental illness. But he said he wants her to have access to an examination from a mental-health professional.
Miss Morales-Rodriguez is charged with two counts of intentional homicide, including homicide of an unborn child. If convicted, she faces two life sentences.
• From wire dispatches and staff reports
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