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In this Oct. 30, 2015 photo, Giovanni R. Santini, appears at his wife's grave at a cemetery in Lafitte, La. Santini has spent decades trying to prove he's an American Indian, and folks in his bayou town no longer doubt he's a proud member of the 17,000-strong tribe Houma scattered across south Louisiana. Not so for the federal government. For decades, efforts by the Houma to become a federally recognized native American tribe have failed -- much like those of dozens of other groups nationwide. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Native Americans in bayou seek tribal recognition

- Associated Press

Giovanni R. Santini has done just about all he could to prove he’s an American Indian over the decades he’s lived in his Louisiana bayou town - even fighting with his fists to defend his bloodline with the Houma tribe.

Country star Lawrence feeds Music City’s neediest for Thanksgiving

- The Washington Times

Tracy Lawrence is spending the holiday week not only giving thanks but giving back: The country music star and his family have taken time from their Thanksgiving preparations to help some of Nashville’s neediest. “Growing up as a kid, I was involved in the church, so I’ve always tried to give back doing different things,” Mr. Lawrence told The Washington Times of his 10th annual “Missions: Possible” Turkey Fry, which took place Tuesday at Nashville’s City Winery.

Rep. Jeff Miller, Florida Republican and chair of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Jeff Miller: VA should have fired 2 top executives, recovered 400K in bonuses

- The Washington Times

House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller said Tuesday that the VA botched a chance to clean up its act when it demoted two senior executives but didn’t fire them nor try to recover nearly $400,000 in relocation bonuses investigators say they didn’t deserve because they orchestrated sweetheart transfers to new posts.

In this Oct. 20, 2014, frame from dash-cam video provided by the Chicago Police Department, Laquan McDonald, right, walks down the street moments before being shot by Officer Jason Van Dyke in Chicago. Van Dyke, who shot McDonald 16 times, was charged with first-degree murder Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015. (Chicago Police Department via AP)

Jason Van Dyke case: Chicago awaits more protests over police shooting

- Associated Press

The white officer who shot a black Chicago teen 16 times has been charged with murder and jailed. The graphic video of the slaying has been made public. And in the hours after the footage was released, protesters seemed to honor pleas for restraint.

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Coal railroad plans on hold due to mine permitting delays

- Associated Press

Plans to build a $400 million railroad to haul coal from a proposed mine on the Montana-Wyoming border were put on indefinite hold Wednesday because of delays in obtaining a mining permit and a weakening coal market, officials said.