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Five dead including toddler in Arizona shooting

LOS ANGELES — A gunman shot and killed four people including a toddler in the southwest US state of Arizona before turning the gun on himself Wednesday, officials and reports said. The motive for the shooting in Gilbert, southeast of Phoenix, was unclear, said a municipal spokeswoman, while the Arizona…

13 charged in Florida university hazing death

MIAMI — Thirteen people were charged Wednesday in the hazing death of the leader of the Florida A&M University marching band, prosecutors said — an incident that cast a light on college hazing rituals. Drum major Robert Champion, 26, was beaten to death on November 19 in what was described…

U.S. shows no sign of compromise over missile shield

WASHINGTON — Top US officials preparing for international missile defense talks in Russia said Washington remains committed to fully implementing its missile shield for eastern Europe despite Moscow’s opposition. On the eve of the two-day talks involving 50 countries, one of the officials, Ellen Tauscher, also said she doubted there…

Aspirin works as well as blood thinner in heart patients

WASHINGTON — Aspirin works as well as the blood thinner warfarin, or Coumadin, in most patients with heart failure when it comes to preventing death, stroke or brain hemorrhage, said a major international study on Wednesday. The findings published in the New England Journal of Medicine came from a landmark…

Australian ex-girlfriend’s diaries show Obama in love

WASHINGTON — Secret diaries of an Australian woman who was one of young Barack Obama’s girlfriends, show the warmth and trust of the future president in love, but also hint at his reserve and “coolness.” Accounts of the 1980s romance between Genevieve Cook and a twenty-something Obama in New York…

Gingrich officially drops presidential bid

ARLINGTON, Virginia — Former House speaker Newt Gingrich on Wednesday dropped his erratic campaign for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, but pledged to remain in the public eye as an “active citizen.” “Today I am suspending the campaign. Suspending the campaign does not mean suspending citizenship,” Gingrich said in a…

Bolivia nationalization hurts investment climate: U.S.

WASHINGTON — The United States voiced concern Wednesday after Bolivia nationalized Spanish firm Red Electrica’s local grid, saying it will damage the country’s investment climate. Bolivian President Evo Morales’s seizure of the Red Electrica subsidiary came just 15 days after Argentina’s much larger expropriation of Spanish oil giant Repsol’s YPF…

Twelve dead in clash between Mexico soldiers, outlaws

CULIACAN, Mexico — A fresh clash between soldiers and suspected criminals in northwest Mexico left 12 dead, including two soldiers, a state official said Wednesday. At least 22 others have been killed in similar clashes in Sinaloa state, home to the eponymous drug cartel, since Saturday. In the latest clash,…

SpaceX delays ISS launch again

WASHINGTON — The first attempt by a private company to send a cargo-loaded spacecraft to the International Space Station was delayed again on Wednesday and a new launch date remains uncertain, SpaceX said. The planned May 7 launch has been postponed while engineers work out software issues, said SpaceX spokeswoman…

Controversial ‘mutant virus’ study published

Scientists who created a mutant virus to explore a key aspect of influenza published their research Wednesday after a four-month storm that brewed fears of bioterrorism and accusations of censorship. The controversy began in December when teams in the United States and the Netherlands separately said they had engineered a…

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