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Boston Marathon to run second-largest field in history one year after tragedy

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Some 36,000 athletes, including Kenyan and Ethiopian runners who are consistently ranked among the world’s fastest, will run in the 118th Boston Marathon on Monday, putting the world-renown race back in the spotlight after it was marred by last year’s bombing attack.

Returning men’s and women’s champions Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia and Rita Jeptoo of Kenya are among the top-ranked runners expected to compete in the 26.2 mile race.

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But each faces a rival with a faster personal-best time: Dennis Kimetto of Kenya ran last year’s Chicago Marathon in 2:03:45 and Ethiopia’s Mare Dibaba turned in a 2:19:52 performance at the 2012 Dubois marathon.

No American athlete has stood atop the podium on Boston’s Boylston Street, not far from the site of last year’s bombing, since 1985 when Lisa Larsen-Weidenbach of Michigan won the women’s race. The drought has been longer for U.S. men: Greg Meyer of Massachusetts won in 1983.

But there are several U.S. hopefuls in the field, including Ryan Hall of California, who placed third in 2009 and Desiree Linden, who missed winning by just two seconds in 2011.

Race organizers expanded the field by some 9,000 runners this year, to allow the roughly 5,000 athletes who had been left on the course last year when the twin pressure-cooker bombs went off near the finish line another chance to compete.

Amateur runners often work for years to post the strict age-graded times needed to qualify for the elite race.

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Three people died and 264 were injured last year when a pair of ethnic Chechen brothers bombed the finish line, prosecutors contend.


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Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg is Time magazine’s 2019 Person of the Year

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Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg was chosen as Time magazine's Person of the Year for 2019, the magazine announced Wednesday.

The 16-year-old has found herself in the role of spokesperson for a generation haunted by climate emergency since her solo strike against global warming outside Sweden's parliament last year.

The magazine cover has a picture of Thunberg with the subtitle "The Power of Youth."

.@GretaThunberg is TIME's 2019 Person of the Year #TIMEPOY https://t.co/YZ7U6Up76v pic.twitter.com/SWALBfeGl6

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Ex-Bush official shreds Barr for serving Trump’s ‘authoritarian’ ambitions

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MSNBC's Elise Jordan busted Attorney General William Barr's hypocrisy on surveillance.

The "Morning Joe" contributor and former White House official in the George W. Bush administration, where Barr also served -- and helped build the surveillance state before going on to work for telecommunications companies that turned over customer data to the government.

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Blast damages hospital near biggest US base in Afghanistan

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At least one person was killed and dozens wounded when a bomb exploded close to the largest US military base in Afghanistan Wednesday, damaging homes and a hospital under construction near Bagram Airfield, officials said.

The attack -- which has not yet been claimed -- comes as Washington resumed talks with the Taliban on Saturday, three months after President Donald Trump abruptly halted diplomatic efforts that could end America's longest war.

"The explosion happened in front of the gate of the Korean hospital which is almost adjacent to Bagram airfield," Parwan governor spokeswoman Wahida Shahkar said, referring to the US airbase located north of Kabul, in Parwan province.

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