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COLUMBUS, Miss. (AP) — A tornado smashed into a commercial district in the small Mississippi city of Columbus on Saturday afternoon, shattering businesses as severe storms raked the South amid days of drenching rains and a rising flood threat.

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CHICAGO (AP) — Prosecutors on Saturday painted a dark portrait of a manipulative and sometimes violent R. Kelly, describing how he repeatedly sought out underage girls for sex, including one he encountered at her 16th birthday party and another who met the R&B star while he was on trial …

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Doris Tapia never imagined that she would get to watch the Oscars at a party in Los Angeles, exchanging the sneakers she wears when she takes care of children in New York for a pair of high heel shoes.

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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Billionaire Warren Buffett says the company he built through decades of acquisitions continues to perform well even though he hasn't found any major deals at attractive prices recently.

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and a group of San Francisco Bay Area students squared off over climate change in a sometimes tense exchange captured on video and widely shared on social media.

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JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — Robert Kraft, the billionaire owner of the New England Patriots, faces charges of soliciting a prostitute after he was twice videotaped in a sex act at a shopping-center massage parlor in Florida, police said Friday.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — All the bill needed to become law was President Donald Trump's signature. It would create a national archive of documents from civil rights cold cases. Students had been working on the project for years, families waiting on it for decades. But time was running out.

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RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — As prosecutors brought charges of cruelty and torture against a California couple who had shackled and starved their children for years, they had two goals in mind: Punish the perpetrators and ensure they could never victimize those 13 children in any way again.

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SAN DIEGO (AP) — The eight border-wall prototypes President Donald Trump inspected during a visit to California in March are going to be torn down to make way for a second barrier separating California and Mexico, the U.S. Department of Customs and Border Protection said Friday.

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CHICAGO (AP) — R. Kelly, the R&B star who has been trailed for decades by allegations that he violated underage girls and women and held some as virtual slaves, was charged Friday with aggravated sexual abuse involving four victims, including at least three between the ages of 13 and 17.

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JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski said she is likely to support a resolution of disapproval over President Donald Trump's declaration of a national emergency to secure more money for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — A federal judge in California ruled Thursday that a twin son of a gay married couple has been an American citizen since birth, handing a defeat to the U.S. government, which had only granted the status to his brother.

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DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — The mysterious death of a real estate developer found strangled with a dog leash nearby took an unusual turn Friday when his teenage son was charged with killing him.

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CHICAGO (AP) — Tears streamed down R. Kelly's cheeks as a court official read a jury's not guilty verdict to all 14 counts of child pornography at his 2008 trial in Chicago. The R&B superstar had successfully dodged up to 15 years in prison and likely financial ruin.

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RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — A California couple pleaded guilty Friday to torture and years of abuse that included shackling some of their 13 children to beds and starving them to the point they stopped growing.

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — With a new election ordered in North Carolina's disputed congressional race, a key question remains unanswered: Who could face criminal charges after a state elections board hearing exposed evidence of ballot fraud?

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CHICAGO (AP) — Actor Jussie Smollett's character on "Empire" will be removed from the final two episodes of this season in the wake of his arrest on charges that he staged a racist, anti-gay attack on himself last month in downtown Chicago, producers of the Fox TV show announced Friday.

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — For five years, Jussie Smollett has been enmeshed in weekly drama on the set of "Empire," the Fox TV series that gave the actor a breakout role and the fame to advance his social activism.

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CHICAGO (AP) — The story Jussie Smollett told police had it all: racism, homophobia, politics, celebrity — all tied up with a hangman's noose. There was no question the news coverage was going to be massive.

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A beloved, longtime Walmart greeter with cerebral palsy met with store management in Pennsylvania on Friday in a bid to keep his job but came away with no guarantees, and his family is girding for a fight.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia House Republicans announced plans Friday to hold a public hearing where Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax and the two women who have recently accused him of sexual assault can testify, a move that will likely inflame a partisan battle over the General Assembly's role in i…

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Virgin Galactic's rocket plane reached space for a second time in a test flight over California on Friday, climbing higher and faster than before while also carrying a crewmember to evaluate the long-awaited passenger experience.

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NEW YORK (AP) — The defense team for Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman said Friday it will seek a new trial for the notorious drug lord in light of "misconduct" on the part of several jurors who allegedly followed media accounts of the case against the instructions of a federal judge.

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The 2018 election left California Republicans in dismal shape, with no statewide officeholders, just seven of 53 U.S. House seats, less than a quarter of all state legislative seats and third-place status in voter registration behind independents and Democrats.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam pledged to civil rights leaders Friday to "do everything that I can do bring good from what happened" after a scandal over a racist yearbook photo and an admission of wearing blackface imperiled his governorship earlier this month.

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CULLMAN, Ala. (AP) — A former Alabama Senate leader accused of taking more than $25,000 from client's trust funds while working as a lawyer has been charged with felony theft, authorities said Friday.

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CHICAGO (AP) — In one version of a Feb. 21 story about "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett being charged with staging an attack on himself in Chicago, The Associated Press erroneously referred to police Superintendent Eddie Johnson speaking at a Thursday afternoon news conference. The news confer…

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A federal magistrate on Friday ordered the government to disclose to him and to plaintiffs' attorneys a list of private organizations that receive access to the government's list of known or suspected terrorists.

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Teachers in Oakland, California, hit the picket lines just as West Virginia teachers went back to class in a kind of coast-to-coast tag-team display of the national teacher unrest that in many places has moved beyond pay to politics, tackling issues like charter schools and vouchers.

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Though the national political focus has largely turned to the 2020 presidential campaign, three Southern states will see hard-fought governors' races this year, with Democrats trying to show they can compete in Donald Trump territory.

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CHICAGO (AP) — Police tapped into Chicago's vast network of surveillance cameras — and even some homeowners' doorbell cameras — to track down two brothers who later claimed they were paid by "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett to stage an attack on him, the latest example of the city's high-tech …