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JORDAN, Minn. (AP) — One small-town Minnesota school district is taking a unique approach to keeping students safe: The police are moving in.
CHICAGO (AP) — Michelle Obama says it was "absolutely not surprising" to her that her satellite appearance at the Academy Awards ceremony provoked a national conversation about whether it was appropriate, after some conservative critics accused her of selfishly crashing the event in an attempt to upstage it. She attributed the chatter to a culture shift that has spawned legions of bloggers, tweeters and others who talk about anything and everything all the time.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A bill at the Capitol to strengthen state laws against bullying in schools has passed its first committee hurdle. The House Education Policy Committee approved the bill Thursday night. The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports it requires all school districts to enact their own bullying prevention policies, and sets aside $1 million in state funds for the Department of Education to help schools formulate their policies.
BEAVERTON, Ore. (AP) — A grieving Oregon mother who battled Facebook for full access to her deceased son's account has been pushing for years for something that would prevent others from losing photos, messages and other memories — as she did. "Everybody's going to face this kind of a situation at some point in their lives," says Karen Williams, whose 22-year-old son died in a 2005 motorcycle accident.
CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (AP) — Benedict XVI left the Catholic Church in unprecedented limbo Thursday as he became the first pope in 600 years to resign, capping a tearful day of farewells that included an extraordinary pledge of obedience to his successor. As bells tolled, two Swiss Guards standing at attention at the papal palace in Castel Gandolfo shut the thick wooden doors shortly after 8 p.m., symbolically closing out a papacy whose legacy will be most marked by the way it ended — a resignation instead of a death.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration on Thursday will ask the Supreme Court to overturn California's ban on gay marriage and take a skeptical view of similar bans elsewhere, according to a person familiar with the government's legal filing in the California case. While the administration's friend-of-the-court brief in the Proposition 8 case does not call for marriage equality across the United States, it does point the court in that direction.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Squabbling away the hours, the Senate swatted aside last-ditch plans to block $85 billion in broad-based federal spending reductions Thursday as President Barack Obama and Republicans blamed each other for the latest outbreak of gridlock and the administration readied plans to put the cuts into effect. So entrenched were the two parties that the Senate chaplain, Barry Black, opened the day's session with a prayer that beseeched a higher power to intervene.
SAWYER, Minn. (AP) — Authorities in northeastern Minnesota are investigating after a body was found in the ruins of a cabin fire. The Carlton County sheriff's office says the fire was reported around 6 a.m. Wednesday in the town of Sawyer. Cloquet (kloh-kay) firefighters responded along with officers from the Fond du Lac Police Department and the sheriff's office. The cabin was destroyed by the fire, and a body was discovered in the remains. The body has not been positively identified yet.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The Black Keys, Sheryl Crow and Public Enemy are among the musical acts scheduled to perform at the Beale Street Music Festival in May. The eclectic list of performers was announced Tuesday on the website for Memphis in May, the month-long tourism event that includes the three-day music festival.
CHICAGO (AP) — Leaders of the cancer charity founded by Lance Armstrong said Thursday that the organization will persevere in the wake of the cyclist's admission that he used performance-enhancing drugs.