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WASHINGTON (AP) — A last-gasp effort Thursday to avoid automatic tax increases and spending cuts got off on the same convulsive, partisan tone that marked congressional attempts to resolve the impasse before lawmakers left Washington to go home for Christmas.
CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Clemson University student Nathan Weaver set out to determine how to help turtles cross the road. He ended up getting a glimpse into the dark souls of some humans. Weaver put a realistic rubber turtle in the middle of a lane on a busy road near campus. Then he got out of the way and watched over the next hour as seven drivers swerved and deliberately ran over the animal. Several more apparently tried to hit it but missed.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Wisconsin woman jumped to her death from the Interstate 94 bridge over the St. Croix River during morning rush hour, leaving her daughter behind in the car. The St. Croix County Sheriff's Office says the 48-year-old woman from Pierce County stopped at about 8:30 a.m. on the shoulder of eastbound I-94, about 100 yards off the Wisconsin shoreline. She then climbed the railing and jumped into the icy waters. Law enforcement officers recovered her body using an air boat. The 11-year-old girl was turned over to family in Wisconsin.
MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday he will sign a controversial bill barring Americans from adopting Russian children, while the Kremlin's children's rights advocate recommended extending the ban to the rest of the world. The bill is part of the country's increasingly confrontational stance with the West and has angered some Russians who argue it victimizes children to make a political point.
SLEEPY EYE, Minn. (AP) — A fire at a farm near Sleepy Eye in southern Minnesota destroyed a dairy barn and the livestock inside. The fire was reported around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, and firefighters battled the blaze for at least three hours. The Journal of New Ulm reports ( http://bit.ly/12RwsVE ) that officials say the farm's owners, Ben and Jenny Fischer, reported losing approximately 20 to 25 cows, 20 embryos and an unknown number of calves and other equipment. The cause of the fire has not yet been released.
NEW YORK (AP) — To his boss, Chris Matthews has become a statesman. His critics probably have other words. The veteran MSNBC host raised his profile as much as any member of the television commentariat during the presidential campaign. His 5 p.m. "Hardball" show has seen viewership jump by 24 percent this year from 2011, 17 percent for the rerun two hours later.
FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Federal prosecutors in North Dakota have charged four men with conspiring to import and sell controlled substances used to make synthetic hallucinogenic drugs, including drugs made by a self-described "hobby chemist" from Grand Forks that killed two teens and led to several overdoses in the area.
WHITED TOWNSHIP, Minn. (AP) — A 7-year-old boy who was struck by a vehicle at his rural Kanabec County home has died. The child was taken to a local hospital after being hit about 6:30 p.m. Christmas at the home in Whited Township. He was later flown to a Twin Cities hospital where he died. It is unclear who hit the boy or other circumstances. The county sheriff's department is investigating. The child was not immediately identified. Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.
SLEEPY EYE, Minn. (AP) — A fire at a farm near Sleepy Eye in southern Minnesota destroyed a dairy barn and the livestock inside. The fire was reported around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, and firefighters battled the blaze for at least three hours. The Journal of New Ulm reports that officials say the farm's owners, Ben and Jenny Fischer, reported losing approximately 20 to 25 cows, 20 embryos and an unknown number of calves and other equipment. The cause of the fire has not yet been released.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration's chief environmental watchdog, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, is stepping down after a nearly four-year tenure marked by high-profile brawls over global warming pollution, the Keystone XL oil pipeline, new controls on coal-fired plants and several other hot-button issues that affect the nation's economy and people's health.