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NEW YORK (AP) — As the U.S. wrestles with its biggest whooping cough outbreak in decades, researchers appear to have zeroed in on the main cause: The safer vaccine that was introduced in the 1990s loses effectiveness much faster than previously thought. A study published in Wednesday's New England Journal of Medicine found that the protective effect weakens dramatically soon after a youngster gets the last of the five recommended shots around age 6.
BENGHAZI, Libya (AP) — The U.S. dispatched an elite group of Marines to Tripoli on Wednesday following a mob attack that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans. U.S. officials are investigating whether the violence — initially blamed on an anti-Islamic video — was a terrorist attack planned to coincide with the anniversary of 9/11.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration, roiled by the first killing of a U.S. ambassador in more than 30 years, is investigating whether the assault on the U.S. Consulate in Libya was a planned terrorist strike to mark the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and not a spontaneous mob enraged over an anti-Islam YouTube video.
CHICAGO (AP) — For two decades, one of the most commonly used types of rail tanker has been allowed to haul hazardous liquids from coast to coast even though transportation officials were aware of a dangerous design flaw that almost guarantees the car will tear open in an accident, potentially spilling cargo that could catch fire, explode or contaminate the environment.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minneapolis police have tracked down a suspect in a homicide that happened 32 years with some help from advances in DNA evidence and scrapings from under the victim's fingernails, police said Wednesday. Medical technician Mary Steinhart, 22, was found stabbed to death in her Minneapolis apartment on Nov. 25, 1980. Steinhart was sexually assaulted and stabbed more than 25 times, Minnesota Public Radio News reported. Her sister found Steinhart's body. Police arrested the 57-year-old suspect in Kansas last week.
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — An increasingly warm climate is worsening the problem of harmful Great Lakes algae blooms by boosting the intensity of spring rains that wash phosphorus into the waters, a scientist said Wednesday during a conference for advocates and policymakers. The trend is likely to continue over the coming century, heightening the urgency to control runoff of dissolved phosphorus that promotes excessive algae growth, said Don Scavia, director of the University of Michigan's Graham Sustainability Institute.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton reaffirmed his commitment to raising income taxes on the top 2 percent of earners in strong terms Wednesday, as the Republican-controlled Legislature heads toward a midterm election that will shape the second half of his first term.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minneapolis man has been sentenced to six years in prison for sexually abusing two boys at a U.S. Air Force base in Okinawa, Japan. U.S. District Judge Ann D. Montgomery sentenced 29-year-old Joshua Gardner on Wednesday. In addition to his prison term, Gardner was sentenced to three years of supervised release. After serving his prison term, Gardner must register as a sex offender as a condition of release. Gardner pleaded guilty in January to one count of abusive sexual contact of a child under the age of 12.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Will Smith pitched seven shutout innings, Eric Hosmer homered and the Kansas City Royals beat the Minnesota Twins 9-1 on Tuesday night. Lorenzo Cain had two RBIs and was a home run away from the cycle as Kansas City beat Minnesota for just the sixth time in 16 games. Salvador Perez extended his hitting streak to a career-best 15 games and threw out two runners trying to steal in support of Smith (5-7), who struck out a career-high seven and gave up seven hits in his first win in four starts.
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Representatives of Democratic President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney are scheduled to outline their policies on Great Lakes protection this week. Both campaigns have been invited to the annual meeting of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition on Thursday. Hundreds of scientists, government officials and activists are attending the conference in Cleveland. Former Environmental Protection Agency chief Carol Browner will be speaking for the Obama campaign. The Romney campaign hasn't announced a representative.