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US court: Monitoring Muslims was constitutional

Posted: 09/24/2008 - A federal appeals court says it was constitutional for the United States to require visitors from two dozen Arab and Muslim countries and North Korea to register with immigration authorities.

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Topeka Roundabout Etiquette

Updated: 09/24/2008 - Worried about roundabout etiquette? Check out RaeChelle Davis' story tonight on 13 news. She went to some local roundabouts and found out what all the fuss is about.

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Kansas on 'Worst Chance' List for Quality Pre-K Programs

Updated: 10/10/2008 - A new report unveiled Wednesday cites the number of National Institute for Early Education Research benchmarks met, state pre-k enrollment and growth rates, percentage of school districts or counties where the program is available, and funding growth as a few factors when ranking states for quality, state-funded pre-k education.

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Anthrax suspect was barred from labs after spill

Posted: 09/24/2008 - Anthrax mailing suspect Bruce E. Ivins' access to Army biodefense laboratories was revoked in March after he spilled anthrax on his pants and went home to wash them instead of immediately reporting the accident, according to an Army report.

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US Court: Monitoring Muslims was Constitutional

Posted: 09/24/2008 - A federal appeals court says it was constitutional for the United States to require visitors from two dozen Arab and Muslim countries and North Korea to register with immigration authorities.

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Flu shot season begins with ample supply coming

Posted: 09/24/2008 - Just about everybody needs a flu vaccine - unless you're an infant or a healthy adult hermit - but far too few of the Americans who need protection the most get it.

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McCartney in Bethlehem: I'm carrying peace message

Posted: 09/24/2008 - Paul McCartney said Wednesday he's carrying a message of peace for Israel and the Palestinians, rejecting criticism of his planned concert in Tel Aviv. McCartney toured the West Bank town of Bethlehem, visiting the Church of the Nativity, built over the traditional birthplace of Jesus.

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House Votes to End Offshore Drilling Ban

Posted: 09/24/2008 - The House, responding to growing public demand for more domestic energy, has voted to end a quarter-century ban on oil and gas drilling off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.

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White House Yields on Chiefs' Pay, Bush to Speak

Posted: 09/24/2008 - The White House bowed on a major sticking point in the $700 billion financial bailout plan Wednesday, and President Bush readied a prime-time speech to the nation as the administration scrambled to pull loudly resistant lawmakers onboard and stave off a deepening economic crisis.

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McCain Seeks to Delay Debate to Focus on Economy

Updated: 09/25/2008 - Republican John McCain said Wednesday he wants to delay Friday's debate with Democratic rival Barack Obama and temporarily put aside their partisan campaign to resolve the nation's financial crisis.

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Oil falls below $106 on weak US energy demand

Posted: 09/24/2008 - Oil prices ended a choppy session slightly lower Wednesday, falling below $106 a barrel as weak U.S. fuel demand and a stronger dollar outweighed concerns over a reduction in global crude output.

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Mexico quietly helps emigrants to US learn Spanish

Posted: 09/24/2008 - For more than a decade, as the immigration debate has swelled on both sides of the border, the Mexican government has been quietly providing money, materials and even teachers to American schools, colleges and nonprofit organizations.

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Anthrax suspect was barred from labs after spill

Posted: 09/24/2008 - Anthrax mailing suspect Bruce E. Ivins' access to Army biodefense laboratories was revoked in March after he spilled anthrax on his pants and went home to wash them instead of immediately reporting the accident, according to an Army report.

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Jimmy Carter says bailout plan is faulty

Posted: 09/24/2008 - The Bush administration's $700 billion plan to bail out the financial industry is "extremely faulty," Former President Jimmy Carter said at a Tuesday night town hall-style meeting.

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'Virtual kidnappers' target immigrant families

Posted: 09/24/2008 - Families of illegal immigrants in Arizona are increasingly being targeted by an extortion scam in which criminals falsely claim to have kidnapped their loved ones as the immigrants tried to sneak across the U.S. border with Mexico. The culprits behind so-called "virtual kidnappings" typically strike when illegal immigrants make the three- to four-day journey through the remote desert, where they are cut off from communicating with family members. Relatives are told to cough up thousands of dollars or their loved ones will be maimed or killed. "It's just an extension of what happens in Mexico," said Armando Garcia, assistant special agent in charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Arizona, where the trend first appeared five years ago and has escalated to an average of one case being reported each week. Investigators believe virtual kidnappers get the names and phone numbers of immigrants' families either by buying them from smugglers or by posing as helpers who can connect illegal immigrants with smugglers in Mexican border towns. One family paid $7,000 before calling authorities about the scam. Once a ransom is paid, the criminals will often ask for more money and sometimes even demand that families cover the cost of the kidnapper's cell phone. The kidnappers are convincing. They speak good English and use cell phones with a Phoenix area code so it looks like they are in the Arizona capital, even though they are probably making the calls from Mexico, where the extortion money is often sent. Virtual abductions have also been reported in San Diego, where immigration agents investigate two to three each year, said Lauren Mack, a spokeswoman for that city's office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. It's not hard to trick families into believing an actual kidnapping has happened. Relatives of illegal immigrants know that human trafficking is a violent business in which customers who have already paid their smuggling fees are sometimes held captive while smugglers try to squeeze more money out of friends and family. Immigrants aren't the only ones risking abduction. Since the beginning of 2007, Phoenix has had more than 560 kidnappings in which drug and immigrant traffickers, and their families, have been abducted by fellow criminals and held for ransom. Immigration agents are stumped about why Arizona is seeing an increase in virtual kidnappings, and they believe the number of cases is probably higher because some cases go unreported. Immigrants and their families don't want to risk being deported, or they are embarrassed about getting ripped off. Virtual kidnappings also drain law enforcement resources because investigators have to assume that the ransom calls are valid. A telltale sign of virtual kidnappings is an unwillingness of the scammers to put the supposed abduction victim on the phone. Smugglers who are really holding someone hostage will often let family members speak to the relative. Immigration agents recommend being skeptical of ransom demands if the caller does not allow relatives to speak with family members who are supposedly being held captive. In one case, a woman who got a call that her ex-husband was kidnapped called the scammers' bluff, saying she didn't want to speak with them if she couldn't speak with him. The criminals started calling the man's girlfriend. Virtual kidnappers will eventually change phones and move on to the next victim if they can't extort money from a family. "Maybe it's working with 10 out of 100 people that they call," said Garcia, the Arizona immigration agent.

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US court: Monitoring Muslims was constitutional

Posted: 09/24/2008 - A federal appeals court says it was constitutional for the United States to require visitors from two dozen Arab and Muslim countries and North Korea to register with immigration authorities.

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Review: Ambitious 'Anna' Never Hits Targets

Posted: 09/24/2008 - After acclaimed character dramas ("Malcolm X," "Do the Right Thing"), some ill-fated comedies ("Bamboozled," "She Hate Me") and even a documentary or two ("4 Little Girls"), Lee takes on a big, old-fashioned war picture.

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Resetting Immune System In Bid To Beat Scleroderma

Posted: 09/24/2008 - First Bari Martz's fingers turned blue. Then she started gasping for breath, and her joints stiffened so that she couldn't even open her hands. Doctors diagnosed scleroderma, part of an insidious family of diseases where the immune system attacks a patient's own body, sometimes enough to kill.

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FDA Cracks Down On Eye Wash And Skin Cream

Posted: 09/24/2008 - Federal officials on Tuesday launched a crackdown against several companies that market an eye wash and a widely used skin cream without government approval, saying these prescription medications could pose risks.

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Flu Shot Season Begins With Ample Supply Coming

Posted: 09/24/2008 - Far too few Americans get their flu shots each winter, the government is warning as it calls for a record number to line up for inoculations this year — including 30 million more school-age children.

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