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Minn. teen charged with offering his vote on eBay

Posted: 07/04/2008 - MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- A college student claimed it was all a joke when he put his vote in this fall's presidential election up for sale on the Web auction site eBay. But prosecutors didn't see the humor.

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Cremated remains part of fireworks show

Posted: 07/04/2008 - INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- One of the fireworks bursting above the city this year will contain a bit of cremated remains - a fitting tribute, organizers say, to the man who ran the annual event for 40 years.

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Man accused of robbing, then hugging Mo. victim

Posted: 07/04/2008 - POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. (AP) -- Police in the southeast Missouri town of Poplar Bluff are looking for the gunman who robbed a man on Monday night, then gave him a hug before fleeing.

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First floods, now pesky mosquitoes for Midwest

Posted: 07/04/2008 - CHICAGO (AP) -- First came the floods - now the mosquitoes. An explosion of pesky insects are pestering clean-up crews and just about anyone venturing outside in the waterlogged Midwest.

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McCain: Staff shake-up part of 'natural evolution'

Posted: 07/04/2008 - MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Republican presidential candidate John McCain said Thursday that a shake-up in the leadership of his campaign was part of a "natural evolution" as the organization becomes more national in scope.

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G-8 climate scorecard shows US in last

Posted: 07/04/2008 - BERLIN (AP) -- The U.S. has done the least among the world's eight largest economies to address global warming, a study released Thursday found.

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Oil prices fall more than $1 a barrel

Posted: 07/04/2008 - Oil prices fell more than $1 a barrel Friday from record levels set a day earlier on hopes that tensions surrounding Iran's nuclear program could ease and cut the chances of American or Israeli military action against OPEC's second-largest oil producer.

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Obama focuses on turning red states blue

Posted: 07/04/2008 - FARGO, N.D. (AP) -- It will be a red-state Fourth of July for Barack Obama, who hopes to find votes as well as fireworks in places that blue-state Democrats often bypass in presidential elections.

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Obama: Mental distress can't justify late abortion

Posted: 07/04/2008 - WASHINGTON (AP) -- Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama says "mental distress" should not qualify as a justification for late-term abortions, a key distinction not embraced by many supporters of abortion rights.

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Italy Warns of Decay at Pompeii Site

Posted: 07/04/2008 - Italy's government began a process Friday to help combat decay at the Pompeii archaeological site, officials said.

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Prosecutors: Deception ran deep in Vt. kidnapping

Posted: 07/04/2008 - BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) -- A Vermont man whose 12-year-old niece was found dead near his home carefully orchestrated events and e-mails to make it appear she had gone to see someone she met online, prosecutors said Thursday as they charged him with kidnapping.

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Minnesota Teen Charged With Offering His Vote on eBay

Posted: 07/04/2008 - A college student claimed it was all a joke when he put his vote in this fall's presidential election up for sale on the Web auction site eBay. But prosecutors didn't see the humor.

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Father Without Baby Sitter Accused of Caging Kids

Posted: 07/04/2008 - A suburban Chicago man locked his two young daughters in a wire cage hidden in the back of his pickup truck because he didn't have a baby sitter, officials said Thursday.

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Auction house seeks to sell Rosa Parks collection

Posted: 07/04/2008 - LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Arlan Ettinger will never forget the response he got when he took one of civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks' hats to a meeting at the Apollo Theater in New York

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NY researcher: `Yankee Doodle' turns 250 - maybe

Posted: 07/04/2008 - The original lyrics to one of America's best-known songs, one associated with the American Revolution, were actually written a couple decades earlier during the French and Indian War, although an exact date has eluded historians. Some peg the year as 1755, when the war's first major battles were fought, or 1756.

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Freed US hostages, families reuniting in Texas

Posted: 07/04/2008 - FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (AP) -- Back on U.S. soil, three American hostages rescued from Colombia rebels are now in the process of reintegrating into a society they've been absent from for more than five years.

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Tension builds over Coney Island rebuilding plan

Posted: 07/04/2008 - NEW YORK (AP) -- The Fourth of July weekend has always been one of the most exciting times of the year for Coney Island: Crowds line the boardwalk to watch the hot-dog eating contest, visitors take terrifying roller coaster rides, and beachgoers frolic in the sand and surf.

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Former Republican NC Sen. Jesse Helms dies at 86

Posted: 07/04/2008 - RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Former Sen. Jesse Helms, who built a career along the fault lines of racial politics and battled liberals, Communists and the occasional fellow Republican during 30 conservative years in Congress, died on the Fourth of July.

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Roger Federer again reaches Wimbledon final

Posted: 07/04/2008 - WIMBLEDON, England (AP) -- Roger Federer beat Marat Safin in straight sets Friday, leaving him one win from his sixth consecutive Wimbledon title and 13th Grand Slam championship.

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