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US military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,200

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 - 04:08 PM

As of Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014, at least 2,200 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count.

The AP count is three less than the Defense Department's tally, last updated Wednesday at 10 a.m. EDT.

At least 1,821 military service members have died in Afghanistan as a result of hostile action, according to the military's numbers.

Los Angeles port welcomes massive rubber duck

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 - 04:00 PM

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Port of Los Angeles is welcoming an unusual visitor — the world's biggest bath toy.

A 60-foot-tall rubber duck sailed into port Wednesday to kick off the Tall Ships Festival LA. It will remain in the harbor through Sunday.

Dutch artist Florentijn (FLOR'-ihn-tyn) Hofman debuted the duck in 2007 and versions of it have been seen around the world in places including China, Hong Kong and New Zealand.

Drug czar promotes treatment, tells personal story

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 - 04:00 PM

MINOT, N.D. (AP) — As the nation's drug czar continues to warn people about the potential death and destruction from substance abuse, he's also encouraging them to tell their stories about treatment and recovery. Usually he starts with himself.

Michael Botticelli, acting director of the White House's Office of National Drug Control Policy, also embraces another title: "I'm one of 23 million Americans in recovery who have gone on to live productive lives."

Ex-Virginia gov. testifies in his corruption trial

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 - 03:49 PM

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Taking the stand in his defense in his public corruption trial, former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell says he got an inkling soon after his election that his wife had reservations about being first lady.

McDonnell began his much-anticipated testimony Wednesday. He and his wife, Maureen, are accused of accepting more than $165,000 in gifts and loans from former Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams in exchange for promoting the dietary supplements-maker's products.

Guilty plea expected by friend of marathon suspect

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 - 03:38 PM

BOSTON (AP) — A college friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev plans to plead guilty to impeding the investigation into the deadly attack, his lawyer said Wednesday.

Dias Kadyrbayev, 20, is accused of removing a backpack containing emptied-out fireworks from Tsarnaev's dorm room after realizing he was suspected of carrying out the 2013 attack with his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

Text of Obama's remarks on slain journalist

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 - 03:29 PM

Text of President Barack Obama's remarks about American journalist James Foley, as provided by the White House. Foley was killed by Islamic State extremists shown in a video released Tuesday. The extremists called the beheading retribution for recent U.S. airstrikes in Iraq:

Today, the entire world is appalled by the brutal murder of Jim Foley by the terrorist group, ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant).

Nice guy Andrew Rannells channels his inner Hedwig

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 - 03:29 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — Andrew Rannells says he never dreamed of becoming a rock star while growing up. What he hoped for was a part on Broadway. Now he's getting both at the same time — and a load of mascara as well.

Starting Wednesday, the Tony Award-nominated star of "The Book of Mormon" on Broadway and HBO's "Girls" replaces Neil Patrick Harris in the title role of the show "Hedwig and the Angry Inch."

High court blocks same-sex unions in Virginia

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 - 03:21 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is delaying the start of same-sex marriage in Virginia.

The court on Wednesday granted a request from a county clerk in northern Virginia to block same-sex marriages across the state while the issue is being appealed to the Supreme Court. The court provided no explanation for its order.

Without court intervention, same-sex couples would have been allowed to wed as of Thursday.

Emmys: Billy Crystal to pay tribute to Williams

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 - 03:20 PM

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Billy Crystal will pay tribute to Robin Williams, his longtime friend and fellow comedian, at next week's Emmy Awards.

Crystal will honor Williams as part of the traditional "in memoriam" segment for industry members who died during the past year, Emmy executive producer Don Mischer said in a statement Wednesday.

Mischer said the memorial segment during Monday's ceremony will include a performance from Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles.

Picture emerges of officer in Ferguson shooting

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 - 03:19 PM

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — A white police officer whose shooting death of an unarmed black 18-year-old ignited racial upheaval in a St. Louis suburb has been characterized as either an aggressor whose deadly gunfire constituted a daylight execution or a law enforcer wrongly maligned for just doing his job.

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