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Ryan strikes collaborative tone in opening talks

WASHINGTON (AP) — To hear Rep. Paul Ryan tell it, a bipartisan group of congressional negotiators has the chance to take the first steps toward fixing a serious problem: a debt-ridden federal government facing an onslaught of retiring baby boomers draining entitlement programs.

Last Updated on Thursday, 31 October 2013

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US stocks edge lower on mixed earnings

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks were mixed on Wall Street Thursday, keeping the market's big gain for October in check, as investors assessed some disappointing corporate earnings.

Last Updated on Thursday, 31 October 2013

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Official: 92 bodies of migrants found in Niger

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Nearly 100 African migrants hoping to escape crushing poverty met a grisly end in the desert, officials said Thursday, dying of thirst under the baking sun after their truck broke down in Niger not far from the Algerian border.

Last Updated on Thursday, 31 October 2013

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Iraqi PM: Terror 'got a second chance' in Iraq

WASHINGTON (AP) — Terrorists "found a second chance" to thrive in Iraq, the nation's prime minister said Thursday in asking for new U.S. aid to beat back a bloody insurgency that has been fueled by the neighboring Syrian civil war and the departure of American troops from Iraq two years ago.

Last Updated on Thursday, 31 October 2013

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Mexican Day of Dead 'Skeleton Lady' spreads look

MEXICO CITY (AP) — She's been a fixture at Day of the Dead fiestas for a century, and Mexico's elegant and classy "Skeleton Lady" is even inspiring some movie and rock stars in the U.S. to don Halloween costumes based on the macabre figure.

Last Updated on Thursday, 31 October 2013

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Texas club auctions right to hunt endangered rhino

HOUSTON (AP) — Plans to auction a rare permit that will allow a hunter to take down an endangered black rhino are drawing criticism from some conservationists, but the organizer says the fundraiser could bring in more than $1 million that would go toward protecting the species.

Last Updated on Thursday, 31 October 2013

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NYC council votes to make tobacco-buying age 21

NEW YORK (AP) — Smoking may be a bad habit — but New York City lawmakers want their residents to be older and wiser before deciding to take it up.

Last Updated on Thursday, 31 October 2013

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Watchdog: Syria destroyed chemical arms equipment

BEIRUT (AP) — Syria has destroyed critical equipment for producing chemical weapons and poison gas munitions, the global chemical weapons watchdog said Thursday as fierce clashes raged in the country's north, close to one of the sites where toxic agents are believed to be stored.

Last Updated on Thursday, 31 October 2013

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