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VA apologizes to whistleblowers facing retaliation

WASHINGTON (AP) — A top official at the Veterans Affairs Department says he is sorry that VA employees have suffered retaliation after making complaints about poor patient care, long wait times and other problems.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 July 2014

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Hundreds line up for legal pot in Washington state

SEATTLE (AP) — Surrounded by thousands of packages of marijuana, Seattle's top prosecutor sought some advice: Which one should he buy?

A new day, indeed.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 July 2014

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Syrian refugee women face harassment, poverty

HALBA, Lebanon (AP) — Before she began working as a hairdresser, poverty forced Syrian Umm Mahmoud to seek donations for food and rent money to survive as a refugee in Lebanon.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 July 2014

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Cleanup from deadly storm starts in Eastern states

 

SMITHFIELD, N.Y. (AP) — Residents in a number of Eastern states were cleaning up Wednesday, a day after being hit by severe storms, including a tornado in central New York that killed four and left survivors to pick through the debris from homes battered by winds of at least 100 mph.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 July 2014

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Crumbs shows dangers of focusing on single product

NEW YORK (AP) — Turns out, being a one-hit wonder is risky.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 July 2014

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Cat in central Florida goes wild; owner calls 911

DELAND, Fla. (AP) — A 4-year-old Russian blue cat named Kush is being quarantined after apparently going berserk inside a central Florida home, prompting its owners to call 911.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 July 2014

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Government made $100B in improper payments

WASHINGTON (AP) — By its own estimate, the government made about $100 billion in payments last year to people who may not have been entitled to receive them — tax credits to families that didn't qualify, unemployment benefits to people who had jobs and medical payments for treatments that might not have been necessary.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 July 2014

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4 dead, 70K without power after upstate NY storms

 

SMITHFIELD, N.Y. (AP) — Severe thunderstorms packing strong winds rolled through central New York, killing four people, destroying or damaging numerous houses and knocking out power to more than 70,000 utility customers, officials said Wednesday.

The deaths occurred in the rural town of Smithfield, between Syracuse and Utica, after the storms hit at about 7 p.m. Tuesday, the Madison County Sheriff's Office said.

In Smithfield, at least four homes were completely destroyed and numerous others were damaged, Undersheriff John Ball said. More information is expected to be released at a news conference Wednesday morning

Early Wednesday, about 72,000 homes and businesses were without power, most in central and northern New York.

Madison County Sheriff Allen Riley did not identify the victims. He told The Post-Standard of Syracuse he was still notifying their families.

The storm destroyed four homes, ripping one from its foundation and tossing it onto another house, the newspaper reported. Three other houses nearby also were damaged. The National Weather Service said the winds were likely stronger than 60 mph.

Riley said in a television interview late Tuesday that search dogs were being used to go over the rubble at the Smithfield site and that neighbors were being interviewed.

"We're just picking up parts of the house to see if anybody is underneath them," he said.

National Weather Service meteorologist Joanne LaBounty said investigators will be in the area to determine if a tornado touched down.

The spokesman for the emergency management office said there was widespread damage in the towns of Sullivan and Lenox, between Syracuse and Utica.

Injuries and damage from fast-moving storms Tuesday was not limited to New York state.

In Maryland, a tree fell at a summer camp during a strong thunderstorm, killing one child and injuring six others. The children at the River Valley Ranch camp in Manchester were headed to a shelter when a tree fell on them.

Also, severe thunderstorms spawned at least one tornado in Mercer county in northwestern Pennsylvania, and more than 300,000 homes and businesses lost power at the peak of the storms. Early Wednesday, more than 135,000 across the state remained without power, including 74,000 in Philadelphia and its suburbs. The NWS said possible tornadoes were also reported in Perry, Bedford and Sullivan counties in central Pennsylvania.

The National Weather Service said three small tornadoes touched down in northeastern Ohio, causing minor damage, as strong storms moved across the state late Tuesday.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 July 2014

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