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Updated: 25 min 41 sec ago

E.L. Doctorow wins Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 05:03

E.L. Doctorow has won this year’s Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction. The author of such celebrated historical novels as “Ragtime,” “The Book of Daniel” and “March” will receive the award during the National Book Festival in Washington on Aug. 30.

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More than 300 rescued from ferry sinking off South Korea

13 hours 46 min ago

SEOUL — Two people have died and more than 100 remain unaccounted for after a South Korean passenger ferry slowly sank Wednesday off the country’s southern coast, officials said.

An official at South Korea’s security ministry said that 368 people of the reported 477 on board have been rescued so far. That figure came more than four hours after passengers on board the ferry heard a loud noise and the boat issued a distress signal for emergency help.

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Man arrested for leaving a ‘hoax device’ at Boston Marathon finish line

15 hours 11 min ago

Two blasts near the Boston Marathon finish line on Tuesday were an eerie reminder of last year’s terror attacks.

A barefoot man wearing a black hat and a black veil toted a backpack down Boylston Street, chanting “Boston strong, Boston strong,” eyewitnesses told The Boston Herald. He left two packs near the site where three people died last year from two rice cooker bombs.

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College Board releases preview of new SAT exam questions

15 hours 46 min ago

Attention, high school freshmen. If you’re planning to take the SAT in two years, you probably won’t need to memorize the definitions of words like “obsequious,” “propinquity,” “enervation” or “lachrymose.”

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Ukrainian troops secure airfield as operations against pro-Russian militants begin

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 00:58

DONETSK, Ukraine — The Ukrainian military on Tuesday secured an airfield threatened by Russian sympathizers, signaling the start of a campaign to counter militants who have stormed official buildings in at least 10 eastern cities.

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Foreign policy is no place for ‘red lines’

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 00:18

I am not for containment in Iran. Let me repeat that, since no one seems to be listening closely: I am unequivocally not for containing Iran.

I am also not for announcing that the United States should never contain Iran. That was the choice I was given a few months ago and is the scenario being misunderstood by some in the news.

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Fashion trucks roll out across the Washington region

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 00:04

Most women have an understandable aversion to getting into unfamiliar vehicles. Which explains why Donna Hundley has watched as people circle her business — once, twice, three times — as they decide whether to stop and step inside. Some have snapped pictures.

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Scientists embark on unprecedented effort to connect millions of patient medical records

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 00:03

Inside an otherwise ordinary office building in lower Manhattan, government-funded scientists have begun collecting and connecting together terabytes of patient medical records in what may be one of the most radical projects in health care ever attempted.

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Google faces new pressure from states to crack down on illegal online drug sales

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 23:50

Several state attorneys general are pressing Google to make it harder for its users to find counter­feit prescription medicine and illegal drugs online, marking the second time in the past three years that the firm has drawn government scrutiny for its policies on rogue Internet pharmacies.

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Parker: Erasing the race card

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 23:32

One approaches the race fray with trepidation, but here we go, tippy-toe.

The race cards have been flying so fast and furious lately, one can hardly tell the kings from the queens.

Leading the weird lately has been Democratic Alabama state Rep. Alvin Holmes, who called Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina “Uncle Toms.” Holmes, who also has said that it’s fine by him if men want to marry mules and, while we’re exorcising demons, that white people are only pro-life until their daughter gets pregnant by a black man.

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Editorial: North Korea’s crimes against humanity demand action

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 23:21

THE UNITED Nations Security Council will hold an informal meeting this week about the findings and recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry into human rights abuses in North Korea, one of the most significant and startling investigations into human depravation of recent times. Now that the commission has admirably shed light on the abuses, the Security Council must not be complacent and should consider referring the matter to the International Criminal Court on grounds of suspected crimes against humanity.

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Boston remembers the dead, wounded at first anniversary of marathon bombings

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 20:35

BOSTON — Solemn but resolute, this city marked the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings Tuesday by remembering the dead and wounded, acclaiming the heroism of first responders and celebrating a sense of community that has grown in the year since the attack.

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Dr. Gridlock: USDOT: Highway fund almost too low to pay bills

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 18:39

More grim news about federal funding for the nation’s transit, highway and bridge projects: The Department of Transportation forecast Tuesday that the money for those repairs and expansion will begin to run short by the end of July.

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You just finished your tax return. What’s the chance you’ll get audited?

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 18:04

The Associated Press reported Monday that your chances of getting audited are the lowest in years. "This year, the IRS will have fewer agents auditing returns than at any time since at least the 1980s," the report says. Noting that less than one percent of individual returns were audited last year, the story quotes IRS Commissioner John Koskinen as saying that the audit rate will be even lower this year.

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The traumatic, sensual, addicted language of restaurant reviews (and what it says about you)

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 17:11

On first reading, most restaurant reviews on a site like Yelp do just that — they review restaurants. They assign stars and appraise empanadas and out the places with awful service. But they also say a surprising amount about the people writing them.

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Afghan economy faces serious revenue shortfall amid tenuous political transition

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 17:10

KABUL — When the next president of Afghanistan takes office later this year, he will inherit a growing budget shortfall that could leave tens of thousands of civil servants unpaid and force key public programs to shutter.

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5 things to know about today’s Google Glass sale

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 12:48

Google is briefly opening the doors to its Google Glass explorers program on Tuesday, making it possible for any U.S. adult with a shipping address to become one its early testers for its smart headset. Sign-ups start on the Glass Web page at 9 a.m., Eastern.

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Indian tech guru is worth $1.2 billion, but his election campaign highlights his humble roots

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 11:00

He is the richest candidate in India’s national elections, with a personal fortune of more than $1.2 billion. He co-founded one of the nation’s best-known IT companies, Infosys. At 58, Nandan Nilekani is comfortable sharing a stage with the likes of Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Google’s Eric Schmidt, and schmoozing at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

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Under a blood red sky

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 09:53

A total lunar eclipse took over the night sky early Tuesday. Stargazers were treated to the “blood moon” as it moved into the Earth’s shadow. Today’s eclipse is the first of four lunar eclipses coming between 2014 and 2015. Here are some of this morning’s best pictures:

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