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Modern Times

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Modern Times

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Governor: ‘Religious freedom’ bill needs changes

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson says he does not plan to sign the version of the religious freedom bill that currently sits on his desk and calls on the state legislature to make changes before sending it back to him. FULL STORY


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America’s new culture war

Gov. Mike Pence found himself confronting a new political reality in a country where battles over gay rights now appear to have a clear winner.


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Report: Egypt, Nigeria led world in death sentences in 2014

FILE - In this Jan. 26, 2013, file photo, an Egyptian soccer fan of Al-Ahly club displays scales to fans celebrating a court verdict that returned 21 death penalties in the previous year's soccer violence against their supporters in Port Said, inside the club premises in Cairo, Egypt. Egypt and Nigeria accounted for well over 1,000 of the death sentences announced in 2014, Amnesty International says in its latest annual report of executions and countries’ use of the death penalty, released on Wednesday, April 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Ahmed Ramadan, File)UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Egypt and Nigeria accounted for well over 1,000 of the death sentences announced last year, more than a third of the world's total, Amnesty International says in its latest annual report on the death penalty.



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Terrorists out of Tikrit; now liberators are feared

Potential booby traps are political as well as physical. Officials are concerned about what Iran-backed Shiite militiamen involved in the liberation may do. CNN’s Arwa Damon was there. FULL STORY


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US auto sales weaken in March

General Motors, the largest automaker, said its US sales fell about two percent in March from a year ago to 249,875 cars and trucksGeneral Motors, the largest automaker, said its US sales fell about two percent from a year ago to 249,875 cars and trucks, with strength in sales to commercial fleets outweighed by sagging retail purchases. Ford sales slumped 3.4 percent to 235,929 vehicles. "March was a tough month, yet we were able to extend our year-over-year sales streak to an even 60 consecutive months," said Reid Bigland, head of US sales for FCA. For the industry generally, pickup trucks and sport-utility vehicles and crossovers remained growth areas for GM and Ford, though FCA recorded a fall in sales of its Ram pickups.



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Nigeria celebrates Buhari’s stunning win; challenges loom

Nigerian former Gen. Muhammadu Buhari speaks to journalists in Abuja, Nigeria, Wednesday, April 1, 2015. Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan conceded defeat to Buhari, a 72-year-old former military dictator, who was elected in a historic transfer of power following the nation's most hotly contested election ever. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Nigerians celebrated Muhammadu Buhari's electrifying victory in presidential elections Wednesday but sobering challenges confront their next leader, from an Islamic uprising to widespread poverty and graft.



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Mall giant Simon drops hostile bid to buy Macerich

US mall giant Simon Property ended a hostile campaign for rival Macerich after Macerich rejected the latest takeover offerUS mall giant Simon Property late Tuesday ended a hostile campaign for rival Macerich after Macerich rejected the latest takeover offer. "Simon's proposal has shined a bright light on the value of Macerich and our unparallelled collection of assets in the most desireable and highest barrier-to-entry markets," said Macerich chief executive Arthur Coppola. Simon on March 20 raised its bid for Macerich by five percent after an initial bid was rejected. Calling the Simon proposal "coercive," Macerich also enacted a series of measures to block Simon from buying a controlling stake in the company or influencing the board.



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McDonald’s revamps grilled chicken to cut ingredients

NEW YORK (AP) — McDonald’s says it’s simplifying its grilled chicken recipe to remove ingredients people might not recognize, marking the latest sign the company is rethinking its menu to keep up with changing tastes.
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High-stakes Iran nuclear talks in nail-biting extension

Iranian nuclear negotiator Ali Akbar Salehi (centre) walks through the Beau Rivage Palace Hotel during an extended round of nuclear talks with world powers in Lausanne, Switzerland, on April 1, 2015Rollercoaster talks aimed at stopping Iran getting a nuclear bomb went into extra time on Wednesday amid cautious signs that after seven days of tough negotiations a framework deal may be near. Speaking after Iran and major powers missed a midnight deadline to agree the outlines of a potentially historic accord, Iran's chief negotiator appeared hopeful. "We believe that at the end of the day we will be able to come to a conclusion and a resolution for all issues," Abbas Araghchi said in a live interview with Iranian state television from Lausanne. He said he expected a press statement to be released, but repeated that global powers and Iran were still haggling over two main sticking points — a mechanism for lifting crippling sanctions against the Islamic republic and the country's research ands development programme.



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Rocky first year for the new GED and other equivalency tests

Larry Gorski, 58, of Cheektowaga works to prepare to take the TASC test toward his high school equivalency diploma during an adult education class at the Maryvale Community Education Building in Cheektowaga, N.Y. on March 23, 2015. The GED was overhauled last year to reflect the Common Core standards that have been adopted by most states and emphasize critical thinking. Two new high school equivalency exams that also incorporate some of those standards were also introduced last year. (AP Photo/Carolyn Thompson)CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (AP) — The number of people taking high school equivalency exams in the U.S. plummeted — and the percentage who passed fell, too — in the year after a revamped, Common Core-inspired GED was introduced along with two new competing tests.



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‘A.D. The Bible Continues’ goes beyond the biblical epic

In this image released by NBC, Juan Pablo Di Pace portrays Jesus in a scene from "A.D. The Bible Continues." The first of the 10 episodes airs on Easter, picking up where its predecessor, the wildly popular “The Bible” series from the History Channel left off and going on to tell the story of what happened to Christ’s disciples after the crucifixion. (AP Photo/LightWorkers Media/NBC, Joe Alblas)OUARZAZATE, Morocco (AP) — The people are restive, the priesthood is scheming and a fanatic band of insurgents known as the zealots are plotting assassinations — and now to make matters worse, the body of a condemned cult-leader known as Jesus has disappeared from the tomb, apparently following some ancient prophecy.



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Ex-Aabama player’s accuser recants domestic violence claim

In a March 13, 2015 photo, Alabama defensive lineman Jonathan Taylor (53) jogs from station to station during Alabama's first spring football practice at the Thomas-Drew Practice Fields in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Taylor was removed from the Alabama team Monday, March 30, 2015, after a domestic violence arrest over the weekend. (AP Photo/AL.com, Vasha Hunt) MAGS OUTTUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Police say the woman who accused former Alabama football player Jonathan Taylor of domestic violence has recanted her allegations.



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Ex-husband of Canadian diplomat says their son killed in US

TORONTO (AP) — The ex-husband of a Canadian diplomat said Wednesday that one of their sons has been killed and another has been arrested in a Miami drug deal gone bad.
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Thailand junta replaces martial law with absolute power

FILE - In this Tuesday, March 31, 2015, file photo, Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha speaks during a press conference at the government house in Bangkok, Thailand. Thailand's prime minister has asked the king for formal approval to lift martial law, which the military imposed ahead of a coup last May that overturned an elected government. The monarch's approval is considered a formality. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand lifted martial law in most of the nation on Wednesday, but 10 months after staging a coup, a military junta remains in control, essentially with absolute power.



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Obama unveils sanctions effort to combat cyberattacks

President Barack Obama ordered a new sanctions program which could block assets of US and foreign hackers and of companies that seek to profit from cyberattacksPresident Barack Obama ordered a new sanctions program Wednesday which could block assets of US and foreign hackers and of companies that seek to profit from cyberattacks. Obama said the threat from cyberattacks was a "national emergency" and the new sanctions could help strike back against those involved in attacks on US targets. "Starting today, we're giving notice to those who pose significant threats to our security or economy by damaging our critical infrastructure, disrupting or hijacking our computer networks, or stealing the trade secrets of American companies or the personal information of American citizens for profit," Obama said in a blog post released by the White House. The announcement comes amid an epidemic of incidents reported in recent months, including a devastating attack against Sony Pictures, and data breaches that stole credit card or health data on tens of millions of Americans.



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Fired host Rodner Figueroa replaced by Univision

FILE - In this Nov. 19, 2014 file photo, Rodner Figueroa arrives at the Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year Tribute honoring Joan Manuel Serrat in Las Vegas. Figueroa was fired from Univision after saying that Michelle Obama looks like someone from the cast of "Planet of the Apes." Univision Network announced on Wednesday, April 1, 2015, that host Carlos Calderón and image consultant Jomari Goyso will join Lourdes Stephen as hosts of “Sal y Pimienta,” one of the shows Figueroa worked on. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)MIAMI (AP) — Three weeks after Univision host Rodner Figueroa was fired for remarks he made about First Lady Michelle Obama, Carlos Calderon and Jomari Goyso were named the new hosts of "Sal y Pimienta."



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Scientology documentary: Fact or fiction?

In HBO’s documentary film “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief,” former Scientology members talk about the inner workings of the church. But the church calls “Going Clear” propaganda. CNN’s Stephanie Elam takes a look.


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5 arrested in protest inside Supreme Court

WASHINGTON (AP) — Protesters disrupted Supreme Court proceedings on Wednesday for the second time this year with shouted criticism of the court’s previous rulings on campaign finance.
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US manufacturing slows as orders and hiring weaken

FILE - In this Jan. 7 2015 file photo, smoke emits from a factory chimneys near O'Hare airport in Chicago. The Institute for Supply Management releases its manufacturing index for March on Wednesday, April 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. factories expanded last month at a weaker pace, with orders growing more slowly and hiring essentially flat.



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Marlins reliever Aaron Crow needs Tommy John surgery

FILE - This is a 2015, file photo showing Aaron Crow of the Miami Marlins baseball team. Doctors have told Miami reliever Aaron Crow he needs season-ending elbow ligament-replacement surgery. Crow will get a second opinion but expects to have the procedure. "That's a big blow for him," manager Mike Redmond said Wednesday, April 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — Doctors have told Miami reliever Aaron Crow he needs season-ending elbow ligament-replacement surgery.



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5 things to know about GM’s revamped Chevy Malibu

NEW YORK (AP) — General Motors tries again to gain traction in the popular midsize car segment with the introduction of the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu at the New York International Auto Show. Based on looks the car should be up to the task, but there are a lot of buyers out there consistently loyal to midsize heavyweights Toyota Camry and Honda Accord no matter what the competition shows off.
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US gives threatened status to northern long-eared bat

FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources shows a northern long-eared bat. The federal government is declaring the northern long-eared bat, one of North America’s most widely distributed bats a threatened species because of the spread of the deadly fungal disease, white-nose syndrome. The syndrome was first was first discovered among bats in a cave near Albany, New York, in 2006. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the northern long-eared bat meets the criteria for a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. (AP Photo/Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, File)DETROIT (AP) — The federal government said Wednesday that it is listing the northern long-eared bat as threatened, giving new protections to a species that has been nearly wiped out in some areas by the spread of a fungal disease.



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Next-generation GMOs: Pink pineapples and purple tomatoes

This image provided by The John Innes Centre, UK, shows a salad made with red and purple tomatoes. A small British company is planning to apply for U.S. permission to produce and sell purple tomatoes that have high levels of anthocyanins, compounds found in blueberries that some studies show lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. The Food and Drug Administration would have to approve any health claims used to sell the products. Cancer-fighting pink pineapples, heart-healthy purple tomatoes and less fatty vegetable oils may someday be on grocery shelves alongside more traditional products. (AP Photo/Andrew Davis, The John Innes Centre, UK)WASHINGTON (AP) — Cancer-fighting pink pineapples, heart-healthy purple tomatoes and less fatty vegetable oils may someday be on grocery shelves alongside more traditional products.



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Driver killed at NSA identified as transgender, friend says

This undated booking photo provided by the Baltimore Police Department shows Ricky Shawatza Hall, 27, who was killed Monday, March 30, 2015, when National Security Agency police opened fire on a stolen car that then crashed into a police vehicle at the entrance to the NSA in Fort Meade, Md . A passenger was wounded, as was an officer. (AP Photo/Baltimore Police Department)BALTIMORE (AP) — The driver killed in a violent confrontation at a National Security Agency gate identified as transgender and was a sex worker in Baltimore, according to a friend.



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TV vet takes to sky, dives into sea to help injured animals

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Not every veterinarian would call it paradise.
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Hot cars at the New York International Auto Show

The 2016 Lexus RX is introduced at the New York International Auto Show, Wednesday, April 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)NEW YORK (AP) — The New York International Auto Show opens this week with a mix of mainstream sedans and glitzier models from automakers across the globe.



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Tidal streaming service seeks more artists to join as owners

FILE - In this Feb. 23, 2015 file photo, Jay-Z arrives at the 2015 Vanity Fair Oscar Party in Beverly Hills, Calif. Tidal, the streaming service co-owned by Jay Z, Rihanna, Madonna and other artists, is inviting more performers to join the company and earn equity.Senior executive Vania Schlogel said late Tuesday, March 31, that Tidal welcomes more acts to join and said the current owners “have equal ownership and majority ownership in the company.” (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)NEW YORK (AP) — Tidal, the music and video streaming service co-owned by Jay Z, Rihanna, Madonna and other artists, is inviting more performers to join the company and earn equity.



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