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Science, patients driving rare disease drug research surge

In this Feb. 21, 2015 photo, Cara O'Neill, left, gives a kiss to her daughter, Eliza, 5, at their home in Columbia, S.C. Glenn and Cara O'Neill started the Cure Sanfilippo Foundation in hopes of saving Eliza, who suffers from the rare disease and is beginning to lose her ability to speak. The disease kills brain cells, causing hyperactivity and autistic-like behavior, then seizures, loss of ability to walk and usually death by the mid-teens. "The next six or seven years will be horrible for her, and then she'll die," her father said. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The global pharmaceutical industry is pouring billions of dollars into developing treatments for rare diseases, which once drew little interest from major drugmakers but now point the way toward a new era of innovative therapies and big profits.



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Wisconsin trooper killed in shootout was new academy grad

In this Tuesday, March 24, 2015 photo, officers work the scene where a Wisconsin State Patrol trooper just three months out of the academy died in a shootout with a bank robbery suspect also believed to have killed another motorist, in Fond du Lac, Wis. The suspect also died in the shootout. (AP Photo/The Reporter, Doug Raflik)FOND DU LAC, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin State Patrol trooper just three months out of the academy died in a shootout with a bank robbery suspect also believed to have killed another motorist.



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Brent oil pares gains on record high U.S. inventory

The Bashneft-Novoil oil refinery is seen at sunset outside Ufa, BashkortostanBrent oil prices pared gains sharply on Wednesday after data showed U.S. crude stocks jumped to a new record last week, overshadowing weakness in the dollar. The U.S. Energy Information Administration said U.S. crude stocks jumped by 8.2 million barrels in the week to Friday, the highest in at least 80 years and surpassing expectations of a 5.1 million barrel build. Crude stocks at Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery point of the U.S. crude contract rose by 1.9 million barrels, also hitting a record level. Brent crude oil was up 34 cents at $55.45 a barrel by 1453 GMT, but that was well off an earlier high of $56.25.



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French Alps plane crash search: LIVE REPORT

French President Francois Hollande (4th L), German Chancellor Angela Merkel (C) and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy (4th R) arrive near the site of the plane crash in Seyne-les-Alpes, south-eastern FranceLe Vernet (France) (AFP) – 15:00 GMT – Spanish victims – At least 51 Spaniards were among the 150 killed in the crash, the Spanish government announces, revising a previous figure of 49. Madrid has sent 11 psychologists to France who will be deployed in the southern port city of Marseille as well as near the crash site. Reports in Spain and Britain named one victim as Marina Bandres Lopez-Belio, 37, and her baby. Originally from Jaca in the Spanish Pyrenees but living in Rochdale near Manchester in Britain, Lopez-Belio had been attending a relative's funeral in Spain.



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Two Americans confirmed dead in Airbus crash in France: State Dept

Two Americans are among the 150 people who died when a Germanwings Airbus crashed into an Alpine ravine, the U.S. State Department confirmed on Wednesday. “At this time, we can confirm the deaths of two U.S. citizens,” the department said in a statement.
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Obama: Base health care payments on quality, not quantity

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says he’s ready to sign bipartisan legislation to fix Medicare’s doctor payment problem.
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NY marks 25th anniversary of social club fire that killed 87

In this 1990 file photo, news crews report on an arson fire at the Happy Land social club in which 87 people perished, in the Bronx borough of New York. March 25, 2015, marks the quarter-century anniversary of what was then the biggest mass murder in modern U.S. history. (AP Photo)NEW YORK (AP) — Twenty-five years ago, what was then the biggest mass murder in U.S. history turned a dance club into a smoky, flame-filled inferno that left nearly 90 people dead, some with drinks still clutched in their hands.



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Autopsies scheduled on bodies of 2 siblings found in freezer

DETROIT (AP) — Autopsies are scheduled on the bodies of two children found frozen in a deep freezer in their east side Detroit apartment by court officers handling the family’s eviction.
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Report calls for improvements at FBI to combat terror

FBI director James Comey gestures during a news conference at FBI headquarters in Washington, Wednesday, March 25, 2015,after the release of the 9/11 Review Commission. The report says the FBI must speed up the pace of its improvements to deal with the evolving terrorist threat around the world. The group was established last year to measure how well the FBI had followed an earlier set of recommendations in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terror attacks. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI should speed up the pace of its improvements to deal with the evolving terrorist threat around the world and improve its intelligence-collection capabilities, according to an outside review released Wednesday.



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Emotions raw as Singapore pays tribute to Lee Kuan Yew

The body of Singapore's ex-premier Lee Kuan Yew lies in state at Parliament House on March 25, 2015Singaporeans wept on the streets and queued in their thousands Wednesday to pay tribute to founding leader Lee Kuan Yew after his flag-draped coffin was taken on a gun carriage to parliament for public viewing. More than 26,000 had filed past the coffin before sundown, a government spokesman told AFP, and thousands more were in line outside despite warnings that it could take them up to eight hours to view the casket. After a two-day private wake for the family, Lee's coffin was taken early Wednesday from the Istana government complex, Lee's workplace for decades as prime minister and cabinet adviser, to the legislature. The government led by his son Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, apparently surprised by the heavy turnout on day one, announced that Parliament House would stay open for 24 hours a day until Saturday night due to the "overwhelming response from members of the public".



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The Latest: Investigators to work ‘backward’ in crash probe

This is an undated image of Paul Andrew Bramley who died in the Germanwings plane crash provided by his family Wednesday March 25, 2015. Bramley who originally came from Hull in England died on Germanwings flight 4U9525 which crashed in the southern French Alps on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Bramley Family)3:55 p.m. (1455 GMT, 10:55 a.m. EDT)



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Yemen’s Houthi militia close in on president’s Aden base

Southern People's Resistance militants loyal to Yemen's President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi take positions on the frontline of fighting against Houthi fighters in the country's southern province of LahejBy Mohammed Mukhashef ADEN (Reuters) – Houthi militia forces in Yemen backed by allied army units seized an air base on Wednesday and appeared poised to capture the southern port of Aden from defenders loyal to President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, local residents said. After taking al-Anad air base, the Houthis and their military allies, supported by heavy armor, advanced to within 20 km (12 miles) of Aden, where Hadi has been holed up since fleeing the Houthi-controled capital Sanaa last month. Soldiers at Aden's Jabal al-Hadeed barracks fired into the air to prevent residents from entering the base and arming themselves, witnesses said, suggesting that Hadi's control over the city was fraying. Houthi fighters and allied military units had advanced to Dar Saad, a village a half-hour's drive from central Aden, residents there said.



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High court sends Alabama redistricting case back for review

WASHINGTON (AP) — A divided Supreme Court says a lower court must take another look at whether Alabama’s Republican-led legislature relied too heavily on race when it redrew the state’s voting districts.
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Pressure cooker parts, BBs, nails found in Tsarnaev’s home

BOSTON (AP) — Jurors in the trial of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR’ tsahr-NEYE’-ehv) have been shown pressure cooker parts, BBs, nails and a piece of hobby fuse that were found in his apartment.
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BBC drops ‘Top Gear’ host Clarkson over producer attack

The BBC said Clarkson was suspended after a "fracas", reported to be a verbal and physical assault on show producer Oisin Tymon after the star failed to receive a hot meal after a day's filmingThe BBC announced Wednesday that it was dropping one of its most popular presenters, "Top Gear" host Jeremy Clarkson, after he verbally and physically attacked a producer. "It is with great regret that I have told Jeremy Clarkson today that the BBC will not be renewing his contract," BBC Director-General Tony Hall said in a statement. Clarkson's contract with "Top Gear", which draws more than 350 million viewers around the world, is thought to expire at the end of this month. He added that the BBC "must now look to renew Top Gear for 2016" and put out the final episodes in the current series of the programme.



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Feds to investigating safety of Lumber Liquidators flooring

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is investigating the safety Lumber Liquidators laminate flooring made in China.
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Man shoots, kills California officer who was checking on him

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — A man threatening to commit suicide unleashed a barrage of gunfire on Northern California police officers called to check on him, killing a 14-year veteran of the San Jose department in what the mayor is calling the city’s “darkest hour.”
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Auto workers president rejects lower-tier of wages

DETROIT (AP) — The leader of the United Auto Workers union has rejected a third tier of lower wages for members who make auto parts.
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BBC decides not to renew Jeremy Clarkson’s contract

FILE - This is a Wednesday, March 11, 2015 file photo of TV host Jeremy Clarkson as he gestures as he takes his place in the stands before the Champions League round of 16 second leg soccer match between Chelsea and Paris Saint Germain at Stamford Bridge stadium in London. The BBC said Wednesday March 25, 2015 that it has decided not to renew the contract of “Top Gear’’ host Jeremy Clarkson after a fracas with his producer. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)LONDON (AP) — The BBC decided Wednesday not to renew the contract of "Top Gear" host Jeremy Clarkson after a fracas with his producer, ending his connection to the immensely popular program built around macho banter, off-color jokes and cars.



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Suspended Dartmouth fraternity accused of branding members

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A Dartmouth College fraternity that had already been suspended is now accused of branding new members.
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Glimmers of hope in Central Africa Republic but peace elusive

Internally displaced women from Bangui attend a community meeting in BambariBy Crispin Dembassa-Kette and Daniel Flynn YALOKE, Central African Republic/DAKAR (Reuters) – Hunted through the bush of Central African Republic by Christian militiamen, hundreds of half-starved Muslim herders found sanctuary with U.N. peacekeepers in the town of Yaloke. It is two years since the Central African Republic descended into chaos when the Muslim Seleka rebels seized power. Their wave of killing brought reprisals by the 'anti-balaka' Christian militia, which drove tens of thousands of Muslims from the south and prompted former colonial power France to intervene. The slight easing of tensions in towns like Yaloke offers a glimmer of hope for an end to the violence that still lurks despite the presence of French and U.N. peacekeepers.



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FDA approves new drug for anthrax poisoning

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal health officials say they have approved an infusible drug to treat patients who have been exposed to anthrax.
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Spain raises Spanish death toll on Germanwings flight to 51

MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s government said on Wednesday two new Spanish victims had been identified as amongst the dead on the Germanwings plane which crashed in the French Alps on Tuesday, bringing the death toll up to 51. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande traveled to the scene of the crash earlier on Wednesday. (Reporting By Elisabeth O’Leary; Editing by Sonya Dowsett)
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Shaken German town mourns loss of 16 teens, 2 teachers

Ulrich Wessel, school principal of the Joseph-Koenig Gymnasium, talks to the media under a crucifix in Haltern, western Germany, Wednesday, March 25, 2015, one day after 16 of his school children and two teachers were among the 150 victims that died in the Germanwings plane crash in the French alps on the way from Barcelona to Duesseldorf. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)HALTERN, Germany (AP) — Lara Beer waited at the train station, looking forward to seeing her best friend Paula returning from a 10th-grade exchange trip to Spain. The train came but her friend was not on it.



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Leaders visit French Alps crash site as probe gathers pace

A helicopter and search-and-rescue personnel inspect the debris on March 25, 2015 close to where the Germanwings plane crashed in the French AlpsSeyne-les-Alpes (France) (AFP) – French, Spanish and German leaders on Wednesday visited a makeshift rescue base near the site of the Germanwings air crash, as investigators stepped up their probe into the mysterious disaster that killed 150. French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel flew over the crash site to see the devastation for themselves before meeting rescue workers outside the crisis centre set up on Tuesday after the worst crash in France in four decades. Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy also visited the centre to be briefed on the gruelling rescue operation in difficult mountain terrain where Flight 4U9525 crashed early Tuesday, scattering debris over a wide area. Grieving relatives of the dead were also gathering near the crash site, where a counselling unit has been established.



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Saudi military buildup at border with Yemen is defensive: two Saudi sources

Saudi Arabia’s military buildup near its southern border with Yemen is purely defensive, two Saudi sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. “We are protecting our borders only,” said one of the sources when asked if the kingdom planed to intervene in Yemen.
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Official: Boko Haram kidnaps hundreds of Nigerian civilians

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — A top Nigerian official says that hundreds of civilians, including many children, have been kidnapped by Boko Haram extremists who are using them as human shields.
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Liberian ex-president must serve out sentence in Britain – court

Former Liberian President Charles Taylor appears in court at the Special Court for Sierra Leone for his appeal judgment at The HagueJudges at an international court in The Hague on Wednesday denied former Liberian President Charles Taylor's request to serve out the remainder of his 50-year jail sentence in Rwanda. Taylor, 67, convicted in 2012 of aiding and abetting war crimes and crimes against humanity during the 11-year civil war in Sierra Leone, in which more than 50,000 were killed and many thousands more were mutilated before it ended in 2002. He is serving his sentence in a British jail, but had asked be jailed in Rwanda, where his wife could visit him more easily.



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