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  • Idina Menzel will sing the national anthem at the MLB All-Star Game on Tuesday, July 15, in Minneapolis, Minn. She will also perform during its pregame ceremony, including a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young.”

    Idina Menzel to sing nat’l anthem at MLB All-StarJul 8, 2014 12:00 AM
    Idina Menzel is bringing Broadway to baseball. The Tony-winning performer will sing the national anthem at the MLB All-Star Game on Tuesday, July 15, in Minneapolis. Menzel will also perform during the pregame ceremony, including a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young.”

     
  • Former U.S. Sen. Alan Dixon died Sunday.

    U.S. Senate honors Alan DixonJul 8, 2014 12:00 AM
    The U.S. Senate has approved a resolution honoring former Sen. Alan Dixon, who died Sunday at age 86 at his home in Fairview Heights.

     
  • Cleveland won the backing of a Republican National Committee panel, all but guaranteeing the GOP’s 2016 presidential pick will accept the party’s nomination in perennially hard-fought Ohio.

    Cleveland tops Dallas in bid to host RNC in 2016Jul 8, 2014 12:00 AM
    Cleveland won the unanimous backing of a Republican National Committee panel on Tuesday, all but guaranteeing the GOP’s 2016 presidential pick will accept the party’s nomination in perennially hard-fought Ohio. The Republicans’ site selection committee backed Cleveland over donor-rich Dallas, and the full 168-member RNC is expected to ratify the choice next month.

     
  • The murder trial of Oscar Pistorius moved closer to a verdict on Tuesday when the defense ended its case.

    Pistorius trial: Defense ends its caseJul 8, 2014 12:00 AM
    The murder trial of Oscar Pistorius moved closer to a verdict on Tuesday when the defense ended its case. In early August the judge will hear final arguments that will highlight opposing portraits of the Paralympic athlete — a gun-obsessed egotist who shot girlfriend Reeva Steekamp in a rage or a vulnerable figure with a disability who pulled the trigger in a tragic case of mistaken identity.

     
  • Two commercial airplanes, United Flight 718 and TWA Flight 2 crashed on June 30, 1956, over the Grand Canyon, killing all 128 people aboard in one of the deadliest aviation disasters in the U.S. On Tuesday, July 8, 2014, the Grand Canyon National Park will mark the designation of the crash site as a National Historic Landmark in a ceremony overlooking the gorge where the wreckage was scattered over 1.5 square miles.

    1956 Grand Canyon crash a game-changer in air travelJul 8, 2014 12:00 AM
    In the mid-1950s, air travel was a shadow of the highly advanced operation of checks and rules seen today. The skies were largely uncontrolled, and pilots outside major U.S. cities relied on sight to avoid catastrophes. Then, two commercial airplanes crashed over the Grand Canyon in June 1956, killing all 128 people aboard in the deadliest aviation disaster of the time and helping spur an overhaul to flight safety.

     
  • Man dies at South Dakota hot dog eating contestJul 8, 2014 12:00 AM
    A Fourth of July hot dog eating contest in western South Dakota turned tragic when a contestant choked to death. Walter Eagle Tail, 47, of Custer, died at a hospital Thursday after attempts to save him at the scene failed.

     
  • An ATM sits next to a case displaying glass bongs, Monday, July 7, 2014 at the recreational marijuana store Cannabis City in Seattle. When legal sales begin on Tuesday, July 8, 2014, the store will be the first and only store in Seattle to initially sell recreational marijuana.

    Legal marijuana goes on sale in WashingtonJul 8, 2014 12:00 AM
    Washington became the second state Tuesday to allow people to buy marijuana legally in the U.S. without a doctor’s note as customers eager to be the first to buy pot lined up outside stores. People began purchasing marijuana at 8 a.m. at Bellingham’s Top Shelf Cannabis, one of two stores in the city north of Seattle that started selling pot as soon as it was allowed under state regulations. Several dozen people waited outside before the store opened.

     
  • In this Monday, July 7, 2014 surveillance camera image provided by the New York Police Department, a woman, top right, pushes her baby girl in a stroller at the Columbus Circle subway station in New York. The 20-year-old woman, who is suspected of abandoning the baby at the Manhattan station, was in police custody on Tuesday.

    NYPD: Mother of abandoned baby says she’s homelessJul 8, 2014 12:00 AM
    A woman accused of abandoning her baby at a Manhattan subway station told police on Tuesday that she is homeless and felt she could no longer take care of the little girl. Police said she pushed the baby’s stroller onto a platform at the Columbus Circle station on Monday and then got back on a train.

     
  • NYPD: Drone came within 800 feet of chopperJul 8, 2014 12:00 AM
    Police have arrested two people for operating a drone over the George Washington Bridge that came within 800 feet of a police helicopter. They say the helicopter pilot spotted the small unmanned aircraft near the bridge at 12:21 a.m. Monday. The drone continued to circle the bridge, forcing the chopper to change course to avoid it.

     
  • Smoke and fire rise from an Israeli missle strike in Rafah on Tuesday. The Israeli military launched what could be a long-term offensive against the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on Tuesday striking nearly 100 sites in Gaza and mobilizing troops for a possible ground invasion aimed at stopping a heavy barrage of rocket attacks against Israel.

    Rockets hit Israeli heartland as offensive beginsJul 8, 2014 12:00 AM
    Israel on Tuesday launched its largest offensive in the Gaza Strip in nearly two years, carrying out a blistering aerial assault on scores of targets and killing 25 people in what officials called an open-ended operation aimed at ending weeks of heavy rocket fire. As Gaza militants unleashed salvos on cities including Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, Israel mobilized forces along the border for a possible ground invasion.

     
  • Madelynn Taylor, 74, talks about her lawsuit seeking the right to have her deceased wife interred with her at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery, in Boise, Idaho on July 7, 2014. Idaho state law allows only married couples who are legally recognized by the state to be buried together at the cemetery; the state has refused to recognize Taylor’s legal marriage to Jean Mixner in California as valid.

    Veteran sues after burial with gay partner is deniedJul 8, 2014 12:00 AM
    A U.S. Navy veteran filed a civil rights lawsuit Monday after the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery refused to allow her to be buried with the ashes of her late wife. Seventy-four-year-old Madelynn Taylor filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Boise after she tried to make advance arrangements last year to have her ashes interred with Jean Mixner, whom she met on a blind date in 1995 and married in California in 2008 when gay marriage was briefly legal.

     
  • Immigrant families and children’s advocates rally in response to President Barack Obama’s statement on the crisis of unaccompanied children and families illegally entering the United States, outside the Los Angeles Federal building Monday.

    Obama urgently asks $3.7 billion for border crisisJul 8, 2014 12:00 AM
    President Barack Obama appealed to Congress on Tuesday for $3.7 billion in emergency spending to deal with the immigration crisis on the nation’s southern border, where unaccompanied children have been showing up by the thousands in a human drama that’s causing a political storm in Washington and beyond.

     
  • Six Flags Magic Mountain’s Ninja roller coaster hit a tree branch dislodging the front car, leaving four people slightly injured and keeping nearly two dozen summer fun-seekers hanging 20 to 30 feet in the air for hours as day turned to night.

    Riders stranded for hours on California roller coasterJul 8, 2014 12:00 AM
    A roller coaster hit a tree branch at the Six Flags Magic Mountain amusement park, dislodging the front car, leaving four people slightly injured and keeping nearly two dozen summer fun-seekers hanging 20 to 30 feet in the air for hours as day turned to night. Two of the four people hurt Monday on the Ninja coaster were taken to the hospital as a precaution, but all the injuries were minor, fire and park officials said.

     
  • Police: Men steal $2,000 in soap, hygiene itemsJul 8, 2014 12:00 AM
    Police are trying to figure out why a trio of hygiene-minded thieves walked into a CVS pharmacy in Atlanta’s northern suburbs and stole $2,000 in soap and other personal care items.

     
  • Red Bull spills onto I-95 in Fla. truck crashJul 8, 2014 12:00 AM
    Call it a different kind of energy jolt. Thousands of gallons of Red Bull spilled onto Interstate 95 in central Florida after two tractor-trailers collided. The Florida Highway Patrol says the crash happened Monday evening near Rockledge.

     
  • Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)

    IMF chief hints at reduction in growth forecastsJul 7, 2014 12:00 AM
    The chief of the International Monetary Fund predicts that the global economy will improve over the next 18 months but says that growth might not be as fast as previously expected. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde says that investment remains weak and that the recovery in the United States hinges on the ability of the Federal Reserve to gradually reduce stimulus measures and on political leaders agreeing on a fiscal plan.

     
  • Bed Bath & Beyond plans $2 billion buyback amid stock slumpJul 7, 2014 12:00 AM
    Bed Bath & Beyond Inc., facing a stock slump after delivering a disappointing forecast last month, plans to buy back $2 billion in shares during the next fiscal year. The new repurchases will follow its existing program, which had about $861 million remaining as of May 31, Bed Bath & Beyond said today in a statement. The latest buyback will be completed in fiscal 2016, which begins around the end of February.

     
  • Erika Malone of St. Louis Community College, center, talks with a prospective student and her mother at the St. Louis High School to College Center in St. Louis.

    Push to keep incoming college students on trackJul 7, 2014 12:00 AM
    In St. Louis, a drop-in counseling center helps at-risk students negotiate financial aid agreements, housing contracts and the other many details of college enrollment. School districts in Chicago, Dallas, Miami, Minnesota and West Virginia are among those using text messages to keep aspiring college students on track.

     
  • “The one ingredient that we know makes an enormous difference is a great teacher,” Obama said before discussing the issue over lunch in the Blue Room of the White House with Education Secretary Arne Duncan and four teachers.

    Obama highlights push for better skilled teachersJul 7, 2014 12:00 AM
    President Barack Obama brought forward a new administration effort Monday to place quality teachers in schools that need them the most. Obama said the U.S. education system has “a problem” in that students who would benefit the most from having skilled or experienced teachers in their classrooms are least likely to get them, including black and Hispanic students.

     
  • Smoke rises after an Israeli missile strike in Beit Lahia, northern Gaza Strip, Monday. Hamas vowed revenge on Israel for the death of seven of its members killed in the airstrike.

    Israeli army launches offensive on Gaza StripJul 7, 2014 12:00 AM
    The Israeli army said it launched an offensive operation early Tuesday against the Gaza Strip to quell rocket attacks, and a Palestinian official said Israeli airstrikes injured at least nine Palestinians.The Israeli airstrikes come after Gaza militants fired dozens of rockets at southern Israel on Monday, setting off air raid sirens and forcing hundreds of thousands of Israelis to stay indoors.

     
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