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Feds say California DMV employees traded cash for licenses

California DMV bribesAs many as 100 commercial truck drivers paid up to $5,000 each to bribe state Department of Motor Vehicles employees for illegal California licenses, federal authorities said.

Up to 23 traffic accidents could be related to the fraud, officials said, though there were no fatalities.

Emma Klem, a 45-year-old Salinas DMV employee, and trucking school owner Kulwinder Dosanjh Singh, 58, of Turlock, both pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy to commit bribery and identity fraud, U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner said.

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Officer dismissed over shooting of unarmed Texas football player

Texas police officer dismissedA Texas police officer who killed an unarmed 19-year-old college football player was fired Monday for failing to follow police department policy and putting himself and other officers in danger, the department's police chief said.

Arlington Police Chief Will Johnson said Officer Brad Miller's pursuit of 19-year-old Christian Taylor in the Friday shooting was "questionable." Police investigators continue to probe the case and will turn over evidence to a grand jury, which will make any final decision on whether to charge Miller.

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Cuba dissidents won't attend US Embassy event

Cuba feteThe Obama administration doesn't plan to invite Cuban dissidents to Secretary of State John Kerry's historic flag-raising at the U.S. Embassy in Havana on Friday, vividly illustrating how U.S. policy is shifting focus from the island's opposition to its single-party government. Instead, Kerry intends to meet more quietly with prominent activists later in the day, officials said.

The Cuban opposition has occupied the center of U.S. policy toward the island since the nations cut diplomatic relations in 1961. The Cuban government labels its domestic opponents as traitorous U.S. mercenaries. As the two countries have moved to restore relations, Cuba has almost entirely stopped meeting with American politicians who visit dissidents during trips to Havana.

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Inmates: Guards Tortured Us After Escape

Inmates tortured after escapeiNght had fallen at the Clinton Correctional Facility in far northern New York when the prison guards came for Patrick Alexander. They handcuffed him and took him into a broom closet for questioning. Then, Mr. Alexander said in an interview last week, the beatings began.

As the three guards, who wore no name badges, punched him and slammed his head against the wall, he said they shouted questions: “Where are they going? What did you hear? How much are they paying you to keep your mouth shut?”

One of the guards put a plastic bag over his head, Mr. Alexander said, and threatened to waterboard him.

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Armed white men from Oath Keepers arrive in Ferguson, stoking tension

Armed white men go to FergusonFour white civilians carrying military-style rifles and sidearms patrolled a riot-torn street in Ferguson, Missouri, early Tuesday, saying they were there to protect a media organization, but they drew swift criticism from protesters in the mostly black neighborhood and from police who called their presence was "unncessary and inflammatory."

The appearance of the four men drew stares in the neighborhood, which was rocked by violence again Sunday night as protesters marked the police killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teen whose death one year ago reignited a debate on race relations.

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Air controller study shows chronic fatigue

air controllersAir traffic controllers' work schedules often lead to chronic fatigue, making them less alert and endangering the safety of the national air traffic system, according to a study the government has kept secret for nearly four years.

Federal Aviation Administration officials have declined to furnish a copy of the report despite repeated requests and a Freedom of Information Act request by The Associated Press. However, the AP was able to obtain a draft of the final report dated Dec. 1, 2011.

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Ferguson Demonstrations: Authorities Declare State of Emergency in St. Louis County

Ferguson protestsSt. Louis authorities declared a state of emergency Monday as they prepared for a second night of protests marking a year since a police officer killed Ferguson teen Michael Brown.

The move was announced by St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger, who cited the violence that marred protests Sunday night in Ferguson.

"The recent acts of violence will not be tolerated in a community that has worked so tirelessly over the last year to rebuild and become stronger," Stenger said in a statement.

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