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AP Top News at 12:19 a.m. EDT

Texas incident fuels concern about lone-wolf terror attacks
NEW YORK (AP) - The attempted attack on a provocative cartoon contest in Texas appears to reflect a scenario that has long troubled national security officials: a do-it-yourself terror plot, inspired by the Islamic State extremist group and facilitated through the ease of social media. Trying to gauge which individuals in the United States pose such threats - and how vigorously they should be monitored - is a daunting challenge for counterterrorism agencies. Some experts caution that a limited number of small-scale attacks are likely to continue.


Tornadoes in southern Plains, destroy homes, flip cars
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Tornadoes raked the southern Plains Wednesday, overturning cars on an Oklahoma City interstate and destroying dozens of homes. No deaths were immediately reported from the tornadoes that hit Oklahoma and rural parts of Kansas and Nebraska


UK's personable David Cameron fights for political life
LONDON (AP) - David Cameron's supporters paint him as a principled but pragmatic politician with a huge capacity for quick thinking and grace under pressure. Opponents depict the 48-year-old Conservative leader as a privileged smoothie who hates to break a sweat.


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A look at leading figures in the tight British election
LONDON (AP) - Britain's general election is on Thursday, and polls suggest the race between Labour and the Conservatives is too close to call. Here's a look at the leading figures in the campaign: DAVID CAMERON: Prime Minister David Cameron of the Conservative Party is trying to preserve his place at the storied 10 Downing Street residence. He has led a coalition government for the past five years, steadfastly pursuing a fiscal austerity program aimed at bringing down Britain's budget deficit and high public debt. Cameron, 48, was educated at Oxford and worked in public relations before entering politics full time and becoming party leader in 2005. He brought the Conservatives back to power in 2010, when the party bested Labour despite failing to obtain an outright majority. He has been criticized for appearing lackadaisical on the campaign trail but has tried to fire up supporters by warning that his Labour rivals plan to team up with Scottish nationalists in a new government that would put the future unity of the United Kingdom at risk.


Drug trade's lowest rung: Peru's cocaine backpackers
HUANTA, Peru (AP) - The lung-searing ascents into the Andean highlands aren't what worry the untold hundreds of young men who hump backpacks loaded with drugs out of the remote, lawless valley that produces about 60 percent of Peru's cocaine. Armed gangs, crooked police and rival backpacker groups regularly rob cocaine's beasts of burden on their three- to five-day journeys over mountain paths carved by their pre-Incan ancestors.


Baltimore mayor seeks federal civil-rights probe of police
BALTIMORE (AP) - Baltimore's mayor was emphatic last week: She did not want federal oversight of her police department. "Nobody wants the Department of Justice to come in here and take over our city," Stephanie Rawlings-Blake declared as the National Guard enforced a 10 p.m. curfew.


Israel's Netanyahu completes formation of government
JERUSALEM (AP) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu completed the formation of a new coalition late Wednesday, putting him at the helm of a hard-line government that appears to be set on a collision course with the U.S. and other key allies. Netanyahu reached a deal with the nationalist Jewish Home party shortly before a midnight deadline, clinching a slim parliamentary majority and averting an embarrassing scenario that would have forced him from office. But with a government dominated by hard-liners that support increased West Bank settlement construction and oppose peace moves with the Palestinians, he could have a hard time rallying international support. Controlling just 61 of 120 parliamentary seats, the narrow coalition could also struggle to press forward with a domestic agenda.


Clinton challenges Bush on immigration as GOP shifts
WASHINGTON (AP) - Hillary Rodham Clinton has injected new fire into the immigration debate with her call to allow people in the country illegally to gain citizenship, challenging a centerpiece of Republican presidential prospect Jeb Bush's likely candidacy. The elevated focus on immigration shines new light on the growing willingness of Republican presidential contenders - including past opponents of an immigration overhaul in Congress - to let such immigrants stay in the U.S. Such a position is regarded as "amnesty" by the GOP's tea party wing, yet it is quietly becoming the majority view in a 2016 Republican presidential class eager to attract Hispanic voters.


Brown lawns loom this summer in California
GARDEN GROVE, Calif. (AP) - It was with more hope than accuracy that the founder of this Orange County city picked the name Garden Grove in 1874 for what was little more than an open plain under the Southern California sun. More than a century later, this sprawling middle-class suburb of 175,000 people could struggle to live up to that name.


NFL finds Patriots employees probably deflated balls
Tom Brady: Unbelievable. The 243-page report on "Deflategate" came out Wednesday and stopped barely short of calling the Patriots star quarterback a cheater. It did, however, call some of his claims "implausible" and left little doubt that he had a role in having footballs deflated before New England's AFC title game against Indianapolis in January and probably in previous games.

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