WASHINGTON (AP) - There's an irony in the Internal Revenue Service's crackdown on conservative groups. The nation's tax agency has admitted to inappropriately scrutinizing smaller tea party organizations that applied for tax-exempt status, and senior Treasury Department officials were notified in the midst of the 2012 presidential election season that an internal investigation was underway. But the IRS largely maintained a hands-off policy with the much larger, big-budget organizations on the left and right that were most influential in the elections and are organized under a section of the tax code that allows them to hide their donors.
DAMASCUS, Va. (AP) - About 50 to 60 people were injured Saturday when a driver described by witnesses as an elderly man drove his car into a group of hikers marching in a parade in a small Virginia mountain town. It happened around 2:10 p.m. during the Hikers Parade at the Trail Days festival, an annual celebration of the Appalachian Trail in Damascus, near the Tennessee state line about a half-hour drive east of Bristol.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) - The commuter train derailment and collision that left dozens injured outside New York City was not the result of foul play, officials said Saturday, but a fractured section of rail is being studied to determine if it is connected to the accident. National Transportation Safety Board member Earl Weener said Saturday the broken rail is of substantial interest to investigators and a portion of the track will be sent to a lab for analysis.
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Last-minute fortune seekers buy Powerball tickets DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - It's all about the odds. With the majority of possible combinations of Powerball numbers in play, someone is almost sure to win the game's highest jackpot during Saturday night's drawing, a windfall of hundreds of millions of dollars - and that's after taxes.
BEIRUT (AP) - Syrian President Bashar Assad said in a newspaper interview Saturday he won't step down before elections and that the United States has no right to interfere in his country's politics, raising new doubts about a U.S-Russian effort to get Assad and his opponents to negotiate an end to the country's civil war. In the capital Damascus, a car bomb killed at least three people and wounded five, according to Syrian state TV. It said bomb experts dismantled other explosives in the area.
UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) - A wanted man with a criminal history dating back nearly 15 years was identified by police Saturday as the masked home invader involved in the death of a Hofstra University student early Friday morning. Dalton Smith, who was wanted on a parole violation related to a first-degree robbery conviction, attempted to rob the off-campus home where he and Hofstra junior Andrea Rebello were fatally shot, Nassau County police said.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Despite Democratic fears, predictions of the demise of President Barack Obama's agenda appear exaggerated after a week of cascading controversies, political triage by the administration and party leaders in Congress and lack of evidence to date of wrongdoing close to the Oval Office. "Absolutely not," Steven Miller, the recently resigned acting head of the Internal Revenue Service, responded Friday when asked if he had any contact with the White House about targeting conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status for special treatment.
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) - It was just about a day after Argentine strongman Jorge Rafael Videla had seized power in March of 1976, and the bloodletting was already beginning. I had trekked out to isolated Neuquen province looking for Maria Estela Martinez de Peron, the constitutionally elected leader that Videla and his military cohorts had just toppled. Working for The Associated Press, I wanted to talk to her, her captors or anyone else to get the story.
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (AP) - A simple test could have alerted officials that the drinking water at Camp Lejeune was contaminated, long before authorities determined that as many as a million Marines and their families were exposed to a witch's brew of cancer-causing chemicals. But no one responsible for the lab at the base can recall that the procedure - mandated by the Navy - was ever conducted.
BALTIMORE (AP) - Oxbow put D. Wayne Lukas in the record books again with an upset of Orb in the Preakness Stakes on Saturday, giving the Hall of Fame trainer his 14th win in a Triple Crown race. Kentucky Derby winner Orb was unable to find his rhythm after breaking from the rail, and never challenged in finishing fourth. The loss ended any chance of a Triple try at the Belmont Stakes in three weeks, extending the drought to 36 years since Affirmed in 1978 became the 11th horse to sweep the Derby, Preakness and Belmont.