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AP Top News at 7:40 p.m. EST

Gambling nuke commander linked to fake poker chips
WASHINGTON (AP) - The admiral fired last year as No. 2 commander of U.S. nuclear forces may have made his own counterfeit $500 poker chips with paint and stickers to feed a gambling habit that eventually saw him banned from an entire network of casinos, according to a criminal investigative report obtained by The Associated Press. Although Rear Adm. Timothy M. Giardina's removal as deputy head of U.S. Strategic Command was announced last year, evidence of his possible role in manufacturing the counterfeit chips has not previously been revealed. Investigators said they found his DNA on the underside of an adhesive sticker used to alter genuine $1 poker chips to make them look like $500 chips.


Obama immigration plan good, not great for economy
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama's expansive executive action on immigration is good for the U.S. economy - just not as good as partnering with Congress on broader reforms. The executive order signed Friday would prevent the deportation of about 4 million parents and guardians who lack the same legal status as their children. By gaining work permits, they will likely command higher wages, move more easily between jobs and boost government tax revenues, according to multiple economic analyses.


Civic group: No Ferguson grand jury decision yet
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) - Crews erected barricades Saturday around the building where a grand jury has been considering whether to indict the Ferguson police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, even as a grand jury decision seemed unlikely this weekend. Tension has been mounting in Ferguson and elsewhere in the St. Louis area in recent days, with many speculating that the grand jury's decision would be announced on Sunday. That seemed increasingly unlikely by Saturday afternoon, although there was a noticeable uptick in the preparations being made.


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Somalia's al-Shabab kills 28 non-Muslims in Kenya
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) - One gunman shot from the right, one from the left, each killing the non-Muslims lying in a line on the ground, growing closer and closer to Douglas Ochwodho, who was in the middle. And then the shooting stopped. Apparently each gunman thought the other shot Ochwodho. He lay perfectly still until the 20 Islamic extremists left, and he appears to be the only survivor of those who had been selected for death.


Ferguson grand jury unusual in many ways
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Not much is normal about the Missouri grand jury responsible for deciding whether to charge a suburban St. Louis police officer for fatally shooting Michael Brown. Not the length of deliberations, not the manner in which it has heard evidence, not the way in which its work could be made public. Then again, the case itself is unusual.


Shifting attitudes at play in Cosby allegations
Tamra Wade struggled mightily over whether to go to the police more than a decade ago, when, she says, a trusted professor forced himself on her in an empty classroom. Ultimately she couldn't bring herself to do it. But if it happened now, she says, she'd be a lot bolder - not just because she's older, but because she feels there's less of a stigma connected to being a victim of sexual assault.


As Cosby allegations spiral, fallout mounts
Since renewed allegations of sexual assault erupted in late October, Bill Cosby has seen a career resurgence begin to crumble. Here's what's happened since Oct. 31: - Appearances on "The Queen Latifah Show" and "Late Show With David Letterman" were canceled.


Winners and losers under Obama's immigration plan
SAN DIEGO (AP) - President Barack Obama unveiled one of the most sweeping changes to the U.S. immigration system in decades, shielding millions from deportation. Among those breathing easier: a Mexican woman in Birmingham, Alabama, who barely missed qualifying for a reprieve in 2012 but can apply now because she has three U.S.-born children; a pair of 9- and 11-year-old brothers in Tucson, Arizona, who can stay under more generous guidelines for immigrants who arrived as children.


Japan earthquake collapses homes, causes injuries
TOKYO (AP) - A strong earthquake in the mountainous area of central Japan that hosted the 1998 Winter Olympics destroyed more than half a dozen homes in a ski resort town and injured at least 30 people, officials said. The magnitude-6.8 earthquake struck Saturday near Nagano city shortly after 10 p.m. (1300 GMT) at a depth of 10 kilometers (6 miles), the Japan Meteorological Agency said. The U.S. Geological Survey measured the quake's magnitude at 6.2. Since the quake occurred inland, there was no possibility of a tsunami.


AP sources: Obama broadens mission in Afghanistan
WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. troops in Afghanistan may once again engage Taliban fighters, not just al-Qaida terrorists, under new guidelines quietly approved by President Barack Obama, administration officials say. The armed forces were to limit their operations in Afghanistan to counterterrorism missions against al-Qaida after this year, until Obama broadened the guidelines in recent weeks. The plan comes as the U.S. combat mission in Afghanistan draws to a close, thousands of troops return home and the military prepares for a narrower counterterrorism and training mission for the next two years.