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AP Top U.S. News At 6:05 p.m. EST

Obama to seek wilderness designation for Alaska refuge, highest protection for public lands
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) -- President Barack Obama is proposing to designate the vast majority of Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as a wilderness area, including its potentially oil-rich coastal plain, drawing an angry response from top state elected officials who see it as a land grab by the federal government....

Blizzard-like conditions expected in Northeast; forecasters predict 2 to 3 feet in some areas
NEW YORK (AP) -- A "potentially historic" storm could dump 2 to 3 feet of snow from northern New Jersey to Connecticut starting Monday, crippling a region that has largely been spared so far this winter, the National Weather Service said....

Searching for 'death-qualified' jurors slows marathon bombing, movie theater shooting trials
BOSTON (AP) -- One prospective juror was brutally frank when asked whether he could consider a sentence of life in prison for the man accused of bombing the Boston Marathon....

Balloon crew launches from Japan in bid to reach North America, hoping to break 2 key records
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- An international team has launched its helium-filled balloon from Japan in a bid to reach North America and break two major records en route....

Opening statements expected soon in murder trial of ex-New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez
FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) -- Aaron Hernandez once seemed to be a man with a bright future. At age 23 he had a Super Bowl appearance under his belt and a $40 million contract as a star tight end with the New England Patriots. He and his fiancee had started a family, living in a mansion in the Boston suburbs with their 8-month-old daughter....

5 ways drones could affect US food supply _ herding cattle and counting fish to scouting farms
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Herding cattle. Counting fish. Taking an animal's temperature. Applying pesticides....

Santa Ana winds down trees, knock out power in California; crews work to restore electricity
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Power was being restored Sunday to tens of thousands of people who lost electricity in Southern California after fierce Santa Ana winds gusting as much as 89 mph toppled trees and power poles....

Marine pilots from Pennsylvania, Kentucky named as victims in deadly California chopper crash
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. (AP) -- Two Marine Corps officers killed when their helicopter crashed during a training exercise in the Southern California desert were remembered Sunday as talented pilots....

TV talk show pioneer Joe Franklin, who gave breaks to Al Pacino and Bill Cosby, dies at 88
NEW YORK (AP) -- Pioneering radio and TV host Joe Franklin, who gave breaks to the likes of Al Pacino and Bill Cosby on his variety show long before they became famous and who boasted he never missed a broadcast in decades, has died at age 88....

Not Mayberry anymore': Oil patch towns add cops, jail cells, still scramble to fight crime
WATFORD CITY, N.D. (AP) -- Police chief Art Walgren knew how much the oil boom had changed this once-sleepy town when he spotted something that would have been unheard of not long ago: license plates from Sinaloa, Mexico, home to one of the world's most violent drug cartels....

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US Video
Interactives
A year after the Gulf oil spill, problems remain
Local governments spent BP money with abandon
Civil War celebrations stir controversy
States' attempts to resist health care reform
A look at extremist attacks on the U.S. government
Gun law changes across the U.S.
A look inside the Statue of Liberty
A look around the Statue of Liberty
A look at Guantanamo's history
Up to the Minute
Fire officials: 4 children fall through ice into pond in Maryland; 2 in critical condition

Fire officials: 1 victim still not found at charred site of Maryland mansion a week after fire

Cops: Man kills co-worker, then himself inside Home Depot store in Manhattan

Marine pilots from Pennsylvania, Kentucky named as victims in deadly California chopper crash

Blizzard-like conditions expected in Northeast; forecasters predict 2 to 3 feet in some areas

Judges' group: Some judges might issue same-sex marriage licenses despite advice against it

NYC mayor: Snowstorm bearing down on Northeast could become biggest the city has ever seen

FBI: Agents continue pursuit of suspect after bomb threats involving 2 Atlanta-bound jets

Rocky Mountain National Park celebrates 100th anniversary following years of ups and downs

Survey shows US gas prices fell 13 cents a gallon to lowest in 5 years, but increases likely


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