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Widow gets remains of soldier lost in Korean War PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Saturday, 21 December 2013 07:43

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Army Sgt. 1st Class Joseph E. Gantt went off to war 63 years ago, leaving behind a wife who never gave up on his return.

On Friday, 94-year-old Clara Gantt stood up from her wheelchair and wept in the cold before the flag-draped casket.

Sgt. Gantt was finally home.

"He told me if anything happened to him he wanted me to remarry. I told him no, no. Here I am, still his wife," she told reporters at Los Angeles International Airport, where his remains were carried from a jetliner by military honor guard.

Gant was a field medic who went missing in action on Nov. 30, 1950 during the Korean War while serving with Battery C, 503rd Field Artillery, 2nd Infantry Division, according to the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office in Washington, D.C.

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Gay couples wed in Utah after judge overturns ban PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by BRADY McCOMBS, Associated Press PAUL FOY, Associated Press   
Saturday, 21 December 2013 07:42

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Elisa Noel rushed to the county clerk's office with her partner immediately after learning that a federal judge overturned Utah's ban on gay marriage. They waited in line for a wedding license and were married in an impromptu ceremony punctuated with Noel giving the officiant a high-five.

"I can't believe this is Utah," Noel said moments after a ceremony that took place about 3 miles from the headquarters of the Mormon church.

Others had a similar reaction after a ruling by U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby that declared Utah's voter-approved ban on gay marriage unconstitutional. The recent appointee by President Barack Obama said the ban violates the constitutional rights of gay couples and ruled Utah failed to show that allowing same-sex marriages would affect opposite-sex marriages in any way.

The ruling prompted a frenzy of activity by lawyers and gay couples. The Republican governor blasted the ruling as going against the will of the people. Gay couples rushed to the Salt Lake County Clerk's office en masse to secure marriage licenses, waiting in line by the dozens and getting married on the spot by the mayor and ministers.

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N.Y.C. expands smoking ban to include e-cigarettes PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by JAKE PEARSON, Associated Press   
Friday, 20 December 2013 11:53

NEW YORK (AP) — Years after being exiled to New York City's sidewalks by a ban on smoking in indoor public places, some smokers relished electronic cigarettes as a way to come in from the cold.

Now they're down to their last few puffs after the City Council voted 43-8 Thursday to expand the ban to include the devices.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is expected to sign the measure before leaving office in a few days. The ban would take effect in four months.

Also Thursday, the council paved the way for an eventual ban on plastic foam containers and approved the creation of a website that will help the public track federal dollars budgeted for Superstorm Sandy-related damages. The flurry of activity — more than two dozen introductions and resolutions were passed — came on the council's last legislative session of the year.

Speaker Christine Quinn said before the vote on e-cigarettes that scientists can't say yet whether the nicotine inhalers, which are tobacco-free but still deliver a vaporized dose of nicotine vapor, are truly safe.

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Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky a free man PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by FRANK JORDANS, Associated Press NATALIYA VASILYEVA, Associated Press   
Friday, 20 December 2013 11:32

BERLIN (AP) — After spending 10 years in Russian jails for what many in the West believe were trumped-up offenses, Mikhail Khodorkovsky left prison a free man Friday and immediately flew to Germany.

Russian President Vladimir Putin pardoned his long-time rival Friday morning and the country's Federal Penitentiary Service said Khodorkovsky quickly left the IK-7 prison in the remote northwestern village of Segezha.

Khodorkovsky had petitioned to be allowed to travel to Germany to meet his mother who is undergoing medical treatment, the Penitentiary Service said in a statement.

Germany's Foreign Ministry confirmed that Khodorkovsky arrived at Berlin's Schoenefeld Airport in the afternoon.

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Foul weather could be trouble to travelers PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Friday, 20 December 2013 10:40

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A stew of foul weather, ranging from freezing rain and snow in the Midwest to thunderstorms and possible tornadoes in the South, is arriving just in time for one of the busiest travel weekends of the year.

Much of the nation is bracing for something: Freezing rain, then 6 inches of snow, is possible in the northern Plains; torrential rains are expected in the Appalachian region; weekend thunderstorms in the South could spawn twisters.

It's all moving into the East, too, creating travel worries in the days leading up to Christmas from Chicago and Detroit to Boston and New York.

AAA projects that nearly 95 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more during the holiday period, which runs from Saturday through Jan. 1.


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