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3,000 birds rescued in cockfighting bust in N.Y.
Written by TOM McELROY, Associated Press   
Monday, 10 February 2014 14:17

NEW YORK (AP) — More than 3,000 birds were rescued in a three-county cockfighting takedown in New York this weekend that resulted in nine felony arrests, according to the state attorney general's office.

In a statement released Sunday night, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said it was the largest cockfighting takedown in New York state and among the largest in U.S. history.

Operation Angry Birds simultaneously targeted locations in Queens, Brooklyn and Ulster County with assistance from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Ulster County Sheriff's office, Schneiderman said.

"Cockfighting is a cruel, abusive and barbaric practice that tortures animals, endangers the health and safety of the public and is known to facilitate other crimes," Schneiderman said.

At the cockfights, spectators were charged admission fees and an additional fee for a seat within the secret basement location that housed the all-night fights, authorities said. Alcohol was sold without a permit and owners and spectators placed bets on the fights with individual wagers reaching $10,000.

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From immigration to trade, inaction in Congress
Written by DAVID ESPO, AP Special Correspondent   
Monday, 10 February 2014 07:31

WASHINGTON (AP) — Little more than a week after Groundhog Day, the evidence is mounting that lawmakers have all but wrapped up their most consequential work of 2014, at least until the results of the fall elections are known.

"We've got a lot of things on our plate," House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said recently when asked what Congress will be busy with this year, but he predicted no breakthrough accomplishments on immigration, taxes or any other area.

"Why don't we just pack up and go home?" countered House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California after Boehner blamed President Barack Obama for lack of movement on immigration. "What we're supposed to do is legislate and not make up excuses as to why we don't."

Immigration legislation is hardly the only area where inaction is the likeliest outcome.

A Senate-passed bill has fallen into the congressional equivalent of a black hole in the House, where conservative critics cite a changing series of reasons for not wanting to take action.

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Six die in multi-car wrong way crash on S. California freeway
Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 10 February 2014 07:07

DIAMOND BAR, Calif. (AP) — A suspected drunk driver sped the wrong way on a Southern California freeway, causing a pre-dawn crash that killed six people, authorities said.

Olivia Culbreath, 21, of Fontana, was arrested Sunday on suspicion of driving under the influence and manslaughter after being pulled from a badly mangled Chevy Camaro on State Route 60, California Highway Patrol Officer Rodrigo Jimenez said.

Jimenez said the crash scene in this suburb east of Los Angeles was horrific. Three people were ejected from their cars and the Camaro was barely recognizable.

Authorities said Culbreath was traveling north in the southbound lanes of State Route 57 before transitioning east in the westbound lanes of State Route 60, where the Camaro collided head-on with a red Ford Explorer. A Ford Freestyle then collided with the Explorer.

Four people were pronounced dead at the scene, and two people died after being taken to the hospital, Jimenez said.

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Five killed in wrong way crash in southwest Florida
Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 10 February 2014 07:11

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A sport utility vehicle traveling the wrong way on a Florida interstate collided head-on with a sedan early Sunday, killing five people, including four fraternity brothers at the University of South Florida, authorities said.

The accident happened on Interstate 275 in Tampa around 2 a.m. Sunday. The SUV was going the wrong way and hit a Hyundai Sonata, which was carrying four members of the fraternity Sigma Beta Rho. The SUV driver was also killed.

Authorities identified the fraternity brothers as: Jobin Joy Kuriakose, 21, Ankeet Harshad Patel, 22, Imtiyaz "Jim" Ilias, 20, and Dammie Yesudhas, 21. Florida Highway Patrol officials said they were struggling to identify the male SUV driver late Sunday because of extensive injuries from the fire.

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Caffeine common in kids, young adults; mainly soda
Written by LINDSEY TANNER, AP Medical Writer   
Monday, 10 February 2014 07:05

CHICAGO (AP) — Nearly 3 out of 4 U.S. children and young adults consume at least some caffeine, mostly from soda, tea and coffee. The rate didn't budge much over a decade, although soda use declined and energy drinks became an increasingly common source, a government analysis finds.

Though even most preschoolers consume some caffeine-containing products, their average was the amount found in half a can of soda, and overall caffeine intake declined in children up to age 11 during the decade.

The analysis is the first to examine recent national trends in caffeine intake among children and young adults and comes amid a U.S. Food and Drug Administration investigation into the safety of caffeine-containing foods and drinks, especially for children and teens. In an online announcement about the investigation, the FDA notes that caffeine is found in a variety of foods, gum and even some jelly beans and marshmallows.

The probe is partly in response to reports about hospitalizations and even several deaths after consuming highly caffeinated drinks or energy shots. The drinks have not been proven to be a cause in those cases.

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