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After spill, water ban lifted for part of W.Va.
Written by JONATHAN MATTISE, Associated Press   
Monday, 13 January 2014 16:25

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The ban on tap water for parts of West Virginia was lifted on Monday, ending a crisis for a fraction of the 300,000 people who were told not to drink, wash or cook with water after a chemical spill tainted the water supply.

It could still be several days before everyone is cleared to use the water again, but officials were grateful to give the green light to about 6,000 to 10,000 customers. Gov. Earl Tomblin made the announcement at a news conference, five days after restaurants and schools had to close because they didn't have any water, and people were told to use it only to flush their toilets.

"We are finally at a point where the 'do not use' order has been lifted," Tomblin said.

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Loss of jobless aid leaves many with bleak options
Written by JOSH BOAK, Associated Press SAM HANANEL, Associated Press   
Monday, 13 January 2014 07:38

WASHINGTON (AP) — A cutoff of benefits for the long-term unemployed has left more than 1.3 million Americans with a stressful decision:

What now?

Without their unemployment checks, many will abandon what had been a futile search and will no longer look for a job — an exodus that could dwarf the 347,000 Americans who stopped seeking work in December. Beneficiaries have been required to look for work to receive unemployment checks.

Some who lost their benefits say they'll begin an early and unplanned retirement. Others will pile on debt to pay for school and an eventual second career. Many will likely lean on family, friends and other government programs to get by.

They're people like Stan Osnowitz, a 67-year-old electrician in Baltimore who lost his state unemployment benefits of $430 a week. The money put gasoline in his car to help him look for work.

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Swedish doctors transplant wombs into nine women
Written by MALIN RISING, Associated Press MARIA CHENG, Associated Press   
Monday, 13 January 2014 07:11

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Nine women in Sweden have successfully received transplanted wombs donated from relatives and will soon try to become pregnant, the doctor in charge of the pioneering project has revealed.

The women were born without a uterus or had it removed because of cervical cancer. Most are in their 30s and are part of the first major experiment to test whether it's possible to transplant wombs into women so they can give birth to their own children.

Life-saving transplants of organs such as hearts, livers and kidneys have been done for decades and doctors are increasingly transplanting hands, faces and other body parts to improve patients' quality of life. Womb transplants — the first ones intended to be temporary, just to allow childbearing — push that frontier even farther and raise some new concerns.

There have been two previous attempts to transplant a womb — in Turkey and Saudi Arabia — but both failed to produce babies. Scientists in Britain, Hungary and elsewhere are also planning similar operations but the efforts in Sweden are the most advanced.

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After five days, W.Va.'s water crisis nears its end
Written by BRENDAN FARRINGTON, Associated Press   
Monday, 13 January 2014 07:12

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — For the fifth straight day, hundreds of thousands of people in West Virginia had to wash, cook and brush their teeth with bottled water, but officials promised the ban on tap water that was tainted by a chemical spill would soon be lifted.

Over the weekend, tests showed levels of the licorice-smelling chemical used in coal processing were consistently below a toxic threshold, and in some samples, there was no trace of the chemical at all. As the tests were expected to continue Monday, there were still questions about how and why the leak occurred and whether the company, Freedom Industries, took too long to let state officials know about the problem.

If tests continue to show the water is safe, the ban affecting about 300,000 people across a nine-county region will be lifted in waves for specific areas, the first of which would be in downtown Charleston, said West Virginia American Water President Jeff McIntyre. He gave no timetable for when people could start using the water again.

"I can tell you at this point, I don't believe we're several days from starting to lift (the ban), but I'm not saying today," McIntyre said at a news conference Sunday.

"We see light at the end of the tunnel," Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin told reporters.

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Series, Drama: "Breaking Bad" wins at the Golden Globes
Written by JAKE COYLE, AP Film Writer   
Monday, 13 January 2014 07:10
71stAnnualG_Pool_rotator
This image released by NBC shows Bryan Cranston accepting the award for best actor in a TV series, drama for his role in "Breaking Bad" during the 71st annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (AP Photo/NBC, Paul Drinkwater)

Amy Poehler made out with Bono, Tina Fey mocked George Clooney's taste in women and Matt Damon emerged, bizarrely, as the night's recurring gag.

But at the end of a madcap Golden Globes (Fey toasted it as "the beautiful mess we hoped it would be"), the major honors soberly ended up with the favorites. David O. Russell's con-artist caper "American Hustle" led with three awards, including best film comedy. And despite missing out in the other six categories it was nominated in, the unflinching historical drama "12 Years a Slave" concluded the night as best film drama.

"A little bit in shock," said director Steve McQueen, before shrugging "Roll, Jordan, roll" — the lyrics to the old gospel song sung in the slavery epic.

Russell's 1970s Abscam fictionalization "American Hustle" had the better night overall, winning acting awards for Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence. Best picture was the only award for "12 Years a Slave," which came in with seven nominations, tied for the most with "American Hustle."

The awards returned Lawrence, a winner last year for Russell's "Silver Linings Playbook," to the stage for an acceptance speech — something she said was no easier a year later.

"Don't ever do this again," she said to herself. "It's so scary."

Last Updated on Monday, 13 January 2014 10:31
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