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Sen. Mark Begich, right, D-Alaska, speaks to supporters in Anchorage  Alaska, Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014, after polls closed in a primary election. (AP Photo/Michael Dinneen)

Embattled Sen. Begich's secret weapon: Alaska

Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich wants Alaskans to know he is one of them and an independent voice against President Barack Obama. But Tuesday's primary produced a GOP nominee with a military record that could hold broad appeal in a state with a high population of veterans. Newly-nominated GOP challenger ...

US mission to rescue hostages in Syria failed

President Barack Obama sent special operations troops to Syria this summer on a secret mission to rescue American hostages, including journalist James Foley, held by Islamic State extremists, but they did not find them, the Obama administration said Wednesday. Officials said the rescue mission was authorized after intelligence agencies believed ...

Josh Groves, and his daughter Abagayle Groves, 3, wait to cross the road as flash flood waters overrun Skunk Creek through the Sonoran Desert, Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014, in northwestern Phoenix. Flooding from heavy rain in the Phoenix area has forced authorities to close several major roads, including a portion of Interstate 17 about 25 miles north of the city. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Flood cleanup begins in Phoenix after heavy storms

Residents began cleaning up Wednesday from devastating flooding that slammed Arizona a day earlier, trapping people in vehicles and homes and destroying up to $2 million worth of inventory at a cactus nursery north of Phoenix. The National Weather Service said some areas received more rain Tuesday than they had ...

FILE - This, Oct. 14, 2012,  file photo shows a Bank of  America branch in downtown Miami. How much will Bank of America’s expected $17 billion mortgage settlement cost the company? The answer is, almost certainly not $17 billion. In mega-settlements negotiated with the U.S. government, a dollar is rarely worth an actual dollar. Inflated figures make sensational headlines for the Justice Department, and $17 billion would be the largest settlement by far arising from the economic meltdown in which millions of Americans lost their homes to foreclosure. But the true cost to companies is often obscured by opaque accounting techniques. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File )

APNewsBreak: B ofA reaches $17B settlement with US

How much will Bank of America's expected $17 billion mortgage settlement cost the company? The answer is, almost certainly not that much. In mega-settlements negotiated with the government, a dollar is rarely worth an actual dollar. Inflated figures make sensational headlines for the Justice Department, and $17 billion would be ...

FILE - In this Friday, May 27, 2011, file photo, journalist James Foley poses for a photo during an interview with The Associated Press, in Boston. A video by Islamic State militants that purports to show the killing of Foley by the militant group was released Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014. Foley, from Rochester, N.H., went missing in 2012 in northern Syria while on assignment for Agence France-Press and the Boston-based media company GlobalPost. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

Social media pushes back at militant propaganda

The extremists of the Islamic State group have turned their social media into a theater of horror, broadcasting a stomach-turning stream of battles, bombings and beheadings to a global audience. The strategy is aimed at terrorizing opponents at home and winning recruits abroad. But there are increasing signs of pushback ...

FILE - In this Friday, May 27, 2011, file photo, journalist James Foley responds to questions during an interview with The Associated Press, in Boston. A video by Islamic State militants that purports to show the killing of Foley by the militant group was released Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014. Foley, from Rochester, N.H., went missing in 2012 in northern Syria while on assignment for Agence France-Press and the Boston-based media company GlobalPost. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

Beheading spurs new attacks on Islamic militants

The United States launched a new barrage of airstrikes Wednesday against the Islamic State extremist group that beheaded American journalist James Foley and that has seized a swath of territory across Iraq and Syria. President Barack Obama vowed relentless pursuit of the terrorists and the White House revealed that the ...

The Aug. 1, 2014 photo shows Mayor Carol Russell showing homes of residents who have plowed up their lawns because of local mandatory water rationing in Cloverdale, Calif. California’s drought has the state Legislature considering state regulation of groundwater use for the first time. (AP Photo/Ellen Knickmeyer)

Drought has state debating its unregulated pumping

Three years of drought have Californians debating an end to the state's status as one of the last in the West with a pump-as-you-please policy for the vital underground sources that provide up to 65 percent of the state's water. Even with falling groundwater tables contributing to mandatory water restrictions ...

Surface water, groundwater, and drought

California law and state government treat surface water and groundwater differently, with both resources coming under scrutiny as a three-year drought lingers. SURFACE WATER: Water that comes from above-ground sources, such as rivers and creeks. In the wake of the drought, California ordered mandatory cutbacks this year in the amount ...

Protesters hold roses as they march in Ferguson, Mo. on Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014. Ferguson's leaders urged residents Tuesday to stay home after dark to "allow peace to settle in" and pledged several actions to reconnect with the predominantly black community in the St. Louis suburb where the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by a white police officer has sparked clashes between protesters and police. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Holder arrives in Ferguson after police shooting

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder arrived in Ferguson Wednesday to meet with federal investigators and reassure residents of the suburban St. Louis community torn by several nights of racial unrest since the fatal shooting of a black 18-year-old by a white police officer. While walking through Drake's Place Restaurant in ...

FILE - In this July 31, 2014, file photo, faith leaders and activists participates in a demonstration in front of the White House in Washington, asking President Barack Obama to modify his deportation policies. Obama is considering key changes in the legal immigration system requested by tech, industry and powerful interest groups. Administration officials and advocates say those steps would go beyond the expected relief from deportations for some immigrants in the U.S. illegally that Obama signaled he'd pursue after immigration efforts in Congress collapsed. (AP Photo/Luis Alonso Lugo, File)

Obama weighs broader move on legal immigration

President Barack Obama is considering key changes in the nation's immigration system requested by tech, industry and powerful interest groups, in a move that could blunt Republicans' election-year criticism of the president's go-it-alone approach to immigration. Administration officials and advocates said the steps would go beyond the expected relief from ...

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