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4:39 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Skiing Siblings Hope To Make It To Sochi, Together

Sadie Bjornsen in the 2013 Nordic World Championships at Val di Fiemme, Italy. She is on the U.S. Olympic team.
Sarah Brunson U.S. Ski Team

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 8:03 pm

As snowboarders, skiers and skaters finish their qualifying events to get to the Winter Olympics next month, cross-country skiing siblings Erik and Sadie Bjornsen are waiting to find out if their special edge — each other — will get them both to the games.

Sadie has secured a spot on the Nordic team based on her good season; for Erik, the next two weeks will be the clincher.

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Iraq
4:39 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Fallujah Veterans Ask Hard Questions About Their Sacrifices

A U.S. Army soldier guards the remains of a burned-out military ammunition truck after it was attacked in Fallujah, Iraq, on Oct. 19, 2003. Fallujah and its surrounds were the site of some of the bloodiest fighting for U.S. troops during the Iraq war.
Khalid Mohammed AP

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 8:17 am

Will Walsh got to know the Iraqi city of Fallujah while running across its bridges in the middle of the night, under fire, looking for IEDs. That was nearly 10 years ago.

Last weekend, the former Army captain heard the news that Fallujah had fallen, again, to al-Qaida-linked groups.

"The question I have to ask myself is was that effort in vain?" he says now. "Was all the work that we did, all the sacrifice that we had, what is the benefit?"

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Books News & Features
4:39 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Sherlock's Expiring Copyright: It's Public Domain, Dear Watson

A poster advertises a stage adaptation of Sherlock Holmes, starring actor William Gillette in 1899.
Library of Congress

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 8:53 am

Beloved sleuth Sherlock Holmes has stumbled onto a new conundrum: A federal judge in Chicago recently ruled that the characters in Arthur Conan Doyle's stories — including Holmes and his partner, Dr. John Watson — now reside in the public domain.

That means anyone who wants to write new material about the characters no longer needs to seek permission or pay license fees to the Doyle estate. That is, as long as you don't include any elements introduced in the last 10 Sherlock Holmes stories released in the U.S. after 1922.

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The Two-Way
4:10 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Ex-Defense Secretary Gates Takes Aim At Obama In New Book

Defense Secretary Robert Gates and President Obama salute during a farewell ceremony for Gates on June 30, 2011.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 5:37 pm

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, in a book due out later this month, describes President Obama as "a man of personal integrity" who nonetheless was skeptical of his administration's "surge" strategy in Afghanistan and openly distrustful of the military leadership, The Washington Post and

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Shots - Health News
3:53 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Cold Weather Tips To Keep Your Pets In Good Health

Courtney Martin jogs through the snow with her dog, Theodore, in St. Louis. Missourians and their pets muddled through another frigid day Tuesday.
Jeff Roberson AP

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 7:00 pm

Here I sit shivering, wishing I were a dog or cat to get through this cold snap.

A built-in fur coat, no commute and maybe some quality time by the fireplace. What could go wrong?

Quite a few things, it turns out.

The friendly animal lovers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine's Ryan Hospital report seeing a few wintery problems for pets in the ER over the last few days. Some you might not have expected.

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The Two-Way
3:50 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

With Department Steeped In Scandal, L.A. County Sheriff Will Retire

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca announces his unexpected retirement on Tuesday in Los Angeles, Calif.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 5:55 pm

With his department steeped in scandal, Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca announced he would retire at the end of the month.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Baca said he would not seek reelection for a fifth term as sheriff.

"The reasons for doing so are so many. Some are most personal and private, but the prevailing one is the negative perception this upcoming campaign has brought to the exemplary service provided to the men and women of the Sheriff's Department," Baca said.

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Music Reviews
3:49 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Peter Gabriel's Favorite Artists Remake His Music From 'Scratch'

Peter Gabriel's 2010 covers album Scratch My Back is complemented this year by a multi-artist tribute album, And I'll Scratch Yours.
Michele Turriani Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 8:06 pm

In 2010, Peter Gabriel released the first half of a two-part project, singing favorite songs written by living musicians. He titled it Scratch My Back. Now comes the sequel, titled And I'll Scratch Yours. It features most of the acts whose songs he covered, returning the favor by performing Peter Gabriel songs.

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Health
2:48 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Mindfulness Meditation Can Help Relieve Anxiety And Depression

Western medicine has questioned the medical benefits of meditation.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 8:38 am

People are increasingly turning to mindfulness mediation to manage health issues, and meditation classes are being offered through schools and hospitals.

But doctors have questioned whether this ancient Eastern practice really offers measurable health benefits. A fresh review of the evidence should help sort that out.

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Around the Nation
2:15 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

It's So Cold That You Might Need A Sweater To Read This

Passengers wait on a train platform in Chicago in below-zero temperatures.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 3:36 pm

It was in the single digits in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday morning, and that seems warm compared with some places around the country. Cities in the northern part of the country, like Minneapolis, saw the temperature dip well below zero — and coupled with wind chills, it felt like minus 60 in some places.

Around the country, flights have been canceled and schools have closed. Even activities people might take for granted in some towns are suffering. Because of the polar vortex:

1. It's hard to ski in Minnesota

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The Two-Way
1:26 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Venezuelan Beauty Queen, Telenovela Star Killed In Robbery

The former Miss Venezuela and telenovela star Mónica Spear and her husband were killed after gunman opened fire during what police say was an attempted robbery in Venezuela on Tuesday.

The AP reports:

"It said the couple's 5-year-old daughter was in stable condition after getting medical attention for unspecified injuries."

"The family lived in the United States and was on vacation. Local news reports said they were awaiting a tow truck."

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