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Conservatives resist gay marriage ruling

WASHINGTON — Conservatives responded forcefully to the Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage, but nowhere more so than in Texas, which openly defied the ruling.

Two victims of massacre mourned

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. — South Carolina took a small step toward healing the wounds of last week’s massacre at a historic black church in Charleston as mourners gathered for the funerals of two of the nine victims.

Guard helped escapees in exchange for snitching, art

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. — A guard charged in the upstate New York escape of two inmates said he allowed them into the prison’s internal catwalks, which they later used to flee, in return for snitching on other inmates, according to court documents.

GOP to keep fighting ACA

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Republicans will keep attacking the Affordable Care Act in Congress and on the presidential election campaign trail to energize right-wing voters and raise money, but analysts said there was little chance of the healthcare law being rolled back before 2017 now that the Supreme Court has again validated it.

Mississippi’s Wicker seeks more unifying state flag

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Mississippi Republican Senator Roger Wicker said on Wednesday that his state’s flag, which features a Confederate battle emblem in its upper left corner, should be replaced with one that is more unifying.

Kerry heads to Vienna for Iran nuclear talks

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will fly to Vienna on Friday to take part in Iran nuclear talks ahead of a self-imposed June 30 deadline, U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a statement.

U.S. likely to file hate crime charges

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Justice Department likely will file federal hate crime charges against the suspect in the recent South Carolina church shooting, the New York Times reported on Wednesday, citing law enforcement officials.

Slain pastor-politician is mourned

COLUMBIA — The body of Rev. Clementa Pinckney, the state senator and pastor gunned down with eight others in Charleston last week, was taken on Wednesday to the South Carolina capitol to lie in state inside the rotunda.

Bomber speaks: ‘I am sorry for the lives I have taken’

BOSTON — Speaking for the first time publicly about the explosives he and his brother set off at the finish line of the Boston Marathon two years ago, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev apologized for the bombings and to the victims of the worst terrorist attack in the U.S. since Sept. 11.

Battle over Confederate flag unfurls

COLUMBIA, S.C. — An initiative to remove the Confederate flag from the South Carolina State House grounds picked up steam on Tuesday, a week after the massacre of nine black church members, and criticism over the emblem long associated with slavery spread to other U.S. southern states.

Top court rules for farmers over raisin program

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Monday in favor of California farmers challenging a Depression-era federal program that requires raisin producers to put aside a proportion of their crop without guaranteed compensation.

Texas enacts ban on shark fin trade

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas has banned the trade of shark fins in the state, a move that could end its status as one of the main U.S. centers of activity for the product prized as a delicacy in Chinese cuisine.

Nun who broke into Tenn. nuclear facility likely to stay free

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. - An elderly Catholic nun convicted of breaking into a Tennessee nuclear facility will likely stay out of prison after prosecutors decided on Monday not to pursue sabotage charges rejected by an appellate court.

Obama administration sees health benefits from climate action

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The health and economic benefits of global climate change policies outweigh the impacts of taking no action, the Obama administration said Monday in a new report, which was released as Congress tries to weaken some of those policies this week.

Hunt for escapees focuses on burglarized cabin

CADYVILLE, N.Y. — The 2-week-old search for two escaped murderers focused on a rural area about 20 miles away from the upstate New York prison they fled, authorities said on Monday, after evidence reportedly showed the pair had been inside a burglarized cabin.

White rights’ group leader cited by shooter donated to GOP

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The head of a white supremacist group cited by the alleged killer of nine people at a black South Carolina church last week has given thousands of dollars to several 2016 Republican presidential candidates, according to media reports.

Activists urge South Carolina to take down rebel flag

CHARLESTON, S.C. — South Carolina should remove the Confederate battle flag from the state capitol grounds, religious and local elected leaders urged on Monday, after a white gunman last week allegedly shot dead nine black worshippers at a historic Charleston church.