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SeaWorld suspends employee accused of infiltrating PETA

SAN DIEGO — SeaWorld said on Thursday that it has suspended a San Diego-based employee while the theme park’s lawyers investigate accusations that he infiltrated an animal rights group in a bid to undermine its work.

Jury finds Colorado movie gunman guilty

CENTENNIAL, Colo. — Colorado movie massacre gunman James Holmes was found guilty on Thursday of multiple counts of first-degree murder and attempted murder, a verdict that enables prosecutors to seek the death penalty for the former graduate student who killed a dozen people and wounded 70 at a midnight premiere of a Batman film in 2012.

Senate passes revamp of ‘No Child Left Behind’ bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Senate on Thursday approved a bill that would give states more flexibility in setting their own standards for measuring student and school performance, part of an effort to overhaul a controversial Bush administration law.

Democratic candidate Clinton pessimistic about Iran deal

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton offered her most pessimistic assessment yet of the Iran nuclear deal on Thursday, telling supporters the United States should not trust Tehran to carry out the agreement.

Four Marines, gunman killed in Tenn.

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Four U.S. Marines were killed on Thursday by a gunman who opened fire at two military offices in Chattanooga, Tennessee, before being fatally shot in an attack officials called a brazen, brutal act of domestic terrorism.

Father of children whose mother died in cave collapse killed

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. -- The father of four children whose mother was killed during the partial collapse of an ice cave in Washington state last week was shot to death after a bar fight in California six days later, police said.

Starbucks to open stores in low to mid-income areas

SEATTLE — Starbucks said Thursday it’s opening stores in 15 poor and middle-class inner city locations across the U.S., including one in Ferguson, Mo., as part of its bid to integrate more disadvantaged youths into the workforce.

Sons of Confederacy sees flag controversy as ‘nightmare’

RICHMOND, Va. — The commander in chief of the Sons of Confederate Veterans says he fails to understand the wave of hostility directed at the Confederate flag following the massacre of nine black people at a South Carolina church last month.

Obama: Iran deal is only alternative to more war

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Barack Obama, seeking to sell the Iran nuclear deal to skeptical U.S. lawmakers and nervous allies, insisted on Wednesday the landmark agreement was the only alternative to a nuclear arms race and more war in the Middle East.

France says it foiled jihadist attack on military sites

PARIS — Security forces prevented an attack on French military installations this week by arresting four people whose leader had links to jailed jihadists, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said on Wednesday.

Officials call for bus safety changes after fiery crash

ORLAND, Calif. — A fiery crash between a FedEx truck and a bus carrying high school students that killed 10 people in California has led U.S. officials to call for safety measures to make it easier for passengers to escape a burning motor coach.

U.S. spacecraft sails by Pluto, capping 9-year journey

LAUREL, Md. — A U.S. spacecraft sailed past the tiny planet Pluto in the most distant reaches of the solar system Tuesday, capping a journey of 3 billion miles that began nine and a half years ago.

Media to challenge judge’s sealing of Charleston church murder case

CHARLESTON, S.C. — The South Carolina Press Association is challenging a judge’s order sealing court documents concerning Dylann Roof, the 21-year-old man charged with murdering nine worshippers at a historic black church in Charleston last month, the group said.

Board weighs case of alleged al-Qaeda member

ARLINGTON, Va. — A Yemeni man suspected of being a member of al Qaeda, who has been held at Guantanamo Bay military prison since 2002, faced a U.S. national security board on Tuesday to determine if he should be transferred out of the prison.

Four prisoners escape from jail, two recaptured

JACKSON, Miss. — Law enforcement officers in Mississippi have apprehended two of four prisoners who broke out of a county jail and they are now searching for their accomplices, police said on Tuesday.

U.S. judge dismisses counts in Brown family lawsuit

FERGUSON, Mo. — A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed four counts in the wrongful-death lawsuit against Ferguson filed by the parents of Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager shot dead last August by a white police officer, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Cinema massacre trial to hear closing arguments

CENTENNIAL, Colo. — Jurors will hear closing arguments on Tuesday in the trial of Colorado movie massacre gunman James Holmes, as they prepare to decide whether he was legally insane or a calculating mass murderer when he killed a dozen people.

Clinton bashes Wall Street, pledges income equality

NEW YORK — Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton took swipes at Wall Street and her Republican rivals on Monday, promising to impose tougher regulations on banks and raise the wages of ordinary Americans if she wins the 2016 White House race.