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Gambling nuke commander linked to fake poker chips

WASHINGTON — The admiral fired last year as No. 2 commander of U.S. nuclear forces may have made his own counterfeit $500 poker chips with paint and stickers to feed a gambling habit that eventually saw him banned from an entire network of casinos, according to a criminal investigative report obtained by The Associated Press.

Obama broadens mission in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON — U.S. troops in Afghanistan may once again engage Taliban fighters, not just al-Qaida terrorists, under new guidelines quietly approved by President Barack Obama, administration officials say.

New Mexico spaceport sets sights on new customers

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The scramble to get everything ready for the launch of the world’s first commercial flights from Spaceport America came to a screeching halt nearly a month ago when Virgin Galactic’s spaceship broke up over the California desert during a test flight.

Official: Ferguson grand jury still meeting

FERGUSON, Mo. — Activists, authorities and the family of Michael Brown called for calm Friday as a grand jury drew closer to an announcement in the Ferguson police shooting. But it was unclear whether the panel was still at work or when it would render a decision.

ISIS drive for Kobani blunted

BEIRUT — More than two months into its assault on Kobani, the Islamic State group is still pouring fighters and resources into trying to capture the besieged Syrian Kurdish town, but the drive has been blunted.

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Obama to announce immigration action today

WASHINGTON — In a broad test of his executive powers, President Barack Obama declared Wednesday he will sidestep Congress and order his own federal action on immigration — in measures that could spare from deportation as many as 5 million people illegally in the U.S. and set up one of the most pitched partisan confrontations of his presidency.