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The depressing durability of hate crime

The tragic shooting last weekend at two Jewish facilities in Kansas City has once again drawn widespread attention to hate groups and hate crimes in the United States. Below, is a round-up of the most recent data on the issue from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the FBI and other sources.

ACLU sues over delays for immigrants seeking US protection

Thousands of immigrants seeking protection in the United States have spent months in detention waiting for the government to determine whether they may have legitimate cases, even though regulations say they should receive a determination within 10 days, according to a class action lawsuit filed Thursday by the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups.

Identical twins, one case of Down syndrome: a genetic mystery

A rare occurrence in the earliest days of a pregnancy produces an unusual and mystifying outcome: Identical twin fetuses are conceived of the same meeting of egg and sperm. And despite their shared DNA, one of the twins has Down syndrome (the most common genetic cause of intellectual impairment), but the other does not.

New procedure clones stem cells from adults

Scientists have grown stem cells from adults using cloning techniques for the first time — bringing them closer to developing patient-specific lines of cells that can be used to treat a whole host of ailments, from heart disease to blindness.

Salmonella decline seen in food poisoning report

NEW YORK — The government’s latest report card on food poisoning shows a dip in salmonella cases but an increase in illnesses from bacteria in raw shellfish. The report counts cases in only 10 states for some of the most common causes of foodborne illness, but is believed to be a good indicator of national food poisoning trends.

Avatar lures pedophiles in uphill battle against child porn online

LONDON — Sweetie looks much like other unfortunate young Filipinas. Just 10 years old, her user profile shows, she spends her days online fielding requests from men who offer her money to perform sexual acts in front of a webcam. When she logs on, invitations pour in — “Are you a working girl?” or “I’m into girls your age” — from strangers keen to get her into a private show via Skype or Yahoo! Messenger.

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Truck on fire before deadly bus crash

ORLAND, Calif. — A couple said a FedEx tractor-trailer was already on fire when it careened across a median, sideswiped their car and slammed into a bus carrying high school students, adding a new twist to the investigation of a crash that killed 10 people.

Obama names budget chief as new health secretary

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama named White House budget director Sylvia Mathews Burwell to take over the Department of Health and Human Services on Friday, saying there was “no manager as experienced and as competent” to oversee the next phase of his signature health care law.