AP U.S. NewsBrief at 2:47 p.m. EST
(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Schilling's bloody sock going up for auctionPROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) _ Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling _ whose video game company underwent a spectacular collapse into bankruptcy last year _ is selling the blood-stained sock he wore during the 2004 World Series. Chris Ivy, director of sports for Texas-based Heritage Auctions, says online bidding begins around Feb. 4. Live bidding will take place Feb. 23.
Maine Sen. King: No strong reason to oppose HagelBOSTON (AP) _ Maine Sen. Angus King said Thursday that he sees no strong reason to oppose President Barack Obama's pick for secretary of defense. The newly elected senator, an independent, said in an interview with The Associated Press that he won't make a final decision on former Sen. Chuck Hagel's nomination until confirmation hearings are finished. King serves as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, which is scheduled to hold a confirmation hearing on Jan. 31.
Judge requiring Bales to undergo sanity reviewSEATTLE (AP) _ The military judge overseeing the case of Staff Sgt. Robert Bales said Thursday that he will require Bales to undergo an official review of his sanity before he can present any mental health defense to charges of massacring Afghan civilians. Bales deferred entering a plea Thursday at Joint Base Lewis-McChord to 16 counts of premeditated murder and other charges related to a nighttime attack on two villages last March.
Tax fraud a popular pastime among prison inmatesWASHINGTON (AP) _ Tax fraud appears to be a popular pastime in the nation's prisons, but the Internal Revenue Service is catching on. The IRS detected more than 173,000 fraudulent tax returns from prison inmates last year, many of them using stolen identities and other false information in an attempt to get tax refunds. That's more than twice the number of fraudulent returns detected from inmates in 2010, according to a report Thursday by the Treasury Department's inspector general for tax administration.
Judge dismisses terror charges against Fla. clericMIAMI (AP) _ Citing a lack of evidence, a federal judge on Thursday dismissed terrorism support and conspiracy charges against the younger of two Muslim clerics accused of funneling thousands of dollars to the Pakistani Taliban. U.S. District Judge Robert Scola ruled that "no rational trier of fact" could convict 26-year-old Izhar Khan, who is imam at a mosque in suburban Margate north of Fort Lauderdale. Trial is continuing against his father, 77-year-old Hafiz Khan. Scola said the evidence against the older Khan is much stronger.
Family: $22.5M police settlement 'bittersweet'CHICAGO (AP) _ The parents of a California woman who was raped and injured after Chicago police released her from custody in a troubled neighborhood despite her obvious mental problems said Thursday that a $22.5 million settlement with the city is a "bittersweet victory" that will help pay for her extensive continuing therapy. The payout is the largest settlement for police misconduct in the city's history. It was approved Thursday by the City Council at the same time as the settlement of another police abuse case, this one $10.25 million to a man who spent 26 years in prison for a murder he didn't commit.
PROMISES, PROMISES: Obama curbs ambition this timeWASHINGTON (AP) _ Despite a relentless workload ahead, President Barack Obama is lighter on his feet in one sense as he opens his second term. Gone are the hundreds of promises of the past. He's toting carry-ons instead of heavy cargo this time. Obama's first presidential campaign and the years that followed were distinguished by an overflowing ambition, converted into a checklist of things he swore to do. The list was striking not only for its length but its breadth, ranging from tidbits in forgotten corners of public policy to grand _ even grandiose _ pronouncements worthy of Moses.
Sheriffs, state lawmakers push back on gun controlGRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) _ From Oregon to Mississippi, President Barack Obama's proposed ban on new assault weapons and large-capacity magazines struck a nerve among rural lawmen and lawmakers, many of whom vowed to ignore any restrictions _ and even try to stop federal officials from enforcing gun policy in their jurisdictions. "A lot of sheriffs are now standing up and saying, `Follow the Constitution,'" said Josephine County Sheriff Gil Gilbertson, whose territory covers the timbered mountains of southwestern Oregon.
Dartmouth College ending Advanced Placement creditCONCORD, N.H. (AP) _ High school students hoping to earn college credits through Advanced Placement exams soon will be out of luck at Dartmouth College, which has concluded the tests aren't as rigorous as its own classes. The Ivy League school currently awards credit in some academic subjects for qualifying scores on Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and A-level exams. But after nearly a decade of discussion, faculty recently voted to end the practice starting with the class of 2018.
Can Obama keep warmer inauguration weather pledge WASHINGTON (AP) _ It will be the first up or down fact check of a Barack Obama campaign pledge for his second term: Promised warmer Inauguration Day weather. Will he _ or Mother Nature _ deliver It's looking like an uncomfortably close call _ the emphasis on the word uncomfortable for people who will be outside on what's predicted to be a downright chilly day.
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