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Colin Jeffery

Colin Jeffery

CHICAGO (AP) — A number of Midwestern states are awakening to the threat of a high risk of severe thunderstorms.

The National Weather Service says parts of Illinois, Indiana, southern Michigan and western Ohio are at the greatest risk of seeing tornadoes, large hail and damaging winds Sunday.

The agency says strong winds and atmospheric instability will sweep across the Central Plains during the day before pushing into the Mid-Atlantic states and northeast by evening.

It says the potential for strong and long-track tornadoes will center on the Ohio Valley and adjacent Midwestern states.

Many of the storms are expected to become supercells, with the potential to produce tornadoes, large hail and destructive winds.

The weather service says local and state authorities are monitoring the weather.

Birds of prey seize the day in battle with gulls

Saturday, 16 November 2013 10:32 Published in National News

BREA, Calif. (AP) — The Olinda Alpha landfill in suburban Southern California has declared war on nuisance birds. But rather than use high-tech scarecrows, the massive dump in Brea has hired a falconer to fly his birds of prey to scare away the seagulls.

It's part of an explosion in falconry for profit in recent years, with one-time hobbyists launching their raptors into the skies above vineyards, farms, landfills, shopping complexes and golf courses nationwide.

Recent changes in federal guidelines have created a niche industry in the past five years.

Since 2007, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has granted 99 special permits to use captive-bred birds of prey for "bird abatement." Companies from California to Texas promise a no-kill, natural solution to cities, wineries and landfills harassed by gulls, grackles and starlings.

NJ Christie's political move disappoints mentor

Saturday, 16 November 2013 10:27 Published in National News

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie seldom makes a political miscalculation.

But when the likely 2016 presidential candidate tried to dump Tom Kean Jr. as state Senate Republican leader, he suffered a rare defeat — and alienated his political mentor, the popular former Gov. Tom Kean Sr.

The elder Kean, who is 78, tells The Associated Press Christie's maneuver surprised and disappointed him.

The question of the governor's loyalty has come up before.

His 2012 Republican National Convention speech was panned as self-serving. Christie's allegiance to Mitt Romney was questioned again when the governor embraced President Obama days before the election.

Obama's win — and Romney's loss — gives a Republican like Christie an open shot at the party's presidential nomination in 2016.

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