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   HONOLULU (AP) — The Obama administration says its rehabilitated health insurance website has seen a December surge in customer sign-ups, pushing enrollment past the 1 million mark.
   Independent experts say that should put total enrollment in the new private insurance plans offered on both federal and state-run markets at about 2 million people through the end of the year.
   That would be about two-thirds of the administration's original goal of signing up 3.3 million by Dec. 31, and would represent a significant improvement given the technical problems that crippled the federal market during much of the fall. The overall goal remains to enroll 7 million people by March 31.
 
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   MOSCOW (AP) - Russia's main investigative agency says a Volgograd bus explosion was caused by a suicide bomber and officials raised the death toll to 14.
   The bombing comes a day after 17 people died in a railway station bombing also blamed on a suicide bomber.
   Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said in a statement that Monday's explosion on an electric bus involved a similar bomb, proving a link between the two attacks.
   Public health officials said that at least 14 people were killed in explosion during morning rush hour.
   No one has claimed responsibility for either bombing, but they came a few months after Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov threatened new attacks against civilian targets in Russia, including Olympics in Sochi in February.
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WESTMINSTER, Calif. (AP) — The end of unemployment checks for more than a million jobless Americans has driven people to consider selling cars, moving and taking minimum wage work after already slashing household budgets and pawning personal possessions.

The change affected 1.3 million people on Saturday and will affect hundreds of thousands more who remain jobless in the months ahead.

The Obama administration and Democrats in Congress want to continue the program but the extensions were dropped from a budget deal earlier this month. Republican lawmakers have balked at the program's $26 billion annual cost.

Greg and Barbara Chastain of Huntington Beach, Calif. say they have exhausted their state unemployment benefits since losing work in June and now may uproot their family and move to save on rent.

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Ferry stops service on Mississippi River

  MEYER, Ill. (AP) — A farm cooperative has shut down a ferry service that shuttled agricultural products and other goods across the Mississippi River between western I...

Pepsi franchise to open center in Cape Girardeau

Pepsi franchise to open center in Cape Girardeau

  CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) — A Pepsi franchise is planning to build a new customer service center in Cape Girardeau (juh-RAHR'-doh) that could create 74 jobs. The M...

Man charged in Kansas City-area highway shootings

  KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a Kansas City-area man has been charged with 18 felony counts in connection with about a dozen recent random highway shootings...

Molina's error hurts Cardinals in 3-1 loss to Nats

  WASHINGTON (AP) -- There's a simple reason St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Michael Wacha felt comfortable putting a changeup in the ground with the bases loaded in the se...

St. Louis priest accused of having sex with minor

St. Louis priest accused of having sex with minor

St. Louis, MO (KTRS) - A St. Louis priest is accused of having sex with a minor at the Cathedral Basilica, where he served.   Reverend Joseph Jiang was arrested on ...

Missouri man in custody after clerical error frees him from prison

Missouri man in custody after clerical error frees him …

ST. LOUIS (AP) - A Missouri man who avoided prison because of a clerical error and led a law-abiding life for 13 years said he is overwhelmed by the support he's received since ...

Hazelwood voters could vote on new utility tax

Hazelwood voters could vote on new utility tax

St. Louis, MO (KTRS) - Hazelwood residents could soon have the chance to vote on a proposed utility tax.   Currently, Hazelwood is the only St. Louis County municip...

Courts moving away from eyewitness testimony as gold standard

Courts moving away from eyewitness testimony as gold st…

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Courts and legislatures are slowly shifting away from using eyewitness testimony as the gold standard of evidence. The reason: Studies show it's only right...

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