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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Former U.S. Sen. Kit Bond has been hired by a state business association to lobby his fellow Republicans in the state Legislature in support of a Medicaid expansion.
Bond's lobbying firm is being paid by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Chamber President Dan Mehan says the group hopes to capitalize on Bond's reputation and political connections to persuade reluctant Republican lawmakers that Medicaid expansion is a good idea.
Missouri's Republican-led Legislature has repeatedly rejected calls to extend Medicaid eligibility to an estimated 300,000 additional lower-income adults.
The expansion has been backed by Gov. Jay Nixon and his fellow Democratic lawmakers.
States that expand Medicaid eligibility can receive enhanced federal payments under the terms of President Barack Obama's health care law.
Friday, 24 January 2014 10:35
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The sale of "I'm Pet Friendly" license plates has raised more than $100,000 since 2009 for a pet spay and neuter program in Missouri.  
Through each specialty plate that is sold, $20 is donated to the program. The Missouri Department of Agriculture says that last year, the program provided $20,000 worth of grants for animal shelters, humane societies and non-profit rescue groups.
The money is used to spay and neuter pets before they are adopted or to help low-income owners who can't afford to fix their animals.
The department is accepting grant applications through the end of February. Last year's recipients include organizations located in Ava, Fenton, Cadet, Sedalia, Ray County, Richmond, Kansas City, Perryville and Rolla.
Friday, 24 January 2014 10:26
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   CAIRO (AP) — Three bombings hit high-profile areas around Cairo on Friday, including a suicide car bomber who struck the city's police headquarters, killing five people in the first major attack on the Egyptian capital as insurgents step up a campaign of violence following the ouster of the Islamist president.
   Nobody claimed responsibility for the attacks, but they bore the hallmarks of Islamic extremists who have increasingly targeted police and the military since the July 3 coup against Mohammed Morsi and a fierce crackdown on his supporters led by the Muslim Brotherhood.
   The explosions struck as the country was on high alert ahead of the third anniversary of the Jan. 25 start of the 2011 uprising that toppled autocratic leader Hosni Mubarak. Morsi's supporters had vowed to use the event to gain momentum in their efforts turn to a new momentum to "break the coup."
   Friday's violence began when a suicide bomber rammed a car into cement blocks surrounding the main Egyptian police headquarters in the heart of Cairo, killing at least four people and sending billows of black smoke into the sky. The blast also tore through nearby buildings, including the renowned Museum of Islamic Art.
   Egypt's antiquities minister, Mohammed Ibrahim, said the explosion badly damaged the facade of the 19th century museum and artifacts inside, including a rare collection of Islamic art objects dating back to 1881. He said the museum, which was recently renovated in a multimillion dollar project, will have to be "rebuilt."
   As a large number of ambulances rushed to the scene, an Associated Press photographer saw about six police officers weeping as they on the sidewalk outside the building. Small parts of a vehicle were scattered on the road and a blanket covered a corpse — which officers said was the suicide bomber.
   Several floors of the high-rise security building were wrecked, air conditioning units dangled from broken windows, and the pavement outside was covered with piles of shattered glass, pieces of bricks and rocks. The facade of the adjacent Islamic Art Museum and a court house were also damaged along with shops and cars in the area.
   Egypt's Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim described the attack "vile terrorist act" and vowed, "it will not discourage the police from continuing their fierce war against the black terrorism."
   The Interior Ministry cordoned off the building, which is located in a busy district, as rescue teams worked to extract victims trapped in the rubble. Security forces went on high alert, and closed the central Tahrir Square and main roads, including the one leading to the Interior Ministry.
   The Health Ministry said in a statement that four people were killed and nearly 50 wounded.
   About two hours later, another bomb struck a police car on patrol near a metro station near the Russian Culture Center elsewhere in Cairo, killing one person and wounding eight others, officials said.
   A third, smaller blast targeted the Talbiya police station about four kilometers (two miles) from the famous Giza Pyramids but caused no casualties, officials said.
   The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
   The attacks came a day after the country's military and security leaders marked Police Day depicting security forces as national heroes battling terrorism.
   The military-backed government has blamed the Brotherhood for past attacks and designated it as a terrorist organization. The group has denied the accusations as baseless.
   The most prominent attacks were a failed assassination attempt on the interior minister in Cairo in September and the December suicide car bombing that targeted a security headquarters in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura, leaving nearly 16 dead, most of them policemen.
   An al-Qaida-inspired group called Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, or the Champions of Jerusalem, has claimed responsibility for most of the recent attacks, saying they aimed to avenge the killings of Morsi's supporters in the months-long heavy security crackdown on protesters demanding his reinstatement and denouncing the coup.
   A Brotherhood-led coalition had planned protests after Friday prayers across the country as part of their near-daily demonstrations against Morsi's overthrow and the recent vote on the country's rewritten constitution.
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   BURBANK, Calif. (AP) — House Speaker John Boehner says he likes his life too much to run for president.
   Making his first appearance Thursday night on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," Boehner was asked by the host whether he'd ever consider seeking the nation's highest office.
   "No," Boehner said immediately. "No?" Leno said. "No," Boehner repeated.
   "Listen, I like to play golf," Boehner said by way of explanation. "I like to cut my own grass. You know, I do drink red wine. I smoke cigarettes. And I'm not giving that up to be the President of the United States."
   The line got a round of applause from the Burbank, Calif. audience.
   Boehner also got a laugh when he was asked if GOP infighting in Washington is the worst that he's seen.
   "Oh, no, it's, well, maybe it is," Boehner said. "Probably. Yeah, probably."
   But he went on to downplay the conflict.
   "The funny thing about the so called infighting is that we agree on all the goals," the speaker said. "We think Obamacare is bad for the country. We think we shouldn't spend more than what we bring in. We think the President is ignoring the law. It's all a fight over tactics. It's not over what our goals are."
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