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JERUSALEM (AP) — The son of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon says his father "went when he decided to go." The 85-year-old Sharon died today after spending the last eight years of his life in a coma following a stroke.

The hospital that had been treating him says Sharon had had "ups and downs" during his years in a condition defined as "minimal consciousness."

The hospital said last week that Sharon's health was declining as he began to suffer failure of vital organs including his kidneys.

The hard-charging Sharon was one of Israel's most iconic figures.

After a distinguished, and controversial, military career, he went into politics and held a number of Cabinet posts.

He was elected prime minister in 2001, and despite his hardline views, led Israel's historic withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005.

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Democrats want to make an increase in the minimum wage a major campaign issue in 2014, but in California a proposal to push the mark to $12 an hour is coming from a registered Republican who once tried to unseat Gov. Pete Wilson.

Silicon Valley entrepreneur Ron Unz says a wage jump would nourish the economy and lift low-paid workers from dependency on food stamps and other government aid.

Democrats in Congress are pushing a bill to raise the $7.25 federal minimum to over $10 an hour.

Unz is a former publisher of The American Conservative magazine with a history of against-the-grain political activity, including pushing a 1998 ballot proposal that dismantled California's bilingual education system.

His proposal has not yet qualified for the state ballot.

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — University of Missouri wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham has been arrested and released in an incident police say is tied to illegal drugs.

Springfield, Mo., police representative Anthony Cunis says Green-Beckham was arrested early Saturday on "suspicion of drug activity." Cunis says the investigation is ongoing and declined to provide more information regarding the arrest or whether charges had been filed. He says the department will release more information on the case Monday.

An official with the Greene County Jail confirms that Green-Beckham was booked there Saturday and later released.

Green-Beckham was charged in October 2012 with marijuana possession after he and two teammates were reportedly smoking pot in a campus parking lot near Memorial Stadium. All three later pleaded guilty to second-degree trespassing in the case.

Saturday, 11 January 2014 09:44
Published in Sports
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri Lottery has provided a larger-than-usual payment to public education because of stronger-than-usual sales.

The Lottery transferred $29.2 million to a state education fund Friday. That's the third largest monthly transfer in the Lottery's 28-year history.

Lottery officials cited strong Mega Millions sales in December for a $648 million jackpot. The Lottery also set a weekly record for distributed Scratchers tickets in December.

About one-quarter of every dollar of Lottery sales goes to public education programs. Slightly less than two-thirds of the proceeds go toward prizes.

The Missouri Lottery's largest monthly transfer to education was $30.4 million in April 2012, followed by $30.3 million in June 2013. In both instances, there were large jackpots in nationwide lottery games and strong sales for Missouri Scratchers tickets.

Saturday, 11 January 2014 09:42
Published in Local News
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