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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Education officials in the nation's second-largest school district are working to reboot a $1 billion plan to put an iPad in the hands of each of their 650,000 students after an embarrassing glitch emerged when the first round of tablets went out.

Instead of solving math problems or doing English homework, as administrators envisioned, more than 300 Los Angeles Unified School District students promptly cracked the security settings and started tweeting, posting to Facebook and playing video games.

Such problems have both critics and supporters questioning whether LAUSD officials were being hasty or overreaching in their attempt to distribute iPads throughout the district's more than 1,000 campuses by next year.

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BALLWIN, Mo. (AP) — Experts in eating disorders are concerned about an Internet-fueled trend in which teenage girls and young women pursue an elusive and possibly dangerous weight-loss goal: to become so slender that their thighs don't touch even when their feet are together.

Specialists say achieving a so-called thigh gap is risky and virtually impossible. But some exceptionally thin models have a gap, which is upheld as a beauty achievement on countless websites, blogs and other social media.

Doctors and counselors worry that the trend is contributing to a growing number of teens and 20-somethings with disorders such as anorexia.

Doctor Vonda Wright is a Pittsburgh-based orthopedic surgeon and fitness expert. She says the spacing between a person's legs is based mostly on genetics. And even many thin people can't achieve a gap.

Saturday, 05 October 2013 08:44
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CHICAGO (AP) — More than 150,000 people have visited a state website to learn if they qualify for Medicaid or to buy health insurance on a new online marketplace.

The marketplaces are a key part of President Barack Obama's signature health care law, which were launched Tuesday.

Kelly Sullivan is a spokeswoman for Illinois' site, Get Covered Illinois.

She said as of Friday, about 12,000 people have submitted applications for Medicaid after completing an online screening tool.

But glitches continue on the federal site where Illinoisans may comparison shop for insurance. The government has said it's working to address the problems.

Sullivan says the state is working on educating residents about the health care law and will step up advertising once the federal site can handle increased demand.

Saturday, 05 October 2013 08:40
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ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Symphony is offering free tickets this weekend to furloughed federal workers.

The symphony said Friday that the gesture seeks to show support to those directly affected by the federal government shutdown.

The shows on Saturday and Sunday feature the works of American composers George Gershwin and John Adams.

Each federal employee can obtain two tickets, which must be picked up in person at the Powell Hall Box Office. A valid federal ID is required.

Saturday, 05 October 2013 08:37
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