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   JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Farmers in a dozen Missouri counties could be eligible for emergency loans through the U.S. Agriculture Department for damage from severe spring weather.

   Gov. Jay Nixon's office said Tuesday the federal agency has declared natural disasters for the counties because of severe storms, high winds and flooding.

   The northern counties of Clark, Harrison, Mercer, Putnam, Schuyler, Scotland and Worth are eligible because they border primary disaster areas in Iowa hit by severe weather in the second half of April.

   In eastern Missouri, five counties are eligible because they border primary disaster areas in Illinois that were affected by severe weather between April 16 and May 5. Those counties are Lincoln, Marion, Pike, Ralls and St. Charles.

   Farmers should document losses or additional costs caused by the weather between those dates.

Wednesday, 05 June 2013 05:52
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SPRINGFIELD, IL (AP) — The Illinois attorney general's office says the federal appellate court has given the state an extra 30 days to lift its ban on concealed weapons.

The court on Tuesday granted Attorney General Lisa Madigan's request to allow Gov. Pat Quinn more time to review legislation passed last week.

However, on issuing its ruling, the court said it would not issue another extension of its mandate past the new deadline of July 9.

Illinois was the last state in the union banning the concealed carrying of guns when, in December, the court struck down the ban. The court gave lawmakers until June 8 to legalize the concealed carry of firearms.

Madigan said the Sunday date would have shortened the time set in the state constitution to allow Quinn to review legislation.

Wednesday, 05 June 2013 05:32
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Republican state House member Jason Smith has won a special election for a vacant congressional seat in southeast Missouri.

Smith defeated Democratic state Rep. Steve Hodges on Tuesday in the reliably Republican 8th Congressional District. He will succeed Republican Jo Ann Emerson, who resigned in January to lead the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

Smith, who turns age 33 later this month, will be one of the younger members of Congress. He served the past seven years in the state House, where he rose to the No. 2 ranking official. He owns a family livestock farm, is an attorney and also is a partner in a real estate business.

During his campaign, Smith emphasized a fiscally conservative philosophy and called for the repeal of President Barack Obama's health care law.

Wednesday, 05 June 2013 05:19
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   ISLAMABAD (AP) - Pakistan's newly-elected prime minister is calling for an end to American drone strikes in tribal areas.

   Nawaz Sharif's call came in his first speech in parliament, minutes after lawmakers elected him the country's premier.

   But he gave little details on how he might bring about an end to the strikes, which many in Pakistan have called an affront to the country's sovereignty.

   The U.S. considers the strikes vital to battling militants such as al-Qaida, who use the tribal areas of Pakistan as a safe haven.

   Sharif's comments are in line with previous statements he has made calling for an end to the controversial strikes.

 

   

 
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