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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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   BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian State TV is reporting that President Bashar Assad's army is now in full control of the embattled border town of Qusair, where fighting raged with rebels for nearly three weeks.

   The state TV said on Wednesday that regime troops "restored security and peace" after successfully dismantling the "terrorist networks" operating in the town over the last few days.

   Lebanon's Al-Mayadeen TV, which has reporters embedded with Syrian troops, was reporting live from the town, showing images of damaged buildings. The reporter said there was no sign of fighting.

   Government troops, backed by Lebanon's Hezbollah fighters, began a wide offensive on the strategic town, which lies near the Lebanese border, on May 19.

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