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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Lawmakers criticized Democratic Governor Jay Nixon's administration this year for not keeping them in the loop when it came to buying a new airplane and setting new policies for drivers' licenses. But that didn't stop the Republican-led Legislature from passing measures that would give the other branches of government power that it once held.

 

   One change would allow Missouri judges to redraw the state's trial court boundaries. Another would let a commission whose members are appointed by the governor change fees paid by businesses to discharge wastewater into rivers and streams.

 

   But the Senate's top Republican says nothing is wrong with giving state departments some flexibility because the Legislature only meets for five months every year.

 

Monday, 27 May 2013 06:45
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   Four adults, two of them coaches with a girls basketball team from St. Louis, are in critical condition after an accident involving the team's van.  

   The crash happened Saturday about 20 miles south of Nashville, Tennessee.  The minivan carrying the St. Louis Lady Monarchs was clipped by another vehicle and then crossed the center line and struck a car.  

   Seven 16 year old girls were injured.  Two small children, ages 1 and 2, were also injured.  All off the children were treated and released from a local hospital.  

   The two coaches and two adults in the oncoming car are hospitalized in critical condition.  Police say none of the injured was wearing a seat belt.  

   The team had been in Tennessee for a basketball tournament.

Monday, 27 May 2013 04:45
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   BEIJING (AP) — U.S. National Security Adviser Tom Donilon began discussions with Chinese officials Monday for a summit between their two presidents that will confront divisive security issues while trying to overcome a growing distrust between the governments.

   Donilon and State Councilor Yang Jiechi, China's senior foreign policy official, said next month's summit is a chance for the U.S.'s Barack Obama and China's Xi Jinping to work through problems. Though they did not identify those challenges in their public remarks, ties are strained across the board, from longstanding differences over Iran's and North Korea's nuclear programs to new disputes over cyber-attacks and China's more assertive pursuit of territorial claims against U.S. allies Japan and the Philippines.

   In a sign that both sides want to stem the drift besetting ties, the summit now scheduled for June 7-8 is taking place months earlier than the two presidents were supposed to meet. It's their first face-to-face meeting since Obama's re-election and Xi's promotion to head of the Communist Party last November. The setting — at the private estate of the late publishing tycoon Walter Annenberg in southern California — is supposed to be informal, giving Xi and Obama and chance to build a rapport.

   That Xi agreed to an informal summit has been seen by Chinese and U.S. experts as positive. His predecessors always preferred formal state visits, splashing images of White House ceremonies and banquets in the Chinese media to bolster their standing as world statesmen.

   Good will aside, distrust has deepened in relations in recent years as the U.S. feels its world leadership challenged and China, its power growing, demands greater deference to its interests and a larger say over global rule-setting. Chinese officials and state media regularly say Washington is thwarting China's rise, strengthening alliances in Asia to hem in Beijing and discouraging Chinese investment in the U.S. on national security issues.

   The official Xinhua News Agency reported Monday that late last week battle ships and submarines from the Chinese navy's three fleets staged a war game in the South China Sea. The area is already a flashpoint, with Beijing's aggressive claims to disputed islands having rattled the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei.

   On Sunday, Li Keqiang — on a visit to Germany in his first trip abroad as China's premier — pressed China's claim to a cluster of East China Sea islands held by Japan. Traveling to Potsdam, where allied powers declared the terms for Japan's surrender 68 years ago in the waning days of World War II, Li told reporters that Japan must not "deny or glorify the history of fascist aggression."

   The aggrieved sense emanating from Beijing goes beyond recent flare-ups in old territorial disputes. The website of the People's Daily, the Communist Party's flagship newspaper, is running a recurring column that takes a critical look at Americans and their institutions. First called "Immoral, dishonest Americans," the title of the column was changed to "The Americans you don't know about."

   State Councilor Yang in welcoming Donilon said his trip helps "in strengthening the bilateral trust and cooperation." Looking toward the summit, Donilon said, "The meeting will be an important opportunity for our presidents to have in-depth discussions about US-China relations, and a wide range of global and regional challenges facing both our countries."

   One item on Donilon's summit agenda is the guest list. Xi will stop in California after formal visits to Trinidad and Tobago and Mexico where he will be accompanied by a large group of senior officials. If that entourage descends in full on the Sunnylands estate, U.S. diplomats said the White House might feel the need to bring similarly large numbers, making the summit less intimate.

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Adrian Gonzalez homered and drove in three runs, Mark Ellis lined a go-ahead double in the sixth inning and the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated St. Louis 5-3 on Saturday to snap the Cardinals' three-game winning streak.

The last-place Dodgers, who had lost five of seven, blew a two-run lead before Ellis' two-out hit off Seth Maness (3-1) scored Carl Crawford from first base to make it 4-3.

Paco Rodriguez (1-2) earned his first major league victory, getting three outs on 10 pitches. Brandon League worked the ninth to earn his 10th save in 12 chances.

The NL Central-leading Cardinals tied the game at 3 on David Freese's broken-bat RBI double and Pete Kozma's infield single in the sixth. Nick Punto made a diving stop behind third base, but he couldn't throw out Kozma.

Sunday, 26 May 2013 08:15
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