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WASHINGTON (AP) — Some call it wishful thinking, but President Barack Obama has all but declared an end to the global war on terror.

Obama isn't claiming final victory over extremists who still seek to kill Americans and other Westerners. Instead, he's steering the United States away from what he calls an equally frightening threat: a country in a state of perpetual war.

He gave a landmark speech Thursday in which he sought to refine and recalibrate his counterterrorism strategy.

The president asserted that al-Qaida is "on the path to defeat," reducing the scale of terrorism to pre-Sept. 11 levels.

That means that with the Afghanistan war winding down, Obama is unlikely to commit troops in large numbers to any conflict unless, as his critics fear, he tragically has underestimated al-Qaida's staying power.

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EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — A Las Vegas man is accused in Illinois of a timeshare scam that federal prosecutors say bilked $10 million from more than 3,000 victims across the United States, Canada and other countries.

A grand jury in East St. Louis has indicted 37-year-old Michael Patrick Sullivan on conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud charges. The fraud allegedly took place from December 2006 to January 2012.

The indictment alleges that Sullivan's Vacation Max telemarketing company falsely represented it found corporate buyers interested in acquiring blocks of timeshare units.

The company solicited fees of up to several thousand dollars from each timeshare owner in purported pre-paid closing costs and related expenses, but no sales actually occurred.

Online court records don't show whether he has an attorney.

Saturday, 25 May 2013 08:04
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ST. LOUIS (AP) — Two crew members from a tow boat, including one who died, have been honored for their efforts to save a family of five after the family's boat became disabled on the Mississippi River at St. Louis.

The U.S. Coast Guard hosted a ceremony Friday to honor Jarvise Shelton and Kyle Hardman. Coast Guard officials say the pleasure craft was in "imminent peril" last year when Shelton and Hardman launched a small boat to save the family.

The rescue boat capsized, killing Hardman. Shelton and crew members from three other tows were able to save the family.

Shelton was presented the Coast Guard's Gold Lifesaving Medal during a ceremony in Alton, Illinois. Hardman's survivors will receive his medal at a later date.

Saturday, 25 May 2013 08:01
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Voters in southeast Missouri voters are running out of time to request absentee ballots by mail or fax for next month's congressional election.

The special election to replace Republican Jo Ann Emerson in the 8th Congressional District takes place June 4. Emerson gave up her seat in the U.S. House to lead a national association of rural electric cooperatives.

Secretary of State Jason Kander says voters unable to go the polls June 4th have until 5 p.m. Wednesday, May 29th, to get applications for absentee ballots to their local election authority.

Absentee ballots may be cast at county clerks' offices through June 3rd.

The four candidates in the race are Republican Jason Smith, Democrat Steve Hodges, Libertarian Bill Slantz and Constitution Party member Doug Enyart

Saturday, 25 May 2013 07:59
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