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JERUSALEM (AP) — President Barack Obama is set to plunge into the turbulent Middle East on a mission aimed primarily at assuring America's top ally in the region and its friends back home that it will not be forsaken amid bitter domestic political squabbles and budget crises in Washington.

Obama arrives today in Israel for his first visit to the country — and only his second to the Middle East, outside of a quick jaunt to Iraq — since taking office.

He will also be making his first trips as president to the Palestinian Authority and Jordan this week. But on an itinerary laden more with symbolism than substance, an Israel that is increasingly wary of developments in Syria and Iran will be the main focus of his attention.
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A case involving a lab disclosing a patient's HIV-positive status to his employer will go back to trial. The Missouri Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the jury instructions were prejudicial.

The plaintiff, identified in court documents as John Doe 1631, had sued Quest Diagnostics and their Central West End clinical lab after the results of a 2006 blood test were faxed to the Wayman AME Church where the man worked at that time.

Quest had argued that the man had given permission to fax the results because the church's fax number appeared at the top of the doctor's order form. The fax apparently sat in plain view in the church office for several days because the plaintiff was on vacation when it arrived.

He's seeking unspecified punitive damages and compensation for emotional distress.
Wednesday, 20 March 2013 03:16
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The sequester budget cuts will soon be felt in the St. Louis area as more than 4,500 civilian workers at Scott Air Force Base will soon begin furloughs. The Belleville News-Democrat reports that the employees will receive 30 day notices by mail this week.

The furloughs mean affected employees will work only four days each week for 22 weeks, and they'll lose the pay for those 22 days off.

Only civilian employees in jobs essential for base safety and security, like firefighters, will be spared.

The paper reports that budget analyst estimate the furloughs will cost the region at least $28 million in reduced spending. About 5,600 civilians work at Scott Air Force Base.
Wednesday, 20 March 2013 02:41
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One of the biggest hotels in downtown St. Louis is all but shutting down during the busy summer season. The Millennium hotel will close about 600 of their 870 guest rooms for remodeling.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the project had been scheduled to begin this fall, but was pushed up to spring instead. Hotel officials aren't saying why they changed the dates of the planned redo.

The St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission told the paper they'll work with the hotel to relocate some meetings that had been scheduled for the Millennium.
Wednesday, 20 March 2013 02:34
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