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EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) - A southwestern Illinois martial arts instructor is facing more federal felonies alleging that he sexually abused several students, including a 6-year-old. A federal grand jury in East St. Louis has returned a six-count indictment against 20-year-old Christopher Horton of Highland. He's now charged with five counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and one count of attempted sexual exploitation of a minor. Horton had faced just two federal sexual-exploitation counts, as well as nine state charges. Federal prosecutors say that between May of last year and last month in Madison and St. Clair counties, Horton video-recorded himself in sexual activity with three children. Horton taught at Three Tigers Martial Arts in Belleville and is jailed without bond. A message was left Friday with Horton's federal public defender, Thomas Gabel.
Friday, 08 March 2013 09:24
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NEW YORK (AP) - A senior al-Qaida leader and son-in-law of Osama bin Laden has pleaded not guilty to plotting against Americans in his role as the terror network's spokesman.

Sulaiman Abu Ghaith entered the plea through a lawyer to one count of conspiracy to kill Americans in federal court in New York on Friday.

Prosecutors say Abu Ghaith praised the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and warned there would be more.

Abu Ghaith was born in Kuwait. Authorities say he was captured in Jordan over the last week.

President Barack Obama's administration has sought to charge senior al-Qaida suspects in American federal courts instead of military tribunals, but Republicans in Congress don't want high-threat terror suspects brought into the United States.
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KIRKSVILLE, Mo. (AP) - A hearing for a northeast Missouri man charged with killing and dismembering his neighbor was delayed when the defendant could not attend the proceeding. The hearing for 49-year-old Paul R. Potter of Kirksville was continued Thursday until April 12. Potter faces first-degree murder and other charges in the January death of 74-year-old Willis Edward Meredith. Prosecutors say Potter stabbed Meredith, dismembered his body and set fires to conceal the crime. He also allegedly threw the victim's arms at witnesses shortly before he was arrested. The Kirksville Daily Express reports (http://bit.ly/10gMZRF ) prosecutors wanted Potter to attend the hearing. But his attorney, Kevin Locke, said Potter was not in condition to make an unplanned appearance at the hearing and the judge agreed to continue it.
Friday, 08 March 2013 09:18
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WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House says the falling unemployment rate is evidence that the economic recovery is "gaining traction."

The jobless rate dropped to 7.7 percent last month, the lowest level since President Barack Obama has been in office. Still, White House economist Alan Krueger notes that the new unemployment rate was measured before $85 billion in automatic budget cuts started taking effect.

The administration has warned that the cuts could have a negative impact on employment and economic growth.
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