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As states warm to online voting, experts warn of trouble ahead

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WASHINGTON -- A Pentagon official sat before a committee of the Washington State Legislature in January and declared that the U.S. military supported a bill that would allow voters in the state to cast election ballots via email or fax without having to certify their identities.

Military liaison Mark San Souci's brief testimony was stunning ...Read more

Returning to the exurbs: Rural counties are fastest growing

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. -- Winding up Route 400, a good 40 minutes' north of Atlanta's traffic-snarled freeways, are miles of farmhouses, interspersed with mobile homes, McMansions and thrift shops. Here, too, is Dawson County's biggest draw: The North Georgia Premium Outlets, where tourists hunt for bargains at Burberry, Armani and Restoration ...Read more

Earthy, edgy blogger seen as a scientific breakthrough

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LOS ANGELES -- Yvette d'Entremont knows a thing or two about attention-grabbing stunts in the name of science. Like that time she downed 50 homeopathic sleeping pills for a YouTube video (no stomach pumps needed).

But nothing prepared her for taking down the Food Babe.

"It's just been crazy!" D'Entremont said.

The 31-year-old Anaheim, Calif.,...Read more

Colleges grapple with cheating in the digital age

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LOS ANGELES -- Stanford University's honor code dates to 1921, written by students to help guide them through the minefield of plagiarism, forbidden collaboration, copying and other chicaneries that have tempted undergraduates since they first arrived on college campuses.

Exams aren't proctored and students are expected to police themselves and...Read more

Cleanliness is paramount with endoscopes

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PHILADELPHIA -- A few years ago, researchers from 3M Co. tested 245 endoscopes -- long tubes used to look inside the colon and other organs -- to see whether the devices had been properly scrubbed of blood, tissue and other human debris.

The results of the tests, conducted at five U.S. hospitals, were not what anyone would want to hear before ...Read more

In El Salvador, women thrown in jail for miscarriages and stillbirths

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SAN SALVADOR -- When Guadalupe Vasquez became pregnant at 17 after being raped by a neighbor of the house where she worked as a maid, she decided she wanted the baby. She even picked out a name: Gabriel.

Then, on a day in late 2007, pain shot through her back and abdomen. Vasquez says she started bleeding, but her employer wouldn't let her ...Read more

Thousands of bibliophiles attend Los Angeles Times Festival of Books

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LOS ANGELES -- Author T.C. Boyle was talking about his development as a writer. He explained that his first book, 1982's "Water Music," explored human relationships with the Earth. But he said that after having published 25 books he's still trying to tackle a philosophical question that goes back to the beginning:

Why are we all here?

"I hope ...Read more

California state water board issues revised drought regulations

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LOS ANGELES -- In response to numerous complaints, California regulators Saturday issued a revised plan for the state's first-ever mandatory water cuts, emphasizing the need for urgent action as summer looms.

The drought, which started in 2012, could persist for years, warned Felicia Marcus, chairwoman of the State Water Resources Control Board...Read more

In New Hampshire, Republicans squabble over foreign policy, experience

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NASHUA, N.H. -- More than a dozen Republicans eyeing the White House gathered here Friday and Saturday to make their cases to hundreds of party activists, drawing out areas of disagreement in the expansive field that will likely emerge as contentious fault lines in the 2016 nominating process.

The most potent conflict at thetwo-day conference ...Read more

Iraq's Baiji oil refinery retaken from Islamic State

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BEIRUT -- Iraqi government forces have fully liberated the strategic Baiji refinery from Islamic State militants, state media said Saturday, and military reinforcements were reportedly arriving at the embattled western city of Ramadi.

Airstrikes from the U.S.-led coalition continued to pound positions, with the U.S. Central Command on Saturday ...Read more