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After 150 years, Confederate submarine's hull revealed

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. — A century and a half after it sank and a decade and a half after it was raised, scientists are finally getting a look at the hull of the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley. The Hunley was the first sub in history to sink an enemy warship.

How many tests are enough?

WASHINGTON — Do students take too many tests? Given the complaints about a high-stakes testing culture in classrooms, some states are reviewing the quality and quantity of the tests their students take. Congress is getting into the act, too.

County payments fall

GRANTS PASS — The Obama administration is telling governors in 41 states how much money they are losing after Congress ended subsidies paid the past 20 years to counties that contain national forest land.

US Postal Service eyes price hike

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Postal Service on Thursday proposed slight increases for mailing postcards and international letters — but wants to leave first-class “Forever” stamps at their present 49 cents. Under a filing with the Postal Regulatory Commission, letters to international destinations would rise from $1.15 to $1.20. Postcards would rise from 34 cents to 35 cents.

Foreclosures fell in 2014 to levels before housing bust

Decline seen as latest good economic sign

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Astronauts flee US side of space station but no sign of leak

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — In a rare scare, astronauts fled the American side of the International Space Station on Wednesday after an alarm indicated a possible toxic leak. NASA later said there was no leak of ammonia coolant and a computer problem likely set off the false alarm.

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Obama criticizes state laws that hurt broadband competition

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) — Wading into a states' rights dispute over Internet access, President Barack Obama on Wednesday called for the repeal of laws that prevent local communities from creating their own broadband networks.

DC Council to consider 'Death with Dignity' bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — A D.C. Council member wants the nation's capital to join the three states that allow terminally ill people to end their lives with the help of a physician.

CDC pushes for antiviral flu meds

NEW YORK (AP) — In the midst of a worrisome flu season, health officials are pushing doctors to prescribe antiviral medicines more often.

Zimmerman arrested on assault charge

SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — Florida authorities say George Zimmerman, whose acquittal of murdering an unarmed black teen sparked a national debate on race and self-defense laws, has been arrested on an aggravated assault charge.

Hotels offer internet free, tighten policies

NEW YORK — Big changes are coming in 2015 for hotel guests, one will save travelers lots of money and another may cause a few headaches.

GOP focus: Cut deficit, don’t stumble

WASHINGTON — In the first Republican-dominated Congress to confront President Barack Obama, GOP leaders will focus on bolstering the economy and cutting the budget — and oh yes, avoiding self-inflicted calamities that make voters wonder if the party can govern competently.

Masked bandit

Raccoon wreck

Cost of being uninsured rises

WASHINGTON (AP) — The cost of being uninsured in America is going up significantly next year for millions of people. It’s the first year all taxpayers have to report to the Internal Revenue Service whether they had health insurance for the previous year, as required under President Barack Obama’s law. Those who were uninsured face fines, unless they qualify for one of about 30 exemptions, most of which involve financial hardships.

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US agriculture has big appetite for Cuba trade

Fewer barriers could help growers export

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