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France halts warship delivery to Russia

France halts Russian warship deliveryFrance has said conditions are "not right" for delivery of the first of two Mistral navy assault ships to Russia.

President Francois Hollande's office blamed Moscow's recent actions in Ukraine.

France had until now resisted pressure to halt the delivery, saying it had to respect an existing contract.

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USA Today lays off 60-plus staffers

USA todayUSA Today laid off at least 60 staffers on Wednesday in an effort to cut back on costs, with the majority of layoffs taking place in the editorial department, sources at the newspaper confirmed.

The layoffs, first reported by Poynter, come in the wake of Gannett's recent announcement that it will spin off its print division, which includes USA Today and 81 daily local and regional newspapers.

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Tearful judge gives man 17 years for Michigan porch shooting

man gets 17 yearsA tearful judge on Wednesday sent a white Michigan man to prison for at least 17 years for fatally shooting an unarmed black teenager on his front porch in a racially charged case that sparked protests in the Detroit area.

Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Dana Hathaway sentenced Theodore Wafer, 55, to a mandatory two years for felony firearm usage followed by concurrent sentences of seven to 15 years for manslaughter and 15 to 30 years for second-degree murder.

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Feds to investigate Ferguson, Mo., police

Ferguson policeThe U.S. Justice Department notified Ferguson, Mo., police officials Wednesday that the federal government would launch a broad investigation into the policing practices of the city, a person briefed on the matter said.

The probe goes beyond a previously announced investigation into the shooting of an unarmed teenager by a Ferguson police officer last month that sparked weeks of unrest in the St. Louis suburb.

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Andrew Madoff Dead, Son Of Bernie Madoff Had Lymphoma

Andre Madoff son diesAndrew Madoff, the son of convicted fraudster Bernard Madoff, died on Wednesday from cancer, his lawyer said. He was 48.

"Andrew Madoff has lost his courageous battle against mantle cell lymphoma," lawyer Martin Flumenbaum said in a statement. "He died peacefully at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center on September 3, 2014, surrounded by his loving family."

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US household food insecurity remains at 2008 levels

US household food insecurityThe number of American households with access to enough food for a healthy, active life has remained largely unchanged since it spiked during the 2008 economic recession, according to the US department of agriculture’s annual report on food security released on Wednesday.

Eighty-five point seven percent of US households had access to enough food for the entirety of 2013, the report found. The number of households that for at least part of the year did not have access to safe, available foods has hovered in the 14% range since 2008 when it jumped from the the 2007 figure of 11.1% because of the economic recession.

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Federal judge upholds Louisiana gay marriage ban

federal judge upholds gay marriage banA federal judge upheld Louisiana's ban on same-sex marriages on Wednesday, a rare loss for gay marriage supporters who had won more than 20 consecutive rulings overturning bans in other states.

U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman also upheld the state's refusal to recognize same-sex marriages performed legally in other states. His ruling was the first to uphold a state ban since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act last year.

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CVS Stores Go Tobacco-Free

CVS to go tobacco freeCVS Caremark plans to stop selling tobacco products in all of its stores starting Wednesday — a move health experts hope will be followed by other major drugstore chains.

CVS announced in February that it planned to drop tobacco by Oct. 1 as the sales conflicted with its health care mission. To bolster its image as a health care company, CVS will announce a corporate name change to CVS Health. Retail stores will still be called CVS/Pharmacy.

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World losing Ebola battle, doctors warn

world losing Ebola battleThe international group Doctors Without Borders warned on Tuesday that the world is losing the battle against Ebola and lamented that treatment centers in West Africa have been "reduced to places where people go to die alone."

In separate remarks after a United Nations meeting on the crisis, the World Health Organization chief said everyone involved had underestimated the outbreak, which has now killed more than 1,500 people in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. U.N. officials implored governments worldwide to send medical workers and material contributions.

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