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AP Top U.S. News At 4:45 a.m. EDT

Researchers try to save huge US salamander
CORYDON, Ind. (AP) -- With a long, slimy body and beady eyes, North America's largest salamander wouldn't top any cutest animal lists. The hellbender's alien appearance and mysterious ways have earned the big amphibian a bad reputation and unflattering nicknames ranging from snot otter to devil dog....

AP Exclusive: Disabled often banned from voting
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- At a time when election officials are struggling to convince more Americans to vote, advocates for the disabled say thousands of people with autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy and other intellectual or developmental disabilities have been systematically denied that basic right in the nation's largest county....

California man faces prison for economic espionage
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- A Northern California chemical engineer is facing more than 20 years in prison for a rare economic-espionage conviction for selling to China the technology that creates a white pigment....

4 children among 6 killed in Houston-area shooting
SPRING, Texas (AP) -- A father who authorities say went on a shooting rampage at a suburban Houston home, killing four of his children and two adults and wounding his 15-year-old daughter critically, has surrendered after a standoff and is in custody, police said....

First singing, then tragedy at Maryland camp
MANCHESTER, Md. (AP) -- More than 100 young campers sang songs, read stories and prayed in an open-air pavilion, as they did each night at the River Valley Ranch camp. Then, the sky began to darken and a light rain began to fall....

In New Orleans, a 10-year sentence for Ray Nagin
NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- He entered New Orleans City Hall as a cool and confidant self-styled reformer, won fame there as a passionate, if profane, critic of the federal response to Hurricane Katrina and exited under suspicion....

Authorities: Prostitute gave exec fatal heroin hit
SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (AP) -- A Silicon Valley success story turned sordid this week with the arrest of an upscale prostitute who allegedly left a Google executive dying on his yacht after shooting him up with a deadly hit of heroin....

Cleanup of ND pipeline spill could last weeks
MANDAREE, N.D. (AP) -- Company officials say cleanup efforts are expected to take weeks after a pipeline on North Dakota's Fort Berthold Indian Reservation leaked around 1 million gallons of saltwater....

Utah to appeal gay marriage ruling to high court
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Utah has decided to go straight to the U.S. Supreme Court to argue against gay marriage, meaning the nation's highest court will have at least one same-sex marriage case on its plate when it returns in October....

A look at what's next for gay marriage in the US
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Utah's decision to ask the nation's highest court to review a federal appeals court ruling in favor of gay marriage nudges the issue closer to the U.S. Supreme Court....

AP Photo
AP Photo/Rick Callahan
US Video
Interactives
A year after the Gulf oil spill, problems remain
Local governments spent BP money with abandon
Civil War celebrations stir controversy
States' attempts to resist health care reform
A look at extremist attacks on the U.S. government
Gun law changes across the U.S.
A look inside the Statue of Liberty
A look around the Statue of Liberty
A look at Guantanamo's history
Up to the Minute
In New Orleans, a 10-year sentence for Ray Nagin

Cleanup of ND pipeline spill could last weeks

Heart pounds, eyes close on the tallest waterslide

4 children among 6 killed in Houston-area shooting

California man faces prison for economic espionage

Cleanup from fatal storms begins in Eastern states

Utah to appeal gay marriage ruling to high court

Thousands expected at NYC firefighter's funeral

1 dead in Tennessee armory shooting; 1 in custody