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Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, sits in a vehicle guarded by the Taliban in eastern Afghanistan at the time of his release. (AP Photo/Voice Of Jihad Website via AP video, File)
Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, sits in a vehicle guarded by the Taliban in eastern Afghanistan at the time of his release. (AP Photo/Voice Of Jihad Website via AP video, File)
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Bergdahl, charged with desertion, cites torture by his Taliban captors

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl says he was tortured in the five years he was held captive by the Taliban, beaten with a copper cable as he spent months blindfolded and chained spread-eagle to a bed.

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Terry Fearon (l.) and Eileen Daly
Terry Fearon (l.) and Eileen Daly (Tom Mongelli, Townsquare Media NJ)
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War monument for NJ Gold Star families closer to reality

About 70 percent of the $100,000 needed to build a permanent memorial, dedicated to New Jersey Gold Star families whose children don't return from war, has been raised in less than a year.

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Emile Hirsch Court Appearance - Park City, UT
PARK CITY, UT - MARCH 16: Emile Hirsch is seen during a court appearance at 3rd Judicial District Court March 16, 2015 in Park City, Utah. (Chad Hurst/Getty Images)
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Actor Emile Hirsch appears in Utah court on assault charge

Actor Emile Hirsch made his first court appearance Monday on allegations that he put a studio executive in a chokehold and dragged her across a nightclub table while in Utah for the Sundance Film Festival.

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Category: Entertainment
President Barack Obama speaks to troops at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst
President Barack Obama speaks to troops at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)
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Officials: US to keep more troops in Afghanistan into 2016

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Obama administration is abandoning plans to cut the number of U.S. forces in Afghanistan to 5,500 by year's end, bowing to military leaders who want to keep more troops there, including many into the 2016 fighting season, U.S. officials say.

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Category: Nation & World
President Obama speaks next to new VA Secretary Robert McDonald, left, at the Phoenix VA Medical Center Friday. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
President Obama speaks next to new VA Secretary Robert McDonald, left, at the Phoenix VA Medical Center Friday. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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VA health care – Obama says more improvement is needed

PHOENIX (AP) -- Amid persistent complaints about veterans' health care, President Barack Obama acknowledged lingering weaknesses Friday in the federal government's response to the chronic delays and false waiting lists that triggered a national outcry over the Veterans Affairs health system last year.

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Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich announcing his candidacy for governor in St. Louis Jan. 28. Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)
Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich announcing his candidacy for governor in St. Louis Jan. 28. Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)
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Candidate death – Why did a Missouri candidate for governor kill himself?

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Missouri's auditor, who fatally shot himself in an apparent suicide, had vowed to take down the state's most powerful politicians and donors, including his fellow Republicans, when he launched an anti-corruption campaign for governor last month.

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NJ Legislature
NJ Legislature
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Dead people’s votes – Assemblyman Ron Dancer wants them counted

It looks like Assemblyman Ronald Dancer is going “Chicago style!”

He’s introduced legislation that says people who cast mail-in ballots but die before polls close on Election Day should have their votes count – as opposed to the way it’s done now -  those ballots would be thrown out

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U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter holds a news conference on his first overseas trip since starting the Pentagon job last Tuesday, at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter holds a news conference on his first overseas trip since starting the Pentagon job last Tuesday, at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan (AP Photo/Jonathan Ernst, Pool)
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New US Pentagon chief convenes unusual counter-IS meeting

CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait (AP) -- U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter is convening an unusual conference in Kuwait of top American military, diplomatic and intelligence experts on the administration's strategy for countering the violence and spreading influence of the Islamic State militant group.

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U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks with U.S. military personnel at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks with U.S. military personnel at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan (AP Photo/Jonathan Ernst, Pool)
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Pentagon chief: Training Afghan forces key to US mission

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) -- U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Sunday that training and advising Afghan security forces is "becoming the heart" of a U.S. military mission that is winding down after 13 years of war.

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U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, left, at a news conference with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday,  (SAP Photos/Jonathan Ernst, Pool)
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, left, at a news conference with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, (SAP Photos/Jonathan Ernst, Pool)
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US troops may exit Afghanistan at a slower pace than planned

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- The United States is considering slowing its military exit from Afghanistan by keeping a larger-than-planned troop presence this year and next because the new Afghan government is proving to be a more reliable partner, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Saturday.

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