Recently in National News Category

George Zimmerman's bail set at $150,000

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A Florida judge on Friday set George Zimmerman's bail at $150,000 and imposed restrictions on his release from jail, in the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, the New York Times reported.

In setting the bail, the judge, Kenneth R. Lester Jr., said that Zimmerman could have no contact with Martin's family and no access to alcohol or firearms and that his movements would be monitored electronically.

Judge Lester also set a curfew that would require Zimmerman to remain at home from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. and require him to check in with authorities every three days.

Zimmerman offered an apology to the victim's parents, who were in the courtroom.

"I wanted to say I am sorry for the loss of your son. I did not know how old he was," Zimmerman said in his first public remarks since the Feb. 26 shooting. "I thought he was a little bit younger than I am. I did not know if he was armed or not."

Benjamin Crump, an attorney for the Martin family, dismissed Zimmerman's apology as self-serving. Crump said that on a website Zimmerman established to help raise legal and living expenses, Zimmerman "never once said 'I'm sorry,'" Crump said at a news conference. "Why today?" the Los Angeles Times reported.

Dick Clark dies at 82

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Dick Clark, the music industry maverick, longtime TV host and powerhouse producer, died today at the age of 82, ABC News reported.

Clark's agent Paul Shefrin said in statement that the veteran host died this morning following a "massive heart attack." Attempts to resuscitate were unsuccessful, Shefrin said.

Famed for his hosting duties on American Bandstand and Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin Eve, Clark suffered a stroke in 2004 that forced him largely into retirement, although he continued to make appearances on the New Year's Eve special alongside Ryan Seacrest. His stroke came a year after he announced that he had Type 2 diabetes, Los Angeles Independent reported.

His company, Dick Clark Productions, produces shows such as So You Think You Can Dance and awards broadcasts including the Golden Globes, American Music Awards and Academy of Country Music Awards.

Clark also hosted the Pyramid game series and TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes. He has also hosted pageants such as Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA.

Clark is survived by his wife, Kari Wigton, and three children from previous marriages.

Weekend storms tear through the country

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A father and two children in a trailer, plus two other people who were in a car in the same Oklahoma town, were killed when a string of tornadoes tore through parts of the Midwest on Saturday and early Sunday, CNN reported.

Those fatalities in Woodward are the only ones known to have resulted from this weekend's storms. But millions of people were bracing for even more severe weather late Sunday afternoon and night.

The agency has received 126 reports of possible tornado touchdowns Saturday and early Sunday in Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa.

Local media reported that Spirit Aerosystems Inc., a Boeing airplane manufacturer, had also been hit, with reports of structural damage and that hazardous chemicals had leaked out. One picture circulating on Twitter showed a picture of a broken airplane fuselage, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The FBI's famed "Most Wanted" list on Tuesday added a 30-year-old suspected child pornographer who authorities say has eluded capture in Minnesota, Wisconsin and other Midwestern states, the Star Tribune Reported.

Eric Justin Toth, a former third-grade teacher at the prestigious Beauvoir-National Cathedral School in Washington, D.C., is the newest addition to the list, joining people the FBI call the worst of the worst fugitives, ABC News reported.

Toth has been sought by the FBI's Washington Field Office for almost four years since he was indicted in December 2008 after pornographic images were found months before on a school camera that Toth had used for some time. It is unclear how many children he has allegedly abused and possibly molested. Details of an indictment against him in Washington are under seal at the federal court, according to FBI officials.

Toth was last seen in Arizona in 2009 after he was believed to have been on the run through Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Minnesota, according to the FBI. Officials suspect that Toth works as a tutor and possibly as a male nanny seeking access to children.

Celebration of Kentucky win turns dangerous

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Authorities reported that one man was wounded by gunfire early Tuesday in Lexington, numerous small fires were set and dozens were arrested as thousands celebrated Kentucky's win over Kansas to claim another NCAA title, the Associated Press reported.

Battalion Chief Ed Davis of the Lexington Division of Fire and Emergency Services said he saw the shooting as he was filling out paperwork on a wreck involving a fire engine. Davis said he heard yelling about 25 feet away, and one man started shooting at another. Police Lt. Clayton Roberts said no arrests had been made in the shooting, which happened shortly after 2 a.m. EDT. The gunman disappeared into the crowd and behind some buildings and police could not locate him, Roberts said.

About two hours after the game, police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts said police had arrested people for charges such as criminal mischief, disorderly conduct, alcohol intoxication and setting fires. She said officers were still making arrests but didn't have a precise estimate. She said police had used some pepper spray to break up fights.

A car crashed into the patio area at a bar and grill where some people were dining, but the metal-and-brick wall kept the vehicle from getting onto the patio, she said.

Police handed out numerous citations, many for alcohol-related offenses, Roberts said. "I think that we're taking a more zero-tolerance approach," she said. "That has a part to play in it, but also people started celebrating much earlier than they did on Saturday. The amount of time to become intoxicated and the amount of time for us to be in contact with these intoxicated people has increased."

Emergency medical workers transported about 25 people to hospitals for treatment, mostly minor, Davis said. A lot of them were people who were intoxicated, while some had been hit by thrown objects or been involved in fights.

The comotion was also broadcast by Twitter as it was happening. The official Twitter account of the Lexington Professional Firefighters IAFF Local 526 sent out pictures and stats from the riots in real time with an assist from the Lexington Herald-Leader and Steve Collier of NBC-TV's Lexington affiliate, USA Today reported.

University of Kentucky student body president Micah Fielden took to Twitter with words of caution.

"We won the game but don't be destructive. Let's be smart and act like we've been here before (more than 7 times)," Fielden tweeted.

1940 census released

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The federal government unsealed individual records from the 1940 U.S. Census Monday morning -- 72 years after they were made, MPR News reported.

With 3.9 million images scanned from more than 4,000 rolls of microfilm, the database represents the largest collection of digital information ever released by the Archives, and the first time a census has been released online, reported.

Paula Stuart-Warren told MPR News that she found out her family includes a John Dillinger get-away driver, a counterfeiter and a pioneering heart transplant surgeon.

But according to MPR News, the records aren't indexed, which means searchers can't plug a relative's name into a search engine to find the data. They have to know the address and find the enumeration district -- that's how census-takers carved up America's cities and countryside into smaller slices to count everyone.

Questions asked included value of home, marital status, education, citizenship, employment status, occupation, and income.

Mega Millions jackpot split three ways

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Lottery ticket-holders in Kansas, Illinois and Maryland each selected the winning numbers and will split a $640 million jackpot that was believed to be the world's largest such prize, USA Today reported.

Mike Lang, spokesman for the Illinois Lottery, said each winning ticket was expected to be worth more than $213 million before taxes.

Had one person won the whole pot, and invested the $300 million conservatively, Steve Fazzari, an economics professor at Washington University in St. Louis, said you could have expected to collect a nice "salary" of about $7 million "after taxes every year for the rest of your life and the rest of the life of your heirs," the Washington Post reported. Put another way, that's $19,000 a day - forever.

According to USA Today, the Illinois ticket was purchased in the small town of Red Bud, near St. Louis, using a quick pick to select the numbers. The Maryland tickets came from a retail store in Baltimore County and the Kansas ticket was purchased from a store in northeast Kansas.

The Hunger Games breaks records

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The Hunger Games surpassed the wildest industry expectations to debut to $155 million, according to Entertainment Weekly.

That's the third-biggest opening weekend ever, behind only Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 2 ($169.2 million) and The Dark Knight ($158.4 million). The movie also had the best debut ever for a non-sequel, beating out 2010′s Alice in Wonderland ($116.1 million), and it represents the top opening weekend for any picture outside the summer movie season.

The Hunger Games soundtrack also debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, having sold 175,000 copies in its first week according to

The movie went on to break records for Lionsgate, which spent $80 million to produce The Hunger Games and $45 million to market it, according to Entertainment Weekly. Up until this weekend, the studio's top grosser was the Michael Moore documentary Fahrenheit 9/11, which earned a total of $119.2 million. The Hunger Games reached that figure in just two days.

Whitney Houston's official cause of death revealed

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The L.A. County Coroner's office issued a toxicology report Thursday that said the official cause of Whitney Houston's death was "drowning and effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use," the Washington Post reported.

Houston, 48, was "found submerged in bathtub filled with water" and "no trauma or foul play is suspected," the coroner said.

The toxicology tests also found other drugs in her body, including marijuana, the anti-anxiety drug Xanax, the muscle relaxant Flexeril and the allergy medicine Benadryl, but these drugs "did not contribute to the death," CNN reported.

According to CNN, the final coroner report is expected to be made public within two weeks.

Houston died in her room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, on February 11, the day before the music industry gathered for the annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles.

Indianapolis Colts release Peyton Manning

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The Colts formally announced on Wednesday that Peyton Manning is leaving the franchise, with owner Jim Irsay getting choked up as he gave a heartfelt speech about what Manning has done for his team, NBC Sports reported.

"It's an incredible blessing," Irsay said. "As difficult as this day is, it's made difficult because of the greatness and the things Peyton has done for our city, for our state, for our franchise. There will be no other Peyton Manning."

Manning, who turns 36 on March 24, missed all of last season after his third neck operation in 19 months. He was owed a $28 million payment by Friday if the Colts chose to retain him, USA Today reported.

Manning took Indianapolis to the playoffs 11 times in his 13 seasons, including two Super Bowls. He was named MVP in a 29-17 win against the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI in 2006, but the team fell short vs. the New Orleans Saints three years later.

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