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ST. PAUL, Minn. - Gay activists and their allies are gathering at Minnesota's Capitol for an annual rally that's likely to be dominated this year by the effort to legalize gay marriage in the state. OutFront Minnesota holds its rally Thursday. That's the state's most influential gay rights group and one of the chief backers of the bill to make gay marriage legal. The group is expecting several thousand supporters at the Capitol where they will also be urged to lobby their lawmakers on the issue.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama is seeking to refocus a nervous nation's attention on those killed and gravely wounded in what he called an "act of terror" at the Boston Marathon. Americans also will be looking to the president to offer reassurances about the nation's safety as investigators scramble to answer key questions about an attack with origins that are yet unknown.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama and his gun control allies say Senate rejection of expanded background checks and other restrictions won't stop their drive to reduce firearms violence. But their path to enacting gun curbs this year seems blocked by the National Rifle Association, and supporters of restrictions appear befuddled about what it will take to push legislation through this Congress.
BOSTON (AP) -- The painstaking work to identify a bombing suspect from reams of Boston Marathon footage yielded a possible breakthrough as investigators focused on a man seen dropping off a bag, and then walking away from the site of the second of two deadly explosions.
WEST, Texas (AP) -- Rescue workers searched rubble early Thursday for survivors of a fertilizer plant explosion in a small Texas town that killed as many as 15 people and injured more than 160 others. The blast left the factory a smoldering ruin and leveled homes and businesses for blocks in every direction. Video link: Fatalities in Texas fertilizer plant explosion
WEST, Texas (AP) — An explosion at a fertilizer plant near Waco Wednesday night injured dozens of people and sent flames shooting high into the night sky, leaving the factory a smoldering ruin and causing major damage to surrounding buildings. The blast at West Fertilizer in West, a community about 20 miles north of Waco, happened shortly before 8 p.m. and could be heard as far away as Waxahachie, 45 miles to the north.
MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Twins still have a lot of work to do with their starting pitching. The weather has been an early challenge, too. The Twins postponed their series finale against the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday night about 15 minutes before it was supposed to begin due to steady rain that was turning to snow. The forecast was calling for more snow and strong winds Thursday. The Twins said the makeup date has yet to be determined.
Linda Bachand-Doucet of Pawtucket, R.I., entered the Boston Marathon with two pals who were hoping to earn membership in a group for avid runners of 26.2-mile races. They were about five miles from the finish when one of her friends got a cellphone call from his mother, up ahead in the stands: There had been an explosion. The trio couldn’t complete the race.
SAN ANTONIO — Derrick Williams had 21 points to help the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Spurs 108-95 Wednesday night, ending a 16-game losing streak at San Antonio. Chase Budinger added 15 points and Greg Stiemsma and Ricky Rubio had 12 points apiece for Minnesota, won on the Spurs’ home court for the first time since Jan. 14, 2004. Gary Neal had 17 points, Tim Duncan had 17 points and 14 rebounds, Tony Parker had 15 points and eight assists for the Spurs, who had previously clinched the Western Conference’s second seed.
Update 1:15 p.m.: Update: Ricin in Obama letter, odd packages scramble Hill WASHINGTON (AP) — Police swept across the U.S. Capitol complex to chase a flurry of reports of suspicious packages and envelopes Wednesday after preliminary tests indicated poisonous ricin in two letters sent to President Barack Obama and a Mississippi senator.