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Charge dropped for coach in Ohio teen party rape case

By Kim Palmer CLEVELAND (Reuters) - Prosecutors will drop a misdemeanor charge against an Ohio wrestling coach accused of failing to report a suspected rape of a teenage girl by high school football players at a party, authorities said Friday. Steubenville High School wrestling coach Seth Fluharty, indicted by a grand jury in November, will have the charge of failure to report child abuse or neglect dismissed if he completes 20 hours community service and other requirements, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said.

U.S. court upholds ruling against SeaWorld over trainer safety

By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court on Friday upheld a federal occupational safety agency's finding against SeaWorld Entertainment Inc following the workplace death of one of its killer whale trainers.

Crimea's parliament adopts Kremlin-backed constitution

By Alissa de Carbonnel SIMFEROPOL, Crimea (Reuters) - Crimean lawmakers adopted a new constitution on Friday, taking another step to cement the region's absorption into Russia despite strong objections from the Muslim Tatar minority. Pro-Moscow legislators are eager to complete the Black Sea peninsula's integration into Russia and smooth over financial and legal difficulties that have left businesses in limbo since its break with Ukraine.

Ten dead in road accident in California

A delivery truck ploughed into a bus carrying American students in northern California, killing ten people and injuring at least 30, the California Highway Patrol said. The bus was one of three bringing high school students to tour Humboldt State University on Thursday, which is about a six-hour drive north of San Francisco. "My understanding is the FedEx truck crossed the highway divide, and it was a head on collision with our bus," Joyce Lopes, a university official, told AFP. The other two buses arrived safely.

Polish pope still a rock star, not just at home

Before selfie-snapping Francis, there was John Paul II, the charismatic Polish pope who made a name for himself by circling the globe and talking to anyone and everyone. "He broke protocol. I know that security had trouble keeping an eye on him. He sometimes wandered off when he felt like it," Warsaw sociologist Pawel Boryszewski said of the soon-to-be saint who died in 2005.

Health secretary resigns after Obamacare launch woes

By Roberta Rampton WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is resigning after overseeing the botched rollout of President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law, a White House official said on Thursday. Her departure removes one lightning rod for critics as Obama and nervous Democrats try to retain control of the U.S. Senate in November midterm elections, but Republicans continue to see problems with the Affordable Care Act as a winning issue.

Putin wants chaos, not invasion, in eastern Ukraine

President Vladimir Putin is seeking to maintain influence in Ukraine by fomenting instability in its Russian-speaking eastern regions but will stop short of sending troops there in a Crimea-style swoop, analysts said. Ever since the Kremlin took control of Ukraine's Russian-speaking peninsula of Crimea last month and has massed tens of thousands of troops on Ukraine's border, Europe has been on tenterhooks expecting Putin to occupy eastern Ukraine.

Tories table aboriginal education bill amid criticism from some First Nations

OTTAWA - The federal government has tabled its First Nations education bill despite complaints from some aboriginal organizations that it skimps on funding and fails to give natives direct control of their education systems. Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt defended Bill C-33, dubbed the First Nations Control of First Nations Education Act, saying it meets the five conditions outlined by the Assembly of First Nations and chiefs during a meeting in December.

Nova Scotia government to create industry-led apprenticeship agency

HALIFAX - A proposed private sector-led agency in Nova Scotia would help steer policy to ensure apprentices can get jobs, the province's labour minister said Thursday. Labour Minister Kelly Regan said changes to the Apprenticeship and Trades Qualifications Act would give the private sector more influence in apprenticeship programs. "We want industry and employers to direct the future of apprenticeship in this province," said Regan. "We want the apprenticeship system to be more responsive to our trades and our workforce so Nova Scotia businesses will flourish."

Council of Europe assembly suspends Russian members

STRASBOURG, France (Reuters) - Russia was suspended from the parliamentary assembly of European human rights watchdog the Council of Europe on Thursday in protest at Moscow's behavior towards Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea. The 18 Russian parliamentarians who were suspended will not be able to vote in the 318-head assembly, have representation in its main committees or take part in its election observation missions.
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