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Correction: Star Scientific-CEO story

RICHMOND, Va. - In a story Dec. 27 about Jonnie R. Williams Sr. stepping down as CEO of Star Scientific Inc., The Associated Press reported erroneously that state and federal authorities are investigating Williams' relationship with Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. A prosecutor investigated Cuccinelli's failure to promptly disclose thousands of dollars in gifts from Williams and his company but concluded in July that the attorney general broke no laws. A corrected version of the story is below: CEO of company in Va governor's scandal steps down

British TV chef Nigella Lawson avoids drugs probe

British celebrity chef Nigella Lawson will not face an investigation into claims of cocaine use which emerged during her personal assistants' fraud trial, police said on Friday. Italian sisters Elisabetta and Francesca Grillo were cleared Friday of fraudulently spending £685,000 ($1.12 million, 820,000 euros) on a company credit card owned by Lawson's then-husband, the millionaire art collector Charles Saatchi.

Democrat wins key Virginia governor's race

Democrat Terry McAuliffe eked out a narrow victory late Tuesday in the Virginia governor's race, US networks projected, in a contest which could have major implications for the 2016 presidential election. McAuliffe's victory -- with 95 percent of precincts reporting, he was ahead 47.2 percent to 46 percent -- marks a stinging defeat for Republican Ken Cuccinelli, the state's attorney general whose campaign was backed by the Tea Party, the conservative movement that has been in the nation's political spotlight for its small-government, anti-tax positions.

Democrat McAuliffe wins Virginia governor's race: media

(Reuters) - Democrat Terry McAuliffe has narrowly defeated Republican Ken Cuccinelli in the closely watched Virginia's governor race on Tuesday, NBC and CBS television said. State election board figures showed McAuliffe, a Democratic Party insider leading Cuccinelli, a favorite of the Republicans' Tea Party wing, 47 percent to 46 percent with 91 percent of precincts reporting. (Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Scott Malone)

Factbox: Candidates, money in Virginia governor's race

Virginians vote for governor on Tuesday in a race seen as a key test for Democrats and Republicans in a swing state ahead of mid-term elections next year. Democrat Terry McAuliffe, a veteran political fundraiser, leads Republican state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, a Tea Party favorite, in polls. Libertarian Robert Sarvis is a distant third. Here are some facts about the candidates and the race: TERRY MCAULIFFE

Democrat showing solid lead in Virginia governor's race: poll

By Gary Robertson RICHMOND, Virginia (Reuters) - Democrat Terry McAuliffe's lead over Republican Ken Cuccinelli in the widely watched Virginia governor's race may be helping lower-level Democratic candidates in a state hard hit by the recent government shutdown, a poll showed on Wednesday. A Roanoke College poll showed businessman and former Democratic National Committee Chairman McAuliffe with a 15-point lead over state Attorney General Cuccinelli, though that margin was far stronger than in two other polls.

Left eyes victory as Czechs vote in snap election

Vexed by years of graft and austerity Czechs vote Saturday on the second and last day of a snap election that the left-wing opposition is poised to win.

Left eyes power as Czechs vote in snap election

Vexed by years of graft and austerity Czechs began voting on Friday in a two-day snap election that the left-wing opposition is poised to win, but a majority government is unlikely. The ballot caps months of political turmoil set off by a spy and bribery scandal that brought down the centre-right government of Petr Necas. Voters already made a sharp left turn in January, electing ex-Communist Milos Zeman as president after a decade under the right-wing and eurosceptic Vaclav Klaus.

Democrat holds narrowing lead in Virginia governor's race

By Gary Robertson RICHMOND, Virginia (Reuters) - Democratic Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe holds a narrowing lead over Republican rival Ken Cuccinelli, with a strong showing by the race's Libertarian entrant possibly affecting the outcome, a poll released on Wednesday found.

Obama urges Congress to act this year on budget, farm bill, immigration

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama says the way business is done in Washington must change. In his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama is telling Americans their frustration with politics is understandable. He's referring to the fiscal crisis that shut down the government and brought the U.S. close to default. Obama says even with the crisis over, Republicans and Democrats won't agree on everything. But he says they should find areas of agreement. He's pushing Congress to act this year on a budget, a farm bill and an immigration overhaul.
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