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Oregon narrows options for troubled health exchange to 2, including linking to federal site

PORTLAND, Ore. - Officials with Oregon's troubled health insurance exchange say they've narrowed the options for the site's future to two: switching to the federal exchange, or staying with the current technology and hiring a new contractor to fix it. Cover Oregon's interim chief information officer Alex Pettit told board members Thursday that a third option — transferring technology from another state — would be too expensive.

National Front to run at least 14 French towns

The far-right National Front will take control of at least 14 French towns with more than 9,000 residents after nationwide local elections Sunday, Interior Minister Manuel Valls said, citing preliminary results. Valls did not list the towns but said "14 to 15" had fallen to the FN. Marine Le Pen, the FN's leader, earlier said she was confident her party had claimed at least eight towns, in addition to one it won in the first round of voting on March 23. chp/am/gk

Maryland local official defies court, opens meeting with prayer

(Reuters) - A county official in Maryland opened an official meeting on Thursday with a prayer referencing Jesus Christ, according to a person who attended the meeting and local media, two days after a federal judge issued an injunction prohibiting such a prayer. Carroll County Commissioner Robin Bartlett Frazier began the group's budget meeting with a prayer she says was written by George Washington, the first U.S. president, that referred to Jesus Christ at least three times.

Two tickets share $400 million U.S. lottery jackpot

(Reuters) - Two winning tickets in Florida and Maryland will share about $400 million from Tuesday night's Mega Millions drawing, lottery officials said, marking the third highest jackpot in the game's history. The winning numbers were 11, 19, 24, 33, 51 and 7, according to the Mega Millions website. The jackpot had been rolling over since January 3 and swelled again after no one matched all six numbers in Friday night's drawing of the game, which is played twice a week.

Hardline Arizona governor won't run for re-election

Arizona governor Jan Brewer, known for her hardline stance on illegal immigration and a stand-up row with President Barack Obama, said Wednesday she will not seek re-election later this year. The 69-year-old Republican, governor of the southwestern US state bordering Mexico, said she will remain politically active after standing down in the upcoming November poll. "There's a time to be, and a time to go," Brewer told Capitol Media Services, after announcing her decision. "It's the right time for me to move on."

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer says will not seek another term

By David Schwartz PHOENIX (Reuters) - Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, a Republican who clashed with the Obama administration over immigration and once wagged her finger at the president on an airport tarmac, said on Wednesday she would not run for re-election, ending speculation about whether she would seek a third term.

No stranger to the national spotlight: A look at key moments in Arizona governor's career

PHOENIX - As Gov. Jan Brewer approached the podium and read a carefully worded statement on her veto of a bill that would've let businesses refuse service to gays, she found herself in the familiar territory: the national spotlight. Time and time again during her five years in office, the Republican governor has been the centre of nationwide political attention. In some cases, it involved her signing polarizing legislation that the GOP-dominated state Legislature sent to her desk. In others, she was bucking her own party's right wing or butting heads with the Obama administration.

Republican congressman bids to unseat Colorado's Senator Udall

By Keith Coffman DENVER (Reuters) - A Republican congressman will give up his safe seat in the U.S. House of Representatives to challenge incumbent U.S. Senator Mark Udall this fall, a move that could improve the party's odds of unseating the first-term Democrat, a top Colorado Republican official said on Wednesday.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's statement on veto of bill allowing refusal of service to gays

PHOENIX - Complete transcript of statement read by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on Wednesday regarding her veto of a bill allowing religious reasons for refusing service to gays: Good evening and thank you all for joining me here this evening. I'm here to announce a decision on Senate Bill 1062. As with every proposal that reached my desk I give great concern and careful evaluation and deliberate consideration, especially to Senate Bill 1062. I call them like I seem them despite the cheers or the boos from the crowd. I took the necessary time to make the right decision.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer jets home amid furor over bill allowing denial of service to gays

PHOENIX - Gov. Jan Brewer returned to Arizona on Tuesday and faced a pressing decision about a bill on her desk that has prompted a national debate over religious and gay rights. The Republican governor has been in Washington the last five days for a governor's conference, and she is returning to a political climate that is much different from just a week ago.
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