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The House on Wednesday approved a five-year compromise farm, signalling perhaps the final stretch for a two-year legislative battle. Because so much of the spending in the measure depends on enrollment in programs like food stamps, it's hard to know if it will save taxpayers money.

In Atlanta, Birmingham and other places, people who got on the roads Tuesday afternoon still weren't home Wednesday. At many schools, students and teachers slept overnight on wrestling mats and classroom carpets. Forecasters got it wrong — the storm hit farther north than they expected.

When you hear the words bubonic plague, the Black Death usually comes to mind. But the first plague pandemic happened 800 years earlier, when the Justinian plague wiped out nearly a quarter of the world's population. Scientists have decoded the bacteria responsible, which had roots in China.

The site in central Rome has also yielded evidence of how actively the early Romans intervened to shape their urban environment. But the excavation has been particularly challenging because the temple lies below the water table.

Families of athletes normally make a pilgrimage to see the Olympics, but this year is different: The trip is more costly than previous games and, for many, more nerve-wracking.

Rough-and-tumble towns have popped up in areas once dominated by sleepy farming hamlets. Black gold has brought big-money jobs, but housing is expensive, crime has spiked, and water is running out.

After a long spell of partisan trench warfare and gridlock, President Obama called for "a year of action" Tuesday. The changes he pitched were relatively modest, but he promised to move forward with or without the help of Congress.

For some Americans, it feels like the country is in tatters. For others, life is good and a recovering economy means a dream house.

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin attracted national attention this month when he devoted his entire annual State of the State speech to heroin addiction in Vermont. As the state expands addiction treatment services, it's also trying to come to grips with one of the most difficult and emotional aspects of the problem: pregnant women addicted to opiates.

Chinese officials recently announced the rover was experiencing mechanical difficulties, and now observers believe its done for. But the thirst for more moon missions may be spreading in China.

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