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Serious reading takes a hit from online scanning and skimming, researchers say

Claire Handscombe has a commitment problem online. Like a lot of Web surfers, she clicks on links posted on social networks, reads a few sentences, looks for exciting words, and then grows restless, scampering off to the next page she probably won’t commit to.

Supreme Court rejects early appeal of surveillance ruling

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court has declined an early look at a constitutional challenge to the National Security Agency's bulk collection of millions of Americans' telephone records.

New pings detected in hunt for jet

PERTH, Australia — An Australian ship detected two distinct, long-lasting sounds underwater that are consistent with the pings from aircraft black boxes in a major break in the monthlong hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet, the search coordinator said Monday.

Ubiquitous showman Mickey Rooney dies

LOS ANGELES — Mickey Rooney, the pint-size, precocious actor and all-around talent whose more than 80-year career spanned silent comedies, Shakespeare, Judy Garland musicals, Andy Hardy stardom, television and the Broadway theater, died Sunday at age 93.

Research finds many Internet trolls are ‘everyday sadists’

Researchers say there is a difference between cyberbullies and trolls, but they are linked by their penchant for cruelty

PBS special salutes the Dave Clark Five

Just two weeks after the Beatles’ landmark appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in February 1964, the British group the Dave Clark Five — the Beatles’ biggest rivals in the U.S. — had their own remarkable debut on the hugely popular Sunday night CBS show.

Israeli negotiator says peace talks are in crisis

JERUSALEM — Israel’s chief negotiator in peace talks with the Palestinians says the talks are in “crisis” but must continue.

China ship hears ‘signal’; unclear if jet-related

PERTH, Australia — The Australian-led joint agency coordinating the search for the missing Malaysian jetliner says electronic pulse signals reportedly detected by a Chinese ship in the southern Indian Ocean are consistent with those of an aircraft black box. However, Australian Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston said early today that the agency cannot verify any connection between the signals and Malaysian Airlines Flight 370. China’s Xinhua News Agency reported Saturday that a black box detector deployed by the ship, Haixun 01, picked up a signal at 37.5 cycles per second, the same frequency emitted by flight data recorders. Xinhua also said a Chinese search plane spotted numerous white floating objects about 56 miles away. Houston says the joint agency has no confirmation the floating objects are related to the missing aircraft.

Japan forces told to down North Korean missiles

TOKYO — The Japanese government on Thursday ordered the Self-Defense Forces to shoot down any North Korean ballistic missiles approaching Japan, several government sources said Saturday.

Ukraine arrests alleged eastern coup plotters

KIEV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s security service says it has detained a 15-strong armed gang planning to seize power in an eastern province on the border with Russia.

Quakes, tsunamis remembered

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — NOAA’s National Geophysical Data Center puts the total deaths resulting from the Great Alaska Earthquake of 1964 at 139. Fifteen of them are attributed to falling buildings or crumbling ground during the quake itself. The rest were killed by water.

Gunman kills 3, wounds 16 at Fort Hood Army base

FORT HOOD, TEXAS — An Iraq War veteran being treated for mental illness opened fire Wednesday on fellow service members at the Fort Hood military base, killing three people and wounding 16 before committing suicide at the same post where more than a dozen people were slain in a 2009 attack, authorities said.

Column: Tax benefits offer assist to farming operations

There are many tax benefits for people in the farming business. Farms include plantations, ranches, ranges and orchards. Farmers may raise livestock, poultry or fish, or grow fruits or vegetables.

VA says disability claims backlog down 44%

WASHINGTON — The Department of Veterans Affairs has cut its backlog of pending disability benefit claims by 44 percent since saying in March 2013 that its caseload had reached a “tipping point,” but some veterans organizations are challenging the accuracy of the agency’s numbers.

Supreme Court strikes down overall campaign contribution limits

WASHINGTON —The Supreme Court struck down limits Wednesday in federal law on the overall campaign contributions the biggest individual donors may make to candidates, political parties and political action committees.