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  • Lotteries
  • Few employers drop benefits, surveys say
    WASHINGTON – The Affordable Care Act so far has not prompted the nation’s employers to drop health benefits for some or all of their workers as critics of the law had predicted, according to two major surveys released
  • Taliban assault in Kabul fails
    Four Taliban militants who attacked a compound housing foreign workers in the Afghan capital were killed Wednesday night in a failed assault there, police said, the latest violence targeting foreigners in the country.

3rd victim found after Virginia balloon crash

– As University of Richmond students participated in graduation ceremonies Sunday, Virginia state and local police finished a massive search for the third victim of a fiery balloon crash that has devastated the school’s women’s basketball team.

The badly burned remains of a woman’s body were found Sunday morning about 100 yards away from where one of the other bodies was found the day before, Virginia State Police said.

University officials have confirmed that Ginny Doyle, 44, associate head women’s basketball coach, and Natalie Lewis, 24, the team’s director of basketball operations, were inside the balloon’s gondola when the craft went down.

An official identified the balloon’s pilot as Daniel T. Kirk, 65.

Hagel to reconsider transgender ban

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Sunday that he was open to reconsidering the ban on transgender people serving openly in the military.

“I do think it continually should be reviewed,” he said on ABC’s “This Week.” “I’m open to that.”

Although the ban on openly gay personnel serving was lifted in 2011, transgender members must keep their gender identity a secret or risk being discharged.

The National Center for Transgender Equality applauded Hagel’s remarks.

D.C. monument to reopen today

The Washington Monument will emerge bruised but not broken for its reopening today, when visitors will again zip up on the elevators of the capital’s tallest attraction.

The 555-foot obelisk has been closed since August 2011, when a magnitude-5.8 earthquake chipped and unsettled some of its granite and marble stones.

Since then, stonemasons have been filling cracks with epoxy, relining stone interstices with more than 14,000 feet of mortar and installing metal cradle anchors to reinforce the stone ribs sustaining the monument.

Storm produces snow, tornadoes

A powerful spring storm dropped more than a foot of sloppy, wet snow in parts of Colorado and Wyoming on Mother’s Day, and forecasters warned that instability ahead of the cold front created conditions ripe for tornadoes and severe thunderstorms in the Plains states.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for most of northern Colorado and parts of southern Wyoming for all of Sunday and this morning. Strong thunderstorms and tornadoes developed in Nebraska and were threatening to push south. The storm also created high winds across the West.

The storm was expected to weaken as it heads northeast from the Plains, possibly bringing rain as it moves into the Great Lakes, the weather service said.

Ex-Wis. governor Patrick Lucey dies

Former Wisconsin Gov. Patrick Lucey, a hard-nosed Democratic politician who later became the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, has died. He was 96.

Lucey, who also ran for vice president of the United States as an independent in 1980, died Saturday night at the Milwaukee Catholic Home after a brief illness, said his son, Paul Lucey, of Milwaukee.

Patrick Lucey was elected governor in 1970 and won re-election in 1974, but left midway through his second term to serve as then-President Jimmy Carter’s ambassador to Mexico.

In Wisconsin, he will perhaps be remembered most for pushing to merge the University of Wisconsin in Madison with the state college system, a fierce battle that created today’s system of 13 four-year state colleges.