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Cuba's new crackdown takes effectYour Top Plays for Today

People put their luggage in a private taxi as they arrive from the U.S. to the Jose Marti International Airport in Havana, Cuba, Monday, Sept. 1, 2014. Cubans braced Monday for a clampdown on the flow of car tires, flat-screen televisions, blue jeans and shampoo in the bags of travelers who haul eye-popping amounts of foreign-bought merchandise to an island where consumer goods are frequently shoddy, scarce and expensive. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)New government restrictions are upsetting travelers to the island nation.


Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, returns a shot against Paul-Henri Mathieu, of France, during the second round of the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament, Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)Your Top Plays for Today: AP's Sports Guide


Obama notifies Congress of airstrikes in IraqAthens Olympics leave mixed legacy, 10 years later

Obama delivers remarks at Laborfest 2014 at Maier Festival Park in Milwaukee, WisconsinWASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has sent official notification to Congress of his order for last week's airstrikes and humanitarian aid drops to help Iraqis threatened by Islamic State militants.


In this Friday, Aug. 8, 2014 photo, the abandoned beach volleyball Olympic venue is seen in Neo Faliro, southern Athens. As Greece groans under a cruel depression, forecast to end this year, the 10-year anniversary once again raises the question of whether the Athens Games were too costly an undertaking for a weak economy. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)ATHENS, Greece (AP) — In an obscure corner of a park sits a forlorn reminder that, 10 years ago, Athens hosted the 2004 Summer Olympics. The crumbling miniature theater is inscribed with the words "glory, wealth, wisdom, victory, triumph, hero, labor" — and it is where visiting Olympic officials planted an olive sapling that would bear their names for posterity.


Powerful interests want to take down CristSchools invest millions preparing for SEC Network

Former Florida Governor Charlie Crist greets supporters outside the North Miami Public Library in Miami in this file photoBy David Adams MIAMI (Reuters) - When Charlie Crist last governed Florida, his green energy and climate policies made him few friends among the state's powerful electricity corporations. Now, as the Republican-turned Democrat bids to return to the governor's mansion, it may be payback time. Florida's three largest utilities have poured money into the re-election campaign of Republican incumbent Governor Rick Scott in an expensive and closely watched political battle for the nation's largest swing state. ...


The Ray and Lucy Hand Digital Studio is being constructed on the ground levee of the Brenda Lawson Athletic Center in Knoxville, Tenn., Monday, Aug. 11, 2014. (AP Photo/The Knoxville News Sentinel, Saul Young)The Southeastern Conference's new network debuts Thursday, promising more than 1,000 live events this year and a reach that includes most major television providers in the South.


Cry for help from Americans detained in North KoreaFCC's Pai supports repeal of NFL TV blackout rules

Americans Detained In North Korea Call For US HelpThree detained Americans seek diplomatic negotiations for their freedom.


BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Ajit Pai called the NFL's television blackout rules "outdated," and urged his fellow Federal Communications Commission representatives to vote in favor of having them repealed to address fan concerns.
Horrors committed by Islamists in IraqMixed martial arts fighter accused of attacking ex

Kurdish peshmerga forces celebrate as they take control of Sulaiman Pek from the Islamist State militants, in the northwest of Tikrit cityUN officials say ISIS has carried out atrocities on "an unimaginable scale."


This undated photo provided by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department shows Johathan Koppenhaver who appeared in UFC's Ultimate Fighter TV show in 2007. Las Vegas police say the former UFC fighter is the primary suspect in a domestic dispute that resulted in serious injuries. (AP Photo/Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)LAS VEGAS (AP) — Police are looking for a mixed martial arts fighter and porn actor after his girlfriend posted graphic photos of her swollen and beaten face online and said the man, known as War Machine, beat her and a friend so severely that she feared for her life.




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 Bakersfield Views and Opinions
Why Midterm Elections Are Important

Primary elections are being held now in states across the country as members of political parties cast votes for the candidates they want to run in this November’s general election. Once the primaries are over, it will be time to focus on the general midterm election.

Living Wages Are A Global Problem

The recent protests for an increased minimum wage are part of a larger global protest. The purpose is the same for low wage earners all over the world; increase wages to match the cost of living, and allow workers to form unions if desired and needed. The global protest has gained media attention all over the world, but critics claim that is the only accomplishment the movement will have.

Ukraine: Not What It Seems

After tense days of fighting this week, people in Ukraine are mourning the dead and celebrating the removal of President Victor Yanukovych from power. The final struggle that began on February 18, was the bloodiest endured by the protesters of Euromaidan. By February 22 the fighting was over.

Religious Freedom Bill - Protecting The Faithful or Legalized Discrimination?

After a much heated national debate, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed the controversial bill that would have allowed people and businesses in the state to refuse services to LBGT people based on their religious belief.

The Nuclear Option

The Democrats in the United States Senate put an end to Republican obstruction last week when they voted 52 to 48 to end the filibuster. Called the nuclear option, the change to Senate rules allows for executive and judicial nominees to be approved with a simple majority vote. The minority party can no longer filibuster these nominees and require a majority of 60 votes.

Coup Or Civil War In Egypt

The day after new protests erupted in Egypt the military in a show of support presented an ultimatum to Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood-led government. Morsi was to step down from power and meet all of the demands of the Egyptian people, or face being removed by the military on Wednesday. As the ultimatum deadline draws closer in Egypt, Morsi refuses to leave, insisting that parliamentary elections are needed before he should be removed, and that he doesn't have permission from the United States to remove himself from power. Most recently he stated he will pay with his life to preserve the sanctity of the ballot box.

 
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