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A look at Obama’s legacy, foolish hope of ‘post-racial’ America

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(Part 1 of two. Part two will deal with Obama’s political legacy) The 2008 presidential campaign of Barack Obama focused on the theme of change. Obama promised to “restore our moral standing” and “focus on nation-building here at home.” Obama, as a candidate, told audiences that “we are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change we seek.” “Yes, we can” and “change you can believe in” became the campaign themes. Obama promised to “make government cool again.”…

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Storm’s 50-mile difference between disaster and catastrophe

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Hurricane Matthew’s close-but-not-quite-direct-hit path along the Florida and Georgia coasts skirted the difference between disaster and catastrophe, meteorologists said. Even though Matthew eventually made landfall in South Carolina as a minimal hurricane Saturday, the path it took in the days before was a stroke of luck for the United States that meteorologists will spend years trying to understand and explain. Here are some questions and answers about Matthew’s path that one meteorologist likened to threading a needle: — Q: How…

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Obama briefed on federal hurricane preparations, S.C. town closes in preparation

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President Barack Obama is being briefed on the federal government’s preparation for Hurricane Matthew as the Category 3 storm makes its way to the U.S. mainland. The president says now is the time to “hope for the best but we want to prepare for the worst.” Obama is at the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s headquarters. FEMA has deployed personnel to emergency operation centers in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. It’s also positioning commodities and other supplies at Fort…

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Hurricane warning extended for Florida’s coast

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The National Hurricane Center has extended the hurricane warning northward in Florida as Matthew heads toward the East Coast. Meanwhile, Hurricane Matthew is heading toward the Bahamas after hitting Cuba hard. The hurricane center says the hurricane was about 105 miles (165 kilometers) south of Long Island, Bahamas. It has maximum sustained winds of 120 mph (195 kph). The hurricane center said there is a danger of life-threatening inundation during the next 36 hours along Florida’s east coast from North…

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Evacuations underway in 2 Florida counties

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Mandatory evacuations have been ordered in Brevard County, and voluntary evacuations have been activated in St. Lucie County, but Gov. Rick Scott urged other coastal residents potentially in harm’s way not to wait to be told to leave. The governor said during a Wednesday morning news conference that “if you’re able to go early, leave now.” The mandatory evacuations were scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. The slow-moving storm was expected to drench the coast from the Keys through central…

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Mary Jo Melone: Not a column; a plea for Orlando

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Driving I-4 through Orlando, you see them. The billboard proclaim what is now ho-hum in this country. #OrlandoStrong #LoveOrlando #PrayforOrlando Add this to the list, please. #AmericaSickandTired Have you noticed that the phrase “take him out” is now part of our everyday language?  We are accustomed to terms like “SWAT team,” “active shooter,” “on lockdown,” “armored vehicle.” It is the language of an armed camp. The news coverage is predictable. TV stations repeat and repeat cellphone videos punctuated by gunfire…

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Islamic State conflict voted top news story of 2015

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The far-flung attacks claimed by Islamic State militants and the intensifying global effort to crush them added up to a grim, gripping yearlong saga that was voted the top news story of 2015, according to The Associated Press’ annual poll of U.S. editors and news directors. The No. 2 story was the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that led to legalization of same-sex marriage in all 50 states. But several of the other stories among the Top 10 reflected the impact…

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