National briefs: RNC reflects on lost race

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WASHINGTON -- The Republican National Committee on Monday announced an inquiry to look at what went wrong in 2012's presidential election and how the GOP can respond to the nation's shifting demographics and adopt smarter political strategies.

RNC chairman Reince Priebus asked a group of five respected party leaders to examine how the GOP can better talk with voters, raise money from donors and learn from Democrats' tactics. Mr. Preibus also asked the group, known as the Growth and Opportunity Project, to look at how campaigns are best organized and deployed, how they can work with independent groups such as super political action committees, and how the party should approach the 2016 presidential primaries as part of a top-to-bottom review.

Tribe prepares to bury 5

PORTERVILLE, Calif. -- On Monday, the brothers who run the Tule River Indian Reservation cemetery were preparing to dig a grave by hand, as is customary, for Alyssa Celaya, 8, who died Sunday following a rampage the previous day that also took the lives of her grandmother and the grandmother's two brothers.

The killings have shaken this peace-preaching tribe because it goes against their teachings that love for family exists above all. Authorities said the killer was Alyssa's father, Hector Celaya, 31, who died Sunday after a shootout with sheriff's deputies. Investigators were still searching for a motive.

Strauss-Kahn settlement

NEW YORK -- Former International Monetary Fund leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn and a hotel maid settled her lawsuit Monday over sexual assault allegations from May 2011 that sank his political career and spurred scrutiny of his dealings with women on two continents.

State Supreme Court Justice Douglas McKeon announced the confidential deal. Mr. Strauss-Kahn stayed in Paris. "I thank everyone who supported me all over the world," Ms. Diallo said softly after court. "I thank God, and God bless you all."

Ariz. jackpot winner named

PHOENIX -- The second winner of the $587.5 million Powerball jackpot is a 37-year-old electronics industry professional who grew up in a modest home in Pennsylvania and moved to an affluent Phoenix suburb last year before striking it rich in the lotto.

The winner is Matthew Good of Fountain Hills, who chose to remain anonymous after claiming the prize last week. Lottery winners in Arizona are a matter of public record. Mr. Good, a native of Wormleysburg, Pa., near Harrisburg, took the one-time payout of $192 million from the Nov. 28 drawing.

Proclamation legalizes pot

DENVER -- Marijuana for recreational use became legal in Colorado Monday, when the governor took a purposely low-key procedural step of declaring the voter-approved change part of the state constitution.

Colorado became the second state after Washington to allow pot use without a doctor's recommendation. Both states prohibit public use of the drug.

Sentencing in 1957 killing

SYCAMORE, Ill. -- Friends and family who had all but given up on seeing anyone brought to justice for the murder of a young Illinois girl more than 50 years ago said they were at peace Monday after a former police officer was sentenced to life in prison.

Jack McCullough, 73, was convicted in September in one of the oldest unsolved crimes in American history to make it to trial. Maria Ridulph had been playing on Dec. 3, 1957, before she was grabbed, choked and stabbed to death in an alley.




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