National briefs: Race in Miss. tops primary

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WASHINGTON -- Six-term Republican Sen. Thad Cochran and Tea party-backed challenger Chris McDaniel swapped leads in Mississippi's bruising primary election Tuesday night, the latest struggle inside a party divided along ideological lines.

On the busiest night of the primary season, Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown of California sought nomination to a fourth term.

The Senate contest between Mr. Cochran and Mr. McDaniel drew top billing, a heated race between a 76-year-old pillar of the GOP establishment who has helped funnel millions of dollars to his state and a younger state lawmaker who drew backing from Tea Party groups and former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

School discipline report

WASHINGTON -- A national report described as a first-of-its-kind road map for improving discipline practices in public schools was released Tuesday with 60 recommendations intended to help schools reduce suspensions and create better learning conditions.

The report, the result of a three-year, bipartisan effort, urges that suspensions be used as a last resort, proposes targeting support to help students with behavioral issues and suggests specialized training for police on the nation's campuses.

Private care for veterans?

WASHINGTON -- North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr and three Republican colleagues Tuesday announced support for legislation they say would tackle the root causes of treatment delays at veterans medical facilities by giving former service members the option of choosing private health care.

Their measure would allow veterans unable to get an appointment in a timely way or who live more than 40 miles from a Department of Veterans Affairs facility to receive care from any doctor in Medicare or the military's TRICARE health program.

Ex-Blue Angels head guilty

WASHINGTON -- A former commander of the Navy's elite Blue Angels flight demonstration squadron has been reprimanded after an investigation found he repeatedly failed to stop sexual harassment and condoned pornography, homophobia and lecherous behavior in the workplace.

Capt. Gregory McWherter, who served as commander in two stints between 2008 and 2012, was found guilty after a hearing Monday, the Navy said. He was given a letter of reprimand that will most likely end his Navy career.

Charlotte mayor's plea

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Former Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon pleaded guilty Tuesday to a federal public corruption charge, and now faces up to 20 years in prison.

The plea capped a four-year investigation in which he took bribes in exchange for the promise of helping developers.

Mr. Cannon, 47, was elected mayor last fall, two decades after he became the youngest candidate elected to City Council in 1993. He now stands to be the city's first mayor ever sent to prison.

Man had bomb parts

SAN FRANCISCO -- Ryan Chamberlain had the makings of an improvised bomb -- explosive powder, a motor, wires for a detonator and ball bearings and screws -- in his San Francisco apartment, according to an affidavit released Tuesday.

The items found Saturday in a bag allegedly belonging to Mr. Chamberlain make up the "four components necessary to comprise an IED," or improvised explosive device, according to the federal indictment.

Mr. Chamberlain, 42, is charged with possessing an illegal explosive device. He faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.


-- Compiled from news services


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