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Obama says he’ll act without Congress to ‘fix’ immigration

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Barack Obama said Monday he’s convinced that House Republicans will not take action to reform the U.S. immigration system this year and that he plans to use his executive authority to “fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own, without Congress.”

Researchers grapple for Alzheimer’s cure as it threatens to overwhelm health care system

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gasps were audible as the images flashed before a gathering of scientists at a recent UC Davis Alzheimer’s Disease Center pathology conference. On the screen before them were photos of a brain severely wasted with age, with what looked like silver rivers of atrophy cutting deeply through the tissue. Even for the experts, it can be shocking to see the damage that Alzheimer’s disease inflicts on the aging brain.

Lost sense of smell often invisible, untreatable problem

CHICAGO — Mimi Koberlein woke up one morning unable to smell the bacon her husband was frying for breakfast. Confused, she ran to the shower, grabbed her shampoo and inhaled deeply. Nothing. Two years later, Koberlein, 47, still can’t smell lemons, freshly cut grass, her three boys or any other fragrances of life. Diagnosed with anosmia, or smell loss, she has tried decongestants, nasal irrigation, oral steroids and acupuncture. But nothing has worked.

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Church sues over N.C. ban on same-sex marriage

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A group of Charlotte-area ministers have helped launch the country’s first faith-based challenge to a same-sex marriage ban, claiming in a lawsuit filed Monday that North Carolina’s laws block them from practicing their religion.

Scalia set to play key role in Supreme Court smartphone case

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Justice Antonin Scalia, the Supreme Court’s new champion of the Fourth Amendment, is likely to play a crucial role Tuesday when the court hears this year’s most important search case: whether the police may routinely examine the digital contents of a cellphone confiscated during an arrest.

National high school graduation rate exceeds 80% for the first time

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The national high school graduation rate has reached a record high of more than 80%, but disparities based on students’ racial, socio-economic and disability status remain alarming, according to an annual report by America’s Promise Alliance, a nonprofit group founded by former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

FDA advises against using extra-strength acetaminophen

LOS ANGELES — Apparently, the FDA’s warning four months ago was missed by many physicians, pharmacists and patients, so the drug agency, in an unusual move, saw fit Monday to remind us: Stop writing prescriptions for, stop dispensing prescriptions for, and stop taking medications containing more than 325 milligrams of acetaminophen.

Most won’t sweat income tax deadline, poll finds

WASHINGTON, D.C. — One in four Americans waited until the end of tax season to file their returns and a majority think they pay about the right amount in federal taxes, according to a new McClatchy-Marist Poll released Monday, a day before the tax deadline.