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After late wrangling that included a threat to withdraw his guilty plea, J. Everett Dutschke accepted a 25-year prison sentence Monday, a year after he was arrested for sending poison-laced letters to President Obama and others.

In school, many of us were sent to dictionaries to look up words we didn't know.

Now, dictionaries are coming to us, filling themselves up with terms that may already feel overly familiar.

More than 150 new words and definitions have been added to the Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, the publisher announced Monday. The list includes selfie, hashtag, big data and unfriend.

"So many of these new words show the impact of online connectivity to our lives and livelihood," Peter Sokolowski, a Merriam-Webster editor, said in a statement.

This post was updated at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Federal judges in two states have ruled in favor of same-sex marriage, with a decision in Oregon overturning a ban on the practice and another in Utah ordering officials to recognize more than 1,000 marriages that had been thrown into legal limbo.

In Oregon, opponents of gay marriage had asked a superior court to stay the judge's decision to give them a chance to argue their case against repealing the ban, but the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected their emergency motion earlier today.

The Department of Transportation is ordering General Motors to pay a record $35 million civil penalty for its handling of a recall of more than 2 million vehicles for ignition switch problems. The government says GM violated federal safety laws.

The fine is part of a "consent decree" that's being announced Friday. The agreement also calls for GM to change how it handles review of safety issues.

WAMC Composite Photo by Dave Lucas

With student loan debt sailing past the trillion-dollar mark, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York is once again pitching a proposed law to let federal loan borrowers reduce their student debts by refinancing.


U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer of New York is calling on the U.S. State Department to establish a reward for reliable information leading to the rescue of 276 missing girls in Nigeria.

Schumer says the U.S. should also provide refugee status to anyone who isn't a terrorist and helps find them while placing on its terrorist watch list any individual discovered buying one of the girls or harming them.

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is seeking public comment on ways to disclose information about the chemicals used in the oil and gas drilling process known as fracking.

The EPA says in a Friday release that it is also seeking input on incentives and programs that could help develop safer fracking chemicals.

There are more data to add to Chicago's well-documented problem with gun violence.

Headlines such as this from the Chicago Sun-Times — "In violent weekend, at least 8 dead, 37 wounded in shootings across Chicago" — set us off in search of news reports after previous weekends.

If reporting from foreign lands is important to you, then Garrick Utley is someone you most likely admired over the past four or five decades.

So it's with some sadness that we pass along word that the veteran newsman, who in the mid-'60s was NBC News' first bureau chief in Saigon and later went on to a career that took him around the world and to the moderator's chair on Meet the Press, has died.

He was 74.

Among the many snacks you can find in the aisles of Trader Joe's is an icon of sweet and salty goodness: the peanut butter pretzel. It's a combination so tasty, famed food writer Ruth Reichl once raved, "You haven't lived until you've tried the two together."

But the beloved treats aren't just treasures for the palate — they're a pretty lucrative business worth millions of dollars. And now, Trader Joe's is being sued for allegedly cornering the market on the snack.