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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The Palace of the Governors in heart of Santa Fe's historic district is scheduled to close for six months as part of an ongoing restoration project.Museum officials announced this week that the building will close Aug. 1 while heating, air conditioning and fire-suppression equipment is installed.New Mexico History Museum executive director Andrew Wulf says the work won't affect other parts of the downtown complex, including the area where Native American vendors sell jewelry.Officials say the temporary closure means the palace's exhibits will be taken down.

LAS VEGAS, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Highlands University has been removed from probation by an accreditation group.The Higher Learning Commission has reaffirmed the university's accreditation after determining that it met certain criteria.Under a new initiative announced Tuesday, Highlands President Sam Minner said he now wants to create a more vibrant and effective university by examining programs, correcting inefficiencies and removing obstacles to student success.Minner has organized four groups to examine curricular offerings, student life, athletics and finances.

By MORGAN LEE, Associated Press SANTA FE, N.M.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Members of a legislative committee are taking stock of mounting liabilities at New Mexico's two major public pension funds in the wake of a downgrade of the state's credit rating.Democratic state Sen. George Munoz of Gallup says new reforms are needed to shore up public pension plans for teachers, state workers and municipalities that are managed by the New Mexico Educational Retirement Board and the Public Employees Retirement Association.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Jeremy Reynalds, a longtime advocate for the homeless in New Mexico and who founded the state's largest emergency shelter, has died.Joy Junction, the shelter Reynalds founded more than three decades ago, announced in a statement Wednesday that he died after a long illness. He was 60.Born in Bournemouth, England, Reynalds came to the U.S. in 1978 after attending a Bible college.

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The World Food Program is starting to airlift food to relieve the famine in the Somali capital of Mogadishu. The first plane, carrying 10 tons of food supplies, will help feed 3,500 malnourished children for a month, a spokeswoman said yesterday.

Part 1 of a 6-part series

In Washington, congressional leaders and the White House are in a financial fight that's being watched around the world. But outside the Beltway, in cities large and small, mayors are grappling with their own economic challenges.

In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is no stranger to tough negotiations. And, fresh from his second stint as a White House adviser, that's where he finds himself now.

Twenty white firefighters in New Haven, Conn., have settled their reverse discrimination case with the city for $2 million in back pay, additional pension benefits and interest. The city will also cough up about $3 million to cover the firefighters' legal costs.

The Hartford Courant explains the how the case came to court:

Update at 3:10 p.m. ET. Court Issues Ruling:

Saying that the Freedom From Religion Foundation did not have standing to sue, U.S. District Judge Gray H. Miller threw out the lawsuit.

Our Original Post:

Today, a federal court heard arguments from a group that wants it to issue a restraining order to stop Texas Gov. Rick Perry from sponsoring a prayer and fasting rally planned for Aug. 6 in Houston.

Scientists would like to know more about how cells work. But seeing what's happening inside a cell isn't easy. It's dark in there, and even if you shine a light, many of the critical chemical reactions are invisible.

Now, a team of researchers has found a way to reveal the invisible by attaching what amounts to a reflective tag to a chemical called RNA, a close relative of DNA. Molecules made of RNA have a variety of important jobs inside cells and frequently, doing those jobs requires the RNA to shuttle from one part of the cell to another.

Negotiating Palestinian statehood was an early priority for President Obama's administration. But these days, U.S. diplomats are spending much of their time trying to stop the Palestinians from going to the United Nations to try to win diplomatic recognition.

Palestinians say they have no other choice, since negotiations are deadlocked.

Some former Israeli officials came to Washington this week to urge the U.S. to help.

Rita Leistner is a photojournalist based in Toronto. A selection of her Basetrack photos are now featured in a digital book. Basetrack is supported by a 2010 News Challenge grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

This evening is looking pretty dramatic for Congress. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), who has been working hard to shore up the 217 votes he needs to get his budget bill through the House, delayed a vote on the legislation just before the expected vote at 6 p.m. ET.

The delay suggests that the speaker does not have the votes he needs to pass his plan. Boehner may bring the bill back for a vote later tonight. Or he may pull the bill from consideration by the House.

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will be brought to Cairo to stand trial next week, a top judiciary official said Thursday. It would be the first time he has returned to the capital since he was ousted from power this spring.

Mubarak, 83, faces charges in the deaths of hundreds of protesters during the revolution that toppled him. He will be tried, along with his sons and former interior minister, in proceedings set to begin next Wednesday.

A survey of 55 skulls from the 1800s and regions across the globe finds that people who lived in high latitudes had bigger eyes and brains. Researchers at Oxford University say the variations are not due to differences in intelligence but are instead related to ambient light:

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