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A school shooting early Wednesday morning killed one student, according to initial reports. Foss High School in Tacoma, Wash., was immediately evacuated.

A special commission created by the New Jersey Legislature recommended Tuesday that the state abolish the death penalty. The commission argues that the punishment costs taxpayers more than life imprisonment does, Federal courts are moving to restrict certain types of executions and religious groups oppose the practice.

Rescue operations for people and livestock continued Wednesday after blizzards and snowdrifts stranded tens of thousands of residents in parts of Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma. People are being brought food, water, and medicine but still lack electricity, which utilities are trying to restore. The Colorado National Guard has dropped 500 bales of hay in the southeastern part of the state in an effort to save $1.8 billion worth of cattle.

Seven New Orleans police officers charged with killing two people and wounding four others during the chaotic aftermath of hurricane Katrina are scheduled for a bail hearing and possible arraignment Friday, after they turned themselves in at the city jail Tuesday. Four were indicted last week for murder and three for attempted murder, in relation to a 2005 gunfight with pedestrians.

Families and friends of the 12 workers killed in the Sago mine, West Virginia, gathered Tuesday to mark the first anniversary of the event. Holly Winans, daughter of the late Marshall Winans, lifts up Ashley Fortney to see a memorial.

Starbucks' ban on trans fats kicked in Wednesday in half of its 5,600 company-owned stores in the US – a move some cities, states, and foodmakers have also been considering. The world's largest specialty coffee retailer plans to remove all trans fats, said to increase "bad" cholesterol, from its US and Canadian stores by the end of 2007.

DraftObama.org, a nationwide grass-roots organization encouraging Sen. Barack Obama (D) of Illinois to run for president, created a group called "Independents for Obama" this week, in response to its growing support from independent voters.

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