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In the Nation

Unabomber's stuff brings in $190K

SAN FRANCISCO - The very technology that the Unabomber railed against during his murderous mail-bomb rampage was used Thursday to help some of his victims.

An unusual online auction of Ted Kaczynski's personal items that ended Thursday garnered about $190,000 for his victims and their family members. They want Kaczynski to pay for the 16 explosions he set off that killed three and injured 23 across the country over nearly 20 years.

His personal journals fetched $40,676; the hooded sweatshirt and sunglasses depicted in police sketches accounted for $20,025; and his handwritten "manifesto" sold for $20,053. The auction was a culmination of a seven-year legal battle to block Kaczynski from regaining ownership of the property seized from his Montana cabin during a 1996 raid. - AP

S.D. residents flee before dam move

PIERRE, S.D. - Flood-threatened neighborhoods of the South Dakota capital and its sister city across the swollen Missouri River largely emptied Thursday as residents heeded calls to leave for higher ground ahead of the planned release of water from upstream dams.

Most of the 3,000 residents of low-lying areas of Pierre and Fort Pierre had left home, and others loading their belongings onto pickup trucks said they would be gone by Gov. Dennis Daugaard's unofficial deadline of 8 p.m.

Water releases from the Oahe Dam were expected to increase slightly starting Friday and gradually rise until Tuesday, when water levels were projected to crest four feet higher, or about two feet below the levee top. Officials have kept the releases steady for nearly a week as people moved possessions to higher ground, put sandbags around their homes, and arranged for other places to live. - AP

White House is changing lawyers

WASHINGTON - President Obama's top lawyer at the White House, Bob Bauer, is leaving to return to his political-law practice and to represent Obama as his personal attorney and counsel to his reelection campaign.

Bauer will be succeeded by his top deputy, Kathy Ruemmler, a former assistant U.S. attorney best known as a lead prosecutor in the Enron financial-fraud case. Ruemmler, 40, will be one of the youngest lawyers to serve as chief White House counsel.

The move, announced Thursday, was met without surprise. Bauer, a specialist in campaign finance, election law, and ethics, is returning to the role as campaign counsel that he held when Obama ran for president in 2008. He will leave his White House post at the end of July. - AP


San Diego urged a judge to put on hold a sweeping ruling that would subject July 4 fireworks shows and tens of thousands of other festivities to rigorous environmental review, saying it would deal a crushing economic blow.

More than 30 same-sex couples gathered Thursday in Chicago's Millennium Park to be among the first in Illinois to enter into civil unions. Illinois is the sixth state to allow civil unions or their equivalent.