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Officially, NBA players began participating in games that were scheduled to celebrate and honor the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1986 when the federal holiday commemorating the civil-rights leader was observed for the first time.

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NEW YORK (AP) — Americans overlooked shortages, spiking prices and uncertainty over the omicron variant to break spending records during the critical holiday shopping season. But figures released Friday show that after spending robustly early in the holiday season, consumers sharply slowed their purchases from November to December.

RED OAK, Iowa (AP) — A 12-year-old Iowa girl who was struck and killed by a police vehicle that was headed to an apartment fire had been on her way to a grocery store to buy snacks with a gift card she got for Christmas, her older sister said.

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Christmas tree fire caused the blaze that killed 12 people in a Philadelphia rowhome duplex, investigators confirmed Tuesday after a preliminary investigation, stopping short of officially saying a 5-year-old boy playing with a lighter was behind it.

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ATLANTA (AP) — Martin Luther King Jr.’s daughter used an address Monday to push for federal voting rights legislation and slam the twisting of critical race theory to create what she called “false narratives.”

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NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Ethiopia’s government on Friday announced an amnesty for some of the country’s most high-profile political detainees, including opposition figure Jawar Mohammed and senior Tigray party officials, as Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed spoke of reconciliation for Orthodox Christmas.

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Investigators are looking into whether a 5-year-old who was playing with a lighter set a Christmas tree on fire, sparking a conflagration that killed 12 family members in a Philadelphia rowhome, officials revealed Thursday.

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Vaccinated, masked and ready-to-revel New Orleans residents began ushering in Carnival season Thursday with a rolling party on the city's historic streetcar line, an annual march honoring Joan of Arc in the French Quarter and a collective, wary eye on coronavirus statistics.

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