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In brief

Church, state meet in Russia Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, left, and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill are seen Thursday during a meeting with the top hierarchy of the Russian Orthodox Church in the Kremlin in Moscow.

AP PHOTO
WASHINGTON States OK to cut Medicaid

Answering a fiscal 911 call from the nation’s governors, the Obama administration Thursday gave cash-strapped states a menu for cutting Medicaid spending, one of their biggest budget headaches.

It didn’t have one item that many governors, particularly Republicans, are looking for.

In a letter to governors, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was cool to the idea of cutting beneficiaries from the Medicaid rolls by restricting eligibility, as Arizona has requested and other states are considering.

Instead, Sebelius urged states to find savings through other approaches, including charging higher copayments for some services, limiting certain benefits, managing high-cost patients more efficiently, squeezing drugs costs, and cracking down on improper payments.

ANKARA, Turkey Explosions kill 12 people

Two separate explosions in an industrial district of the Turkish capital killed at least 12 people on Thursday and injured dozens of others, authorities said.

A powerful explosion collapsed two stories of a factory, leaving at least six people dead and injuring 34 others, Interior Minister Besir Atalay said. Hours later, another explosion shook a paint workshop in the same industrial zone, killing six more people, said Ankara’s mayor Melih Gokcek.

The cause of the explosions was under investigation, authorities said. Gokcek, however, told CNN-Turk television that the factory blast was likely sparked by oxygen tanks. He did not give details.

MEXICO CITY Mexico halts storm help

Mexico said Thursday it was temporarily suspending an offer to provide electricity to Texas to help the U.S. state weather an ice storm that forced rolling blackouts, because of severe cold in Mexico’s own territory.

Mexico’s Federal Electricity Commission had said Wednesday it had agreed to transmit 280 megawatts of electricity to Texas.

But on Thursday, the commission said it was temporarily suspending the transfer because below-freezing temperatures in northern Mexico had affected the generating capacity of some its own plants, causing a reduction of about 1,000 megawatts in generation.

HYANNIS, Mass. Kennedy turkey goes postal

Ethel Kennedy is taking responsibility for a rogue turkey caught on video attacking a mail truck near the family compound in Hyannisport.

Kennedy tells the Cape Cod Times that when the family gathered in Hyannisport at Thanksgiving she wanted the children to know what a real turkey looked like. So she sent her son, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., to a farm to buy two birds.

One escaped. The children spent three days chasing it around the neighborhood, to no avail.

Then last week, a bird matching the description of the Kennedy bird was spotted about two miles away attacking the truck in Barnstable.

The 82-year-old Kennedy says: “It’s our bird.”

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