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The percentage of Army recruits with high school diplomas continued to drop in 2007, falling to 71 percent, well below the 90 percent goal last achieved in 2004, according to a report released Tuesday by the National Priorities Project, which analyzes federal data. Since all troops must have a diploma or equivalent degree, the Army assists recruits in taking GED tests. "We don't put unqualified people in the Army, but it's something we're watching," a recruiting spokesman said.

Survivors, family members, and friends of those killed in last April's Virginia Tech shooting massacre packed a hearing in Richmond, Va., Monday to show their support for a bill to close a gun-ownership loophole. The proceeding also drew about 200 opponents of the measure, which would require background checks of buyers at gun shows aimed at preventing criminals and the mentally ill from buying firearms.

The New York attorney general's office is investigating the relationship between 15 colleges and universities, including Columbia and Cornell, and study-abroad providers for possible "cozy" financial relationships, a lead investigator said Monday. The kind of arrangements being probed are ones in which school administrators might take vacations at the students' expense.

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Yahoo! Inc., which has been struggling to compete against Google in the Internet search and advertising market, appears poised to lay off hundreds of workers, according to media reports.

About 50 members of the white supremacist Nationalist Movement gathered in Jena, La., Monday, calling for severe prosecution of six black teenagers accused of beating a white classmate in 2006 and for ending the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Roughly 100 counterprotesters showed up, but there was no violence and only one arrest. Above, separatists marched through Jena.

Four men from Long Island, N.Y., completed a transatlantic crossing, rowing a 30-foot boat from the Canary Islands to Barbados in 36 days, 55 minutes, breaking the fastest four-man rowboat passage, Newsday reported Monday. The crew fell about 16 hours short of the overall record, which was broken by a 12-man crew of Britons, Scots, and Irishmen.

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