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WASHINGTON (AP) Virginia Congressman Eric Cantor says he'll see to it that all House committees devote more time and effort to overseeing and exposing problems in the federal government. Cantor is expected to be the majority leader under the new Republican-led House.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) A panel has recommended that the New College Institute in the economically struggling Martinsville area should become a branch campus of one of Virginia's existing public universities. The recommendation will be forwarded to Gov. Bob McDonnell and the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) Ten businesses in Hampton Roads have been declared off-limits to U.S. military personnel because they sell a product called "Spice" that mimics marijuana's effects. Two businesses are in Hampton, four are in Newport News, two are in Norfolk and two are in Virginia Beach.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) The Virginia Supreme Court says a defendant can be forced to admit guilt as part of his probation even if he's allowed to withhold such an admission at a plea hearing. James Carroll had entered an Alford plea on a rape charge. The court said someone who enters an Alford plea is treated like any other convicted defendant.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


5 Sisters Struggle With The Shackles Of A Conservative Culture In 'Mustang'

Five Turkish teens are censured by a culture threatened by their burgeoning sexuality in Deniz Gamze Ergüven's debut film. Critic John Powers says Mustang brims with "the zing and energy of life."

Internet Food Culture Gives Rise To New 'Eatymology'

Internet food culture has brought us new words for nearly every gastronomical condition. The author of "Eatymology," parodist Josh Friedland, discusses "brogurt" with NPR's Rachel Martin.

After Paris, Obama Administration Changes Visa Waiver Program

Holes in the visa program that allow easy entry into the United States are being re-examined. President Obama is taking steps to tighten the program, while Congress works on a fix.

Customization Is Key: 'Star Wars: Battlefront' Makes Space For Gamers Of All Stripes

In the video game Star Wars: Battlefront, players can customize characters according to gender, race and age. Producer Sigurlina Ingvarsdottir says inclusivity was a priority "from the get-go."

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