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Posted: August 19, 2014 at 3:22 a.m.

• Joe Biden, the vice president, presided over a ceremonial swearing-in for new Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, the former San Antonio mayor often mentioned as a potential vice presidential nominee in 2016.

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The nation in brief

In this Saturday, Aug 16, 2014 photo, A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15-feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Ala. The alligator was caught in the Alabama River near Camden, Ala., by Mandy Stokes at right, along with her husband John Stokes, at her right, and her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins, left, and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Ala. (AP Photo/Al.com, Sharon Steinmann)

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