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STERLING, Virginia (AP) - Attorney General Loretta Lynch says hate crimes tear at the fabric of American communities and are a stain on our "nation's very soul."

Lynch spoke Monday at a mosque in Virginia amid a large spike in hate crimes targeting Muslims.

Recently released FBI statistics show a 67 percent surge in hate crimes against Muslims in 2015, the highest total since the year of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

Lynch told the audience that the "sobering" increase in violence should alarm all Americans.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Some northern Virginia high school debate teams are planning to boycott state championships at Liberty University after remarks the college's president made about Muslims.

The Washington Post reports that students and coaches have been lobbying the group that oversees academic competitions to move next week's tournament from the evangelical university in Lynchburg, Virginia.

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Governor Jack Markell gave is last state of the state address yesterday hailing the changes that have taken place as Delaware emerges from the Great Recession.

The Delaware Democrat said the state must still evolve calling for higher pay for teachers and to meet the changing economy he wanted to expand job training programs.

In addition, he said it was time to revamping health care coverage for state employees.

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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has created a firestorm over his call for temporarily banning Muslims from entering the United States. From Republican Congressional leaders to GOP presidential rivals, the denunciations have come fast and furious. As political battle rages, American Muslims look on -- some fearful of what the future may hold.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's governor is criticizing the president of Liberty University for urging his Christian college community to arm itself against a possible attack by a would-be mass killer.           

Liberty President Jerry Falwell Jr. made the suggestion at a gathering of 10,000 on the Lynchburg campus on Friday night, and he stood by the statement Saturday in an interview with The Associated Press.