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From the Associated Press:

Thousands of Northern New Englanders have turned out for marches and rallies in support of science to coincide with marches happening around the world. Organizers say the events on Saturday for Earth Day were to back scientific research and evidenced-based policies and defend them from attacks and reduced federal funding.

A group of marine scientists says collisions of whales and boats off the New England coast may be more common than previously thought. The scientists focused on the humpback whale population in the southern Gulf of Maine and found that almost 15 percent of the whales had injuries or scarring consistent with at least one vessel strike. Their findings were reported in the March issue of Marine Mammal Science.

Police in Maine have picked up some adorable intruders after two miniature goats escaped from their home and wandered the streets. A Belfast police officer responded Sunday morning to found the pygmy goats snacking on cat food in a woman's garage. An officer used a cat leash to lead them into his squad car. The daughter of the goats' owner saw the officer's Facebook post and picked up the pair, named Louis and Mowgli. The officer called the runaways "good company."

Citizens would monitor the success and progress of the state-run welfare-to-work program under a Democrat's bill. The citizens committee would require the state Department of Health and Human Services to collect data about topics like employment, income levels, child poverty and food insecurity.

Maine and Massachusetts will host hearings about potential changes to the East Coast squid fishery. Maine's hearing is slated for the Holiday Inn by the Bay on Tuesday. The Massachusetts hearing will take place at the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries Annisquam River Marine Fisheries Station on Wednesday.

As the state rolls out its toughest-in-the-nation opioid prescribing laws, some patients with debilitating pain say it's harder for them get the prescriptions they need. Maine health officials say the law has broad protections for the estimated 16,000 Mainers who are prescribed high daily doses of opiates for chronic and acute pain. But an increasingly vocal number of patients say they're in misery because their doctors contend they don't qualify for higher dosages under the law.

Some Maine legislators want to change the way the state awards hundreds of thousands of dollars in contracts. Democrats and unions are backing bills that would create ways to review state contracts and evaluate whether they provide economic value.

Attorneys general from 19 states and DC tell Trump and Congress not to cut federal money for drug treatment. It's the latest time Democratic law enforcement officers have banded together to oppose the president's policies _ or potential policies. This letter comes a day after Trump expressed optimism that Republicans can agree on a new plan to replace Obama's health insurance overhaul.

Maine's attorney general is filing a complaint under the Maine Civil Rights Act against a Portland man who was charged with assault in an incident police called a hate crime. Jaime Hoffman was charged with two counts of assault and a charge of interfering with constitutional rights stemming from the January incident. He is charged with making racial slurs and assaulting students outside Casco Bay High School in Portland.

Maine officials say the state has reached its lowest unemployment rate on record. The state Department of Labor says the preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for March was 3 percent. The department says that is the lowest rate on record since the current estimation methodology was implemented in 1976.

Rival South Korea and its allies are bracing for the possibility that North Korea may carry out its sixth nuclear test or its maiden test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile around the founding anniversary of its military on Tuesday. President Donald Trump spoke by phone with both the Japanese and Chinese leaders, and recent U.S. satellite images indicate increased activity around North Korea's nuclear test site.

Farmers around the U.S. are worried that the Trump administration crackdown on immigrants will deprive them of the workers they need. The truth is, American agriculture depends heavily on illegal labor to plant, raise and pick crops. Many farmers say native-born Americans don't want to work such back-breaking jobs.

New Orleans will begin taking down Confederate statutes, becoming the latest Southern body to divorce itself from what some say are symbols of racism and intolerance. Mayor Mitch Landrieu says the first memorial will come down at night because of death threats and intimidation from some of those who want the monuments to stay and to minimize city disruption. The other statues, of Lee, Beauregard and Davis, will come down in following days.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman is welcoming Emmanuel Macron's success in the first round of France's presidential election and wishing him "all the best for the next two weeks." Pro-European Union centrist Macron will face far-right nationalist contender Marine Le Pen in a May 7 runoff. Merkel's spokesman, Steffen Seibert, wrote on Twitter late Sunday night: "Good that Emmanuel Macron was successful with his course for a strong EU + social market economy." party.

Two Arkansas inmates who say they're in poor health after decades on death row argue that their medical conditions could lead to extreme pain during lethal injections. Jack Jones and Marcel Williams are set to die Monday night in what would be the United States' first double execution in more than 16 years. Arkansas is trying to execute several inmates this month before one of its lethal injection drugs expires.

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