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Christian Petersen/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — For the second time in two days, a former Miami Heat player has agreed to join the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Forward James Jones agreed to a one-year deal for the veteran’s minimum ($1.4 million) with the Cavaliers, according to ESPN.com.

Jones played his last six NBA seasons with the Heat and is known as a 3-point specialist, hitting just over 40 percent from behind the arc for his career.

Jones, 33, joins Cleveland just a day after Mike Miller, who played with Jones for three seasons in Miami, agreed to a two-year contract with the Cavaliers. Both players reportedly headed to Ohio to play with their other former teammate, LeBron James.

Throughout his 11 NBA seasons, Jones has averaged 5.7 points and two rebounds per game.

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NBA via Golden State Warriors(OAKLAND, Calif.) — After a year in Utah, guard Brandon Rush is returning to California.

Rush agreed to a two-year contract with the Golden State Warriors, that according to Yahoo! Sports is worth $2.5 million.

Before joining the Jazz last season, Rush spent his previous two years with the Warriors. During the 2011-12 season, he played in 69 games for Golden State averaging 9.8 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. The following season Rush played in only two games after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

Rush, 29, was selected by the Indiana Pacers with the 13th overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft. During his six NBA seasons, Rush has averaged 8.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game.

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Len Redkoles/ NHLI via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Center Matthew Lombardi agreed to return from playing overseas and join the reigning Eastern Conference champion New York Rangers.

Lombardi played in Switzerland for Geneve-Servette last season and led the league in points with 50 in 46 games.

Before leaving for Switzerland, Lombardi played for five teams over nine NHL seasons.

The 32-year-old Lombardi has played in 536 NHL games scoring 101 goals while dishing out 161 assists.

Lombardi also has postseason experience, tallying 16 points in 40 Stanley Cup playoff games.

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U.S. Department of State(KABUL, Afghanistan) — The Independent Election Commission in Afghanistan is set to begin its audit of all the country’s ballot boxes Thursday, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaky announced.

Initially, the review of nearly 8 million votes was scheduled for July 13, 24 hours after both presidential candidates agreed to the audit plan. Amid issues of who would lead the process, Psaki clarified Wednesday that the IEC will conduct the examination under “close supervision” of the United Nations.

Candidate Ashraf Ghani told the BBC that both he and contendor Abdullah Abdullah, “appreciate Secretary Kerry’s contribution and administration in shuttling between us.”

Secretary of State John Kerry helped in facilitating the agreement last Saturday.

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iStock/Thinkstock(STOCKTON, Calif.) — At least three people are dead following a violent bank robbery and high-speed police chase in Stockton, California.

Two suspects and a hostage lost their lives in Wednesday’s incident.

Three Latino men took three women hostage following the robbery at Bank of the West. During the chase, which took law enforcement through the areas of Lodi and Stockton, the suspects continually shot at officers with AK-47 style rifles, according to police.

“Both communities were at huge risk and top concerns were the hostages, but also the suspects taking more hostages or killing uninvolved people,” Stockton Police said in a statement.

During the pursuit, one woman was thrown from the car and another hostage was later shot and tossed from the vehicle.

The chase ended following a “large exchange of gunfire.” An investigation is underway.

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Mandel Ngan//AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Thomas Frieden faced tough questions from lawmakers Wednesday on safety lapses at agency labs.

Members of Congress grilled Frieden about lax storage and the exposure of lab workers to potentially lethal anthrax samples being kept in Ziplock bags.

Following questions from Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) and others, Frieden said the agency “missed the broader pattern” and made little excuses for past incidents.

Murphy noted that since 2007, there have been 17 reports of a CDC worker being potentially exposed to a select agent or toxin, while Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) claimed there were four reports in the past decade where dangerous pathogens were shipped offsite inappropriately.

“Our investigation has uncovered this is not CDC’s first wake-up call,” Murphy said. “Despite the number of red flags, these incidents keep happening… These practices put the health of the American public at risk. It is sloppy, and it is inexcusable.”

In response, Frieden outlined steps to improve lab safety culture, including the closing of two laboratories involved in the incidents and the appointment of Dr. Michael Bell as the official in charge of agency safety.

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) — The Department of Veterans Affairs is seeking $17.6 billion in additional funding to hire 10,000 more clinical staff members and expand its resources following its recent scandal over prolonged wait times for patients.

Speaking before a Senate committee Wednesday, Acting VA Secretary Sloan Gibson said the agency is looking to employ another 1,500 doctors to enhance its services for veterans. Extra medical staff would be divided between primary care, specialty care, and mental health care, and would consist of physicians, nurse practitioners, and other support employees.

‘We understand the seriousness of the problems we face. We own them,” Gibson said. “We’re taking decisive action to begin to resolve them. …I will not hold back for asking for resources because we have not been managing to requirements as a department,” he added. “This would never happen in the private sector. You’d never stand for it. You’d fail as a business if you did this.”

In an update on the state of the VA, Gibson said the Veterans Health Administration has reached out to more than 160,000 veterans to get them off wait lists and into clinics.

Whistleblowers within the agency have revealed employees routinely falsified wait times and caused treatment delays that were so long that dozens of veterans died while waiting to see doctors.

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) — The Department of Veterans Affairs is seeking $17.6 billion in additional funding to hire 10,000 more clinical staff members and expand its resources following its recent scandal over prolonged wait times for patients.

Speaking before a Senate committee Wednesday, Acting VA Secretary Sloan Gibson said the agency is looking to employ another 1,500 doctors to enhance its services for veterans. Extra medical staff would be divided between primary care, specialty care, and mental health care, and would consist of physicians, nurse practitioners, and other support employees.

‘We understand the seriousness of the problems we face. We own them,” Gibson said. “We’re taking decisive action to begin to resolve them. …I will not hold back for asking for resources because we have not been managing to requirements as a department,” he added. “This would never happen in the private sector. You’d never stand for it. You’d fail as a business if you did this.”

In an update on the state of the VA, Gibson said the Veterans Health Administration has reached out to more than 160,000 veterans to get them off wait lists and into clinics.

Whistleblowers within the agency have revealed employees routinely falsified wait times and covered up treatment delays that were so long that dozens of veterans died while waiting to see doctors.

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Starbucks(BOGOTA, Colombia) — Caffeine chain Starbucks payed homage to one of its major coffee sources Wednesday with the opening of its first store in Colombia.

Officials debuted the three-level store in Bogota where employees are set to serve 100 percent Colombian coffee.

“Our admiration and respect for Colombian coffee farmers dates back to our humble beginnings in Seattle’s Pike Place Market in 1971 when we first began purchasing and roasting Colombian coffee,” Starbucks chairman Schultz said. “Over the past 43 years, we have proudly shared Colombia’s finest coffee with billions of people around the world and today we are honored to bring the Starbucks Experience to Colombia for the first time.”

The stores in the Latin American country will be the first to serve locally sourced Starbucks coffee. Other whole bean packaged goods will be offered from international markets.

Wednesday’s opening is just the beginning — the chain plans to open 50 other stores in the market over the next five years.

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