McClatchy-Tribune News Service

News Budget for Thursday, February 14, 2013


Published on NewsOK Modified: February 14, 2013 at 4:59 pm •  Published: February 14, 2013


McClatchy-Tribune News Service

News Budget for Thursday, February 14, 2013


Updated at 6 p.m. EST (2300 UTC).




Additional news stories appear on the MCT-NEWSFEATURES-BJT.

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^Further slowdown seen in VA's processing of disability claims <


The system also remains plagued by regional variations, with veterans in some states experiencing delays that are three times as long _ and claims that are four times as likely to be in error _ than veterans in other states.

1100 by Chris Adams in Washington.

Moving later

^American, US Airways announce $11 billion merger<


The new company, which will be based in Fort Worth, will have more than 6,700 daily flights to 336 destinations in 56 countries, the carriers said.

1200 (with trims) by Andrea Ahles in Fort Worth, Texas. (Moved as a business story.) MOVED



VIDEO: American, US Airways boards approve merger


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^Oscar Pistorius arrested in slaying of model Reeva Steenkamp<


Police spokesperson Brigadier Denise Beukes said that Pistorius was at his home after the death of the victim and that "there is no other suspect involved."

350 by Houston Mitchell in Los Angeles. MOVED (Moved as a sports story.)



VIDEO: Oscar Pistorius charged with girlfriend's murder


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^Democrats fail to break GOP filibuster of Hagel nomination<


The procedural vote ended a contentious day in which exasperated Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid complained of a Republican filibuster and Republicans griped about not having enough time and information to properly vet Hagel, a former Republican senator from Nebraska.

800 by William Douglas in Washington.

Moving later


^Senate Democrats propose alternative to automatic cuts<


The plan has little chance of passage and is likely to only make prospects for avoiding the cuts more difficult.

Democrats run the Senate, and plan to vote on their plan the week of Feb. 25, allowing little time for the Republican-led House of Representatives to consider or change the measure.

Not that it matters. There's a growing sense that the sequester is going to go into effect.

800 by David Lightman in Washington.

Moving later

^Senate Democrats united in protecting consumer bureau<


"It is time to confirm Richard Cordray as CFPB director to give the American people the protections they deserve and the marketplace the certainty it needs to help strengthen our economic recovery," Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson, D-S.D., told reporters.

550 by Jim Puzzanghera in Washington. MOVED

^Port officials, lawmakers blame engineer corps for delayed improvements<


600 (with trims) by Curtis Tate in Washington. (Moved as a business story.) MOVED


^Sen. Frank Lautenberg, last of WWII vets in Senate, to retire<


Lautenberg, who turned 89 last month, had been planning to run for re-election in 2014. Earlier this year, however, Cory Booker, the mayor of Newark, indicated interest in the job and began forming a campaign committee to explore the option.

Booker is not the only potential candidate, however, and the prospect of an open Senate seat could set up a scramble among Democrats.

450 by Lisa Mascaro in Washington. MOVED



^Obama touts plan for universal preschool<


The funding would be a mix of federal and state money, but details on costs weren't immediately available.

The White House also proposes to expand quality child care for infants and toddlers.

Experts say it would be a dramatic expansion that would take advantage of the critical learning period from birth to age 5 and help close the achievement gap between poor children and their better-off peers.

800 by Renee Schoof in Washington.

Moving later



Also moving as:

^OBAMA:AT_<800 in Decatur, Ga.

Moving later


^New delay possible for Carnival cruise ship as relatives wait<


As of 8:20 a.m. CST, the Triumph still was about 25 miles from port, moving at a speed of 4 knots, according to U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Ryan Tippets.

A Carnival spokeswoman said Thursday morning that the ship was not expected to arrive until evening. That, local officials said, could pose a problem since ships are not supposed to be towed into the port after dark.

1450 (with trims) by Molly Hennessy-Fiske in Mobile, Ala. MOVED


^Transocean enters guilty plea in Gulf of Mexico oil spill<


U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo in New Orleans accepted the guilty plea to violating the Clean Water Act plea and imposed sentence, the Justice Department announced Thursday. Transocean agreed last month to plead guilty to the misdemeanor charge and to pay $1 billion in civil penalties along with the criminal penalty.

400 by Michael Muskal. MOVED

^Manager says safety issues are ignored at Hanford nuclear site<


Donna Busche, the manager of environmental and nuclear safety for San Francisco-based URS Corp., alleged in a lawsuit filed this week that executives at the $13.4 billion project attempted to suppress her warnings and were working to fire her.

950 (with trims) by Ralph Vartabedian. MOVED


^Town's comptroller gets 19 1/2 years for $54 million fraud<


Crundwell pleaded guilty to stealing nearly $54 million from the small northwest Illinois town over more than two decades to fund a lavish lifestyle while the town's budget was awash in red ink.

250 by Melissa Jenco in Rockford, Ill. MOVED

^Student's lawsuit over grade thrown out<


Judge Emil Giordano decided that the university neither breached contract nor sexually discriminated against Megan Thode, whose lawsuit sought $1.3 million in damages.

800 (with trims) by Riley Yates in Allentown, Pa. MOVED


^Illinois Senate approves gay marriage measure<


The gay marriage measure now goes to the House, where the fight is expected to be tougher. Gov. Pat Quinn is expected to sign the bill if it reaches his desk.

The 34-21-2 Senate vote represents a turnaround of sorts after advocates unsuccessfully sought to push a gay marriage bill through last month's lame-duck legislative session. Supporters vowed to try again quickly with a new General Assembly that featured even more Democratic seats in both chambers.

950 (with trims) by Ray Long and Rafael Guerrero in Springfield, Ill. MOVED

^Alleged 9/11 plotter disrupts testimony of Pentagon official at Guantanamo<


650 by Carol Rosenberg in Guantanamo Bay Navy Base, Cuba. MOVED

^Man accused in Oakland bombing plot appears in federal court<


Handcuffed and flanked by two U.S. marshals, Matthew Aaron Llaneza, 28, appeared in a federal courtroom in Oakland on Thursday morning for a bail hearing stemming from a charge of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.

800 (with trims) by Robert Salonga in Oakland, Calif. MOVED

^Toyota settles with 29 states, American Samoa over recall issues<


The agreement, announced Thursday, was originally approved by Toyota's board in Japan in December, the company said.

550 by Ken Bensinger. (Moved as a business story) MOVED

^Former San Diego mayor gambled away nearly $1 billion, prosecutors say<


O'Connor was the city's first woman mayor, serving from 1986 to 1992. Her husband, Robert O. Peterson, who died in 1994, founded the Jack in the Box fast-food chain and made a fortune in the restaurant, hotel and banking industries.

250 by Tony Perry in San Diego. MOVED

^N.Y. Mayor Bloomberg calls for ban on polystyrene foam containers<


In his 12th and last State of the City address, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he will seek to have the City Council ban polystyrene foam, the ubiquitous, lightweight packaging colloquially known by the brand name Styrofoam. The product has long been criticized by environmentalists because it seems to last forever, easily outliving most anything organic.

650 by Michael Muskal. MOVED


VIDEO: Mayor Bloomberg wants NYC Styrofoam ban


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^Iranian general reportedly assassinated while traveling from Syria<


Gen. Hassan Shateri was killed Tuesday by "unknown gunmen," described as "suspected Israeli agents," as he was on the road between the Syrian capital of Damascus and Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, various Iranian news agencies reported.

Iran is a staunch ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad, who is facing an almost two-year-long rebellion against his rule.

450 by Patrick J. McDonnell and Ramin Mostaghim in Beirut. MOVED

^Pope to keep low profile after resignation<


The German-born pontiff announced Monday that he would quit as pope on Feb. 28, after nearly eight years in the post. It was the first papal resignation in almost 600 years and stunned Catholics worldwide.

"Even if I retire now, I will always remain close to all of you in my prayers, and you will be close to me even if I remain hidden to the world," he said before a packed audience.

400 (with trims) by Alvise Armellini in Vatican City. MOVED


^Europe's recession deepened in 4th quarter as economy shrank 0.6%<


The data for the eurozone released Thursday was worse than analysts had expected, reflecting steeper-than-expected contractions for three of the region's largest economies: Germany, France and Italy.

400 by Jim Puzzanghera in Washington. (Moved as a business story.) MOVED

^Scrutiny turns to Israel's handling of 'Prisoner X' affair<


But as the political drama over Ben Zygier's 2010 arrest and death swept through Israel on Thursday, it left virtually no institution unscathed.

1050 (with trims) by Edmund Sanders in Jerusalem. MOVED



STAND-ALONE VIDEO: SARS-like virus may have spread between humans


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