Updated: Tue, Dec 10, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional negotiators reached a modest budget agreement Tuesday to restore about $65 billion in automatic spending cuts from programs ranging from parks to the Pentagon, with votes expected in both houses by week's end. Officials said the increases would be offset by a variety of spending reductions and increased fees elsewhere in the budget totaling about $85 billion over a decade, enough for a largely symbolic cut of roughly $20 billion in the nation's $17 trillion debt. Among them is a requirement for federal workers to make larger contributions to their own pensions, as well as an increase in a federal security fee that would add $5 to the cost of a typical roundtrip flight.
By JON GAMBRELL, JULIE PACE and ALAN CLENDENNING, AP |
Published: Tue, Dec 10, 2013
JOHANNESBURG — U.S. President Barack Obama implored thousands gathered in a cold, rainy stadium and millions watching around the world on Tuesday to carry forward Nelson Mandela's mission of erasing injustice and inequality.
By JOHN CHRISTOFFERSEN |
Published: Mon, Nov 25, 2013
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — An anonymous caller warned authorities Monday that his roommate was on his way to Yale University to shoot people, leading officials to lock the Ivy League campus down as police searched for a gunman. At least two witnesses reported seeing someone on or near campus with a long gun. A 911 call was received around 9:30 a.m. from a man at a pay phone about a mile from the campus, said Officer David Hartman, a New Haven Police spokesman. “All he really said was that his roommate was on his way to the university, to Yale University, to shoot people,” he said. Police later received reports from witnesses who reported seeing someone with a gun, Hartman said.
By ALAN FRAM |
Published: Thu, Nov 21, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats eased the way for swift approval of President Barack Obama's current and future nominees on Thursday, voting unilaterally to overturn decades of Senate precedent and undermine Republicans' ability to block final votes. The 52-48 vote to undercut venerable filibuster rules on presidential appointees capped more than a decade of struggle in which presidents of both parties complained about delays in confirming appointees, particularly to the federal courts. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who launched the move, accused Republicans of “unbelievable, unprecedented obstruction” of Obama's selections to fill court vacancies and other offices.
By ROBERT JABLON, AP |
Published: Thu, Nov 21, 2013
PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — An 85-year-old American veteran of the Korean War was detained last month in North Korea as he sat in a plane set to leave the country, his son said Wednesday. Merrill Newman of Palo Alto, Calif. was about to leave the country on Oct. 26 when a uniformed North Korean officer came on the plane, asked to see his passport, and asked the stewardess to have him leave the plane,” Jeffrey Newman said. “My dad got off, walked out with the stewardess, and that's the last he was seen,” Jeffrey Newman told The Associated Press at his home in Pasadena, Calif. Merrill Newman was traveling with friend Bob Hamrdla, who was allowed to return. Hamrdla said in a statement that “there has to be
JIM SALTER, Associated Press |
Updated: Wed, Nov 20, 2013
BONNE TERRE, Mo. — Joseph Paul Franklin, a white supremacist who targeted blacks and Jews in a cross-country killing spree from 1977 to 1980, was put to death Wednesday in Missouri, the state's first execution in nearly three years. Franklin, 63, was executed at the state prison in Bonne Terre for killing Gerald Gordon in a sniper shooting at a suburban St. Louis synagogue in 1977. Franklin was convicted of seven other murders across the country and claimed responsibility for up to 20 overall, but the Missouri case was the only one that brought a death sentence. Mike O'Connell, of the Missouri Department of Corrections, said Franklin was pronounced dead at 6:17 a.m. The execution was the first in Missouri
Updated: Wed, Nov 13, 2013
PITTSBURGH (AP) — School officials say three students were shot outside a Pittsburgh high school, and police are searching for a gunman. Pittsburgh school district spokeswoman Ebony Pugh says the students were shot outside Brashear High School on Wednesday afternoon as they walked to a vehicle they'd all taken to school earlier in the day. She says their injuries appear to be non-life-threatening. Two were grazed in the head and one was shot in both the foot and arm. It's not clear who shot them. Pugh says the victims were not on school property but close by. She says one victim was found inside the school but either ran inside or was taken there by emergency crews and wasn't shot inside school. Brashear is
By LYNNE TUOHY |
Published: Thu, Nov 7, 2013
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A New Hampshire man told the state's highest court Thursday that denying him a vanity license plate that reads “COPSLIE” violates his political free speech rights. David Montenegro, who last year legally changed his name to “human,” said he wanted the plate because he feels it highlights government corruption. Lawyers for the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union, who joined the case, say the current DMV regulation is unconstitutionally vague and gives too much discretion in a person behind a counter. The policy prohibits vanity plates that “a reasonable person would find offensive to good taste.
Published: Thu, Nov 7, 2013
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota's governor and the mayor of Minneapolis both say the Washington Redskins should change the team's name. The Minnesota Vikings play Washington on Thursday evening. Gov. Mark Dayton was asked about the Redskins' nickname at a Thursday morning news conference. He called it “racist” and suggested every member of Congress should boycott the team to put pressure on its owners. Also Thursday, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak released a statement saying the name disrespects indigenous people. Six members of the Minneapolis City Council had recently sent a letter to the team's owner and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell calling the nickname and team mascot racist.
By RUKMINI CALLIMACHI, AP |
Published: Thu, Oct 31, 2013
DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Authorities in the nation of Niger have recovered 92 bodies of migrants who died of thirst after the trucks they were travelling in broke down in a desolate no-man's-land at the feet of the Sahara desert, officials said Thursday. The dozens of people were being smuggled last month along a well-established trafficking route used to move contraband, including people, from Niger to neighboring Algeria, said Col. Garba Makido the governor of the Nigerien province of Agadez, south of where the bodies were found. Officials were only alerted to the incident when a lone woman managed to stumble out of the desert earlier this month.
By CHRIS TOMLINSON |
Published: Mon, Oct 28, 2013
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — New abortion restrictions passed by the Texas Legislature are unconstitutional and will not take effect as scheduled on Tuesday, a federal judge has ruled. District Judge Lee Yeakel wrote Monday that the regulations violated the rights of abortion doctors to do what they think is best for their patients and would unreasonably restrict a woman's access to abortion clinics. Lawyers for Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers brought the lawsuit, arguing that a requirement that doctors have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion clinic would force the closure of a third of the clinics in Texas.
Published: Wed, Oct 23, 2013
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Republicans say a fundraising email sent out by Democratic U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson of Florida that shows a burning cross in the words “Tea Party” is “unacceptable and deplorable.” The email has a photo depicting a burning cross with Ku Klux Klan members in white robes in the background. The words “Tea Party” appear on the image, with the burning cross serving as the letter “T.” The email was sent earlier this week. Lenny Curry, the chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, demanded in a statement that state Democrats condemn Grayson for making the comparison between the KKK and the Tea Party. Grayson said in a statement released Wednesday that Tea Party members have a
By ANDREW TAYLOR, AP |
Published: Thu, Oct 17, 2013
WASHINGTON — The government reopened its doors Thursday after a battle-weary Congress approved a bipartisan measure to end a 16-day partial shutdown and avert the possibility of an economy-jarring default on U.S. obligations.
By ALAN FRAM and DONNA CASSATA |
Updated: Wed, Oct 16, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate leaders announced last-minute agreement Wednesday to avert a threatened Treasury default and reopen the government after a partial, 16-day shutdown. Congress raced to pass the measure by day's end. The Dow Jones industrial average soared on the news that the threat of default was fading, flirting with a 200-point gain in morning trading. “This is a time for reconciliation,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of the agreement he had forged with the GOP leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. McConnell said that with the agreement, Republicans had sealed a deal to have spending in one area of the budget decline for two years in a row, adding, “we're not going back.” One
By MARK LEWIS and KARL RITTER, AP |
Published: Fri, Oct 11, 2013
OSLO, Norway — The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for working to eliminate the scourge that has haunted generations from World War I to the battlefields of Syria.
By TODD RICHMOND |
Published: Thu, Sep 26, 2013
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Republican legislators in Wisconsin introduced a bill Thursday that would make it harder to strip public schools of race-based nicknames and would allow schools ordered to abandon such nicknames to keep them. The proposal, which one Native American official described as racist, was co-sponsored by a lawmaker whose school district about 20 miles southwest of Milwaukee is fighting a state order to replace its “Indians” moniker. The bill, which is almost certain to pass in the Republican-dominated state Assembly, comes amid renewed debate about the use of race-based nicknames, including calls for the Washington Redskins to assume a new name.
By DAVID RISING and RODNEY MUHUMUZA, AP |
Published: Wed, Sep 25, 2013
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The militant group behind the takeover of a Nairobi mall claimed Wednesday that Kenyan government assault team carried out “a demolition” of the building, burying 137 hostages in rubble. A government spokesman denied the claim and said Kenyan forces were clearing all rooms, firing as they moved and encountering no one. In a series of tweets from a Twitter account believed to be genuine, al-Shabab also said that “having failed to defeat the mujahideen inside the mall, the Kenyan govt disseminated chemical gases to end the siege.” It did not specify which gases, which could theoretically include anything from tear gas to poison.
By JULIE PACE |
Published: Tue, Sep 24, 2013
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — President Barack Obama on Tuesday welcomed the new Iranian government's pursuit of a “more moderate course,” saying it should offer the basis for a breakthrough on Iran's nuclear impasse with the United Nations and the U.S. He signaled a willingness to directly engage Iran's leaders, tasking Secretary of State John Kerry with pursuing that diplomacy with Tehran. “The roadblocks may prove to be too great, but I firmly believe the diplomatic path must be tested,” Obama said during an address to the U.N. General Assembly. Obama issued a stern message to the international body itself, saying its ability to meet the test of the times is being challenged by the dispute over what to do about Syria's
By JASON STRAZIUSO and TOM ODULA, AP |
Updated: Mon, Sep 23, 2013
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Kenya's interior minister says two Islamic extremists were killed Monday as military forces waged an operation to rescue hostages inside an upscale mall in Nairobi. A top military official said he believes the attackers are “a multinational collection from all over the world.” After four large blasts rocked the Westgate Mall on Monday, sending out large plumes of smoke, Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku said Monday that the two militants died from “our morning activities.” Kenya Chief of Defense forces Gen. Julius Karangi said fighters from an array of nations participated in the attack claimed by al-Shabab, a Somali group allies with al-Qaida.
By ANDREW TAYLOR |
Published: Fri, Sep 20, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) — The GOP-controlled House voted Friday to cripple President Barack Obama's health care law as part of a risky ploy that threatens a partial shutdown of the government in a week and a half. The fight is coming on a stopgap funding measure required to keep the government fully running after the Oct. 1 start of the new budget year. Typically, such measures advance with sweeping bipartisan support, but tea party activists forced GOP leaders — against their better judgment — to add a provision to cripple the health care law that is the signature accomplishment of Obama's first term.