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Updated: 2 hours 56 min ago

Exclusive: As cities struggle, Scranton in Pennsylvania to triple a local tax

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 15:32

By Hilary Russ NEW YORK (Reuters) - The former steel and coal town of Scranton, Pennsylvania, will triple a local tax next year as it and some other U.S. cities struggle to recover from the financial crisis, the city's business administrator told Reuters on Tuesday. Scranton's local services tax, a flat tax on all who work in the city, will triple to about $3 a week from $1 a week, said administrator David Bulzoni. A judge must still approve the tax hike, which could go into effect the second quarter of 2015, but it is not clear how much money it would generate. ...


Senators: We're optimistic Cuba will free contractor

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 15:16

HAVANA (AP) — Two U.S. senators expressed optimism Tuesday that Cuba will free imprisoned American government contractor Alan Gross.


Ceremonies, concerts mark Veterans Day in U.S. capital

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 11:02

By Ian Simpson ARLINGTON Va. (Reuters) - The U.S. capital marked Veterans Day on Tuesday with ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery where Vice President Joe Biden said the 23 million U.S. veterans were the backbone of the nation. The commemoration at Arlington, where more than 40,000 military personnel and their families are buried, was part of events that include a giant concert in Washington featuring such stars as Bruce Springsteen and Rihanna. A bugler played "Taps" after Biden laid a wreath at Arlington's Tomb of the Unknowns. ...


George W. Bush launches his new book

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 10:58
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — Former President George W. Bush says his younger brother Jeb should run for president and has the support of the Bush family but ultimately the former Florida governor must make a decision regardless of any family pressure.

Boy survives long fall down California oceanside cliff

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 10:51
(Reuters) - A 4-year-old boy on a family hike on California's scenic northern coast fell 230 feet (70 meters) down an oceanside cliff but managed to survive and was conscious when rescuers reached him on the rocky shore below, a fire official said on Tuesday. After the fall off the scenic promontory on Monday at Bodega Head State Park, two paramedics were lowered in a metal basket by ropes and found the boy crying, suffering bone fractures and major injuries, Bodega Bay firefighter Lou Stoerzinger said. ...

Last US Ebola patient cured

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 10:45

The last known Ebola patient in the United States, a New York doctor who contracted the virus while treating infected people in West Africa, was released from the hospital on Tuesday after being declared cured. Craig Spencer, an emergency room doctor in New York, appeared at a press conference flanked by Mayor Bill de Blasio to announce that he had been discharged from Bellevue Hospital -- one of a handful of US medical facilities designated to handle Ebola cases. "New York City's first and only Ebola case is successfully treated. Dr Spencer is Ebola-free and New York City is Ebola-free," de Blasio proclaimed at the hospital, to cheers and applause.


Chelsea Clinton on motherhood: 'I'm so happy'

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 09:01

For the past 24 years, Glamour has hosted the Women of the Year Awards honoring celebrities, politicians and athletes, along with other inspiring and empowering women.


New York doctor now free of Ebola discharged from hospital

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 08:20

By Sebastien Malo NEW YORK (Reuters) - A New York doctor who has recovered from Ebola left the hospital on Tuesday and urged support for U.S. health workers treating patients in West Africa so they do not face "stigma and threats" when they return home. The discharge of Dr. Craig Spencer, 33, who worked with Ebola patients in Guinea and had been held in isolation at Bellevue Hospital Center since he was diagnosed with the virus on Oct. 23, means no one in the United States is being treated for the disease. ...


Jon Stewart's bold new project

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 08:13

NEW YORK (AP) — A bleary-eyed Jon Stewart is sitting outside his offices reflecting on his directorial debut, "Rosewater," a drama about the unjust imprisonment of journalist Maziar Bahari in Iran.


Missouri Governor to outline law enforcement plans for decision on police shooting

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 08:04

(Reuters) - Missouri Governor Jay Nixon on Tuesday is expected to detail law enforcement preparations ahead of protests that could erupt once a grand jury decides whether to indict a white police officer in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson. Tensions have been building for weeks as the St. Louis suburb awaits an announcement of the grand jury's decision on the shooting death of Michael Brown, 18, by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9. There is widespread expectation the grand jury will not indict Wilson. ...


Cold sweeping south, northern Great Lakes hit by early heavy snow

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 07:32

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Drivers faced a second day of unseasonably heavy snow and some businesses and schools shut down in the northern Great Lakes region on Tuesday, while a cold front was expected to push cold air south as far as Texas on Wednesday. "Temperatures will be 20 to 40 degrees below average from just east of the Rockies to the Plains," the National Weather Service said on its website. The cold was expected to extend as far as Texas on Wednesday, with freeze warnings issued for about two dozen counties including Dallas. ...


Iran orders two new nuclear reactors from Russia

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 07:18

Russia signed Tuesday a contract to build two nuclear reactors in Iran and announced plans for a total of nine, less than two weeks before a deadline on for deal on the country's disputed atomic programme. A series of agreements signed during a visit to Moscow by Iran's nuclear programme chief Ali Akbar Salehi includes a contract for two new reactors at the existing Russian-built Bushehr plant. The agreements foresee increasing the total number of Russian-built reactors in the country to nine as well as possibly transferring some sensitive technology relating to the production of fuel rod components. The announcement comes amid last-minute diplomacy before a November 24 deadline to find a solution to ease Western suspicions over Tehran's nuclear intentions as well as damaging sanctions on the Iranian economy.


Nigeria's President vows to beat Boko Haram

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 07:18

By Felix Onuah ABUJA (Reuters) - President Goodluck Jonathan promised Nigerians on Tuesday he would fight corruption and defeat the Islamist Boko Haram insurgency as he announced his bid to win a second term at the head of Africa's biggest economy in a February election. A southern Christian president heading Africa's top oil producer, Jonathan is seen as a strong incumbent despite a raft of multi-billion-dollar oil scandals and his government's inability so far to end the five-year-old insurgency waged by Boko Haram, mostly in the Muslim north. ...


Arctic blast descends on Rockies, Upper Midwest

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 05:07

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — After being buried under more than a foot of snow, parts of the Rockies and Upper Midwest were getting their first icy touch of arctic air on Tuesday. And the rest of the Midwest and the East are expecting a dose later in the week, with temperatures forecast as much as 40 degrees below average.


Mass sterilisation leads to deaths of ten Indian women

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 04:08

Dozens more are in hospital, some in a critical condition, after a state-run program went badly wrong.


Mormon church admits founder Joseph Smith had about 40 wives

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 03:32

(Reuters) - The Mormon church has admitted that founder Joseph Smith married about 40 women including a 14-year-old and others who were already the wives of his followers, having maintained for nearly 200 years that he was monogamous. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has tried to gloss over aspects of its history, including the polygamy practiced by Smith and Brigham Young, who helped found Salt Lake City, Utah, the headquarters of the Mormon church. ...


John Cleese opens up

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 01:14

"Monty Python." "Fawlty Towers." "A Fish Called Wanda." John Cleese has been making audiences laugh for decades. Now, in an interview with Yahoo News, he talks about his new autobiography, "So, Anyway."


Portland schools urged to scrap transfers to boost racial diversity

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 01:11
By Courtney Sherwood PORTLAND Ore. (Reuters) - A citizen's group in Portland, Oregon, said on Monday the city should drop policies allowing students to transfer public schools, saying it is making the schools less racially diverse and poorer. "It's mostly white, mostly middle-class families, transferring out of schools that have students of color," said Kali Thorne Ladd, a member of the group which had been asked by educators to evaluate Portland Public Schools transfer policies. ...

U.S. was ill-equipped to handle Ebola rescues: Documents

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 00:52

The U.S. State Department expedited a $4.9 million deal for medevac services, Yahoo News has learned, after two Americans infected with Ebola, Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, recently had trouble being rescued from West Africa. The CDC had developed an airworthy isolation chamber for infectious patients in the past decade, but the high-tech transportation tent was in storage when Samaritan’s Purse — a Christian humanitarian group — first sought help from the federal government.


Did CIA pay off victims' families after botched attack?

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 00:38

After an errant drone strike in Yemen, a trail of secret meetings and U.S. cash.


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