By Jeff Mason WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Iran must commit to a verifiable freeze of at least 10 years on sensitive nuclear activity for a landmark atomic deal to be reached, but the odds are still against sealing a final agreement, U.S. President Barack Obama told Reuters on Monday. Interviewed at the White House, Obama moved to dial back tensions over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's planned speech to Congress on Tuesday opposing the Iran deal, saying it was a distraction that would not be "permanently destructive" to U.S. Israeli ties. Talks between major powers and Iran to restrict Tehran's nuclear capabilities in exchange for an easing of sanctions have reached a critical stage ahead of an end of March deadline for a framework deal and a June 30 date for a final agreement.
A nurse filed a lawsuit on Monday against the Texas hospital where she worked, saying it did not do enough to prevent her from being infected with Ebola and invaded her privacy after she was diagnosed with the virus. In the suit Nina Pham brought against Texas Health Resources (THR) in Dallas County Court, she claims the hospital did not initially provide nurses with proper protective equipment or properly train staff on how to treat the disease.
By Scott Malone BOSTON (Reuters) - Lawyers for the Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and federal prosecutors sparred on Monday over how much evidence related to his motive and his brother's role in the attack can be presented in the opening weeks of his trial. Tsarnaev, 21, faces the possibility of a death sentence if convicted of killing three people and injuring 264 in the April 15, 2013, attack, and fatally shooting a police officer three days later. Federal death penalty cases play out in two stages, with a jury first determining whether the defendant is guilty and then considering his sentence. Prosecutors are seeking to stop defense attorneys from arguing during the first stage of the trial that Tsarnaev was not the mastermind of the attack but that his older brother, Tamerlan, was its architect.
A Florida Islamic group announced on Monday it has filed a formal notice with the FBI that it plans to sue the agency over the death of Ibragim Todashev, a friend of one of the Boston Marathon bomb suspects. Todashev, a Chechen immigrant, was shot dead in an Orlando apartment in May 2013 during FBI questioning over his links with the Boston bombing suspects. The notice was filed by the Council on American-Islamic Relations Florida (CAIR-Florida) on behalf of Todashev's parents.
By Brendan O'Brien MADISON, Wis. (Reuters) - A Wisconsin legislative panel was due on Monday to review a state Senate-passed bill that would allow private-sector employees to avoid joining a union or paying union dues even when working under union-negotiated contracts. The measure, which would make Wisconsin the 25th state to enact such a "right-to-work" law, has been cast by supporters as an incentive for keeping and attracting businesses and jobs, while unions brand it as a thinly disguised assault on organized labor. The legislation was narrowly approved on Wednesday by the Wisconsin Senate, which like the state Assembly is led by a Republican majority. Governor Scott Walker, a potential Republican presidential candidate, also supports the legislation.
By Matt Spetalnick and Dan Williams WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and Israel showed signs of seeking to defuse tensions on Sunday ahead of a speech in Washington by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he will warn against a possible nuclear deal with Iran. Policy differences over the negotiations with Iran remained firm, however, as Netanyahu arrived in the United States on Sunday afternoon for a speech to Congress, which has imperiled ties between the two allies.
By Michael Flaherty WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Most Americans don't know who runs the Federal Reserve, but they do believe that elected officials should stay out of its business, according to a Reuters-Ipsos poll. Just 24 percent of those polled said Congress should be allowed to have detailed oversight of the Fed, the poll shows. More than double that amount said the central bank should be left alone. The poll of 1,388 Americans was conducted from Feb 20-24 to measure whether people supported proposed legislation that would expose the Fed to a full government audit, a move being led by Rand Paul, a likely 2016 presidential candidate. The Republican Senator from Kentucky held an "Audit the Fed" rally in Iowa last month, and his spokesman told Reuters that polls showed Americans want the central bank to be audited. Supporters of the campaign say the Fed needs more transparency and accountability.
Although less intense than the harshest winter storms of the past month, snow fell from the nation's capital to New England, with southern sections of Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts hardest hit, according to the National Weather Service. A winter storm warning was posted for those areas. Three to six inches of snow was expected to accumulate around Cape Cod and along the south coast of Massachusetts, with up to 8 inches in some spots, before tapering off or changing to freezing rain early on Monday, said meteorologist Frank Nocera of the Boston-area Weather Service office.