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Updated: 16 min 47 sec ago

U.S. companies step up hiring, unemployment falls to 6-year low

Fri, 10/03/2014 - 05:16

By Jason Lange WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. employers stepped up hiring in September and the jobless rate fell to a six-year low, which could bolster bets on a Federal Reserve rate hike in mid-2015. Friday's report on hiring is the most significant gauge of the economy's health ahead of Nov. 4 congressional elections. While President Barack Obama's message of an improving economy has been hampered by persistent drops in family incomes under his watch, the hiring data underscored the strides made in the labor market this year. U.S. ...

At haj pilgrimage: To jihad, or not?

Fri, 10/03/2014 - 05:07

Pilgrims to Saudi Arabia's Mecca, on Muslim holiday, confront divisions wrought by extremism.

Turkish border town under Islamic State siege

Fri, 10/03/2014 - 04:22

By Nick Tattersall and Selin Bucak ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey will do what it can to prevent the predominantly Kurdish town of Kobani, near its border with Syria, falling to Islamic State insurgents, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said late on Thursday, but stopped short of committing to military action. Hours before Davutoglu's comments, parliament gave the government powers to order cross-border military incursions against Islamic State, and to allow foreign coalition forces to launch similar operations from Turkish territory. "We wouldn't want Kobani to fall. ...

Gay marriage aside, business cases dominate U.S. high court docket

Fri, 10/03/2014 - 03:06

By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Gay marriage may be the most anticipated issue heading for the U.S. Supreme Court, but the justices also must tackle a host of business cases as they convene for their new term, including a patent battle involving Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. The court on Monday opens its term, which ends in June. The Teva case, a showdown between the Israeli company and generic rivals over a patent for the multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone, is one of the first business cases the justices will hear, with oral arguments on Oct. 15. ...

Doctors 'optimistic' about prognosis for U.S. journalist with Ebola

Fri, 10/03/2014 - 02:29

The 33-year-old cameraman is set to return to the U.S. from Liberia, his family says.

How to force Congress to vote on Obama's war against IS

Fri, 10/03/2014 - 00:58

Congress appears to be in no hurry to vote on President Obama's open-ended military campaign against the Islamic State. But retired Republican Rep. Tom Campbell says it's possible to make them do it.

Mary Landrieu's last stand?

Fri, 10/03/2014 - 00:52

After 18 years in the U.S. Senate and a lifetime in Louisiana politics, not even 100,000 mostly drunken revelers at a recent Louisiana State University football tailgate could shake her from her routine. Mary Landrieu knows she is locked in the toughest election battle of her career, and on this day, like most others, she stuck to her talking points and paid attention to detail — even as chaos erupted around her — right down to the brand of the single beer she nursed over the course of the day’s protracted, chaotic photo op: Abita, a local brew. One of the first tailgates she visited on a September Saturday here was hosted by her brother, Mitch, the mayor of New Orleans. It was there, a friendly oasis in a vast sea of purple and yellow tents and trailers, that the embattled Democratic senator gathered nearly two dozen volunteers donning “I’m With Mary” shirts and stickers, in a circle around her. Landrieu, acting like she was her own field director, split the larger group in half, dispatching one team to follow a staffer and another to follow her.

Missouri police make arrests as protests persist over black teen killing

Fri, 10/03/2014 - 00:48
(Reuters) - Police in Ferguson, Missouri arrested several people, an official said on Friday, following another night of protests over the police shooting of a black teenager in August. Protests have been staged almost every night in the predominantly black St. Louis suburb, since white policeman, Darren Wilson, shot 18-year-old Michael Brown dead on Aug. 9. A Ferguson Police Department official said that several people were arrested outside the police station overnight. She declined to say exactly how many arrests were made or give any other information. ...

World-renowned Jamaican beach washing away

Thu, 10/02/2014 - 20:42

Crescent of sand on Jamaica's western coast known as 'Seven Mile Beach' could soon be measured in inches.

Australia says it will launch airstrikes in Iraq

Thu, 10/02/2014 - 19:21

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Six Australian F/A-18F Super Hornet jet fighters will launch airstrikes against Islamic State targets in northern Iraq within days as part of the U.S.-led coalition, officials said on Friday.

Four people close to U.S. Ebola patient quarantined in Dallas

Thu, 10/02/2014 - 18:57

By Lisa Maria Garza DALLAS (Reuters) - Four people close to the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States were quarantined in a Dallas apartment, where sheets and other items used by the man were sealed in plastic bags, as health officials widened their search for others who had direct or indirect contact with him. In Liberia, an American freelance television cameraman working for NBC News in Liberia has contracted Ebola, the fifth U.S. citizen known to be infected with the deadly virus that has killed at least 3,300 people in the current outbreak in West Africa. ...

U.S. appeals court lets Texas enforce abortion clinic rules

Thu, 10/02/2014 - 18:21

By Jonathan Kaminsky NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - A federal appeals court ruled on Thursday that Texas could begin enforcing restrictions on abortion clinics that critics of the new rules say will force all but seven of the facilities in the state to shut down. A panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled that Texas could enforce the requirement that clinics have certain hospital-like settings for surgeries while the court weighs the constitutionality of the 2013 state law. ...

American cameraman for NBC News diagnosed with Ebola in Liberia

Thu, 10/02/2014 - 17:15
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - An American freelance television cameraman working for NBC News in Liberia has tested positive for the Ebola virus and will be flown back to the United States for treatment, the network said on Thursday in an online report. Diagnosis of the cameraman, who the network said came down with symptoms that included aches and fatigue on Wednesday, is believed to mark the first time an American journalist has been infected with the deadly virus since the current outbreak in West Africa. ...

Girl's family seeks reversal of brain-death ruling

Thu, 10/02/2014 - 15:58

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The family of a California teenager who was declared brain-dead after suffering complications from sleep apnea surgery is seeking an unprecedented court order declaring her alive, the family's lawyer said Thursday.

More than 800 flights canceled in Chicago due to weather, fire issues

Thu, 10/02/2014 - 15:30

By Mary Wisniewski CHICAGO (Reuters) - Incoming stormy weather and operational problems caused by a fire last week at a Chicago-area air traffic control facility forced the cancellation of more than 800 flights on Thursday at Chicago airports. More than 525 flights at O'Hare International Airport, one of the world's busiest, have been canceled and delays are averaging 45 minutes, according to the city's department of aviation. Nearly 300 flights were canceled at Chicago Midway International Airport and some flight delays were averaging 40 minutes or more. ...

Oklahoma prosecutors seeking death penalty in beheading case

Thu, 10/02/2014 - 14:16

By Heide Brandes OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) - Prosecutors will seek the death penalty against a man accused of beheading a woman and attacking others at a food distribution warehouse in Moore, Oklahoma, according to court documents filed on Thursday. Alton Nolen, 30, has been charged with murder in the death of Colleen Hufford, 54, and the attempted murder of Traci Johnson, 43, as well as assault with a deadly weapon. The FBI is also examining Nolen's background for any potential religious ties to the attack after former colleagues said he had tried to convert them to Islam. ...

Mishandling of U.S. Ebola patient prompts CDC alert to hospitals

Thu, 10/02/2014 - 12:59

More than 100 people might have been in recent contact with Thomas Eric Duncan.

As midterms loom, Obama shifts spotlight to economy

Thu, 10/02/2014 - 12:11

By Roberta Rampton EVANSTON Ill. (Reuters) - President Barack Obama tried on Thursday to turn the spotlight on the economy, the issue U.S. voters care about most ahead of November midterm elections, making the case that his policies have steered the country away from the brink of collapse and laid a foundation for growth. It's the second take for a strategy that the White House rolled out in June, only to have its optimistic message drowned out by crises in Iraq, Syria, Ukraine and western Africa. ...

Interim Secret Service head has been a familiar figure beside U.S. presidents

Thu, 10/02/2014 - 10:50

By Bill Trott WASHINGTON (Reuters) - As a member of the U.S. Secret Service's most elite detail, Joseph Clancy guarded the lives of three U.S. presidents and now will try to repair the agency's damaged credibility after a spate of embarrassments and failures. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced Clancy's appointment as interim director shortly after Secret Service Director Julia Pierson resigned on Wednesday. Clancy rejoins the service after leaving his job as head of security for the Comcast media corporation in the Philadelphia area where he grew up. ...