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Jeb Bush’s biggest CPAC win: No gifts for Democrats

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 12:19

The ex-Florida governor addresses complaints conservatives have made about him.

Slain U.S. journalist's father: identification of 'Jihadi John' not important

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 11:10
The father of American journalist James Foley, who was taken captive in Syria and later decapitated by Islamic State militants, has said it was "not important" to him that his son's purported killer, "Jihadi John," had been identified. The Washington Post reported on Thursday that "Jihadi John," who was shown in Islamic State videos of the beheadings of several captives, had been identified as Kuwaiti-born British national Mohammed Emwazi, 26. "'Jihadi John' happened to be in that position, but if it was not him it would be somebody else, so in all fairness discovering who he is might be important to some people, but it's certainly not important to me," John Foley told reporters in Arizona, according to video from local television station KSWT. Foley, whose son's beheading was shown in a video released last August, also said he will be happy when Islamic State "is defeated." John Foley and his wife, Diane, speaking on Thursday on the sidelines of a forum in Tucson, Arizona, where they were panelists, criticized how the U.S. government dealt with them while their son was held captive.

Ukraine conflict at 'crossroads' as troop deaths shake truce

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 09:04

International monitors said Friday the conflict in Ukraine was at a "crossroads" as further losses among government forces rattled a two-week-old truce just as it seemed to be gaining traction. The envoy to Ukraine for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), which is monitoring the peace deal, told the UN Security Council that while there were encouraging signs, the country still risked all-out war. Russia formally annexed the territory in March 2014, triggering an international furore. The uprising in Ukraine's east, which has claimed at least 5,800 lives, began the following month.

7 fatally shot, gunman dead in southeastern Missouri

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 09:02

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri State Highway Patrol says seven people have been killed in overnight shootings in southeastern Missouri and that the gunman is also dead.

U.S. Congress pursues stopgap funding to avert security agency shutdown

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 08:59

By David Lawder and Richard Cowan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Congress on Friday appeared to be headed toward approving a three-week-long stopgap funding bill for the domestic security agency that postpones the threat of a partial shutdown, but moves lawmakers no closer to a permanent solution. With only hours remaining before Department of Homeland Security funding expires at midnight, the House of Representatives was pursuing a short-term funding extension. It would give Republicans more time to agree on a way to keep the agency open over the long term, while still fighting Democratic President Barack Obama over his immigration order lifting the threat of deportation for millions of undocumented residents. The measure would then go to the Senate for expected approval on Friday afternoon.

Senate passes Homeland Security funds through Sept. 30

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 07:39

The DHS has three weeks of funding hours before it would have run out.

Attackers in Bangladesh hack to death American blogger

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 06:20

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — A prominent Bangladeshi-American blogger known for speaking out against religious extremism was hacked to death as he walked through Bangladesh's capital with his wife, police said Friday.

Despite fiery CPAC speech, is Ted Cruz changing course?

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 06:19

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas used a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday to rail against the party establishment, calling himself a “disruptive app” like Uber that would upend the political system. Delighting the assembled conservative shock troops, Cruz castigated the Republican leadership for selling out their principles by separating a funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security from a measure that would roll back President Obama’s executive action on immigration

Eight people reported dead in murder, suicide in Missouri

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 05:54

Eight people were found dead overnight in an apparent mass murder and suicide in rural southern Missouri, the Missouri State Highway Patrol said on Friday. The events unfolded around 10 p.m. Thursday night when the Texas County Sheriff’s Department responded to a call about a disturbance involving a weapon at a residence in Tyrone. After further investigation, authorities said they found five other victims and one person who was wounded in three other homes in Tyrone. Houston School District Superintendent Scott Dill said the killings shocked the small community.

Holder says U.S. malls should 'step up' security: CNN

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 04:05

Shopping mall operators need to increase security through more staff, cameras and other techniques in light of threats made against the Mall of America in Minnesota and other shopping centers by Somali-based Islamist militants this week, outgoing U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said. "I certainly think we have to step up our sensitivities to what goes on in these commercial enterprises," Holder said in an interview with CNN that aired on Friday. "It would be the responsible thing for operators of these malls to increase their capabilities when it comes to keeping people safe who are just going about their everyday lives." In a separate interview with Politico, also published on Friday, Holder said he would push in his final weeks in office to lower the standard of proof for civil-rights offenses that would make it easier for the federal government to bring charges in future cases. The Justice Department recently closed its investigation into the shooting of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, without filing charges against gunman George Zimmerman because of "insufficient evidence." "I think that if we adjust those standards, we can make the federal government a better backstop - make us more a part of the process in an appropriate way to reassure the American people that decisions are made by people who are really disinterested," he told Politico.

German Parliament approves Greece's bailout extension

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 02:42

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's Parliament overwhelmingly approved the four-month extension of Greece's financial bailout on Friday, despite unease over the new government in Athens.

For Jeb Bush, the Q&A is the message

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 01:17

The former Florida governor's openness sets him apart from his likely 2016 opponents.

Former Notre Dame president Rev. Theodore Hesburgh dies at 97

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 00:43
Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, who reshaped the University of Notre Dame from a Catholic college known for its football team into an academic force, died late on Thursday night, the school said in a statement. Hesburgh, one of the premier Catholic educators in the United States and "champion of human rights", presided over the Indiana university for three and a half decades, stepping down in 1987, the statement said. He also oversaw the Notre Dame's transformation into a coeducational university when women were first admitted to its undergraduate program in 1972, the school said. Internationally, he served four popes on issues such as atomic energy and human rights.

Republicans prepare to pass Homeland Security funding

Thu, 02/26/2015 - 23:31

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hours from a partial agency shutdown, Congress is moving to approve a short-term funding bill for the Homeland Security Department that leaves intact Obama administration immigration policies Republicans vowed to repeal.

Indiana may allow 'baby boxes' for surrendering newborns

Thu, 02/26/2015 - 21:46

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — On the outside, the metal box looks like an oversized bread container. But what's inside could save an abandoned newborn's life.

Most Americans see combating climate change as a moral duty

Thu, 02/26/2015 - 21:08

By Bruce Wallace WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A significant majority of Americans say combating climate change is a moral issue that obligates them – and world leaders - to reduce carbon emissions, a Reuters/IPSOS poll has found.     The poll of 2,827 Americans was conducted in February to measure the impact of moral language, including interventions by Pope Francis, on the climate change debate. In recent months, the pope has warned about the moral consequences of failing to act on rising global temperatures, which are expected to disproportionately affect the lives of the world’s poor.     The result of the poll suggests that appeals based on ethics could be key to shifting the debate over climate change in the United States, where those demanding action to reduce carbon emissions and those who resist it are often at loggerheads.     Two-thirds of respondents (66 percent) said that world leaders are morally obligated to take action to reduce CO2 emissions.

Two killed in southern California street racing crash

Thu, 02/26/2015 - 19:40
(Reuters) - Two onlookers were killed and one injured on Thursday after a driver taking part in an illegal street race near Los Angeles lost control of his sports car and plowed into the crowd, police said. Henry Gevorgyan, 21, was racing his gray Ford Mustang around 2:05 a.m. local time in Chatsworth when the incident occurred, the Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement. Two pedestrians, 26-year-old Eric Siguenza and another unidentified person, were killed in the accident, police said.

Union, Shell discuss meeting on U.S. refinery strike: sources

Thu, 02/26/2015 - 18:40

The United Steelworkers union (USW) and representatives for several U.S. refineries discussed on Thursday a possible resumption of face-to-face negotiations to settle a 26-day strike, two people familiar with the discussions told Reuters. No date had been set as of Thursday for resuming direct meetings with Shell Oil Co, which is representing the refiners, the sources said. "The USW continues to be ready and willing to resume negotiations with Shell at any time," said union spokeswoman Lynne Hancock. "Other than that, I don't have any information on when talks will resume." Shell Oil Co, the U.S. arm of Royal Dutch Shell Plc , confirmed making contact with the union.

Congress edges toward domestic security funding patch

Thu, 02/26/2015 - 17:06

By David Lawder and Richard Cowan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republicans in the House of Representatives were planning to pursue on Friday a temporary funding bill to keep the lights on at the U.S. domestic security agency for three weeks, postponing the threat of a partial agency shutdown. As the clock ticked toward a midnight Friday deadline for funding the Department of Homeland Security, lawmakers said a stop-gap extension would buy time to try to work out differences between the Republican-controlled House and the Senate. Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, who has insisted on a full Homeland Security funding bill free of immigration reform restrictions that have caused weeks of delay, said on Thursday he would refuse to allow such negotiations with the House.

CPAC shows how GOP’s 2016 media strategy could backfire

Thu, 02/26/2015 - 16:54

The RNC made shifting from mainstream to conservative interviewers a top priority for the 2016 cycle.