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Updated: 2 hours 49 min ago

Top Obama aide won’t rule out unilateral easing of Cuba policy

Wed, 11/19/2014 - 14:37

A year after President Barack Obama said the United States must "update our policies" on Cuba, his pick for the No. 2 job at the State Department, Tony Blinken, refused to rule out unilateral steps by the president in the next two years — provided Alan Gross goes free.

Matt Bai: Uber, Gruber and underlying truth

Wed, 11/19/2014 - 12:47

Two unfortunate recent remarks, by Uber's Emil Michael and health policy expert Jonathan Gruber, might be the latest examples of the destructive, distortive potential of social media. Never before have a few words been able to travel so far and so fast, detached from any context. But what we talk about less often is the power of even our shallowest social networks to illuminate, in a single moment, what volumes of journalism might miss — providing not distortion, but rather perfectly distilled truth.

California sees reserves growing more than $4 billion over two years

Wed, 11/19/2014 - 11:59
By Robin Respaut (Reuters) - California's state budget will accumulate more than $4 billion of reserves in the next two years, the budget watchdog estimated on Wednesday, a sign of significant progress for the debt-ridden state. California's Legislative Analyst's Office said much of the extra money would most likely go toward education, the state's rainy day fund, and potentially paying down liabilities. For fiscal year 2014-2015, the office anticipated $2 billion more in revenues than expected in the state's budget act. ...

'Ready for Hillary' super PAC winding down

Wed, 11/19/2014 - 11:32

The super-PAC Ready for Hillary, which launched in late 2012 to urge Hillary Clinton to run for president in 2016 and is described by some as a "shadow operation" for her would-be campaign, is coming to an end, Politico reports.

NASA simulation shows a year in the life of Earth’s CO2

Wed, 11/19/2014 - 10:31

NASA scientists created an ultra-high-resolution computer model that gives staggering views of how carbon dioxide swirls around Mother Earth — and the heavy toll it takes on her.

Racial divide in U.S. arrest rates is 'staggering,' study finds

Wed, 11/19/2014 - 09:43

According to USA Today — which compared arrests reported by local police departments to the FBI in 2011 and 2012 with data from the 2010 U.S. census — at least 1,581 police departments arrest black people at a higher rate than Ferguson, Mo., where blacks are arrested nearly three times more than people of other races.

Stephen Colbert to host Kennedy Center Honors

Wed, 11/19/2014 - 09:05
WASHINGTON (AP) — The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts says Stephen Colbert will host this year's Kennedy Center Honors, bringing a new touch to the annual awards show.

Supporters say man framed deaf brother for murder

Wed, 11/19/2014 - 09:01

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Advocates for a deaf man serving a life sentence for murder say he was framed by his brother who is also serving time in the 1981 Tampa slaying.

Obama poised to announce go-it-alone plan on immigration Thursday

Wed, 11/19/2014 - 08:19
By Steve Holland and Richard Cowan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama is set on Thursday to outline a controversial plan to relax U.S. immigration policy and grant relief from deportation to as many as 5 million undocumented immigrants in a go-it-alone move that will deepen a partisan divide with Republicans. Sources close to the administration said the rollout would include a televised speech by Obama on Thursday night laying out the plan followed by a trip to Las Vegas on Friday to build support. Nevada is home to the highest proportion of undocumented immigrants in the country. ...

Texas DuPont workers died from accidental asphyxiation: coroner

Wed, 11/19/2014 - 07:31

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Four workers who died on Saturday at a DuPont and Co plant in Texas were accidentally asphyxiated by chemicals, the coroner's office said on Wednesday, another finding that suggests the victims were not wearing full safety equipment. The workers were overcome by methyl mercaptan, a chemical used to give natural gas its rotten-egg smell and for making insecticides and plastics. A DuPont spokesman declined to say if the victims were caught by surprise by the chemical or sent to repair a leak in a unit that officials have described as an enclosed, five-story structure. ...

Don Lemon to Cosby accuser: 'You know, there are ways not to perform oral sex'

Wed, 11/19/2014 - 06:54

The CNN host engaged in an awkward exchange with one of the women accusing the comedian of rape.

Frustrated Senators have questions about Obama’s Islamic State strategy

Wed, 11/19/2014 - 06:06

Lack of direction from the White House has frustrated Democrats and Republicans alike.

Bodies believed to be Miss Honduras, sister found

Wed, 11/19/2014 - 05:46

Two bodies have been found buried near the spa where they disappeared six days ago.

St. Louis area remains on edge ahead of grand jury report

Wed, 11/19/2014 - 05:26

By Scott Malone FERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) - A St. Louis suburb that faced weeks of sometimes violent protests following August's fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white policeman remained on edge on Wednesday as it waited to learn if the officer would face charges. A grand jury has been meeting for nearly three months, considering whether to indict Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson for the Aug. 9 shooting of Michael Brown, an incident that laid bare long-simmering racial tensions in the mostly black city. ...

Putin backs deeper ties with Kim Jong Un

Wed, 11/19/2014 - 03:22

The Russian president wants to strengthen his nation's relationship with North Korea.

Celeb-filled, stirring ad confronts world leaders' slow response to Ebola crisis in West Africa

Wed, 11/19/2014 - 03:00

A new PSA featuring top stars does not feature their acting abilities.

New York health officials test person's remains for Ebola

Wed, 11/19/2014 - 01:45

(Reuters) - New York City health officials said they will test the remains of a person who died of an apparent heart attack on Tuesday for Ebola as the person had recently come to the United States from West Africa. The person, who was not identified, had been in one of the countries hardest hit by the outbreak just 18 days earlier, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said in a statement. "Before death, this individual showed no symptoms of Ebola. ...

Heritage Action CEO: Repeal 'all of Obamacare'

Wed, 11/19/2014 - 00:15

A year after relations with GOP congressional leadership hit a low point, Yahoo News talks with the group's CEO about how it will navigate the new Republican majority.

Could Obama cut Keystone deal? Don’t rule it out

Tue, 11/18/2014 - 23:27

The president might be open to using the pipeline as leverage with Republicans.

Big snowstorm hits New York; rest of US feels cold

Tue, 11/18/2014 - 22:57

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — A ferocious storm dumped massive piles of snow on parts of upstate New York, trapping residents in their homes and stranding motorists on roadways, as temperatures in all 50 states fell to freezing or below.