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Updated: 2 hours 51 min ago

Historic U.S.-Iran nuclear deal could be taking shape

Mon, 02/23/2015 - 11:32

GENEVA (AP) — Edging toward a historic compromise, the U.S. and Iran reported progress Monday on a deal that would clamp down on Tehran's nuclear activities for at least 10 years but then slowly ease restrictions on programs that could be used to make atomic arms.

U.S. Marine who vanished in Iraq found guilty of desertion

Mon, 02/23/2015 - 10:18
By Colleen Jenkins WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (Reuters) - A U.S. Marine who disappeared from his base in Iraq in 2004 and later fled to Lebanon was found guilty on Monday of twice deserting the military and could face up to 7 1/2 years in prison. Corporal Wassef Hassoun, 35, was convicted of deserting in Iraq to avoid hazardous duty and deserting again in 2005 with the intent to stay away for good, according to a statement from Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, where his court-martial was held. After Hassoun vanished from his base in Fallujah, Iraq, in June 2004, the Arabic language interpreter turned up a month later in Lebanon claiming to have been kidnapped by militants, the military has said. Before the start of military legal proceedings against him, Hassoun failed to report for duty at Camp Lejeune in January 2005, fled the United States and again went to Lebanon, the Marine Corps said.

Families to 3 missing UK girls: 'Please come home!'

Mon, 02/23/2015 - 09:58

Turkish police searched Monday for three missing British schoolgirls believed to be headed to Syria to join the Islamic State extremist group...

France seizes passports of would-be jihadists

Mon, 02/23/2015 - 09:20

The suspects in question were planning to travel to Syria and Iraq.

U.S. Justice Department asks for stay to allow immigration action

Mon, 02/23/2015 - 08:35

The U.S. Justice Department on Monday formally requested an emergency stay to put on hold a Texas judge's decision that temporarily blocked President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration from taking effect. U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen had issued a court order to halt the immigration actions, which would grant temporary relief from deportation for 4.7 million people who are in the United States illegally. The Justice Department said Hanen lacked authority to issue that preliminary injunction. Officials also filed on Monday to appeal his decision, and they asked that the immigration actions be allowed to move forward while the appeals process plays out.

Bad news for Disney park visitors

Mon, 02/23/2015 - 07:32

Bad news for Disney park visitors

Yemen's Shiite rebels threaten to arrest, charge ministers

Mon, 02/23/2015 - 06:46

The prime minister and all Cabinet members have been warned.

GM gets 33 more claims for faulty ignition switch compensation

Mon, 02/23/2015 - 06:45

(Reuters) - General Motors Co received another 33 claims for compensation for ignition switch defects in its cars in the past week, bringing the total to 4,345, according to the administrator of the company's compensation program. Through Friday, GM had received 479 claims for death, 292 for catastrophic injuries and 3,574 for less-serious injuries requiring hospitalization, according to a report from lawyer Kenneth Feinberg, hired by GM to administer the program. The number of claims found to be eligible for compensation so far is 151, the report said. Feinberg has so far determined that 57 deaths, nine severe injuries and 85 other injuries are eligible for compensation.

Giuliani clarifies controversial Obama remarks

Mon, 02/23/2015 - 06:06

Former New York City mayor clarifies controversial comments suggesting the president “doesn’t love America.”

Four dead, one seriously injured in Texas shooting

Mon, 02/23/2015 - 05:26
(Reuters) - Four people were dead and one woman was in serious condition on Monday after gunfire erupted at two homes in Killeen, Texas, according to local police. The dead included a 30-year-old man suspected of shooting three people in one home before forcing his wife back to their neighboring house, where the two were later found with fatal gunshot wounds, Killeen police said in a statement.

Obama presses new rule for broker advice on retirement investments

Mon, 02/23/2015 - 03:48

By Jeff Mason and Sarah N. Lynch WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will direct the Department of Labor on Monday to proceed with new rules that would rein in conflicts of interests among Wall Street brokers who advise clients on retirement investments, administration officials said. “The president will call on the Department of Labor to establish updated rules of the road to make sure that responsible Americans who are saving for retirement are getting a fair share of returns on their savings,” Jeff Zients, Obama's top economic adviser, said in a conference call with reporters on Sunday. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, a consumer advocate who some Democrats hope will challenge former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the party's presidential nomination, is expected to attend.

United States urges update to fast-track trade authority

Mon, 02/23/2015 - 01:03
The United States' top trade official urged lawmakers on Monday to update legislation streamlining the passage of trade deals through Congress to reflect the new global economy. Bipartisan negotiations are continuing on the final form of a bill which will restrict Congress to a yes-or-no vote on trade deals in exchange for setting negotiating objectives. The Republican chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, Orrin Hatch, has said he hopes to present legislation this month. U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said the last time Congress passed such legislation, in 2002, only 4 percent of companies on the Fortune Global 500 list were from emerging markets, compared to one in four now.

Texas, Louisiana brace for ice as bitter winter drags on

Mon, 02/23/2015 - 00:56

(Reuters) - A winter storm pummeled the southern and western United States on Monday, forcing authorities to cancel flights and close schools as most of the country braced for another bout of freezing weather. A storm warning was issued from southeastern California through Louisiana as an arctic cold front expands south and east after dropping heavy snow on Colorado, the National Weather Service said. In Denver, residents were digging out from between six and 12 inches of snow (15-30 cm), while higher elevations in the Rocky Mountains got up to two feet (61 cm), the Service said. In Louisiana, Governor Bobby Jindal issued a state of emergency late Sunday due to the storm and potentially hazardous travel conditions, and schools and state offices in 23 Louisiana parishes were closed, his office said.

Honda to replace its president following air bag fiasco

Mon, 02/23/2015 - 00:53

TOKYO (AP) — Honda Motor Co., the Japanese automaker at the center of an air-bag defect scandal, said Monday its president Takanobu Ito will step aside and be replaced by another Honda executive.

Oscars 2015: Winners, red carpet arrivals, and more

Sun, 02/22/2015 - 22:32

Red carpet arrivals, winners, and more.

Rent walkouts point to strains in U.S. farm economy

Sun, 02/22/2015 - 21:28

By Jo Winterbottom and P.J. Huffstutter CHICAGO (Reuters) - Across the U.S. Midwest, the plunge in grain prices to near four-year lows is pitting landowners determined to sustain rental incomes against farmer tenants worried about making rent payments because their revenues are squeezed. On Friday, tractor maker John Deere cut its profit forecast citing falling sales caused by lower farm income and grain prices. Many rent payments – which vary from a few thousand dollars for a tiny farm to millions for a major operation – are due on March 1, just weeks after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimated net farm income, which peaked at $129 billion in 2013, could slide by almost a third this year to $74 billion. The costs of inputs, such as fertilizer and seeds, are remaining stubbornly high, the strong dollar is souring exports and grain prices are expected to stay low.

U.S. refinery strike affects one-fifth of national capacity

Sun, 02/22/2015 - 16:52

By Erwin Seba HOUSTON (Reuters) - The largest U.S. refinery strike in 35 years entered its fourth week on Sunday as workers at 12 refineries accounting for one-fifth of national production capacity were walking picket lines. Sources familiar with the negotiations said talks may resume by mid-week to end the walkout by 6,550 members of the United Steelworkers union (USW) at 15 plants, including the 12 refineries. The refinery work stoppage began on Feb. 1 when talks for a new three-year contract between the USW and lead oil company negotiator Shell Oil Co broke down. After the latest breakdown between the two sides, Steelworkers leaders targeted Shell, which is the U.S. arm of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, calling workers out at a chemical plant and three refineries in the company's Motiva Enterprises [MOTIV.UL] joint-venture with Saudi Aramco [SDABO.UL].

11 Wesleyan students treated for MDMA drug overdoses

Sun, 02/22/2015 - 15:52
(Reuters) - Eleven students at Connecticut's Wesleyan University are being treated for overdoses of the drug MDMA, and one of them, a sophomore, is in critical condition, officials said on Sunday. The sophomore at the elite school in Middletown was transported to a hospital early on Sunday with two students in less serious conditions but showing similar symptoms, Michael Whaley, vice president for student affairs, said in an emailed statement to the school. Wesleyan spokeswoman Lauren Rubenstein said in an email that seven students were transported to hospitals "with overdose symptoms consistent with the use of Molly (MDMA)." Another four went directly to hospitals, she said. It is the main chemical in ecstasy, a psychoactive drug.

Somali extremists urge attacks on U.S. shopping malls

Sun, 02/22/2015 - 15:28

A video alleged to be from al-Shabab calls for an assault similar to Westgate Mall siege.

Telecom workers ratify agreement to end strike in New England

Sun, 02/22/2015 - 13:23
(Reuters) - Union members ratified an agreement on Sunday that ends a four-month-long strike by some 1,800 workers at FairPoint Communications, a major land-line telecommunications provider in northern New England, union officials announced. Members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and Communications Workers of America (CWA) in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont went on strike Oct. 17 when negotiations broke off. FairPoint used replacement workers in their absence. Union and FairPoint negotiators reached a tentative agreement on Feb. 19, followed by three days of union member voting that ended on Sunday.