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Updated: 1 hour 52 min ago

Jeb Bush’s 2016 run wavers amid breakout stars

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 15:31

Top donors have reportedly told Bush that he will start hemorrhaging fundraisers if he does not rev up momentum.

GOP and Planned Parenthood square off in Congress

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 13:33

By Megan Cassella WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. congressional Republicans on Tuesday challenged Planned Parenthood's eligibility for federal funds, while the health organization's president said defunding it would restrict women's access to care and disproportionately hurt low-income patients. A series of videos that purport to show that Planned Parenthood improperly sells fetal tissue to researchers for profit has reignited anti-abortion voters' fervor during a turbulent Republican presidential primary campaign. At a five-hour House committee hearing, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards appeared alone to respond to hostile questioning from Republicans, some of whom have vowed to shut down the U.S. government if federal support for the organization is not cut off.

Ann Romney opens up about MS struggle

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 12:31

In her new memoir, "In This Together," Romney details her struggles with multiple sclerosis, which she was diagnosed with in 1998.

Baltimore judge schedules police trials in black man's death

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 12:30

A Baltimore judge on Tuesday set trial dates, the first beginning in November, for six police officers charged in the death of a black man from an injury suffered in police custody, an event that triggered protests, arson and rioting. Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Barry Williams scheduled individual trials with start dates ranging from Nov. 30 to March 9 for the officers accused in the death of Freddie Gray in April. Gray, 25, died from a spinal injury suffered in the back of a police van following an arrest, leading to protests and a day of rioting in the largely black city.

Two arrested in California after woman found beaten, malnourished in shed

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 11:23
A man and his girlfriend who prosecutors say kept his sister locked in a storage shed in the Southern California community of Lancaster have been charged with torture and false imprisonment, prosecutors said on Tuesday. Elias Abdurahman, 61, and Sara Kebede Tadesse, 50, were taken into custody after the victim was discovered in the small outbuilding on Sept. 22 by Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies investigating screams coming from inside.

Georgia board rejects female death row inmate's clemency bid

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 10:57

Georgia's parole board denied a request for clemency by the lone woman on the state's death row, just hours before her scheduled execution on Tuesday. Kelly Gissendaner, 47, is to be put to death by injection at 7 p.m. EDT at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson. The state's Board of Pardons and Paroles met Tuesday to decide whether its refusal earlier this year to commute Gissendaner's sentence to life in prison should stand.

Snowden joins Twitter, follows NSA

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 09:53

The former National Security Agency contractor, who has been living in asylum in Russia after blowing the lid on the U.S. spy agency’s controversial domestic surveillance program, has joined Twitter.

Pentagon says U.S. needs to beef up ability to deter cyber attacks

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 08:13

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. military needs to improve its ability to deter attacks on its computer networks, and is working to make them more costly for U.S. adversaries, top U.S. military and intelligence officials told a Senate hearing on Tuesday. "We are not where we need to be in our deterrent posture," U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work told the Senate Armed Services Committee. James Clapper, director of national intelligence, told the committee that cyber threats to the U.S. ...

House could consider debt limit as well as stopgap spending: Speaker

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 07:23

As the U.S. Congress on Tuesday moved toward passing a short-term funding bill to avert government shutdowns this week, House Speaker John Boehner left open the possibility of tackling major fiscal measures in October, including raising the nation's borrowing limit. When asked by a reporter whether he would advance a debt limit bill before resigning from Congress on Oct. 30, Boehner said: "We'll have to see. There are a number of issues that we're going to try to deal with over the coming month." Difficult fiscal issues - from increasing a debt limit that is forecast to be breached before year's end to settling on spending priorities through September 2016 - confront a Congress that has been rocked by Republican disarray that resulted in Boehner's retirement announcement last Friday.

Boomers leave generation's imprint on the U.S. landscape

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 06:53

U.S. baby boomers have been on the planet for nearly 70 years, long enough to reshape almost every aspect of American life. Now in their retirement years, boomers are putting their final stamp on the landscape even further out of town in age-restricted communities epitomized by The Villages, a massive master-planned retirement development in Florida. At 34 square miles (88 square kilometers) and still expanding, The Villages is already bigger than Manhattan and approaching the size of central Paris, which is 40 square miles.

Afghanistan mounts offensive to retake Kunduz city from Taliban

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 03:51

Afghan troops backed by US air support launched a counter-offensive Tuesday to retake Kunduz, a day after Taliban insurgents overran the strategic northern city in their biggest victory since being ousted from power in 2001. Gun battles erupted and Humvees rolled through the city as Afghan security forces, who had retreated to the outlying airport after the fall, began a counter-strike backed by reinforcements. The Taliban had captured government buildings and freed hundreds of prisoners on Monday, raising their trademark white flag throughout the city.

Taliban display force, Afghan president vows to retake city

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 03:01

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Taliban gunmen fanned out in full force Tuesday across a key Afghan city they captured the day before, as the U.S. military carried out an airstrike on Kunduz and President Ashraf Ghani vowed to take the northern city back from the insurgents, urging his nation to trust Afghan troops to do the job.

Baltimore judge to schedule police trials in black man's death

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 02:03

Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Barry Williams will hold an afternoon scheduling hearing with prosecutors and defense lawyers in the case arising from the death of Freddie Gray in April. Gray, 25, died from a spinal injury suffered in the back of a police van, leading to the demonstrations and looting in the largely black city later that month. It also fueled a U.S. debate on police treatment of minorities.

VW scandal: 1.8 million commercial vehicles affected

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 00:35

BERLIN (AP) — Volkswagen's commercial vehicles division says 1.8 million of its vehicles are among those affected by the emissions-rigging scandal.

Obama and Putin: Awkward moments, few breakthroughs

Mon, 09/28/2015 - 23:16
NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin's first formal meeting in more than two years started with an awkward handshake and ended without a breakthrough on Syria.

Obama and Putin meet on Syria, remain divided on Assad's fate

Mon, 09/28/2015 - 21:59

The U.S. and Russian leaders fail to resolve their dispute over the future role of Bashar al-Assad.

Two killed and three, including infant, hurt in Chicago shooting

Mon, 09/28/2015 - 21:36
The 11-month old's mother and grandmother were killed when an unknown number of people inside a car opened fire on the group around 7:30 p.m., Chicago police deputy chief Eugene Roy told reporters. The infant was in stable condition.

Putin does not rule out Russian strikes in Syria

Mon, 09/28/2015 - 15:56

President Vladimir Putin said Monday that Russia had not ruled out air strikes in support of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad's forces in their battle against jihadist rebels. As for ground forces, Putin said they would not be used. "We are thinking about how to additionally help the Syrian army," he said, after meeting US President Barack Obama.

State suspends amphibious truck tour service after Seattle crash

Mon, 09/28/2015 - 15:01

A Washington state commission suspended an amphibious tour service operator in Seattle on Monday while it investigates last week's crash with a charter bus carrying international students in which five people died, an official said. Thursday's crash between the Ride the Ducks truck and the bus on Seattle's Aurora Bridge also sent about 50 people to hospitals. Washington state's Utilities and Transportation Commission suspended all Ride the Ducks operations in the state, said spokeswoman Amanda Maxwell.