By Michael Martina and Jeff Mason WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Washington on Thursday for a state visit and talks with President Barack Obama that are expected to be clouded by differences over alleged Chinese cyber spying, Beijing's economic policies and territorial disputes in the South China Sea. Vice President Joe Biden greeted Xi and his wife as they landed at Andrews Air Force Base on the second leg of a weeklong trip that begin in Seattle.
By Matt Spetalnick and Jeff Mason WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Washington on Thursday for a state visit and talks with President Barack Obama expected to be clouded by differences over alleged Chinese cyber spying, Beijing's economic policies and territorial disputes in the South China Sea. Vice President Joe Biden led the welcoming delegation as Xi's plane touched down at Andrews Air Force Base on the second leg of a weeklong trip that began in Seattle, where the Chinese leader sought to reassure U.S. companies that he is working to create a more favorable Chinese investment climate.
Democrats in the U.S. Senate, joined by some Republicans, on Thursday blocked an effort denying federal funds for the women's healthcare group Planned Parenthood in a move that could help avoid a government shutdown on Oct. 1. Most Senate Republicans had supported the plan to attach the Planned Parenthood defunding to a bill keeping government operating with the start of the new fiscal year on Oct. 1. At least one of the Republicans, Tom Cotton of Arkanas, said he cast his vote against the bill to protest inadequate military funding.
By Philip Pullella and Scott Malone WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Pope Francis told Congress on Thursday that the United States should reject hostility to immigrants and treat them humanely, directly addressing a thorny subject that is dividing the country and stirring debate in the 2016 presidential campaign. In the first speech by a pope to a U.S. Congress, the Argentine pontiff said the United States "must not repeat the sins and the errors of the past," when dealing with immigrants. "Building a nation calls us to recognize that we must constantly relate to others, rejecting a mindset of hostility," the 78-year-old Francis told the Republican-dominated legislature.
By Jason Lange WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A gauge of U.S. business investment plans fell slightly in August while the number of Americans filing new applications for jobless benefits barely rose last week, signs that global economic headwinds were doing little to impede U.S. growth. The Commerce Department said on Thursday capital goods orders excluding military wares and aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, dropped 0.2 percent last month, a slightly bigger fall than analysts polled by Reuters had expected. A separate report from the Labor Department showed initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose by 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 267,000 for the week ended Sept. 19.
By Michael Martina, Eric M. Johnson and Joseph Menn SEATTLE (Reuters) - Seeking to warm bilateral ties and project a sunny climate for U.S. business, Chinese President Xi Jinping vowed on Wednesday to cut restrictions on foreign investment, while his chief Internet regulator appeared to lay the groundwork for a basic agreement later this week on cyber warfare. Xi's busy stop on the West Coast is the first leg of a week-long trip to the United States and offers him a chance to highlight China's cooperation with U.S. companies before he heads to Washington, where he will contend with the full spectrum of irritants in relations, from tension in the South China Sea to human rights. The Chinese leader started the day by publicly assuring U.S. business leaders that he is making it easier to invest in China, and he was later quizzed in a private session about intellectual property protection, common standards and clear, transparent regulations, according to the Paulson Institute, which hosted the event.
A federal judge on Wednesday denied Kim Davis a stay of his order requiring her office to issue marriage licenses to all eligible couples who want one, the latest setback for the Kentucky county clerk who went to jail rather than issue licenses to gay couples. Lawyers for couples suing Davis have said that since her return to work, the Rowan County clerk has interfered with the issuance of marriage licenses in violation of orders by U.S. District Judge David Bunning's in Louisville. Davis, 50, has refused to issue any marriage licenses since the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June that made gay marriage legal across the United States.
The attorney for a woman accusing NHL star Patrick Kane of sexual assault said on Wednesday an evidence bag that once contained the case's rape kit was delivered anonymously to the home of the accuser's mother. Attorney Thomas Eoannou said he would request an independent investigation "by a separate law enforcement agency into how this breach could have possibly happened." He declined to speculate how the disclosure would affect the investigation, but added: "If you're looking for a surefire way to scuttle a prosecution, you may tamper with the evidence." Kane's accuser told police that Kane, a three-time Stanley Cup champion with the Chicago Blackhawks and one of the National Hockey League's top players, raped her in his lakeshore home in Hamburg, New York, early on the morning of Aug. 2 after the two met at a Buffalo nightclub.
By Amanda Becker DES MOINES, Iowa (Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton unveiled a plan on Wednesday to lower out-of-pocket health costs, including expanded coverage of sick visits to the doctor and tax credits for those with substantial medical bills. Clinton, who has promised to build on President Barack Obama's signature healthcare initiative, also pledged to try to strengthen efforts to block or modify what her campaign called "unreasonable" health insurance rate increases. The proposals were released by Clinton's campaign one day after her pledge to battle "price gouging" by pharmaceutical companies battered shares in some of those companies.