WASHINGTON (AP) — With Mideast peace talks on the verge of collapse, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry declared Friday that "it's reality check time" on whether an agreement can be reached anytime soon after decades of bitterness between Israeli and Palestinian leaders. The U.S. will re-evaluate its role as mediator, he said.
By David Morgan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Three million lower-income Americans have enrolled in the Medicaid program for the poor so far during the rollout of U.S. President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law, the administration announced on Friday. That brings to more than 10 million the number of people who have signed up for both public and private health coverage since the October 1 launch of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare. "The increase in Medicaid enrollments across the country is encouraging," U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a government blog posting. The latest data show for the first time actual enrollments in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) from October 1 through February 28 for 46 states that have reported statistics to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
By Farishta Saeed MANAMA (Reuters) - Tens of thousands of mainly Shi'ite protesters marched for democratic reforms in Bahrain on Friday, two days before its annual Formula One motor race turns international attention toward the Sunni-led kingdom. The protest, organized by al-Wefaq Islamic Society, the main opposition group, drew an estimated 20,0000 men and women who marched with national flags and posters in northwestern Bahrain demanding reforms and release of prisoners. The tiny Gulf Arab monarchy, a U.S. ally, has suffered sporadic unrest since an uprising led by its Shi'ite Muslim majority in early 2011 demanding reforms and a bigger share of power in the minority-led government. The turmoil forced the cancellation of that year's race, but the event went ahead despite continuing unrest in 2012 and 2013, with Germany's Sebastian Vettel winning both times.
Associated Press correspondent Kathy Gannon, wounded Friday in a shooting that killed an AP photographer, has reported on Afghanistan for nearly three decades, chronicling the country from the Soviet occupation to the fall of the Taliban to the current presidential election and the coming withdrawal of foreign troops.
By Dan Whitcomb LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - U.S. federal agents have uncovered two drug-smuggling tunnels underneath the U.S.-Mexico border, both surfacing in San Diego-area warehouses and equipped with rail systems for moving contraband, officials said on Friday. The discovery led to the arrest of a 73-year-old woman accused of running one of the warehouses connected to a drug smuggling operation, according to a joint news release by four federal agencies. The tunnels were discovered as part of a five-month investigation by the so-called San Diego Tunnel Task Force. Federal law enforcement officials said the first tunnel, which connects a warehouse in Tijuana, Mexico, with one in an industrial park in the border community of Otay Mesa, is about 600 yards long and is furnished with lighting, a crude rail system and wooden trusses.