National News from Yahoo

'Obamacare' under attack as conservatives eye 2016

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — Republicans eyeing the 2016 White House race battered President Barack Obama's health care law and nicked each other Saturday, auditioning before a high-profile gathering of conservatives that some political veterans said marked the campaign's unofficial start.


Ukraine accuses Russia of 'aggression' amid unrest in east

Slavyansk (Ukraine) (AFP) - Ukraine accused Moscow of "aggression" on Saturday after Kalashnikov-wielding gunmen seized two security buildings in its restive eastern rust belt amid spreading protests demanding the Russified region join Kremlin rule. The coordinated attacks and a series of gunfights between militants and police in two eastern towns underscored the volatility of the crisis ahead of first direct talks between EU and US diplomats and their Moscow and Kiev counterparts in Geneva on Thursday. Ukraine's foreign minister blamed the occupations on the "provocative activities of Russian special services" while a prominent nationalist called on militants in his Right Sector party -- branded as a neo-Nazi organisation by Moscow -- to "fully mobilise and prepare for decisive action". And acting president Oleksandr Turchynov convened an emergency security meeting after his interior minster reported that a "gunfight" had erupted between local security forces and militants who had attacked a police station in the eastern town of Kramatorsk.


Iran rejects naming new UN envoy after US refusal

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran rejected naming a new diplomat Saturday to represent it at the United Nations, with one lawmaker urging the Islamic Republic to stand up to "bullying" from the U.S., which has rejected granting its pick a visa.


With no new signals, Aussie PM sees long jet hunt

PERTH, Australia (AP) — A day after expressing optimism about the hunt for the missing Malaysian jet, Australia's leader warned Saturday that the massive search would likely continue "for a long time."


Uniformed men occupy Donetsk police HQ

DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) — Men in the uniforms of Ukraine's now-defunct riot police on Saturday occupied police headquarters in Donetsk, the eastern city that is one of the flashpoints of a wave of pro-Russia protests, hours after armed men seized local police headquarters and local branch of the Security Service in a nearby city.

Syria rebels, government report poison gas attack

BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian government media and rebel forces said Saturday that poison gas had been used in a central village, injuring scores of people, while blaming each other for the attack.


Disappointment, forgiveness mix in La. scandal

MONROE, La. (AP) — To Louisiana voters accustomed to tawdry scandals involving elected officials, disappointment with an eye toward forgiveness is the prevailing sentiment about their new congressman, caught on video embracing an aide married to one of his friends.


AP photographer captured humanity amid chaos

HOEXTER, Germany (AP) — Hundreds of mourners packed a church in central Germany on Saturday to remember Associated Press photographer Anja Niedringhaus, who was killed on assignment in Afghanistan last week after a life spent between the chaos of war and the serenity of her rural birthplace.


Couple: Truck was on fire before deadly bus crash

ORLAND, Calif. (AP) — A tractor-trailer already was on fire as it came across a median and crashed into a tour bus, killing 10 people, according to a couple whose car was sideswiped by the big rig.


Beef prices reach highest level since 1987

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — The highest beef prices in almost three decades have arrived just before the start of grilling season, causing sticker shock for both consumers and restaurant owners — and relief isn't likely anytime soon.


'Obamacare' under attack at conservative gathering

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — President Barack Obama's health care overhaul is coming under renewed attack as some of the nation's leading conservatives gather in New Hampshire for a summit that some consider the unofficial kickoff for the state's 2016 presidential selection process.


Hezbollah develops new tactics in Syrian civil war

BEIRUT (AP) — The commandos infiltrated Syrian rebel-held territory near the Lebanese border, watching rebel fighters come and go from a two-story villa before slipping inside to plant a powerful bomb. The next morning, they detonated it as three rebel explosive experts and four assistants met inside, turning the villa to rubble in seconds.


Iran says has no plans to substitute UN envoy pick

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran has no plans to name a new diplomat to the United Nations, its Foreign Ministry said Saturday, after the United States blocked its pick in a rare rebuke that could stir fresh animosity at a time when the two countries have been seeking a thaw in relations.


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