National News from Yahoo

Hawaii overshadowed by Chicago for Obama library

HONOLULU (AP) — Not far from these wind-swept shores, Barack Obama was born and raised, soaking in an island sensibility that his family says he's carried with him throughout his journey as president. Yet in the search for a home for his future presidential library, Hawaii is playing the underdog, overshadowed by Chicago and the commanding role it plays in Obama's story.


South Sudan: 'White Army' militia marches to fight

JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — Twenty-five thousand young men who make up a tribal militia known as the "White Army" are marching toward a contested state capital in South Sudan, an official said Saturday, dimming hopes for a cease-fire.


High stakes for US families losing jobless benefit

WESTMINSTER, Calif. (AP) — The end of unemployment checks for more than a million people on Saturday is driving out-of-work Americans to consider selling cars, moving and taking minimum wage work after already slashing household budgets and pawning personal possessions to make ends meet.


Removal of chemical weapons from Syria delayed: watchdog

By Georgina Prodhan VIENNA (Reuters) - The removal of deadly toxins from Syria under an international effort to rid the nation of its chemical arsenal will likely miss a December 31 deadline, the global chemical arms watchdog said. Bad weather and shifting battlefronts in Syria's civil war have delayed the delivery of essential supplies to sites where the toxins are being prepared to be sent to Latakia port, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said. "A delay will probably occur," Franz Krawinkler, the OPCW's logistics head told Austrian ORF state television on Saturday. "Because of various external influences, including the weather... certain logistical supplies that are needed for this transport, could not be delivered in time." Syria has agreed to abandon its chemical weapons by next June under a deal proposed by Russia and hashed out with the United States, after an August 21 sarin gas attack that Western nations blamed on President Bashar al-Assad's government.


Kerry to Mideast next week for peace talks: Palestinians

Ramallah (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) - US Secretary of State John Kerry will return to the Middle East next week for talks with Palestinian and Israeli officials on the peace process, a Palestinian official said Saturday. "Mr Kerry has told the Palestinian Authority he will return to the region on January 4 to discuss the peace process and negotiations with Israel," the official told AFP on condition of anonymity. According to a well-informed Palestinian source, the US chief diplomat plans to stay in the Middle East for a "number of days" in what would be his 10th visit to the region since March. Kerry, who helped to launch nine-month direct talks between the two sides in July, insisted this month that concrete progress had been made in the peace talks.


Activists: Syrian airstrike kills 21 in Aleppo

BEIRUT (AP) — A Syrian government airstrike hit a crowded vegetable market in a rebel-held neighborhood of the northern city of Aleppo on Saturday, killing at least 21 people, activists said.


Egyptian rapper speaks for women's rights

CAIRO (AP) — As soon as the beat started, the young woman bobbed her head to the rhythm, raised her hands to get the crowd clapping and then unleashed a flood of rap lyrics that tackled some of the biggest social challenges women face in the Arab world.


Activists: Syrian airstrike kills 20 in Aleppo

BEIRUT (AP) — A Syrian government airstrike hit a crowded vegetable market in a rebel-held neighborhood of the northern city of Aleppo on Saturday, killing at least 20 people, activists said.


In quest for Obama library, Hawaii plays underdog

HONOLULU (AP) — On these sun-bathed shores, Barack Obama was born and spent his formative years, soaking in an island sensibility that his wife and friends say is indispensable to understanding who he is as president. Yet in the search for a home for his future presidential library, Hawaii has become the underdog, stuck in Chicago's perpetual shadow.


Facility found for Calif. teen on ventilator

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — An attorney says a nursing home has agreed to provide long-term care for a 13-year-old girl, who has been declared brain dead but whose family maintains is still alive.


Reports of sexual assaults in military on rise

WASHINGTON (AP) — Heightened attention to the crime of sexual assault in the U.S. military may be causing more people to come forward and report problems. Defense officials cite the increased awareness as a possible reason the number of reported sexual assaults rose by more than 50 percent this year.


Veiled Egyptian rapper speaks for women's rights

CAIRO (AP) — As soon as the beat started, the young veiled woman bobbed her head to the rhythm, raised her hands to get the crowd clapping and then unleashed a flood of rap lyrics that tackled some of the biggest social challenges women face in the Arab world.


Conn. files: Gunman's mother loving but bewildered

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Thousands of pages of documents from the Newtown shooting investigation help fill out the picture of the gunman's mother as a dedicated and loving, if bewildered, parent who acknowledged her son appeared to be spiraling downward but was not aware to what extent.


NSA phone surveillance legal, federal judge rules

NEW YORK (AP) — The debate over the National Security Agency's collection of millions of Americans' telephone records fell squarely into the courts when a federal judge in Manhattan upheld the legality of the program, citing its need in the fight against terrorism, just days after another federal judge concluded it was likely unconstitutional.


Pages