By Caren Bohan and Julia Edwards WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Republican Senator Marco Rubio, a possible 2016 White House contender, will unveil legislation on Wednesday to broaden the use of financial vehicles known as "income share agreements" that students can use to fund their higher education costs. Under the agreements, which are marketed as an alternative to traditional student loans, private investors or organizations provide students with financing for their education costs in exchange for a percentage of their future earnings. "The same way that private investors invest in a business idea, they could invest in a person who basically says: ‘This is who I am. This is what my career goals are. Some companies including Upstart, developed by former Google employees, and Pave already offer the financial instruments.
By Steve Holland and Thomas Ferraro WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama this week celebrates the civil rights advances of 50 years ago which laid the groundwork for him to become the first black president, but his own record in making life better for the African-American community that catalyzed his election is mixed. Obama will join former presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush in speaking at the Lyndon Baines Johnson presidential library in Austin, Texas, this week to mark a half century since Johnson's landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act. As the first African-American president, Obama is the physical embodiment of racial progress that Johnson brought about.
By Andy Sullivan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - As former secretary of state Hillary Clinton weighs a run for president in 2016, at least a dozen independent groups, from the serious to the mysterious, have sprung up to raise money in her name. Sporting names such as Madam Hillary 2016, HillaryFTW and other variations on Clinton's name, the new crop of political action committees (PACs) is a sign of the 66-year-old's enduring star power more than 20 years after she first became a national figure as the wife of President Bill Clinton. Some of the groups hope to emulate the success of Ready for Hillary, the organization of well-connected Democrats that already has raised millions of dollars to encourage Hillary Clinton to launch a bid to become the United States' first woman president. In the 2012 election, the dozens of "Super PACs" and nonprofit groups that popped up to take advantage of that decision largely were run by political insiders such as former White House aide Karl Rove, whose American Crossroads PAC spent more than $100 million to help Republicans that year.
The U.S. Secret Service is reassigning staff and studying changes to its rules on alcohol consumption after agents were sent home following a night of drinking on a recent trip to Europe ahead of President Barack Obama's visit, a spokesman said on Tuesday. "Personnel are being re-assigned as a result of staffing rotations and as a result of assessments made after two recent incidents of misconduct," Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan said in a statement. The paper reported that another incident of misconduct occurred in south Florida in early March, when two officers suspected of drinking had a car accident shortly before the Obama family arrived in the area. The paper reported on Tuesday that Secret Service director Julia Pierson had reassigned nearly two dozen members of one of the service's largest divisions as a result of the incidents.
Japan's main opposition leader chided Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for conservative statements on war history and voiced fear he could be a "destabilizing" factor in East Asia. On a visit to Washington on Tuesday, Banri Kaieda, president of the opposition Democratic Party of Japan, said he remained fully committed to the country's past expressions of regret for its wartime behavior. Kaieda said that the Abe government's remarks and actions had alienated Japan's neighbors as well as its US and European allies by "fueling suspicions that Prime Minister Abe may be a historical revisionist." "Domestically, the Abe administration has now made its authoritarian tendencies clear and internationally, the Abe administration could move beyond the realm of healthy nationalism and become a destabilizing factor in East Asia," Kaieda said.