US News

Yellen Will Be Sworn In As Fed Chair On Monday

Feb 3, 2014

Federal Reserve Vice Chair Janet Yellen will be sworn in Monday to succeed Ben Bernanke, becoming the first woman to lead the Fed in its 100-year history.

The Fed said in a brief announcement Thursday that the swearing-in will take place at 9 a.m. Eastern time. The ceremony will be private, with Yellen sworn in by Fed Governor Daniel Tarullo, the senior member of the Fed's board.

Bernanke's term as chairman will end at midnight Friday. The Fed statement said Yellen will have authority as the current vice chair to exercise all the duties of chair beginning this weekend.

US Prosecutors Seek Execution Of Marathon Suspect

Jan 31, 2014

Federal prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in the Boston Marathon bombing.

The final decision was made by Attorney General Eric Holder and was announced Thursday. The twin blasts in April killed three people and wounded more than 260 in one of the most prominent terrorist attacks in the U.S since 9/11.

WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

On the same day he delivered his State of The Union address this week, President Barack Obama announced that he was increasing the minimum wage for federal contractor workers to $10.10 per hour. There’s mixed reaction to the idea...

The federal minimum wages stands at $7.25 an hour. Many agree that raising the minimum wage re-adjusts it to 1960s levels; for example, the $1.60 minimum wage of 1968 was worth more than $10.50 in 2013 dollars. 

Mass. Rep In Russia For Marathon Investigation

Jan 21, 2014

U.S. Representative William Keating says a congressional committee's investigation into the Boston Marathon bombings has reinforced that the biggest threat to the U.S. is the radicalization of homegrown terrorists.

The Massachusetts Democrat spoke by phone Monday from Moscow, where he and House Homeland Security Committee Chairman U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, are looking into the marathon bombings and reviewing security procedures in Sochi ahead of the Olympics.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo by Carol E. Davis

  An official with the Centers for Disease Control says so far the flu season has been spotty, with more cases reported in the South than in the Northeast. Dr. Alicia Fry, the team leader with the Prevention branch of the CDC’s Influenza Division, says the worst is still to come since the flu season usually peaks between January and March, and is urging everyone who has not been vaccinated to get a flu shot.

Gov't Diagnosis: On The Mend

Dec 2, 2013

WASHINGTON (AP) — Computer crashes should be giving way to insurance coverage — if the government's diagnosis of its health care website is correct.

The Health and Human Services Department released a progress report Sunday on its effort get the troubled website up to snuff. Administration officials say the worst of the online glitches, bugs and delays may be over and the site is on the mend.

Yet officials acknowledged more work remains on the website.

How much work? That's the key question before the next crucial deadline on Dec. 23.

Joseph Paul Franklin Put To Death

Nov 20, 2013

White supremacist serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin has been put to death in Missouri. It was the state's first execution in nearly three years.

The 63-year-old Franklin targeted blacks and Jews in a cross-country killing rampage from 1977 to 1980. But he was sentenced to death for just one of the killings — a sniper shooting outside a suburban St. Louis synagogue in 1977.

UPDATE: Neighborhoods Leveled

Nov 18, 2013

Entire blocks in Washington, Ill., are leveled after tornadoes and other fierce storms ripped through 12 states in the Midwest yesterday.

Washington resident Curt Zehr says his wife and adult son scrambled into their basement when Zehr spotted a funnel cloud.

Zehr says moments later, the house was gone, but his family was uninjured. Forecasters say Illinois was the hardest hit and the National Weather Service say up to 40 tornadoes may have hit the Midwest.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

Senate Showdown Over Military Sexual Assault Bill

Nov 18, 2013

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has secured public support from nearly half the Senate for her proposal to give victims of rape and sexual assault in the military an independent route outside the chain of command for prosecutions.

But the New York Democrat is short of the necessary votes.

Her solution appears to have stalled in the face of opposition from the Pentagon's top echelon and its congressional allies, including two female senators who are former prosecutors.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Mitt Romney is accusing President Barack Obama of being "dishonest" about his health care law.

Romney says Obama knew people would lose their private insurance coverage under the law. He criticizes Obama for promising that people could keep their existing plans if they wished.

In an interview on CBS This Morning  Friday, Romney said several times that Obama had been "dishonest." He says, quote, "What starts twisted, stays twisted."