US News

US News
10:38 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Kerry Gets Committee's Backing For State; LaHood Leaving Transportation

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., at his confirmation hearing last week.
Zhang Jun Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 10:34 am

No big surprises in these bits of news about President Obama's cabinet:

-- The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as expected, this morning approved the nomination of Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., to be the next secretary of state. Kerry, the committee's chairman, is set to replace Secretary Hillary Clinton after he gets the approval of the full Senate, which also is expected.

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US News
10:14 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Katrina's scars harder to see as Super Bowl looms

Credit Steve Wilson / Flickr

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- New Orleans has celebrated plenty of milestones on its slow road to recovery from Hurricane Katrina, but arguably none is bigger than hosting its first Super Bowl since the 2005 storm left the city in shambles.

To see the remnants of Katrina's destruction, fans coming to town for Sunday's game will have to stray from the French Quarter and the downtown corridor where the Superdome is located. Even in the neighborhoods that bore the brunt of the storm, many of the most glaring scars have faded over time.

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US News
8:22 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Obama: Immigration Debate Not Just Policy, 'It's About People'

A U.S. Border Patrol Agent in September 2011, along the Mexico-Arizona border.
Joshua Lott Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 3:35 pm

Update at 3:06 p.m. ET. 'Now Is The Time':

Talking to an audience in Las Vegas, an upbeat President Obama said that "now is the time" for "common sense comprehensive immigration reform."

While Obama echoed the pillars of immigration reform presented by a bipartisan group of senators on Monday, he also made an emotional plea for reform.

"What makes somebody American," he said, "is not just blood or birth, but allegiance to our founding principles."

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US News
4:03 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Armed 'Good Guys' And The Realities Of Facing A Gunman

The NRA and some concealed-carry activists say the best defense against gun violence is armed "good guys." Here, a man fires his pistol at an indoor range in Aurora, Colo., last summer.
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 8:18 pm

As the nation ponders how to stop the next mass shooting, the gun rights movement offers a straight-forward formula, laid out famously by NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre.

"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," LaPierre said last month, as his group responded to the elementary school massacre in Newtown, Conn.

One Man's Story

In Washington state, one such "good guy" — a private citizen who drew his gun in defense of others — paid a heavy price.

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US News
12:16 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Democrats Unveil Bill To Ban Assault-Style Weapons

Semi-automatic assault-style rifles on display at a gun show in Chantilly, Va., in 2009.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

As they said they would following the Dec. 14 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Democrats today unveiled legislation that would ban assault-style weapons.

The lead lawmaker, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, has summed up the legislation's key points this way:

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US News
8:53 am
Thu January 24, 2013

After Clinton's 'Outrage,' It's On To Kerry's Confirmation Hearing

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her testimony Wednesday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 9:22 am

The post-hearing stories about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's appearances Wednesday on Capitol Hill are focusing on her strong response to Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson's charge that the Obama administration initially misled the nation about who was responsible for the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, last September.

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US News
8:45 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Jobless Claims Hold At Five-Year Low

The number of first-time claims for unemployment insurance dipped by 5,000 last week from the week before, to 330,000, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

That means claims remain at a low level not seen since January 2008.

Another measure, the "4-week moving average" that is supposed to give a broader look at the trend, declined by 8,250 — to 351,750.

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US News
10:17 am
Wed January 23, 2013

Clinton: Nobody more committed to security

Hillary Clinton
Credit Marc Nozell / Flickr

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton insisted on Wednesday that the department is moving swiftly and aggressively to strengthen security at U.S. installations missions worldwide after the deadly Sept. 11 raid on the consulate in Libya.

In probably her last appearance on Capitol Hill as America's top diplomat, Clinton once again took full responsibility for the department's missteps leading up to assault at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

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US News
10:10 am
Wed January 23, 2013

House GOP seeks to defuse debt crisis

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio
Credit Gage Skidmore / Flickr

WASHINGTON (AP) -- With tacit support from President Barack Obama, House Republicans are moving to try to defuse a potential debt crisis with legislation to prevent an economy-rattling fiscal crisis for at least three months.

The GOP legislation marks a tactical retreat by House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, who is eager to avoid a potential first-ever default on U.S. payment and debt obligations as he wrestles with Obama and his Democratic allies over taxes, spending and the deficit.

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US News
8:37 am
Mon January 21, 2013

What Now? Obama Leads Polarized Government Into Second Term

As a second-term president, Barack Obama necessarily generates less excitement than he did as a newcomer. Above, flags flew during his 2009 inauguration.
Eric Purcell FlickrVision via Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 2:41 pm

Feelings of hope and change have mostly faded.

The country is in better shape than it was when Barack Obama became president four years ago. The economy is no longer in free fall, and the nation has for the most part extricated itself from seemingly endless wars abroad.

Yet as Obama prepares to enter his second term, there seems to be less optimism about his ability to address the nation's problems than was the case when he first entered the White House.

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