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Sticker shock: Cubans aghast at car prices

Posted 1/6/2014 in National

Cubans are eagerly flocking to Havana car dealerships as a new law takes effect eliminating a special permit requirement that has greatly restricted vehicle ownership in the country. To their dismay on Friday, the first day the law was in force, they found sharply hiked prices, some of them light years beyond all but the most well-heeled islanders.


Pope to nuns: Why aren't you answering the phone?

Posted 1/4/2014 in National

Pope Francis has made another one of his cold calls to wish a group of nuns in a Spanish convent Happy New Year. Only he got their answering machine, instead.



Push for sentencing changes underway in Congress

Posted 1/4/2014 in National

An unusual alliance of tea party enthusiasts and liberal leaders in Congress is pursuing major changes in the country's mandatory sentencing laws.



Obama proposes firearm background check changes

Posted 1/4/2014 in National

The Obama administration on Friday announced a pair of executive actions aimed at strengthening federal background checks for gun purchasers, with a particular focus on limiting firearm access for those with mental health issues.



Politician writes resignation letter in Klingon

Posted 1/4/2014 in National

Call it a politician boldly going where no one has gone before.


Phil Everly of Everly Bros. dies at 74

Posted 1/4/2014 in National

Art Garfunkel answered the door to his Manhattan apartment holding a framed black-and-white picture of two smiling men. It was a test.

Historic smoking report marks 50th anniversary

Posted 1/4/2014 in National

Fifty years ago, ashtrays seemed to be on every table and desk. Athletes and even Fred Flintstone endorsed cigarettes in TV commercials. Smoke hung in the air in restaurants, offices and airplane cabins. More than 42 percent of U.S. adults smoked, and there was a good chance your doctor was among them.


Spy court: NSA to keep collecting phone records

Posted 1/4/2014 in National

A secretive U.S. spy court has ruled again that the National Security Agency can keep collecting every American's telephone records every day, in the midst of dueling decisions in two other federal courts about whether the surveillance program is constitutional.



Government might deregulate engineered corn, soybean seeds

Posted 1/4/2014 in National

The federal government on Friday proposed eliminating restrictions on the use of corn and soybean seeds that are genetically engineered to resist a common weed killer, a move welcomed by many farmers but feared by scientists and environmentalists who worry it could invite growers to use more chemicals.



Contrast for parties in 2016 presidential race

Posted 1/3/2014 in National

For Democrats and Republicans, the early stages of the 2016 presidential contest are worlds apart.



2 newspapers call for clemency for NSA leaker Edward Snowden

Posted 1/3/2014 in National

The New York Times and Guardian newspapers have called for clemency for Edward Snowden, saying that the espionage worker-turned-privacy advocate should be praised rather than punished for his disclosures.



Poll: Americans have little faith in government

Posted 1/3/2014 in National

Americans enter 2014 with a profoundly negative view of their government, expressing little hope that elected officials can or will solve the nation's biggest problems, a new poll finds.


Marines delay female fitness plan after half fail

Posted 1/3/2014 in National

More than half of female Marines in boot camp can't do three pullups, the minimum standard that was supposed to take effect with the new year, prompting the Marine Corps to delay the requirement, part of the process of equalizing physical standards to integrate women into combat jobs.


Kerry: Mideast peace still possible

Posted 1/3/2014 in National

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blasted his Palestinian partner in peace-making efforts on Thursday, accusing him of embracing terrorists "as heroes," harsh words that clouded the start of Secretary of State John Kerry's tenth trip to the region to negotiate a peace deal he claims is "not mission impossible."



Justice delays health law's birth control mandate

Posted 1/2/2014 in National

The Supreme Court has thrown a hitch into President Barack Obama's new health care law by blocking a requirement that some religion-affiliated organizations provide health insurance that includes birth control.



Marketing efforts to uninsured youth ramp up

Posted 1/2/2014 in National

The so-called "young invincibles" are so important to the success of the Affordable Care Act that supporters and detractors are spending millions to reach them with racy ads, social media campaigns and celebrity endorsements.



Barbara Bush remains hospitalized in Houston

Posted 1/2/2014 in National

Former first lady Barbara Bush remains hospitalized with a respiratory-related issue, but her condition hasn't changed, a spokesman for her husband's office said Wednesday.



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