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VA cites progress on backlog; Congress disagrees

Posted 7/15/2014 in National

The Department of Veterans Affairs says it has made "tremendous progress" in reducing a disability claims backlog that reached above 600,000 early last year. Members of Congress and the department's assistant inspector general don't believe it.

 

 

Governors group skirts Common Core

Posted 7/15/2014 in National

Reviled by staunch conservatives, the common education standards designed to improve schools and student competitiveness are being modified by some Republican governors, who are pushing back against what they call the federal government's intrusion into the classroom.

 

 

Pakistani teen seeks release of Nigerian girls

Posted 7/15/2014 in National

The Pakistani teen who survived a Taliban assassination attempt in 2012 marked her 17th birthday Monday with a visit to Nigeria and urged Islamic extremists to free the 219 schoolgirls who were kidnapped there, calling them her "sisters."

 

 

Bergdahl returned to regular duty

Posted 7/15/2014 in National

The Army has given Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl a desk job, ending the formal phase of his transition from Taliban prisoner to not-quite-ordinary soldier, and setting the stage for Army investigators to question the Idaho native about his disappearance that led to five years in captivity.

 

Researchers try to save huge salamander

Posted 7/14/2014 in National

With a long, slimy body and beady eyes, North America's largest salamander wouldn't top any cutest animal lists. The hellbender's alien appearance and mysterious ways have earned the big amphibian a bad reputation and unflattering nicknames ranging from snot otter to devil dog.

Michelle Knight says fame comes with complications

Posted 7/14/2014 in National

Michelle Knight has discovered that the fame that followed her escape from Ariel Castro's house of horrors cuts both ways.

 

Israel says it has downed drone along southern coast

Posted 7/14/2014 in National

The Israeli military said it downed a drone on Monday along the country's southern coastline, the first time it encountered an unmanned aircraft since the campaign against Gaza Strip militants began last week.

 

Underground lab tackles Japan nuclear waste issue

Posted 7/14/2014 in National

Reindeer farms and grazing Holstein cows dot a vast stretch of rolling green pasture here on Japan's northern tip. Underground it's a different story.

 

Got a rash? iPad, other devices might be the cause

Posted 7/14/2014 in National

Unexplained rash? Check your iPad. It turns out the popular tablet computer may contain nickel, one of the most common allergy-inducing metals.

 

U.S. jails struggle with role as makeshift asylums

Posted 7/14/2014 in National

Peering through the chain link of a holding pen at the Cook County Jail, a man wrapped in a navy varsity jacket leans toward clinical social worker Elli Petacque Montgomery, his bulging eyes a clue that something's not right. "They say I got bipolar, that's all," he says.

 

Biden calls on governors to lead nation

Posted 7/12/2014 in National

Vice President Joe Biden on Friday condemned the political gridlock crippling Washington, calling on Republican and Democratic governors alike to lead the nation "out of this mess" while insisting that Congress approve billions of dollars to repair the country's aging infrastructure.

 

 

Deportation effort sputters as migrants cross again

Posted 7/12/2014 in National

A U.S. effort to discourage immigrants' repeated attempts to enter the country illegally by dropping them back in Mexico hundreds of miles away from where they were caught has been sharply scaled back after producing relatively modest gains.

 

 

House chairman: $3.7B border request 'too much'

Posted 7/12/2014 in National

A key Republican said Friday that President Barack Obama's multibillion-dollar emergency request for the border is too big to get through the House.

 

Associate: Tommy Ramone, last of the Ramones, dies

Posted 7/12/2014 in National

Tommy Ramone, a co-founder of the seminal punk band the Ramones and the last surviving member of the original group, has died, a business associate said Saturday.

Israeli bombing turns Gaza into ghost town

Posted 7/12/2014 in National

It's the holy month of Ramadan, when people throughout the Muslim world meet with friends and family, buy presents for loved ones and break a day-long fast each evening amid colorful street scenes.

Shooting suspect collapses twice in court

Posted 7/12/2014 in National

A man accused of killing six members of his ex-wife's family, including four children, after forcing his way into their suburban Houston home collapsed in court twice Friday as a prosecutor read out details of the crime.

His agenda in gridlock, Obama relishes roadshow

Posted 7/12/2014 in National

Welcome to Barack Obama's split-screen presidency.

 

Tracy Morgan sues Wal-Mart for deadly crash

Posted 7/12/2014 in National

Former "Saturday Night Live" star Tracy Morgan has sued Wal-Mart over a highway crash involving one of its drivers that left him seriously injured and a fellow comedian dead.

 

UN warns Iraq of 'chaos' if no progress

Posted 7/12/2014 in National

The U.N. urged Iraq's leaders Saturday to overcome their deep divisions and move quickly to form a new government that can unite the country and confront a surging militant threat, warning that failure to do so "risks plunging the country into chaos."

 

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