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Court: Religious rights trump birth control rule

WASHINGTON - A sharply divided Supreme Court ruled Monday that some companies with religious objections can avoid the contraceptives requirement in President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, the first time the high court has declared that businesses can hold religious views under federal law.

June 30, 2014 | By MARK SHERMAN Associated Press | Nation


Obama picks ex-P&G head to lead Veterans Affairs

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama plans to nominate former Procter & Gamble executive Robert McDonald as the next Veterans Affairs secretary, as the White House seeks to shore up an agency beset by treatment delays and struggling to deal with an influx of new veterans returning from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

June 29, 2014 | By JULIE PACE AP White House Correspondent | Nation


US declares wood storks no longer endangered

TOWNSEND, Ga. - The American wood stork, a bird scientists once feared would be extinct by the year 2000, has made such an impressive comeback that it's getting an official status upgrade 30 years after first being listed as an endangered species, the Obama administration said Thursday.

June 26, 2014 | By RUSS BYNUM Associated Press | Nation


Florida resort hotel also serves as military test site

FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. - To the tourists who frolic in the crystal-blue surf of this picturesque, white-sand beach, the Fort Walton Beach Holiday Inn Resort looks like, well, a Holiday Inn with a large beach ball statue on top. But to military officials, it is known as Eglin Air Force Range Test Site A5.

June 23, 2014 | By MELISSA NELSON-GABRIEL Associated Press | Nation


US memo justifying drone killings released

NEW YORK - The secret U.S. government memo outlining the justification for the use of drones to kill American terror suspects abroad was released by court order Monday, yielding the most detailed, inside look yet at the legal underpinnings of the Obama administration's program of "targeted killings."

June 23, 2014 | By LARRY NEUMEISTER Associated Press | Nation


Long scattered, adoptees search for lost families

MCCAYSVILLE, Ga. - They were adopted off-the-books decades ago, scattered by a Georgia doctor who took $100 or $1,000 or something in between to send desperate couples home with new sons and daughters. Now some of the adoptees have turned to fresh DNA testing in hopes of reconnecting with the biological families they never knew, before time runs out.

June 20, 2014 | By KANTELE FRANKO and ALEX SANZ Associated Press | Nation


Back to Iraq: Obama sending military advisers

WASHINGTON - Inching back into a fight he tried to leave behind, President Barack Obama announced Thursday he was dispatching 300 U.S. military advisers to Iraq to help quell the rising insurgency in the crumbling nation. He also challenged Iraq's embattled leader to create a more inclusive government or risk his country descending into sectarian civil war.

June 19, 2014 | By JULIE PACE and HAMZA HENDAWI Associated Press | Nation


Republicans: Obama must defend Christian values

WASHINGTON - Leading Republicans on Thursday insisted that America's leaders must do more to defend Christian values at home and abroad, blaming President Barack Obama for attacks on religious freedom as they courted social conservatives expected to play a critical role in the next presidential contest.

June 19, 2014 | By STEVE PEOPLES Associated Press | Nation


Feds say trucker in Tracy Morgan crash was speeding

NEWARK, N.J. - The driver of a tractor-trailer that plowed into a limousine van carrying comedian Tracy Morgan and several friends, killing one person and severely injuring Morgan and two others, was speeding in the final moments before the crash, according to a preliminary report released Thursday.

June 19, 2014 | By DAVID PORTER Associated Press | Nation


Mayor drops F-bomb in declaring big day for LA

LOS ANGELES - Mayor Eric Garcetti used the F-bomb in declaring it a big day for LA, bringing 19,000 hockey fans to their feet, lighting up the Twitterverse in delight and, oh yeah, leaving some folks scratching their heads, wondering just what the heck the normally soft-spoken elected official was thinking.

June 17, 2014 | By JOHN ROGERS Associated Press | Nation


Security beefed up at US embassy in Baghdad

WASHINGTON - Security at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad was bolstered and some staff members were being moved out of Iraq's capital city as it was threatened by the advance of an al-Qaida inspired insurgency, a State Department spokeswoman said Sunday.

June 15, 2014 | By KIMBERLY HEFLING Associated Press | Nation


Casey Kasem, king of the Top 40 countdown, dead

LOS ANGELES - Casey Kasem, the internationally famous radio broadcaster with the cheerful manner and gentle voice who became the king of the top 40 countdown with a syndicated show that ran for decades, died Sunday. He was 82.

June 15, 2014 | By ANTHONY MCCARTNEY AP Entertainment Writer | Nation


Study: Teens are drinking less, texting more

NEW YORK - American teens are smoking less, drinking less and fighting less. But they're texting behind the wheel and spending a lot of time on video games and computers, according to the government's latest study of worrisome behavior.

June 12, 2014 | By MIKE STOBBE AP Medical Writer | Nation


George H.W. Bush celebrates 90th with parachute jump

KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine - Former President George H.W. Bush celebrated his 90th birthday on Thursday by making a tandem parachute jump near his summer home in coastal Maine, delivering on a vow he made five years ago even though he can no longer use his legs.

June 12, 2014 | By DAVID SHARP Associated Press | Nation


Food fight: Federal healthy lunch regulations have some gagging

A new Rasmussen poll finds that just 25 percent of Americans believe the federal government should set school lunch nutrition standards; 51 percent think those decisions should be made locally, while 15 percent prefer to see state governments decide.

June 11, 2014 | By ERIC SCHULZKE Deseret News National | Nation


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Articles by Section - Nation


Jim Brady dies: Reagan aide, gun control advocate

WASHINGTON - A major trait that endeared Jim Brady to the Washington press corps was his sense of humor, especially when he made fun of his own boss.

August 04, 2014 | By DOUGLASS K. DANIEL Associated Press | Nation


Senate report: 'No American is proud' of CIA tactics after 9/11

WASHINGTON - The State Department has endorsed the broad conclusions of a harshly critical Senate report on the CIA's interrogation and detention practices after the 9/11 attacks, a report that accuses the agency of brutally treating terror suspects and misleading Congress, according to a White House document.

July 31, 2014 | By KEN DILANIAN and EILEEN SULLIVAN Associated Press | Nation


US economy grew at strong 4 percent rate in spring

WASHINGTON - After a dismal winter, the U.S. economy sprang back to life in the April-June quarter, growing at a fast 4 percent annual rate on the strength of higher consumer and business spending.

July 30, 2014 | By MARTIN CRUTSINGER AP Economics Writer | Nation


US fuming over Israeli criticism of Kerry

WASHINGTON - The Obama administration pushed back strongly Monday at a torrent of Israeli criticism over Secretary of State John Kerry's latest bid to secure a cease-fire with Hamas, accusing some in Israel of launching a "misinformation campaign" against the top American diplomat.

July 28, 2014 | By MATTHEW LEE and JULIE PACE Associated Press | Nation


Medicare's own health looking better, report says

WASHINGTON - Medicare's financial future is looking brighter despite a growing wave of baby boomers reaching retirement.

July 28, 2014 | By STEPHEN OHLEMACHER and RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR Associated Press | Nation


SC mom's arrest sparks child care debate

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. - Plenty of working parents can relate to the dilemma Debra Harrell faced when her 9-year-old daughter asked to play unsupervised in a park this summer. How do you find the time and money for child care when school is out?

July 28, 2014 | By JEFFREY COLLINS Associated Press | Nation


Hospital gunman kills caseworker, intended to kill others, official says

MEDIA, Pa. - A psychiatrist's patient ranted about a gun ban at a suburban medical complex before opening fire there, killing his caseworker and grazing his psychiatrist before the doctor pulled out his own weapon and fired back, authorities said Friday.

July 25, 2014 | The Associated Press | Nation


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