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Congress, treasury secretary announce deal on tax rebates, business breaks to boost economy

WASHINGTON - Congressional leaders announced a deal with the White House Thursday on an economic stimulus package that would give most tax filers refunds of $600 to $1,200, and more if they have children.

February 08, 2008 | By ANDREW TAYLOR Associated Press Writer | Washington


EPA chief faces lawmakers, defends greenhouse gas waiver denial

WASHINGTON - The head of the EPA stood firm Thursday against a chorus of congressional criticism over his refusal to allow California and more than a dozen other states to impose greenhouse gas reductions on cars and trucks.

February 08, 2008 | By ERICA WERNER | Washington


US General says Afghan air force won’t be ready for combat for 6 or 7 years

WASHINGTON - The U.S. general in charge of rebuilding Afghanistan's decimated air corps said Thursday that it will be at least 2013 before the force is ready to fly combat missions now done by foreign airmen.

February 08, 2008 | By PAULINE JELINEK Associated Press Writer | Washington


Public service ads air late or not at all

WASHINGTON - Don't do drugs, don't smoke and don't drink. Do get plenty of exercise, mentor a child and give money to your local charity.

February 08, 2008 | By JOHN DUNBAR Associated Press Writer | Washington


Cities could get more money to curb violent crime

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration offered Thursday to pump $200 million into U.S. cities next year to combat violent crime, winning tepid support from mayors who want to see more cops on the street.

February 08, 2008 | By LARA JAKES JORDAN Associated Press Writer | Washington


As Senate takes up eavesdropping bill, Bush opens wiretapping documents to House members

WASHINGTON - Ending months of resistance, the White House has agreed to give House members access to secret documents about its warrantless wiretapping program, a congressional official said Thursday.

February 08, 2008 | By PAMELA HESS Associated Press Writer | Washington


House again fails to override Bush’s veto of children’s health insurance bill

WASHINGTON - For the second time in three months, the House failed Wednesday to override President Bush's veto of a bill that would greatly increase spending on a popular children's health insurance program.

February 07, 2008 | By KEVIN FREKING Associated Press Writer | Washington


Pact on emergency economy rescue nearer as lawmakers, White House negotiate into the night

WASHINGTON - Pushing deficit concerns aside, Democratic and Republican leaders appeared close to agreement with the White House Wednesday night on emergency tax cuts and benefit increases to jolt the economy out of its slump.

February 07, 2008 | By ANDREW TAYLOR Associated Press Writer | Washington


New al-Qaida tape calls for Islamic militant unity around the world to support ’jihad’

WASHINGTON - An al-Qaida spokesman this week called for unity among Islamic militants worldwide in a new recorded message, according to a U.S. intelligence official.

February 07, 2008 | By PAMELA HESS Associated Press Writer | Washington


Documents say EPA staff favored California waiver for tailpipe emissions; administrator denied

WASHINGTON - EPA officials told the agency's administrator that California had ''compelling and extraordinary conditions'' to justify a federal waiver allowing the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles, according to excerpts of documents released Wednesday.

February 07, 2008 | By ERICA WERNER Associated Press Writer | Washington


US concerned over Palestinians pouring into Egypt from Gaza

WASHINGTON - Egypt has assured the United States it soon will reseal its border with the Gaza Strip, blocking Palestinians from further desperation shopping trips for goods they no longer can get or afford inside the closed-off territory, Arab and U.S. officials said.

February 07, 2008 | By ANNE GEARAN AP Diplomatic Writer | Washington


U.S. commander orders planning to help Pakistan fight insurgents over long term

WASHINGTON - The commander of U.S. forces in Central Asia has launched planning for more extensive use of U.S. troops to train Pakistani armed forces, a senior defense official said Wednesday.

February 07, 2008 | By ROBERT BURNS AP Military Writer | Washington


Senate probe finds UN poverty program paid company with ties to NKorean weapon sales

WASHINGTON - A United Nations anti-poverty program in North Korea paid $50,000 to a company with ties to North Korean weapons sales and left itself open to exploitation by the communist-led country, according to a Senate investigation released Wednesday.

February 07, 2008 | By FREDERIC J. FROMMER Associated Press Writer | Washington


House leaders, treasury boss handle the dealmaking on stimulus package

WASHINGTON - The key players on Capitol Hill and in the Bush administration hashing out an economic stimulus package bring differing challenges and agendas to the table as they address an issue that's become the public's top concern.

February 07, 2008 | By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS Associated Press Writer | Washington


Vice President Cheney prods Congress to act soon on surveillance law due to expire Feb. 1

WASHINGTON - Vice President Dick Cheney prodded Congress on Wednesday to extend and broaden an expiring surveillance law, saying ''fighting the war on terror is a long-term enterprise'' that should not come with an expiration date.

February 07, 2008 | By TOM RAUM Associated Press Writer | Washington


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