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N.C. lawmakers are in the thick of Capitol Hill budget showdown

North Carolina congressmen are helping lead a pack of emboldened conservatives pushing Republican leadership toward a potential government shutdown over the 2010 health care law and, in the process, are driving a wedge between the GOP’s old and new guard. | 09/19/13 17:46:45 By - By Franco Ordonez and David Lightman

Chase Bank, JPMorgan Chase to refund customers $309 million for unfair billing

Federal regulators on Thursday ordered Chase Bank and JPMorgan Chase to refund $309 million to more than 2 million customers for illegally billing them for credit-monitoring services they never received. | 09/19/13 18:19:50 By - By Lindsay Wise

Terrorism, cyber crime and budget woes face new FBI director

Big budget woes worry new FBI Director James Comey, a mere two weeks into the hassle-filled job of a lifetime. | 09/19/13 17:50:34 By - By Michael Doyle

Syria chemical weapons plan renews talk of whether Israel also has them

A U.S.-Russian plan to disarm Syria of its chemical weapons has prompted Syria and Iran to point to Israel’s reputed chemical stockpile, but Israeli officials have dismissed suggestions that they give an accounting of their country’s capabilities. | 09/19/13 15:08:22 By - By Joel Greenberg

U.S. ready to begin major drawdown of troops, equipment from Afghanistan

As the United States begins the major phase of its withdrawal from Afghanistan, military officials say equipment and vehicles are moving out of the country briskly but that planning the final details has been complicated because negotiations with the Afghan government have stalled over how many American troops might remain. | 09/19/13 12:34:12 By - By Jay Price

House committee blasts VA over information delays

A House of Representatives committee on Thursday sharply criticized what it described as a lack of cooperation and transparency by the Department of Veterans Affairs that’s made it difficult for Congress to adequately investigate delays and deaths at VA hospitals. | 09/19/13 17:06:33 By - By Sarah Sexton

In sign of energy dilemma, Mexico runs low on natural gas

Prices for natural gas over the border in Texas are at historic lows, so what happened earlier this month at the Gulf of Mexico port of Altamira, Mexico, might seem to defy market logic: Tankers arrived from Yemen and Nigeria to offload liquefied natural gas at a price four times the market rate in the U.S. It’s a sign of Mexico’s enormous energy crisis, even as oil remains the mainstay of the country’s economy. Mexico has huge natural gas reserves, yet those reserves remain largely untapped, and the country is a net importer of the fuel. | 09/18/13 13:55:48 By - By Tim Johnson

Fed’s surprise move to continue boosting economy could extend low lending rates

The Federal Reserve’s surprise decision Wednesday to maintain a controversial bond-buying program keeping interest rates low to prop up the U.S. economy sparked a Wall Street rally. It also served notice that partisan politics and rising mortgage rates threaten an anemic recovery. | 09/18/13 14:31:53 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Supporters of American-US Airways merger rally at Capitol

About 300 airline pilots and flight attendants joined union officials and lawmakers from both parties in front of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday to support the creation of the world’s largest airline. | 09/18/13 18:18:37 By - By Curtis Tate

Aging AIDS population causes new challenges for health care system

Half of the HIV/AIDS population in the United States will be 50 or older by 2015, a pivotal development that brings new challenges to the treatment and prevention of the disease, experts told a congressional panel Wednesday. | 09/18/13 19:42:01 By - By Justine McDaniel

‘A lot of red flags’ in background of alleged Navy Yard shooter, Hagel says

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel acknowledged Wednesday that there were “a lot of red flags” in the past of alleged Washington Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis, and he ordered top-to-bottom reviews of background checks for security clearances and procedures for gaining access to U.S. military facilities worldwide. | 09/18/13 19:21:20 By - By James Rosen and Lindsay Wise

Wichita teen wins national award, audience with Obama

Wichita native Kiana Knolland is a freshman at Howard University in Washington who one day hopes to become a federal prosecutor. | 09/18/13 18:02:27 By - By Chris Adams

Lebanon charges 5 Syrians in spread of war across border

Lebanese prosecutors charged five Syrians this week in attacks earlier this year on targets related to the Shiite Muslim militant group Hezbollah. Although the two cases – a bombing and a rocket attack – remain legally unconnected, they suggest that Lebanese authorities are reaching conclusions about who’s responsible for violence in the country related to the civil war in Syria. | 09/18/13 16:35:22 By - By Mitch Prothero

Ex-Guantánamo detainee dies fighting Assad in Syria

An Islamic opposition group in Syria has posted a video of the funeral of a former Guantánamo prisoner, the first known report that one of the 500 or so captives released during the Bush administration joined the Syrian insurgency to topple Bashar Assad. | 09/18/13 11:19:07 By - Carol Rosenberg

Feds still see wiggle room in Lummi Nation position on Washington state coal terminal

The Lummi Nation's position on the Gateway Pacific coal terminal seemed crystal clear in a July 30, 2013, letter to Col. Bruce Estok, district engineer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Seattle. | 09/18/13 12:12:13 By - John Stark

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