Washington

Fiscal cliff threatens money for Penn State, rest of state

Ross Hardison occasionally peers over the fiscal cliff and doesn’t like what he sees. | 12/14/12 13:11:14 By - By William Douglas

Obama dares Congress to fight over Rice, then drops it

A month ago, a freshly re-elected President Barack Obama was defiant as he dared Congress to battle him over his apparent choice of close friend Susan Rice to be the next secretary of state. | 12/13/12 20:02:18 By - By David Lightman and Lesley Clark

Rice drops bid to be nominated for secretary of state

United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice took herself out of the running Thursday to be the next secretary of state, bowing to a torrent of criticism by Republicans on Capitol Hill over remarks she made after a deadly attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya. | 12/13/12 20:13:28 By - By Anita Kumar and William Douglas

This ‘seven years’ war’ is a battle over Pentagon secrecy and torture information

Penn State University faculty member Jonathan H. Marks wants interrogation documents that the Pentagon insists on locking up. | 12/13/12 14:59:59 By - By Michael Doyle

There are 150 million reasons it’s so hard to cut federal spending

There’s solid support for raising taxes on the wealthy to avoid the “fiscal cliff,” but tax increases alone won’t solve the problem. Cutting spending is extremely difficult, however. Look in the mirror for the key to the problem: An ever-increasing number of Americans get a piece of federal spending. | 12/13/12 15:05:47 By - By Lesley Clark

Immigration activists launch effort on legislation

Promising a massive pro-immigration effort unlike any ever seen, a coalition of national Latino civil rights and labor organizations unveiled a national campaign Wednesday to push President Barack Obama and Congress to pass immigration legislation next year. | 12/12/12 17:42:36 By - By Franco Ordonez

Is Senate filibuster rule to blame for immigration impasse?

Solving one of the nation’s most hotly debated issues – comprehensive immigration legislation – may hinge on a little-understood procedural rule that’s played an increasingly crucial role in Congress. | 12/12/12 16:23:29 By - By Franco Ordonez

Religious colleges challenge health care law’s contraception rule

North Carolina’s Belmont Abbey College is trying to resurrect a religious school charge against the Obama administration’s signature health care law. | 12/11/12 17:08:44 By - By Michael Doyle

Poll: Voters want soft fiscal cliff landing, but offer no net

Americans clearly want Washington to solve its looming budget crisis, and they clearly reject almost every option to do that, according to a new McClatchy-Marist Poll. | 12/10/12 16:58:37 By - By Steven Thomma

Kansas readies for impact of fiscal cliff

If the mixture of spending cuts and tax increases known as the fiscal cliff kicks in just after New Year’s Day, Kansas doctors would scramble to replace lost income, researchers would worry about dwindling grants and residents statewide would see more taxes drained from their paychecks. | 12/07/12 15:26:14 By - By Chris Adams

South Florida pols sticking to party lines on fiscal cliff

Don’t expect South Florida’s congressional delegation to stray too far from party lines when it comes to dancing on the edge of the fiscal cliff, the end-of-the-year spending cuts and tax increases set to take effect if Congress and the president don’t address them. | 12/07/12 14:53:44 By - By Erika Bolstad

Fiscal cliff cuts would impact Georgia health, education and defense industry

If Congress can’t strike a deal to avoid going over the “fiscal cliff,” nursing home operator Debbie Meade of Warner Robins, Ga., will have to trim staff next year because of a projected $50,000 cut in Medicare payments. | 12/07/12 18:14:11 By - By Tony Pugh

DeMint resignation removes a conservative hero, political thorn from Senate

Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina, who in just a few years became a hero to conservative activists nationwide for his vehement anti-government voice and willingness to confront even fellow Republicans, surprised colleagues Thursday by saying he will resign the Senate to run an influential inside-the-Beltway think tank. | 12/06/12 19:16:25 By - By James Rosen

In his new perch, DeMint could help lead GOP’s ‘intellectual debate’

The Heritage Foundation sits like a watchtower on Capitol Hill, a large building just steps from the U.S. Capitol on the northeast side of Massachusetts Avenue, where analysts work to shape conservative thought and influence legislation. | 12/06/12 18:48:03 By - By Maria Recio

After election setbacks, diehards battle pragmatists for control of GOP

Republicans are in turmoil, split between diehard conservatives and pragmatists in a battle for the soul and control of a party reeling from unexpected election setbacks last month. | 12/06/12 17:53:35 By - By David Lightman

Deep defense cuts loom as fiscal cliff inches closer

Pentagon spokesman George Little recently talked about what the U.S. military accomplished during Hurricane Sandy: installed hundreds of generators, removed millions of gallons of water and tons of debris, and ferried millions of meals and gallons of fuel to affected areas. | 12/06/12 16:44:07 By - By Matthew Schofield

Senate gives final OK to Russian trade deal; Obama says he’ll sign it

Ending nearly 40 years of trade restrictions with Russia, the Senate voted Thursday to approve a bill that will allow U.S. companies to expand business ties with the world’s ninth-largest economy and its 140 million consumers. | 12/06/12 15:01:24 By - By Rob Hotakainen

Obama promises more help, but Indian tribal leaders say they’ll wait and see

Barack Obama has done something that none of the previous 43 U.S. presidents ever did: He met with tribal leaders every single year of his term. | 12/05/12 18:49:02 By - By Rob Hotakainen

Olive oil wars – U.S. makers seek ‘level playing field’

California olive oil producer Pat Ricchiuti feels the squeeze of foreign competition. So do his counterparts in Texas, Georgia and a handful of other states. | 12/05/12 18:17:01 By - By Michael Doyle

Susan Rice – no stranger to confrontation

As a hard-driving star point guard on her high school basketball team, United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice wasn’t afraid to use sharp elbows to reach her goal. It’s a style that’s carried from the court through a meteoric career as a U.S. diplomat, and one that’s earned her as many detractors as supporters along the way. | 12/05/12 16:57:14 By - By William Douglas

Budget crisis scenarios: No deal, big deal, slow deal, rich deal

Trying to predict the outcome of the “fiscal cliff” negotiations is like trying to predict the final standings for your favorite teams when the season’s only half over. | 12/04/12 17:27:36 By - By David Lightman and Lesley Clark

No rush yet on inaugural tickets and hotel rooms

Plans for President Barack Obama’s second inauguration in January are in full swing. A reviewing stand is under construction in front of the White House, congressional offices are taking ticket requests and planners are mapping out parade logistics and street closures. | 12/04/12 06:20:19 By - Aimee Chen and Will Mendelson

Big business vs. small at edge of fiscal cliff

Democrats and Republicans aren’t the only ones divided over how to fix the nation’s fiscal problems. Big business and small business have very different views on whether changes to personal income taxes or corporate taxes should be part of the fix. | 12/03/12 16:56:26 By - By Kevin G. Hall

No gilding potential loss to Golden State if budget impasse continues

Rudy Ortiz fears falling off the fiscal cliff. The University of California at Merced scientist depends, like many of his colleagues, on federal grants from agencies like the National Institutes of Health. Now, he is nervously watching as automatic federal budget cuts scheduled to take effect Jan. 1 draw closer. | 12/03/12 16:39:59 By - By Michael Doyle

GOP fiscal-cliff counter: Cut tax rates, limit deductions to increase revenue

A Republican proposal Monday to shave $2.2 trillion off projected budget deficits sets up a fiscal-cliff showdown with the White House because the plan includes reductions in the very tax rates that Democrats seek to raise. | 12/03/12 19:30:24 By - By David Lightman and Kevin G. Hall

State's Hillary Clinton celebrates marriage of art and diplomacy

Fifty years after the Kennedy administration started a small-scale effort to place American art in embassies overseas, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday celebrated the now wide-ranging effort to foster cultural diplomacy by awarding the department’s first Medal of Arts to five artists. | 11/30/12 18:31:01 By - By Maria Recio

White House proposes $600 billion in unidentified tax hikes, $50 billion in new stimulus spending

The Obama administration Thursday offered to get the nation off the fiscal cliff with a package that includes $1.6 trillion in tax increases over 10 years, more controversial spending to stimulate the economy and a permanent solution to the fights over raising the nation’s debt ceiling. | 11/29/12 19:24:08 By - By David Lightman, Anita Kumar and Kevin G. Hall

Obama makes public pitch for fiscal cliff deal, leaves details to aides

Fresh off his re-election victory, President Barack Obama has started campaigning again, this time to sell the nation on his solution to avert a series of spending cuts and tax increases that could throw the economy back into a recession | 11/29/12 17:38:41 By - By Anita Kumar

Ponzi artist investigated ex-State Dept. official, records show

In 2006, Allen Stanford had yet to be identified as the mastermind of one of the largest and longest-running Ponzi schemes in U.S. history, but he faced mounting pressure. | 11/29/12 17:14:17 By - By Murray Waas

Fiscal cliff crisis: Made in the GOP

Both major political parties may have their fingerprints on long-simmering problems in the federal budget, but just one created the current crisis known as the fiscal cliff. | 11/29/12 16:44:55 By - By David Lightman

Despite promises to improve, delays on veterans’ claims skyrocket

The time needed to process veterans’ disability claims shot up by nearly 40 percent last year despite years of effort by federal officials to streamline and shorten the process, records show. | 11/29/12 16:23:41 By - By Chris Adams

Sen. DeMint leaves door open to White House bid

Sen. Jim DeMint on Wednesday backed away from his previous ironclad insistence that he had no interest in running for president and was focused only on helping to elect conservatives to the U.S. Senate. | 11/28/12 19:03:11 By - By James Rosen

S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley takes blame for state’s data breach

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley on Wednesday for the first time accepted personal blame for a massive cyber-attack that stole the Social Security and bank account numbers of millions of South Carolinians, saying she should have done more to ensure the data’s security. | 11/28/12 18:53:15 By - By James Rosen McClatchy Newspapers

As trade rulings against U.S. mount, backlash builds against WTO

Increasingly, Congress is playing second fiddle to the World Trade Organization, and it’s become a source of irritation on Capitol Hill. Many WTO opponents say the massive world-trading body has assumed far too much power. | 11/28/12 15:56:15 By - By Rob Hotakainen

U.S. to consider whether to add African lions to endangered species list

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced this week that it will consider adding African lions to the endangered species list, a move that organizations seeking the listing say would help reverse the decline of the species. | 11/27/12 19:20:06 By - By Erika Bolstad

National Endowment for the Arts awards local grants

The National Endowment for the Arts on Tuesday announced more than $23 million in 832 grants to arts organizations and individuals for a wide variety of cultural activities, from $40,000 to support artists’ residences in Charlotte, N.C., to $45,000 for a three-day dance festival in Chavak, Alaska, population 938. | 11/27/12 18:11:22 By - By Maria Recio

In suicide epidemic, military wrestles with prosecuting troops who attempt it

Marine Corps Pvt. Lazzaric T. Caldwell slit his wrists and spurred a legal debate that’s consuming the Pentagon, as well as the nation’s top military appeals court. | 11/27/12 17:45:54 By - By Michael Doyle

Women in military seek battle in court over right to fight

Taliban fighters didn’t discriminate when they wounded then-Capt. Mary Jennings of the California Air National Guard. She was the enemy, so they shot at her as well as the men flying beside her. | 11/27/12 17:14:48 By - By Michael Doyle

Here we go again: Government weeks away from hitting debt ceiling

While official Washington is focused on potential tax hikes and automatic spending cuts, another fiscal crisis looms on the horizon. A report released Tuesday warned that the federal government is likely to hit a ceiling on issuing new debt come late December and could begin defaulting on obligations by mid-February. | 11/27/12 16:52:41 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Holiday sales show promise, hurdles for retailers

Retailers, economists and industry analysts all expect holiday sales this year to surpass 2011 totals, meaning the sluggish economy won’t be playing the role of Grinch. Deeper in the expected sales numbers, however, are trends that highlight an uneven recovery and turmoil in the retail sector. | 11/27/12 15:22:19 By - By Kevin G. Hall

New cry from some Obama foes: It’s time to secede

In the three weeks since President Barack Obama’s re-election victory, his most ardent foes – nearly 1 million people from all 50 states – have signed online petitions to take their opposition to the extreme: seceding from the United States. | 11/27/12 14:59:18 By - By James Rosen

Grape growers can sue USDA as Supreme Court stays out of the fight

The Supreme Court on Monday provided legal juice for growers who want to sue the U.S. Agriculture Department and the California Table Grape Commission over grapevine patents. | 11/26/12 17:03:31 By - By Michael Doyle

At edge of fiscal cliff, everyone fights to protect his bit of budget

As Washington debates how to trim runaway federal budget deficits without going over a “fiscal cliff” of immediate tax increases and automatic spending cuts, special interest groups are mounting aggressive campaigns to make sure that they’re not the ones who have to pay the price. | 11/26/12 00:00:00 By - By Maria Recio and David Lightman

Court to hear mental competency of accused Atwater inmate

The mental competency of an inmate who’s accused of killing a federal prison guard at U.S. Penitentiary Atwater in California now can be tested, under a finalized appellate-court decision that moves the long-delayed death penalty case a little closer to resolution. | 11/23/12 15:23:00 By - By Michael Doyle

Alaska Rep. Don Young has hefty purse for 2014 race

A Louisiana family with interest in offshore Arctic drilling and Lower 48 tribes that run casinos all gave heavily to Alaska Rep. Don Young in the 2012 election cycle and have helped position him to scare off future rivals. | 11/21/12 16:01:14 By - By Sean Cockerham

Behind the scenes, some budget cuts may not be that hard

Saving billions of dollars in anticipated federal spending, at least for awhile, may not be that difficult. | 11/21/12 13:51:40 By - By David Lightman

Military appeals court to decide: Was Marine’s suicide attempt a crime?

Marine Corps Pvt. Lazzaric T. Caldwell committed a crime when he tried to kill himself. | 11/21/12 13:26:53 By - By Michael Doyle

The biggest challenge to immigration bill may be guest workers

As immigration talks resume, the public debate has once again zeroed in on the merits of granting some type of so-called amnesty to 11 million illegal immigrants. But another, more complicated dispute – where the sides are equally entrenched – is brewing behind the scenes between organized labor and business interests. | 11/20/12 18:41:39 By - By Franco Ordonez

Insurers’ duties under health care law taking shape

The nation’s health care overhaul took another step forward Tuesday when the Obama administration proposed new rules that clarify insurers’ duties and legal responsibilities under key provisions of the Affordable Care Act. | 11/20/12 18:34:24 By - By Tony Pugh

Sister of Petraeus-drama player Jill Kelley steps into public

Natalie Khawam emerged tentatively from the shadows Tuesday to put a human face on her role as one of the side characters in the drama that cost former CIA Director David Petraeus his job. | 11/20/12 18:15:22 By - By Michael Doyle

Obama returns from Asia, his ‘pivot’ clouded by Middle East

Welcomed by U.S. friend Thailand and greeted with rock star status during a historic visit to Myanmar, President Barack Obama felt the love on much of his three-nation tour of Southeast Asia. The tour was overshadowed, though, by violence in the Middle East, and the verdict is still out on whether he achieved tangible results in a region that’s often felt neglected by Washington. | 11/20/12 18:01:58 By - By Anita Kumar and William Douglas

Many younger vets among the ranks of uninsured

More than quarter of all veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan don’t have health insurance and aren’t part of the Department of Veterans Affairs health system, according to an analysis of VA data. | 11/19/12 15:24:50 By - By Chris Adams

Carbon tax: The idea no leader proposes but that won’t die

The president downplays it. Insiders insist it doesn’t stand a chance. Yet as negotiations between the Obama administration and Congress take form over a deal on taxes and budgets, the idea of a carbon tax is discussed with greater frequency. | 11/19/12 15:15:40 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Many younger vets among the ranks of uninsured

More than quarter of all veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan don’t have health insurance and aren’t part of the Department of Veterans Affairs health system, according to an analysis of VA data. | 11/19/12 15:13:39 By - By Chris Adams

With Capitol statue of Frederick Douglass, D.C. gets some respect

The statue of abolitionist Frederick Douglass that’s standing in the atrium of a Washington government office building has been a symbol-in-waiting – until now. The Civil War-era icon’s image is about to move to the Capitol’s Emancipation Hall, where it will be one of only three statues of African-Americans in the complex. | 11/19/12 00:00:00 By - By Maria Recio

Obama says he's 'fully supportive' of Israel

President Barack Obama Sunday strongly backed Israel’s right to defend itself against attacks by the Hamas, but said everyone should want a decrease in the violence that has erupted in the region for days. | 11/18/12 10:54:28 By - By Anita Kumar

In Petraeus’ fall, a familiar tale of power and its dangerous allure

Paula Broadwell and twin sisters Natalie Khawam and Jill Kelley had four-star connections and, seemingly, stars in their eyes. | 11/16/12 19:23:11 By - By Michael Doyle, Frances Robles and Greg Gordon

With election over, will Obama OK Keystone pipeline?

President Barack Obama’s decision on whether to approve the controversial Keystone XL pipeline looms huge now that the election is over, and it could define Obama on energy and climate change. | 11/16/12 16:31:47 By - By Sean Cockerham

CIA investigates Petraeus; Pentagon wants to improve ethics

The CIA said Thursday that it had opened an “exploratory” investigation into the conduct of former director David Petraeus, who resigned after admitting to adultery, on the same day that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta ordered the military services to review ways to strengthen ethics standards “that keep the military well led and well disciplined.” | 11/15/12 19:01:56 By - By Jonathan S. Landay

Sen. Graham ‘sick’ over friend Petraeus’ affair and downfall

No member of Congress knows disgraced former CIA chief David Petraeus better or has worked more closely with him than Sen. Lindsey Graham. | 11/15/12 17:43:49 By - By James Rosen

Congress may be ready to negotiate on taxes, spending

Congress’ rank and file – which will decide whether the nation avoids plummeting off a fiscal cliff in less than seven weeks – is showing a new willingness to negotiate and compromise, a message their leaders will carry Friday to President Barack Obama. | 11/15/12 17:06:11 By - By David Lightman and Maria Recio

Emails between Gen. Allen and Jill Kelley raise more questions

The emails between Marine Gen. John Allen, the top American military leader in Afghanistan, and a Florida socialite contain comments that “go beyond flirtatious, and can probably be described safely as suggestive,” a Defense Department official said Wednesday. | 11/15/12 06:32:49 By - By Matthew Schofield

Shifting focus to Asia, Obama to visit Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia

Two weeks after winning re-election to a second term, President Barack Obama will embark on a four-day, three-nation trip to Southeast Asia as he continues to try to leave his imprint on a region increasingly influenced by China. | 11/15/12 14:37:25 By - By Anita Kumar

Did Navy secretary overstep his role in military murder case?

A California-based Marine convicted of wartime murder and a former Mississippi governor who’s now atop the U.S. Navy indirectly dueled Tuesday before the nation’s highest military appeals court in an important clash over when superiors bend military justice. | 11/15/12 12:51:06 By - By Michael Doyle

FBI won’t provide regulation that Obama says kept him in dark on Petraeus probe

President Barack Obama said Wednesday that FBI rules kept him in the dark about a sex scandal investigation until after his re-election, but his administration refused to release those rules, and a Bush-era policy on investigations included a large loophole that might have allowed notification of the White House in such a high-profile case. | 11/14/12 18:37:53 By - By Steven Thomma and Jonathan S. Landay

States face Friday deadline on health insurance exchanges

With the prospect of outright repeal all but gone, the nation’s health care overhaul is proceeding, and states that once resisted the politically divisive law now must decide how to implement its most innovative aspect: the online health-insurance shopping malls known as exchanges. | 11/14/12 18:46:59 By - By Tony Pugh

3 Republicans demand special Libya probe; Democrats, Boehner say they have it covered

Three Republican senators on Wednesday demanded the creation of a special panel to investigate the September attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. | 11/14/12 18:18:09 By - By James Rosen

Honeymoon over – partisan warfare erupts over Susan Rice as possible secretary of state

A visibly annoyed President Barack Obama and tough-talking Senate Republicans clashed sharply Wednesday over Susan Rice’s qualifications to become secretary of state, a strong reminder that all the post-election talk about bipartisanship has its limits. | 11/14/12 19:10:55 By - By David Lightman

Women worry Petraeus scandal will hurt their role as advisers to military leaders

The burgeoning sex scandal that has swept up retired Army Gen. David Petraeus, his biographer, Paula Broadwell, and now Petraeus’ successor as the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Marine Gen. John Allen, is alarming the small cadre of women advisers who enjoy extraordinary access to top generals based on their expertise and scholarship. | 11/13/12 20:27:33 By - By Hannah Allam

Senate readies bill allowing hunters to import stored polar bear pelts

Legislation poised to pass the Senate would allow a small group of hunters who’ve been storing polar bear pelts in Canada to import them to the United States. | 11/13/12 19:10:04 By - By Erika Bolstad

Answering your questions on the Petraeus scandal

A guide to the growing scandal involving former CIA Director David Petraeus. Who's involved, how did they meet, when did the FBI get involved? | 11/13/12 19:00:21 By - By Franco Ordonez

Obama assures liberals he'll raise taxes on wealthy

President Barack Obama assured labor unions and liberal organizations Tuesday that he’s firmly committed to letting tax cuts for higher incomes expire as scheduled at the end of the year, even as congressional Republicans accused him of refusing to propose a specific plan to settle a looming budget crisis. | 11/13/12 18:03:55 By - By Lesley Clark and David Lightman

Top general swept up in Petraeus scandal; another investigation underway

Congress returned from its election break Tuesday to grapple with the shocking resignation of former CIA Director David Petraeus in a sex scandal that widened to possibly taint the Marine general who commands U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan. | 11/13/12 20:08:01 By - By Matthew Schofield, James Rosen and Jonathan S. Landay

When top Justice officials learned of Petraeus affair remains unclear

FBI Director Robert Mueller’s top aide was told former CIA chief David Petraeus was having an extramarital affair that might have compromised national security a week before the Nov. 6 elections, a congressional official said Monday. | 11/12/12 19:37:13 By - By Jonathan S. Landay, Franco Ordonez and Hannah Allam

Petraeus admits affair, quits as CIA director

“After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair,” Petraeus said in a statement sent to the CIA workforce. “Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours. This afternoon, the president graciously accepted my resignation.” | 11/09/12 22:06:21 By - By Jonathan S. Landay and Hannah Allam

Wanted: Treasury secretary with clout and luster

Selecting a new treasury secretary is tough in normal times, and these are anything but. | 11/09/12 17:02:14 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Put up or shut up time for Congress, Obama on fiscal cliff

Congress returns to the nation’s capital next week with hopes of a big deal but strong odds favoring another piecemeal approach to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, in a race against the clock to address tax and budget issues while keeping the U.S. economy from tumbling back into recession. | 11/08/12 17:05:46 By - By Kevin G. Hall and David Lightman

Latinos make final push to get voters to polls

As the presidential candidates make their final sprint, Latinos also are zeroing in on a crucial election day that could define their political might for years to come. | 11/05/12 14:18:28 By - By Franco Ordonez

Iraq War veteran challenges military on injury benefits

Tanya L. Towne was wearing her full “battle rattle” when she got injured preparing for war. Now the Pentagon must explain why that should be treated differently from a combat-related injury. | 11/01/12 17:37:08 By - By Michael Doyle

In Congress, Democrat Kissell is stuck in the middle

The Republicans have worked hard to paint Democratic Rep. Larry Kissell as an incompetent congressman who is best friends with a left-wing president and responsible for lost jobs in his rural North Carolina district. | 11/01/12 16:35:19 By - By Franco Ordonez

California Dems seek probe of GOP House candidate Maldonado

The California Democratic Party called Wednesday for a state investigation into whether the Republican former lieutenant governor, enmeshed in a tight race for the U.S. House of Representatives, failed to disclose two 2007 state campaign fund-raising events to regulators in violation of campaign financing law. | 10/31/12 20:21:59 By - By Jonathan S. Landay

Supreme Court hears cases on drug-sniffing dogs

Supreme Court justices seemed ready Wednesday to adjust the legal leash on drug-sniffing dogs, in two high-profile cases arising out of Florida. | 10/31/12 16:46:09 By - By Michael Doyle

Sandy wreaks havoc throughout Northeast U.S.

Sandy, the massive, multi-state storm that flooded tunnels in New York City, brought snow to the mountains of West Virginia, snarled early voting for the upcoming election and caused more than 8 million power outages, moved into Pennsylvania and western New York on Tuesday and put the entire Northeast on heightened flooding alert. | 10/30/12 19:25:29 By - By Erika Bolstad and Chris Adams

Northeast airports, transit systems slowly start moving again after Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy brought every mode of transportation to a halt in the most populous region of the country this week, and getting people and goods moving normally again could take days, if not weeks, and add to costs that already are in the tens of billions of dollars. | 10/30/12 19:24:51 By - By Curtis Tate and Maria Recio

Sandy’s damage worse than Irene, far from Katrina

Residents along most of the East Coast on Tuesday began cleaning up the wreckage left behind by Hurricane Sandy, and it was immediately clear that all Americans will get slapped with the astronomical bill for the late-season storm. | 10/30/12 16:36:14 By - Kevin G. Hall

Privacy vs. public safety at issue in ex-cop’s suit against Navy

Former Charleston, S.C., police Officer Timothy M. Reed mobilized for war, more than once. Then the Navy shared some sensitive information and he was out of a job. | 10/29/12 14:01:44 By - By Michael Doyle

Drug-sniffing cases send Supreme Court to the dogs

Franky found drugs in Florida. He’s a dog, so he left the constitutional questions to others. | 10/25/12 17:06:42 By - By Michael Doyle

Georgia aims to cash in on Russian trade

Few states are as eager to increase trade with Russia as Georgia, the home of corporate giants Coca-Cola Co. and Delta Air Lines and more than 3,600 international facilities from 60 countries. | 10/25/12 17:15:03 By - By Rob Hotakainen

U.S. doubled international air travel in 20 years, but aid favors smaller airports

International air travel to and from the United States has more than doubled in the past 20 years in spite of 9/11, a deep recession and industry consolidation, according to a report released Thursday. | 10/25/12 00:00:00 By - By Curtis Tate

In a blur of facts, VP debate strained the truth

In their first and only debate, Vice President Joe Biden and Republican Rep. Paul Ryan verbally wrestled over Medicare, Social Security and abortion. But sometimes it was the truth that got tackled. | 10/24/12 18:47:06 By - By William Douglas and Anita Kumar

U.S. Rep. Lois Capps faces new questions over House financial reports

California Rep. Lois Capps’ tight re-election bid took another hit Thursday as her opponent accused her of having waited years earlier in her career to report more than a half-million dollars in income on required House of Representatives financial-disclosure forms. | 10/18/12 18:20:50 By - By James Rosen

USDA sets aside $29 million for indoor plumbing in Alaskan villages

A federal agency this week announced nearly $29 million will be spent to plan, build and upgrade water and sewer systems in 16 Alaska villages over the next several years. | 10/18/12 11:54:24 By - Kyle Hopkins

Big U.S. poultry processor hit with fines over youth labor

One of the nation’s largest poultry producers has been caught again illegally putting minors to work using grueling, hazardous equipment. | 10/16/12 20:28:31 By - By Franco Ordonez and Ames Alexander

As rail lines come to life, towns and trains collide

Changes in global trade and the economy mean more freight trains are moving through America’s neighborhoods and communities, but not everyone hears romance when a locomotive whistles in the night. | 10/16/12 14:56:25 By - By Curtis Tate

Conviction of Osama bin Laden’s driver tossed out, raising questions about other cases

A federal appeals court’s decision to toss the conviction of Osama bin Laden’s former driver could have implications for future prosecutions of terrorism suspects. | 10/16/12 18:29:59 By - By Lindsay Wise and Carol Rosenberg

Student loan borrowers complain that private lenders offer little help

College students who took out private student loans before the recession hit are telling the government they’re getting a runaround from lenders as they struggle to pay them back. | 10/16/12 00:00:00 By - By Renee Schoof

As food recalls mount, White House still lingering over new safety rules

Families who’ve lost loved ones to food-borne illnesses have watched with alarm in recent months as producers have recalled mangoes, cantaloupe, ricotta cheese, dog food and peanut butter after people were sickened by the tainted goods. | 10/16/12 16:27:48 By - By Erika Bolstad

Half a century ago, world perched on brink of nuclear war

Fifty years ago this month, the United States and the Soviet Union faced off over a threatening hot spot in the Cold War. On Oct. 16, which would become Day One of the Cuban Missile Crisis, intelligence officials showed Kennedy aerial photographs of Soviet medium-range ballistic missiles in Cuba, just 90 miles off the Florida coast. | 10/15/12 19:02:14 By - By Michael Bohn

Civil rights groups won’t appeal S.C. voter ID decision

Prominent civil and voting rights groups have decided not to appeal to the Supreme Court a federal ruling upholding South Carolina’s voter ID law, saying such a challenge is unnecessary because the decision this week neuters the original law and cements new voter protections. | 10/12/12 18:19:49 By - By James Rosen

Appeals court to consider DEA classification of marijuana

Medical marijuana users will get a long-awaited day in the nation’s second-highest federal court next week, when California-based activists argue for looser regulations. | 10/12/12 16:03:23 By - By Michael Doyle

Protecting U.S. jobs in trade pact could hurt global AIDS fight, critics say

If drug companies working in North Carolina and elsewhere get their way in protecting brand-name drugs in a new international trade deal, critics fear that millions of people with AIDS in poor countries will go untreated, losing access to cheaper generics that could keep them alive. | 10/12/12 19:03:46 By - By Rob Hotakainen

Tea party freshmen balance principles, pragmatism, party loyalty

The tea party congressional candidates whose victories made 2010 a wave election for Republicans came to Washington united in their desire to slash spending, cut the size of government and place conservative principle over party loyalty. | 10/11/12 16:27:26 By - By James Rosen

More Cuban Missile Crisis documents to be released

As the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis approaches, an additional seven boxes of material from the Robert F. Kennedy Papers, including documents from the autumn that took the U.S. to the brink of nuclear war, will be released Thursday morning. | 10/11/12 07:09:51 By - Mimi Whitefield

Equifax settles charges of improperly selling consumer data

One of the nation’s largest credit reporting agencies has agreed to pay $393,000 to settle charges that it improperly sold lists of consumers who were late on their mortgage payments, government regulators announced Wednesday. | 10/10/12 15:28:07 By - By Lindsay Wise

Supreme Court conservatives press affirmative action supporters to defend racial preferences

Conservative Supreme Court justices took aim at affirmative action Wednesday in a politically charged case that will likely determine what role race can play in college admissions and other public policies. | 10/10/12 16:07:52 By - By Michael Doyle

Romney gains in key polls, Obama fights to hold ground

What a difference two weeks – and a lackluster debate performance by President Barack Obama – has made for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in key swing states. | 10/09/12 19:32:27 By - By William Douglas and Anita Kumar

Colleges need to better police their sports programs, reports say

On the same day that former Penn State football coach and convicted child abuser Jerry Sandusky was sentenced to 30 years in prison, a new report on Tuesday urged college governing officials to exercise stronger oversight over their institutions’ sports programs. | 10/09/12 18:53:54 By - By Renee Schoof

Supreme Court and colleges will clash over affirmative action

At South Carolina’s Clemson University, ensuring racial diversity in enrollment has a special resonance because of the region’s history of segregation and discrimination. | 10/09/12 15:04:57 By - By Renee Schoof

Legal battle over Mongols motorcycle club's logo creates headache for feds

An unprecedented federal government effort to seize the Mongols Motorcycle Club’s trademark has quietly become a quarter-of-a-million-dollar headache for the Justice Department. | 10/08/12 16:53:58 By - By Michael Doyle

A more conservative Supreme Court puts affirmative action at risk

Abigail Noel Fisher lost her shot at attending the University of Texas as an undergraduate, but she appears to have a good chance at changing college admissions nationwide. | 10/08/12 00:00:00 By - By Michael Doyle

Running for re-election, Denham trumpets bipartisan credentials – but only so loudly

Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., tries to walk a fine line in a hyper-partisan world. | 10/07/12 00:00:00 By - By Michael Doyle

Democrats demand investigation in case of Florida immigration detainees

A group of Democratic members of Congress is calling for Immigration and Customs Enforcement to investigate cases at a private South Florida detention center for illegal immigrants after complaints of undocumented detainees being held for minor offenses that merited release and a lack of sufficient medical care. | 10/05/12 18:14:32 By - By Franco Ordonez

Insurers praised parts of Democratic health law but gave mostly to Republicans

The health insurance industry presented itself as an ally of President Barack Obama’s health care law while at the same time making hefty contributions to members of Congress who are trying to get rid of it, according to contribution records. | 10/04/12 15:03:08 By - By Reity O’Brien

Supreme Court wades into flood-control compensation argument

In a case closely watched by farmers in California’s San Joaquin Valley and beyond, the Supreme Court wrestled Wednesday with tough questions about when the federal government must pay landowners for temporary flooding damages. | 10/03/12 17:01:17 By - By Michael Doyle

Pomegranate juice maker presses battle over health claims

The politically well-connected California billionaires who built POM Wonderful into a pomegranate juice powerhouse have lost their latest challenge to federal regulators, but the fight isn’t over yet. | 10/02/12 17:00:26 By - By Michael Doyle

Supreme Court to decide if town’s destruction of floating home was all wet

Supreme Court justices on Monday jousted and even joked a little as they confronted a Florida floating home dispute that could shape U.S. maritime law. | 10/01/12 18:19:43 By - By Michael Doyle

Supreme Court tiptoes into legality of California’s Armenian-genocide law

The Supreme Court on Monday invited the Obama administration to wade into a potential diplomatic controversy by seeking its views on a controversial California law that helps Armenian victims of mass killings a century ago, and their heirs, seek long-lost life insurance claims. | 10/01/12 18:02:29 By - By Michael Doyle

Despite Hispanic voter clout, campaigns spend little on Spanish TV ads

With the negative ads flying in this year’s political campaigns, many voters may be struggling to separate fact from fiction. But some Hispanic Americans would rather hear a few tall tales than, some critics say, be taken for granted. | 10/01/12 18:00:32 By - By Franco Ordonez

Texas Rep. Granger blocks $450 million in aid for Egypt

U.S. Rep. Kay Granger of Fort Worth blocked the transfer of $450 million in economic aid for Egypt's cash-strapped new government Friday, saying she was "not convinced of the urgent need" and could not support it. | 10/01/12 17:47:45 By - Maria Recio

Latino groups, Kennedy Center officials to talk over lack of artistic award winners

The Kennedy Center Honors may seem like a genteel tribute to the world’s greatest performers, but a public squabble about the selection process has revealed behind-the-scenes resentment over the lack of Latino honorees. | 09/28/12 18:57:35 By - By Maria Recio

Affirmative action, drug-sniffing dogs, maybe gay marriage loom as Supreme Court term begins

The Supreme Court justices, who had a summer to cool down from their last heated go-round, return Monday for an October 2012 term that’s still taking shape. | 09/28/12 15:36:32 By - By Michael Doyle

Arab Americans show tepid support for Obama, poll finds

While more than half of the 1.6 million Arab Americans expected to vote in November plan to back President Barack Obama over Mitt Romney, support among them for the president has dropped 15 percentage points in the past four years. | 09/27/12 17:53:36 By - By Franco Ordonez

Risking trade war, administration sides with Florida tomato growers in dispute with Mexico

Rejecting warnings that it could ignite a trade war, the Obama administration on Thursday said it planned to change its tomato-trading rules with Mexico, siding with Florida growers who complained that a glut of imports threatened to shut down the U.S. industry. | 09/27/12 17:40:10 By - By Rob Hotakainen McClatchy Newspapers

Jobs differ by sector; construction down, energy up

In order to fix the sluggish job market, it’s important to first understand the underlying nature of the problem. The high unemployment rate dogging the nation is a symptom of complicated underlying causes. | 09/27/12 16:45:49 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Inmate’s handwritten request will get a rare hearing before Supreme Court

Kim Millbrook’s hard time began long ago, far from the Supreme Court whose attention he has now surprisingly seized. | 09/27/12 15:33:52 By - By Michael Doyle

Democratic senators want a stop to Arctic drilling

A group of Democratic senators is calling for the Interior Department to halt future Alaska offshore drilling leases, saying the president hasn’t made the case that drilling in the environmentally sensitive region is safe. | 09/26/12 17:13:44 By - By Sean Cockerham

Romney, Obama have competing ideas on how to bring school quality up, college tuition down

Should money for federal student grants for college be cut back? | 09/25/12 19:06:05 By - By Renee Schoof

Supreme Court will hear case on North Carolina malpractice settlement

A North Carolina family catastrophe has landed at the Supreme Court, with potentially far-reaching consequences for how states handle medical malpractice settlements. | 09/25/12 18:21:33 By - By Michael Doyle

Study: Lenders may see a different credit score than you do

About one in five consumers are likely to receive credit scores that differ substantially from those used by lenders, according to a government study released Tuesday. | 09/25/12 17:07:10 By - By Lindsay Wise

Critics question university research with ties to shale gas industry

Professors funded by the shale gas industry have produced influential research supporting the industry at major institutions including Penn State University and the University of Texas at Austin and don’t always disclose where the money is coming from. | 09/25/12 16:58:08 By - By Sean Cockerham

Romney releases 2011 income tax return

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Friday released income tax returns showing that he and wife, Ann, paid an effective tax rate of 14.1 percent last year. | 09/21/12 20:14:51 By - By William Douglas and David Lightman

Air Force slow to handle appeals for convicted airmen, officers

The former master sergeant is only one of dozens of convicted airmen and officers remain who are stuck in legal limbo, as the seemingly overwhelmed Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals struggles with mixed success to manage its caseload. Frustration is boiling over, and senior judges are taking critical notice, as more decisions get delayed beyond the point officially considered unreasonable. | 09/21/12 18:01:56 By - By Michael Doyle

Indian Affairs nominee wins backing from Senate panel, vows more power for tribes

Growing up in rural Oklahoma on the reservation of the Chickasaw Nation, Kevin Washburn spent a lot of time at the local hospital, waiting hours with his mother and brother, who needed asthma treatments. | 09/20/12 17:44:17 By - By Rob Hotakainen McClatchy Newspapers

CIA balks at yielding details on drone strikes

The CIA wants to keep its lethal drones secret, but the Obama administration keeps touting their successes. | 09/20/12 15:54:25 By - By Michael Doyle

Unproductive and unloved, Congress heads home

The most disliked, unproductive Congress in decades planned to leave Washington this week until after the November election, departing without agreements on virtually every big issue it deals with: taxes, defense, spending, farms, even post office policy. | 09/20/12 15:07:30 By - By David Lightman and William Douglas

Fast and Furious gun operation ‘misguided,’ risky, Justice concludes

The controversial “Fast and Furious” gun operation that let U.S. firearms flow into Mexico was “seriously flawed” and poorly overseen, Justice Department investigators concluded Wednesday in a long-awaited report that caused immediate political casualties. | 09/19/12 18:18:00 By - By Michael Doyle

Congress looks to increase number of highly skilled immigrants

The United States can no longer afford to train foreign scientists and engineers and then send them back home to work for the nation’s competitors, say lawmakers who are expected to vote Thursday on whether to grant thousands of visas to highly skilled foreign-born graduates. | 09/19/12 18:03:23 By - By Franco Ordonez

Author offers a fresh perspective on Thomas Jefferson

In “Thomas Jefferson’s Crème Brulee,” Thomas J. Craughwell has put together a history of our third president through the prism of agriculture and food, in particular, French cuisine. | 09/19/12 16:57:41 By - Tsh Wells

Justice OIG issues 'Fast and Furious' report

The Justice Department's Office of Inspector General on Wednesday issued its long-awaited report on the 'Fast and Furious' gun-walking scandal that has long captivated Congress. | 09/19/12 14:51:10 By - Michael Doyle

Romney’s ‘47 percent’ – here’s who’s actually not paying federal taxes and why

Mitt Romney’s controversial claim that 47 percent of Americans “pay no income taxes” and are “dependent upon government” is an overstatement that put his presidential campaign on the defensive Tuesday as it scrambled to explain what he meant. | 09/19/12 15:06:58 By - By Tony Pugh

Politics looms over U.S. move against China trade

With election-year politics looming, the Obama administration accused China on Monday of hurting U.S. autoworkers by illegally subsidizing its own auto and auto parts industry. | 09/17/12 17:03:53 By - By Rob Hotakainen and Anita Kumar McClatchy Newspapers

Obama mourns Libya victims: They lived the American ideal

Their American flag-draped coffins behind him, a solemn President Barack Obama on Friday hailed the service of four Americans killed during the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya, pledging to honor their memory and not “retreat from the world.” | 09/14/12 18:13:51 By - By Lesley Clark

Last days for un-helmed California congressional district

Life goes on within and without the San Joaquin Valley’s phantom congressional office. | 09/14/12 17:45:26 By - By Michael Doyle

Ex-US Rep. Jim Marshall named United States Institute of Peace CEO

Jim Marshall, a former Macon mayor and former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, got a new job title Monday: president and chief executive officer of the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C. | 09/14/12 09:37:01 By - Mike Stucka

F-22 Raptor's oxygen systems may be altered, Air Force says

The Air Force is considering making changes to the F-22 Raptor's oxygen supply system, including some that were proposed nearly a decade ago, a senior general told a congressional subcommittee Thursday. | 09/14/12 07:31:46 By - Bob Cox

Fed takes additional steps to jolt growth and hiring

Offering the third incarnation of its unconventional efforts to spark economic activity, the Federal Reserve on Thursday announced a new round of controversial bond buying, sending stock prices soaring and triggering angry criticism from some lawmakers in Congress. | 09/13/12 19:36:03 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Tough talk by Marine Commandant James Amos complicates sexual-assault cases

The Marine Corps commandant wanted to snuff out rape in the ranks. However, his well-meaning but overly blunt talk instead complicated Marine sexual-assault cases worldwide and raised troubling questions about whether accused Marines will get a fair shake. | 09/13/12 20:35:58 By - By Michael Doyle

At memorial service, friends say Neil Armstrong’s ‘big idea’ lives on

Former astronauts, friends and family of Neil Armstrong on Thursday celebrated the first man to walk on the moon as a “regular guy” who shunned fame but embraced big, bold ideas that inspired the country. | 09/13/12 20:06:45 By - By Curtis Tate

Incomes drop in 2011, rich and poor divide deepens

Household incomes declined for the second straight year in 2011, while the earnings gap between rich and poor logged the largest annual increase since income inequality was first measured two decades ago, new data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows. | 09/12/12 19:39:48 By - By Tony Pugh

Chicago teachers strike comes amid changing views on unions

The teachers strike in Chicago this week could be a bruising battle on the picket line and in the school of public opinion. | 09/12/12 17:11:33 By - By Franco Ordonez and William Douglas

Teacher evaluations are a flashpoint in Chicago standoff

Striking teachers in Chicago are fighting a contentious education reform that could overhaul how they are paid and evaluated, highlighting the difficulty of judging them by the performance of their students. | 09/12/12 15:30:43 By - By Jackie Mader

On 9/11 under familiar skies, another quiet remembrance

There is a weighty silence, the kind that drapes the shoulders, at the gravesite of Navy Lt. Cmdr. Otis Vincent Tolbert. | 09/11/12 17:52:46 By - By Michael Doyle

Federal spending on popcorn promotion comes under fire

The issue is part of the talks as Congress tries to write a new farm bill that would determine how much taxpayers will pay for agriculture commodities. And while popcorn is a small-ticket item compared with wheat, rice, sugar and other mega-crops, opponents say it’s wrong to subsidize the advertising costs of any private business operating outside the United States. | 09/10/12 00:00:00 By - By Rob Hotakainen McClatchy Newspapers

In Facebook court cases, high tech and free speech collide

“Like” the First Amendment? Then prepare for a fight, as courts and employers figure out whether a simple click on Facebook deserves free-speech protection. | 09/07/12 18:41:50 By - By Michael Doyle

Judge rejects new restrictions for attorneys at Guantanamo Bay

Using strong words, a federal judge has rejected the Obama administration’s efforts to change the rules under which Guantanamo Bay detainees are represented by lawyers. | 09/06/12 18:24:38 By - By Michael Doyle

Federal court vacancies will likely wait on the election

A gridlocked Senate and a distracted president could delay securing replacements for a legion of retiring federal judges around the country. | 09/06/12 18:22:46 By - By Michael Doyle and John Ellis

Hunger rose in 2011 as economy struggled, USDA finds

Record numbers of U.S. households struggled at times to feed their families last year, according to a report Wednesday from the U.S. Department of Agriculture on the state of hunger in America. | 09/05/12 18:50:54 By - By Tony Pugh

Accused prison guard killer’s mental status in question at trial

One of two inmates accused of killing a federal prison guard in Atwater, Calif., would have his mental travails aired in public under an appellate court ruling that potentially brings a long-delayed trial closer. | 09/05/12 17:22:46 By - By Michael Doyle

Court upholds Afghan Taliban’s narco-terrorism conviction in U.S.

An appellate court on Tuesday upheld the conviction of a former Afghan Taliban member who’s serving a first-of-its-kind life sentence in the Southern California desert. | 09/04/12 16:40:07 By - By Michael Doyle

Suicide bomber rams U.S. vehicle in Pakistan

A bomb injured two Americans employed at U.S. consulate in Peshawar Monday when a suicide attacker rammed their vehicle, officials said. Two local staff members of the mission also were injured. | 09/03/12 13:45:46 By - By Saeed Shah

High court agrees to hear a long-time felon’s plea

A long-ago burglary in Stockton, Calif. set Matthew R. Descamps down a tumultuous road that’s now led him, improbably, to the U.S. Supreme Court. | 08/31/12 17:41:26 By - By Michael Doyle

Judge says imprisoned ex-East St. Louis pol owes back taxes

Add a hefty tax bill to the woes of disgraced former East St. Louis city official Kelvin L. Ellis Sr., who is currently serving federal time for voter fraud and other crimes. | 08/30/12 18:59:11 By - By Michael Doyle

S.C. residents say photo ID rule would keep them from voting

Black South Carolina residents testified Thursday in federal court that financial hardship and a lack of transportation would likely keep them from voting if a state voter ID law that the Department of Justice has blocked goes into effect. | 08/30/12 18:19:53 By - By Rebecca Cohen

Park service probes hantavirus deaths of Yosemite visitors

The National Park Service has dispatched a top Colorado-based epidemic specialist and a Washington-based public health official to investigate the dangerous airborne disease that recently killed two Yosemite National Park visitors and potentially endangers others. | 08/28/12 17:35:49 By - By Michael Doyle

South Carolina lawmakers: No racial intent behind voter ID law

Lawyers for the U.S. Justice Department and civil rights groups told a packed federal courtroom Monday that Republican legislators in South Carolina pushed a voter ID bill they knew would suppress the votes of African-Americans in the state, who overwhelmingly support Democratic candidates. | 08/27/12 20:03:33 By - By James Rosen and Rebecca Cohen

Spirited legal fight expected over failed Fresno County vodka investment

A Polish vodka investment that stumbled badly has now pulled the Fresno County employees’ pension program into federal court, far from California. | 08/24/12 21:00:20 By - By Michael Doyle

New state laws make undercover probes of farm operations risky

The undercover investigator who secretly videotaped alleged animal abuses at a meat processing plant in California's San Joaquin Valley would have been a criminal for doing the same thing in Utah, potentially subject to a year in jail. | 08/24/12 16:59:29 By - By Michael Doyle

Study: No Child law loophole can mean fewer dollars for poor schools

Across the country, African American and Latino students are being shortchanged in state and local spending on schools because of a loophole in federal law, according to a study that crunched new data from the Department of Education. | 08/23/12 19:09:18 By - By Renee Schoof

Death sentence of Marine Kenneth G. Parker overturned on appeal

A Marine enlisted man who was convicted nearly two decades ago of two killings in North Carolina now will live out his life in prison, after a military appeals court overturned his death sentence this week. | 08/23/12 18:45:16 By - By Michael Doyle

Panetta hints at military budget cuts during Washington state visit

Leon Panetta used his first visit to the Puget Sound area as U.S. defense secretary to thank a Bremerton-based aircraft carrier crew that accelerated its deployment schedule because of Middle East unrest. He also took the opportunity to foreshadow budget decisions that could reshape the military in Washington state. | 08/23/12 07:31:59 By - Adam Ashton

Debt standoff makes Forest Agency fight all fires

The FLAME — Federal Land Assistance, Management and Enhancement — Act set up separate funds for the Forest Service where surplus firefighting funds in quieter fire years could be saved for big years like this. But Congress took $200 million from the fund in 2011 as a part of the deal to keep the government running in the debt-ceiling standoff. Congress took another $240 million in surplus funds in 2012.But with Congress divided and the pressure to reduce government spending growing, the chances for a supplemental spending bill this year are uncertain. | 08/23/12 00:04:24 By - Rocky Barker

GOP platform on abortion is tougher than Mitt Romney’s own stance

Republicans who are drafting the party’s platform approved strong anti-abortion language Tuesday that makes no exceptions to allow abortion in cases of rape or incest victims, a statement of principle that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has said is too limiting for his own beliefs. | 08/21/12 18:28:15 By - By William Douglas and David Lightman

After slow start, U.S. allows donations to Iran’s quake victims

In a move that will bolster earthquake relief efforts in Iran, the Treasury Department on Tuesday issued temporary general licenses to nonprofit, nongovernmental organizations that allow them to receive donations from U.S. citizens to put toward on-the-ground relief efforts. | 08/21/12 20:22:52 By - By Alex Kane Rudansky

Obama warns of U.S. intervention if Syria moves, uses chemical, bio weapons

President Barack Obama on Monday for the first time threatened U.S. military intervention in Syria’s civil war, warning the beleaguered regime of President Bashar Assad against breaching a U.S. “red line” of moving or using chemical or biological weapons. | 08/20/12 19:41:43 By - By Jonathan S. Landay and Hannah Allam

Travel gaffe brings spotlight back to congressional travel

New revelations about a 2011 congressional trip to Israel have prompted one Midwestern politician’s apology and reminded a San Joaquin Valley lawmaker that travel can be costly. | 08/20/12 19:23:21 By - By Michael Doyle

Analysis: How the death of compromise has crippled U.S. government

On a spring day in 1984, a politician named Tip O’Neill walked to the floor of the U.S. House, his face red with rage. O’Neill’s appearance was unusual. Speakers of the House rarely engage in debate. | 08/20/12 07:20:43 By - Dave Helling and Steve Kraske

Convicted soldier urges Supreme Court to hear military appeals

A military court convicted Army Master Sgt. John E. Hatley of murder in wartime. Unfortunately for the defrocked combat infantryman, military law keeps him from appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court. | 08/20/12 00:00:00 By - By Michael Doyle

States to get nearly $500 million in unused earmarks for transportation projects

LaHood said that states have until Oct. 1 to identify how they intend to use the money and must obligate the funds by the end of the year or lose them. The funds were originally requested by lawmakers for projects in their states but went unspent. | 08/17/12 17:39:54 By - Curtis Tate

For young immigrants who win deportation deferrals, what next?

As young undocumented immigrants scrambled this week for high school transcripts and proof of local residency for applications that would allow them to remain and work in the United States legally, state officials across the country began reviewing their own policies to see how a new federal program would affect them. | 08/15/12 19:24:17 By - By Franco Ordonez

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar slams Shell Oil for Arctic drilling delays

The opportunity for Shell Oil Co. to drill exploratory wells this year in Alaska's Arctic is rapidly diminishing and it's a situation of Shell's own making, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told reporters in Alaska on Monday. | 08/14/12 06:54:53 By - Lisa Demer

Sanctions stymie Iranian-Americans who want to help quake victims

Mahdis Keshavarz has the means and the motivation to help her friends and family in Iran who’ve been affected by the recent earthquake, butshe saysU.S. sanctions against Iran stand in her way. | 08/13/12 19:46:55 By - By Alex Kane Rudansky

Obama's pledge of drought relief shows why incumbents have campaign edge

President Barack Obama on Monday offered a vivid reminder of why being a White House incumbent has big advantages when seeking re-election, as he toured drought-ravaged Iowa promising help and compassion. | 08/13/12 18:40:53 By - By Lesley Clark, William Douglas and David Lightman

National Reconnaissance Office officials accused of contracting crimes, retaliation

A senior officer with the nation’s spy satellite agency is being investigated over criminal allegations related to contracting even as the agency’s No. 2 official is accused of trying to illegally shield the subordinate from scrutiny, McClatchy has learned. | 08/13/12 18:56:15 By - By Marisa Taylor

Safety review of cellphones is encouraged by GAO report

Cellphones — and their use — have come a long way in 16 years. But federal safety standards haven’t budged.

Reason enough, according to the Government Accountability Office, to reassess how much radio frequency energy mobile phones should be allowed to emit. | 08/08/12 07:07:59 By - Mark Davis

FBI says it had not monitored Sikh temple shooter

Long before he pulled the trigger, private groups were quietly monitoring the man who killed six worshippers at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin. The FBI was not. | 08/07/12 18:28:13 By - By Michael Doyle

Home health workers sweat Obama rule on pay

An uneasy sense of deja vu is building among advocates for nearly 2 million workers who help the elderly and disabled live independently in their homes. | 08/07/12 17:55:55 By - By Tony Pugh

Obama signs law giving health care to Lejeune tainted water victims

President Barack Obama signed into law on Monday legislation to provide health care to thousands of sick Marine veterans and their families who were exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. | 08/06/12 19:33:15 By - By Franco Ordonez and Barbara Barrett

Tax deductions for medical pot biz go up in smoke, court rules

A once-thriving San Francisco pot shop forced to close this week is also on the hook for a serious IRS bill, following a new U.S. Tax Court decision that could complicate life for others in the medical marijuana business. | 08/03/12 17:19:26 By - By Michael Doyle

Congress greets Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng

Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng spoke out against the Chinese government and its human rights abuses in a meeting with House of Representatives leaders and lawmakers Wednesday on Capitol Hill. | 08/01/12 17:02:52 By - By Alex Kane Rudansky

Sen. Charles Grassley seeks probe of polygraph techniques at National Reconnaissance Office

Pentagon officials are scrambling to look into allegations of abusive polygraph techniques by a spy agency but so far they aren’t heeding calls for a more in-depth investigation. | 07/30/12 11:26:42 By - By Marisa Taylor

Women face their own challenges in fighting HIV/AIDS

As the International AIDS Conference took place this week in Washington, many advocates said that governments and the medical community still had far to go to address women’s needs amid the sea of problems associated with the epidemic that began around three decades ago. | 07/27/12 16:51:03 By - By Farah Mohamed

USDA skewered over ‘Meatless Mondays’ campaign

Imagine the Department of Education pushing an idea called “Teacherless Tuesday,” or the Department of Homeland Security suggesting “Fenceless Friday.” The Department of Agriculture, promoter of all things edible, had a plan this week in an in-house newsletter to promote “Meatless Mondays” in the vast bureaucracy’s employee cafeterias. | 07/26/12 18:56:58 By - By David Goldstein

On Washington journalism

I make this commitment to our readers, and to our citizens: McClatchy journalists will report fairly and independently. We will not make deals with those in power, regardless of party or philosophy. | 07/26/12 15:31:15 By - By James Asher

DeMint slows international accords

Sen. Jim DeMint is stirring up Senate Republican opposition to U.N. treaties pushed by the Obama administration expanding disability rights, setting law for the seas and placing controls on the international arms trade. | 07/25/12 18:46:40 By - By James Rosen

Military-to-civilian transition still a challenge, VA and defense chiefs say

Layers of bureaucracy have bogged down efforts by the federal government to help troops transition to civilian life, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki told Congress on Wednesday. | 07/25/12 18:17:35 By - By Rebecca Cohen

Hillary Clinton talks #genocideprevention through social media

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and two panels of media figures, academics and senior government officials at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum suggested Tuesday that potential developments in technology and social media could help prevent genocide in the 21st century. | 07/24/12 19:04:17 By - By Kaz Komolafe

Researchers: With no AIDS cure, treatment for HIV is best medicine

Eight years ago, Waldon Adams tested HIV-positive. Four years ago, he developed symptoms of AIDS, which meant bouts of pneumonia and weeks-long stays in hospitals and nursing homes. Now, Adams, 51, is healthy enough to run marathons. | 07/24/12 16:39:28 By - By Curtis Tate and Farah Mohamed

International AIDS Conference begins in Washington

More than 23,000 delegates – researchers, activists, advocates and policy makers – from nearly 200 countries came to the Washington Convention Center on Sunday for the kickoff of the International AIDS Conference, saying they want to work together to assess what the future of HIV and AIDS might hold. | 07/22/12 21:39:16 By - By Farah Mohamed

Alaska’s Murkowski voted against Dems’ disclosure bill - because it didn’t go far enough

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski this week helped Senate Republicans block a bill that would require groups that pour hundreds of millions of dollars into influencing political campaigns to disclose who funds them. | 07/20/12 19:11:06 By - By Sean Cockerham

Experts: Ruling could hurt Bradley Manning’s defense in WikiLeaks case

Legal experts say WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning’s lawyers might have lost a key element of their defense because of a military judge’s ruling this week that would prevent them from using evidence to contend that there was little “actual harm” from the enormous leak of secret government documents. | 07/20/12 18:53:24 By - By Annika McGinnis

Conference in D.C. to address AIDS, around the world or the block

The world’s largest gathering of AIDS researchers, activists and policymakers will convene in the nation’s capital this weekend amid rising optimism that a vaccine for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is within reach, and as more of the world’s population gains access to testing and treatment. | 07/20/12 16:29:51 By - By Curtis Tate

McClatchy's Washington Bureau establishes no-alter quote policy

To be clear, it is the bureau's policy that we do not alter accurate quotes from any source. And to the fullest extent possible, we do not make deals that we will clear quotes as a condition of interviews. | 07/20/12 13:11:20 By -

Senate considers how to keep down college costs

Higher education experts on Thursday gave a Senate committee their suggestions for improving college affordability in the hopes those ideas could be adopted on a national level. | 07/19/12 18:24:04 By - By Kaz Komolafe

North Carolina members of Congress helped lead the charge to block an effort to cut military spending on NASCAR

North Carolina members of Congress helped lead the charge to block an effort to cut military spending on NASCAR. U.S. Reps. Larry Kissell, Patrick McHenry, and Sue Myrick were among the most vocal members advocating to continue the spending and reject – by a vote of 216-202 -- an amendment by Reps. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., and Betty McCollum, D-Minn that would have cut $72.3 million in defense spending. | 07/19/12 18:09:06 By - Franco Ordonez

Pelosi dismisses idea of Congress releasing tax returns

Congressional leaders were defiant Thursday that Capitol Hill lawmakers should not release their tax returns – even as Democrats kept demanding Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney release his. | 07/19/12 18:04:12 By - By David Lightman

Marine Lt. Gen. John Kelly testifies to lead Southern Command

The Marine who’s poised to run U.S. military operations in Latin America and the Caribbean said he’s ready to combat drug trafficking, one of the main duties of any commander of the Miami-based Southern Command. | 07/19/12 19:15:56 By - By Erika Bolstad

Probe finds more lavish spending from the GSA

First it was a nearly $1 million conference in Las Vegas, featuring $7,000 worth of sushi, a mind reader and a clown. Now it turns out that just weeks after that lavish affair two years ago, the federal General Services Administration spent $20,000 on drumsticks – the kind used for hitting drums – and nearly $30,000 for “time temperature picture frames” for an awards ceremony in nearby Virginia, according to its Office of Inspector General. | 07/19/12 17:14:32 By - By David Goldstein

After 25 years, AIDS quilt continues to mend the loss of loved ones

It’s won an Oscar and was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. At 1.3 million square feet, it would take up nearly half the office space in the new One World Trade Center tower in lower Manhattan. It received a “Save America’s Treasures” federal grant to preserve it for future generations. | 07/19/12 16:11:48 By - By Curtis Tate

US Airways leader pressures American on merger

US Airways CEO Doug Parker on Wednesday ratcheted up his campaign to merge with bankrupt American Airlines with a high-profile luncheon speech at the National Press Club, where he was flanked by American’s union leaders and where he pointedly said that everyone except American management supported a merger with his carrier. | 07/18/12 18:35:54 By - By Maria Recio

GAO: Post 9/11, flight schools still security threat

More than a decade after 9/11, the Transportation Security Administration is still failing to follow proper vetting procedures for foreign nationals enrolling at flight schools, a report released Wednesday revealed. | 07/18/12 17:38:41 By - By Kaz Komolafe

Major fundraiser to benefit California GOP candidates

House Republicans and their deep-pocketed allies will hold a Capitol Hill mega-fundraiser Thursday night aiding eight California congressional candidates. | 07/18/12 15:44:18 By - By Michael Doyle

Sen. DeMint blocks bill for Marines’ Lejeune water victims

Thousands of sick Marine veterans and their families may be on the verge of taking a giant leap toward receiving health care for illnesses they suffered from decades of water contamination at Marines Base Camp Lejeune, N.C. | 07/17/12 18:34:32 By - By Franco Ordonez

Does size matter? Yosemite National Park advocates think it might

Yosemite National Park in California would grow by 1,575 acres under a bill seeking traction on Capitol Hill. | 07/17/12 17:14:41 By - By Michael Doyle

VA expands grants to tackle veteran homelessness

The Department of Veterans Affairs said Tuesday it would award nearly $100 million in grants to groups that help homeless veterans as well as those at risk of becoming homeless. | 07/17/12 15:26:34 By - By Farah Mohamed

Bagram detainees want to use U.S. Constitution to argue for release

Prisoners held without trial for years at an American air base in Afghanistan shouldn’t be able to challenge their indefinite detention with the help of the U.S. Constitution, Obama administration attorneys argued Monday. | 07/16/12 17:45:08 By - By Michael Doyle

Obama aims to define Romney as rich, out of touch

President Barack Obama’s campaign so far is convincing a lot of independent voters that Mitt Romney is a cold-hearted, out-of-touch rich guy. | 07/16/12 17:12:46 By - By David Lightman

Obama casts himself as middle-class tax cutter, calls out Fox News for saying anything else

President Barack Obama cast himself as a tax-cutting friend of the middle class, portraying the Republicans as defenders of the wealthy and hoping the pitch would help him win for a second time in the once solidly conservative state of Virginia. | 07/13/12 18:38:11 By - By James Rosen

Nation’s capital beset by scandal, bad news

Residents of the nation’s capital may have thought they’d outgrown the scourge of a crack-using mayor and high murder rates, of exploding manhole covers and crumbling schools. But an embarrassing corruption scandal further threatens to tarnish the city’s burnished image and could topple its new leadership. | 07/13/12 18:26:12 By - By Erika Bolstad

Poll: Majority want tax cuts for all, even the wealthy

A majority of Americans want the Bush tax cuts extended for everyone, despite a strong push by President Barack Obama to eliminate them on higher incomes, according to a new McClatchy-Marist poll. | 07/13/12 16:17:30 By - By David Goldstein

Senate explores limits to schools’ use of restraints, seclusion

Violently restraining and secluding problematic students in small, inescapable areas actually increases assaults and behavior problems, experts on Thursday told a Senate committee that is considering legislation to curtail the practice. | 07/12/12 19:14:08 By - By Annika McGinnis

Biden warns black voters: Romney threatens voting rights

Vice President Joe Biden urged black voters Thursday to reject a pitch from presumed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, telling the NAACP that a Romney presidency would be a threat to voting rights for African-Americans. | 07/12/12 17:09:33 By - By William Douglas

With help from rocker Jon Bon Jovi, VA tackles veteran homelessness

On a cold night in Monmouth County, N.J., a lone dishwasher stayed late, taking on extra work to buy time. The restaurant’s owners, trying to close up, guessed that the man had no place to go. And when they tried to find him one, they struck out. | 07/12/12 15:41:26 By - By Farah Mohamed

Field Poll: California voters don't think much of Congress, appear weary of two-party conflict

California voters don't think much of Congress and appear to be getting fed up with two-party conflict in Washington. A new Field Poll finds Congress winning high marks from just 17 percent of registered voters in the Golden State. And nearly half of people likely to vote Nov. 6 would prefer that Congress and the White House be controlled by one party. | 07/12/12 13:11:14 By - Dan Smith

Officials urge extradition of ‘70s fugitive George Wright

The United States should continue to seek justice against fugitive George Wright, even though Portugal has refused to extradite him, a former State Department official said at a hearing Wednesday. | 07/11/12 19:03:32 By - By Rebecca Cohen

National Reconnaissance Office accused of illegally collecting personal data

One of the nation’s most secretive intelligence agencies is pressuring its polygraphers to obtain intimate details of the private lives of thousands of job applicants and employees, pushing the ethical and legal boundaries of a program that’s designed instead to catch spies and terrorists. | 07/10/12 10:20:02 By - By Marisa Taylor

National Reconnaissance Office view: Whistleblower is merely a malcontent

Mark Phillips wanted out of the spy business. He was so fed up with petty intrigue that some days he imagined walking out of his windowless office and never coming back. | 07/10/12 10:19:22 By - By Marisa Taylor

National Reconnaissance Office hasn’t told police of crime confessions

The nation’s spy satellite agency has been extracting polygraph confessions to crimes such as child molestation but local law enforcement agencies aren’t always told so that they can investigate. | 07/10/12 10:18:36 By - By Marisa Taylor

Will right-leaning Democrats tumble across the aisle?

The fine line between a Southern conservative Democrat and a Republican continues to fade – fast. | 07/09/12 15:19:29 By - By Franco Ordonez

Obama asks Congress for limited extension of Bush tax cuts

President Barack Obama expressed confidence Monday that he can win an election-year fight with Republicans over taxes and the economy despite three straight months of weak job growth. | 07/09/12 18:49:44 By - By James Rosen and David Lightman

From ‘fresh’ fruit to just fruit in farm bill

Weeding out one little word from a farm bill might mean real money for raisin growers and other purveyors of dried fruit. | 07/06/12 15:24:38 By - By Michael Doyle

Unclear if feds will stay aboard California’s plans for high-speed rail

The California state legislators who will vote by Friday on a high-speed rail program are leaning on a potentially unreliable federal government. | 07/05/12 17:14:46 By - By Michael Doyle

Pakistan to reopen supply routes after U.S. apology for troop deaths

Pakistan agreed Tuesday to reopen supply routes to the U.S.-led NATO force in Afghanistan after the United States apologized for the first time for inadvertently killing 24 Pakistani troops who were manning two border posts last November, signaling a new attempt by the nominal allies to repair their severely damaged relationship. | 07/03/12 19:05:18 By - By Jonathan S. Landay

Supreme Court health care ruling allows states to cut off Medicaid to those now enrolled

Starting in 2014, things could get worse for people on Medicaid: Not only might some states opt out of increasing the number of adults in the government health-insurance program for the poor as a result of the Supreme Court’s ruling, but they also might cut people who now are enrolled. | 07/03/12 17:23:03 By - By Phil Galewitz

Lawrence Hutchins murder case raises question of unlawful command influence

A San Diego-based Marine who was convicted of murder in wartime now will shine a light on how much influence politicians can exert on military justice. | 07/03/12 16:58:51 By - By Michael Doyle

Onetime aide to Muslim Brotherhood founder is witness to inauguration

Once the personal secretary to Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al Banna, al Khaleq said Morsi’s election was a culmination of the Muslim Brotherhood dream even as he conceded Morsi must share power with the ruling military council, that he governs with no parliament or permanent constitution, and that Egypt is far from the kind of state his one time mentor envisioned. | 06/30/12 17:27:48 By - By Nancy A. Youssef

Health care law’s mandate unlikely to affect many people

Despite all the spin and punditry about the national health care law’s mandate that Americans buy health insurance or pay a penalty, the vast majority wouldn’t be forced to buy anything or pay any penalty. | 06/29/12 19:16:54 By - By Tony Pugh

It ain’t over – more legal challenges to health care law coming

Legal challenges will continue even after the Supreme Court’s landmark decision Thursday upholding the Obama administration’s signature health-care law. | 06/29/12 17:22:32 By - By Michael Doyle

Chief Justice John Roberts is health care ruling’s biggest surprise

At his confirmation hearings in 2005, Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. said he saw himself as an “umpire,” and that “nobody ever went to a ball game to see the umpire.” No doubt nobody did Thursday, either, when spectators packed the U.S. Supreme Court and clogged the front steps awaiting its ruling on the health care law, one of the more anticipated and possibly politically pivotal decisions in recent years. | 06/28/12 19:11:08 By - By David Goldstein

CNN, Fox jump gun on Supreme Court health care ruling

The shortcomings of instantaneous technology became evident Thursday as CNN and Fox News both incorrectly reported the historic Supreme Court decision on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. | 06/28/12 18:15:28 By - By Alex Kane Rudansky

Supreme Court rejects ‘Stolen Valor’ law, says lying about military honors isn’t a crime

The Supreme Court Thursday struck down a federal law that makes it a crime to lie about being a military hero. In fact, the justices ruled that many lies are protected by the First Amendment. | 06/28/12 17:48:06 By - By Michael Doyle and Matthew Schofield

Republican hopes dimming to repeal health care law

Congress is highly unlikely to repeal the entire 2010 federal health care law this year. And it’s going to be difficult if not impossible to do it next year, even if Mitt Romney wins the presidency. | 06/28/12 17:41:17 By - By David Lightman

Supreme Court upholds health care law, calls mandate’s fee a tax

The Supreme Court upheld nearly all of President Barack Obama’s health care law Thursday, ratifying the signature domestic achievement of his presidency and affirming the broad overhaul that Democrats had sought for more than six decades. | 06/28/12 18:20:59 By - By Michael Doyle

Consumers who benefit from health care law relish Supreme Court ruling

Having survived its most serious threat, the 2010 health care law moves forward, dented and dinged by the Supreme Court’s forensic-style ruling but still standing as the most comprehensive, costly and controversial overhaul that the nation’s fractured medical system has ever known. | 06/28/12 16:49:52 By - By Alex Kane Rudansky and Tony Pugh

House headed toward contempt vote on Holder, could be bipartisan

An eleventh-hour deal elusive, the House of Representatives was poised to vote Thursday on whether to hold Attorney General Eric Holder, the nation’s highest-ranking law enforcement officer, in contempt of Congress. | 06/27/12 18:48:57 By - By William Douglas, David Lightman and Lesley Clark

Yosemite visitors center may go to Mariposa

A long-awaited new Yosemite National Park visitors center could land in Mariposa, under a bill getting its first congressional hearing Thursday. | 06/27/12 17:51:29 By - By Michael Doyle

Rumor mill grinds overtime for Supreme Court health care ruling

Read these tea leaves: Conservative justices on the Supreme Court sound angry in their dissents this week because they already know that the court on Thursday will uphold the Obama administration’s health care law. | 06/27/12 17:35:07 By - By Michael Doyle and David Lightman

70 years gone, Montford Point Marines get their due

Soon after finishing boot camp at Montford Point in 1949, John Phoenix joined other new Marines on a visit to nearby Jacksonville, N.C. Dressed in their newly pressed khaki uniforms, they proudly strolled off the train. They’d taken only a few steps when they were confronted by a large sign. | 06/27/12 00:00:00 By - By Franco Ordonez

Democrats push to give attorney general new election powers

At a time when the Republican House of Representatives is poised to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt, Democrats in the Senate want to give him broad new powers in elections. | 06/26/12 19:25:27 By - By Annika McGinnis

Congress’ fight with Holder could drag on past vote

The debate will be explosive Thursday when the House of Representatives decides whether to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. What happens next could be the opposite – a long, arduous legal struggle over the roles of the executive and legislative branches. | 06/26/12 18:27:30 By - By David Lightman and William Douglas

Texas hopes to keep C-130 squadron after Panetta halts aircraft transfers

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has ordered the Air Force to suspend all aircraft transfers and retirements scheduled for this fiscal year, bowing to fierce congressional opposition to significant changes in the Air National Guard and restoring hope that Texas may get to keep a squadron of C-130 aircraft. | 06/26/12 07:31:52 By - Chris Vaughn

Court keeps Arizona law in campaign, pressure on Romney

Mitt Romney’s uphill bid for stronger support in the Latino community, already wounded by his tough talk about illegal immigration, faces new challenges thanks to the Supreme Court decision on Arizona’s controversial law. | 06/25/12 18:06:58 By - By David Lightman

Coming ‘fiscal cliff’ in Congress affects hiring, even firing

Both major political parties talk a good game on the need to help create jobs. But their refusal to agree on a plan to stop the government from going over a “fiscal cliff” at the end of the year is driving American businesses to delay hiring and in some cases to actually trim their payrolls. | 06/25/12 16:54:40 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Supreme Court strikes down mandatory life sentences for juveniles

Some teenage murderers may eventually gain their freedom, as a divided Supreme Court on Monday struck down mandatory life sentences without parole for juveniles convicted of capital crimes. | 06/25/12 19:26:54 By - By Michael Doyle

Despite flood of cash, Supreme Court won’t rethink campaign spending decision

Amid a torrent of campaign spending, a divided Supreme Court on Monday declined to take another look at a controversial 2010 ruling that helped open up the political floodgates. | 06/25/12 19:26:24 By - By Michael Doyle

Supreme Court upholds part of strict Arizona immigration law

The Supreme Court on Monday upheld part of Arizona’s strict border-control law, which compels the state’s law enforcement officers to check the residency status of people they suspect are in the country illegally. | 06/25/12 16:59:09 By - By Michael Doyle and David Lightman

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