National

Security intensifies as Sept. 11 date nears

Washington ? As the nation prepares for the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks — a date al-Qaida has cited as a potential opportunity to strike again — security is intensifying at airports, train stations, nuclear plants and major sporting arenas around the country.“At this point ...

Hurricane Irene-swollen rivers falling in Vermont

Kill Devil Hills, N.C. ? Swollen rivers began falling Wednesday in much of the Northeast, easing the flooding that paralyzed parts of the region after Hurricane Irene and allowing emergency crews to reach all but one of the Vermont towns that had been cut off by floodwaters.Receding water ...

President Barack Obama jobs plan speech planned for Sept. 8

Washington ? In a retreat after an hours-long test of wills Wednesday, President Barack Obama agreed to deliver an address on jobs and the economy to a joint session of Congress on Sept. 8, yielding to House Speaker John Boehner, who had balked at Obama’s request for a Sept. 7 ...

Half of Americans drink daily soda, sweet beverages

Atlanta ? Half of Americans drink a soda or sugary beverage each day — and some are downing a lot.One in 20 people drinks the equivalent of more than four cans of soda each day, even though health officials say sweetened beverages should be limited to less than half a can.The Centers for ...

Official: Most Afghans want U.S. troops to stay

Quantico, Va. ? Most Afghans want a binding security pact with the United States that would keep American troops in Afghanistan indefinitely, a senior adviser to Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Wednesday.Negotiations for such a pact have lagged in part because “some in the Afghan ...

Nebraska governor urges Obama to deny pipeline permit

Lincoln, Neb. ? Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman urged President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday to deny a federal permit for a pipeline that would carry Canadian oil over an aquifer that supplies drinking and irrigation water to parts of several states.Heineman ...

Justice replaces 3 officials over law enforcement operation gone awry

Washington ? The Justice Department replaced three officials Tuesday who played critical roles in a flawed law enforcement operation aimed at major gun-trafficking networks on the Southwest border.The department announced that the acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and ...

Food, water rushed to Vermont towns cutoff by Hurrican Irene

Newfane, Vt. ? National Guard helicopters rushed food and water Tuesday to a dozen cut-off Vermont towns after the rainy remnants of Hurricane Irene washed out roads and bridges in a deluge that took many people in the landlocked New England state by surprise.“As soon as we can get help, we ...

Consumers gloomy, but spending says otherwise

Washington ? Economists have advice for anyone worried that consumers are too fearful to keep spending: Look at what they’re doing, not what they’re saying.A survey of consumer confidence shows that Americans were spooked early this month by the standoff over the debt ceiling, a downgrade ...

Obama looks to spur private sector hiring

Washington ? Limited in his ability to create jobs through direct spending, President Barack Obama is considering measures to encourage the private sector to free up its cash reserves and hire more workers to ease the nation’s unemployment crush.As Obama prepares to unveil a new jobs agenda ...

Survey: Most Muslim-Americans feel targeted by terror policies

Washington ? More than half of Muslim-Americans in a new poll say that government anti-terrorism policies single them out for increased surveillance and monitoring, and many report increased cases of name-calling, threats and harassment by airport security, law enforcement officers and ...

Arizona, New York launch probe of 9/11 charities

New York ? Officials in Arizona and New York have launched investigations into charities that claim to serve 9/11 causes, probing whether they failed to follow state laws — and may have misspent millions intended to help and honor those affected by the terrorist attacks.The announcements ...

Higher insurance premiums likely consequence from hurricane damage

Washington ? The $7 billion in estimated losses from Hurricane Irene will compound the vast damage caused by weather in the United States this year. Yet despite billions they’ve paid out for floods, tornadoes and earthquakes, big insurance companies can expect another profitable year.And ...

Death toll from Irene rises to 40

Montpelier, Vt. ? The full measure of Hurricane Irene’s fury came into focus Monday as the death toll jumped to 40, New England towns battled epic floods, and millions faced the dispiriting prospect of several days without electricity.From North Carolina to Maine, communities cleaned up and ...

Katrina’s 6th anniversary finds Gulf Coast on mend

New Orleans ? The Gulf Coast mixed somber ceremonies with New Orleans’ signature flair to mark the sixth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and honor those killed during the catastrophic storm that drowned much of the region’s dominant city and devastated coastal towns in Mississippi, Alabama ...

Tropical Storm Irene: Wet, deadly and expensive, but no monster

New York ? Stripped of hurricane rank, Tropical Storm Irene spent the last of its fury Sunday, leaving treacherous flooding and millions without power — but an unfazed New York and relief that it was nothing like the nightmare authorities feared.Slowly, the East Coast surveyed the damage — ...

Campaigns find that some truths are inconvenient

New York ? Corporations are people. The fundamentals of the economy are strong. I voted for the $87 billion before I voted against it.From Mitt Romney this month to John McCain in 2008 and John Kerry four years earlier, presidential candidates are caught telling the truth by accident in every ...

Obama visits FEMA command center

Washington ? President Barack Obama offered moral support Saturday to federal emergency management workers hunkered down for Hurricane Irene’s weekend march up the East Coast and 14,000 active-duty and National Guard troops were put on standby for post-storm relief work.“Everybody here, you ...