National

Postal Service cuts to slow delivery of first-class mail

WASHINGTON — Facing bankruptcy, the U.S. Postal Service is pushing ahead with unprecedented cuts to first-class mail next spring that will slow delivery and, for the first time in 40 years, eliminating the chance for stamped letters to arrive the next day.The estimated $3 billion in ...

Weakened Pakistani Taliban splintering into smaller factions

ISLAMABAD — Battered by Pakistani military operations and U.S. drone strikes, the once-formidable Pakistani Taliban has splintered into more than 100 smaller factions, weakened and is running short of cash, according to security officials, analysts and tribesmen from the insurgent ...

Kansas tribal leader meets with Obama

Topeka ? A Kansas tribal leader was among 12 Native American officials to meet with President Barack Obama at the White House.The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Steve Ortiz, chairman of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, said he was shocked when he learned he was chosen to attend the ...

White House announces Obama’s speech Tuesday in Osawatomie to focus on economy

Topeka ? President Barack Obama is bringing his economic message to Republican-rich Kansas on Tuesday to “talk about how he sees this as a make-or-break moment for the middle class and all those working to join it,” the White House announced Saturday.Obama has picked the small town of ...

House Republicans pass bill curbing regulation

Washington ? In an ambitious gesture to their business allies, House Republicans passed legislation Friday to reduce what the GOP calls “an avalanche” of unneeded, costly regulations. Opponents call the bill an attempt to prevent the government from protecting Americans at their workplaces, ...

Unemployment rate drops to lowest mark since 2009

Washington ? The unemployment rate, which has refused to budge from the 9 percent neighborhood for two and a half frustrating years, fell sharply in November, driven in part by small businesses that finally see reason to hope and hire.Economists say there is a long way to go, but they liked ...

Kansas Democratic Party leader says Obama will visit Osawatomie next week

Topeka ? President Barack Obama plans to travel to eastern Kansas next week to give a speech in Osawatomie, the state Democratic Party’s chairwoman said.The historic town was where former President Theodore Roosevelt gave his “New Nationalism” speech, which extolled the government’s ...

5-pound hunk of metal crashes into Mass. warehouse

Plymouth, Mass. ? The owners of a furniture warehouse in Plymouth, Mass., want to know the origin of a chunk of metal that plunged through the roof.No one was hurt when the 6-inch, cylindrical piece of metal weighing about 5 pounds came through the roof Wednesday or Thursday. The chunk punched ...

Strong winds down trees and power lines in West

The most powerful winds to tear across California in nearly 15 years kept 9-year-old Dalen Guyton up late into the night. Then, around midnight, came the boom.The great yawning tree that stood next to his grandmother’s house, the one with the rope swing he and his sisters played on, had ...

Economy improving, but job growth is still weak

Factories are producing more. Construction is growing. People are buying more cars. The holiday shopping season is off to a strong start.Normally, all that would suggest a bright outlook for the economy. Problem is, employers still aren’t hiring much, the number of people seeking unemployment ...

Santa Claus is packing at Arizona gun club

Phoenix ? These aren’t exactly the photos you took with Santa as a kid.An Arizona gun club is offering a chance for children and their families to pose for photos with Santa while holding pistols and military-style rifles.One image shows Santa in a wingback chair with a snowflake background, ...

Rev. Billy Graham admitted to North Carolina hospital

ASHEVILLE, N.C. ? The Rev. Billy Graham was admitted to a hospital Wednesday near his home in western North Carolina to be tested for pneumonia after suffering from congestion, a cough and a slight fever, his spokesman said.The 93-year-old evangelist was taken to Mission Hospital in Asheville, ...

More than 200 arrested at Occupy Los Angeles, 50 at Occupy Philadelphia

Los Angeles ? More than 1,400 police officers, some in riot gear, cleared the Occupy Los Angeles camp early Wednesday, driving protesters from a park around City Hall and arresting more than 200 who defied orders to leave. Similar raids in Philadelphia led to 52 arrests, but the scene in both ...

Herman Cain accuser stands by claim of longtime affair

Washington ? An Atlanta businesswoman who has asserted she had a longstanding affair with Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain stood by her story Wednesday despite his denials, saying she was not proud to admit it."Our relationship was on and off for the last 13, 14 years," Ginger ...

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire buying Omaha World-Herald newspaper

Omaha ? Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway said Wednesday that it is buying the Omaha World-Herald Co. and expanding the firm's newspaper holdings despite Buffett's misgivings about the industry.Berkshire said that it had agreed to buy Buffett's hometown newspaper. Terms of the deal, which ...

First Penn State abuse suit against Jerry Sandusky comes from new accuser

Philadelphia ? Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky sexually abused a boy more than 100 times and threatened to harm his family to keep him quiet, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday by a new accuser who is not part of the criminal case.The 29-year-old, identified only ...

Feisty Herman Cain presses ahead with bid

West Chester, Ohio ? His campaign rocked anew, a feisty Herman Cain claimed a "groundswell of positive support" from backers on Wednesday and accused critics of trying to derail his White House bid as he worked to stem the fallout from allegations of a 13-year extramarital affair."They're ...

Senate, Obama clash on bill authorizing military detention of terror suspects

Washington ? President Barack Obama and Congress are on a collision course over legislation that essentially would require certain terrorism suspects to be held in military custody, and a veto threat appeared to have no effect.The White House argues that such a law would limit flexibility in ...

After hiking taxes, Ill. now considers easing them

Springfield, Ill. ? What a state takes away, it also can give back.Less than a year after raising personal and corporate income taxes, Illinois officials are pushing a $250 million package of tax breaks for several prominent businesses threatening to leave the state, including Sears and the ...

Senate rejects effort to strip detainee provision

Washington ? The Senate on Tuesday rejected an effort to strip divisive provisions from a defense bill that deal with the capture and handling of suspected terrorists, setting up a showdown with the White House.The resounding 60-38 vote sent a strong message to the Obama administration, which ...