National

Dole Institute to host health care reform debate

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to ultimately decide whether the federal health care reform law is constitutional, but two panelists will debate the issue Thursday at the Dole Institute of Politics.Catherine Stetson, director of the appellate practice at Hogan Lovells in Washington, D.C., ...

Bernanke warns economic recovery ‘close to faltering’

Washington ? Europe has a debt crisis. America has a jobs crisis. Corporate profits could be in trouble. World financial markets are in turmoil. And no one seems prepared to ride to the rescue.Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke bluntly warned Congress on Tuesday of what most of America has ...

Airports try low-hassle security checks

Atlanta ? The first members of a small group of frequent fliers were being ushered through lower-hassle security lines Tuesday in exchange for sharing more personal information with the government in a trial program at four U.S. airports.The “PreCheck” program represents a big attempt by ...

Officials say Reid wants tax surcharge on millionaires

Washington ? Senate Democrats intend to jettison provisions that President Barack Obama recommended to pay for his jobs bill and substitute a tax surcharge on millionaires, officials said Tuesday, hoping to unify the party for a protracted political struggle with Republicans.Senate Majority ...

Public art project in Kansas City takes on national deficit issue

Kansas City, Mo. ? Across the street from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, a foreboding tower of shipping containers glowers at the building spelling out an in-your-face message: “IOU.”On the other side: “USA.”The 65-foot-high structure by artist John Salvest is made up of 117 ...

Wall Street protesters: We’re in for the long haul

The protesters who have been camping out in Manhattan’s Financial District for more than two weeks eat donated food and keep their laptops running with a portable gas-powered generator. They have a newspaper — the Occupied Wall Street Journal — and a makeshift hospital.They lack a clear ...

Congress’ ‘unprecedented’ dysfunction long in the making

Washington ? How did it get this bad on Capitol Hill?Why does Congress barely function today?The legislative branch of the world’s most powerful nation is now widely scorned as it lurches from one near-catastrophe to the next, even on supposedly routine matters such as setting an annual ...

Many government retirees also get public paychecks

Dallas ? At a state agency in Texas, the executive director is receiving a $123,000-a-year salary even as he is drawing a government pension, as he has for the past eight years. In a struggling Michigan school district, 10 administrators retired, started drawing pension checks and returned ...

Anti-terrorism success may not help Obama in 2012

Washington ? The killing of an American-born cleric in Yemen underscores a re-election reality for President Barack Obama: He may have a string of counterterrorism successes and high marks from the public on foreign policy, but neither is likely to help him hold the White House.For the Obama ...

Health care looms over Supreme Court term

Washington ? The nine justices of the Supreme Court, who serve without seeking election, soon will have to decide whether to insert themselves into the center of the presidential campaign next year.The high court begins its new term Monday, and President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, ...

From Texas to Mississippi, it’s the attack of the hairy crazy ants

New Orleans ? It sounds like a horror movie: Biting ants invade by the millions. A camper’s metal walls bulge from the pressure of ants nesting behind them. A circle of poison stops them for only a day, and then a fresh horde shows up, bringing babies. Stand in the yard, and in seconds ants ...

For Listeria victims, sudden turns for the worse

Denver ? Charles Palmer is a hardy 71-year-old former Marine and Vietnam veteran who trains cockatiels to say “Semper Fi” and “Whatcha doin’, man?”He also loves fruit — and especially melon for lunch.“He’s never one to get sick,” said his wife, Tammie.The Colorado Springs man ...

Colo. town at heart of listeria outbreak in fear

Holly, Colo. ? Eric Jensen surveys his dusty cantaloupe field and seems equally stunned and puzzled at the fate that has befallen his crop: row upon row of melons rotting on the vine.Jensen is the co-owner of the Colorado farm where health officials say a national listeria outbreak originated, ...

California man found alive by his children 6 days after wreck

Santa Clarita, Calif. ? David Lavau’s children drove slowly along the perilously curved mountain road, stopping to peer over the treacherous drop-offs and call out for their father, missing for six days.Then, finally, a faint cry: “Help, help.” The voice from the wilderness not only let ...

Navy explores longer sub deployments

Gronton, Conn. ? The Navy is considering lengthening the standard deployment of attack submarines beyond six months as it faces rising demands with a fleet that has been shrinking since the end of the Cold War, the commander of American submarine forces told The Associated Press in an ...

Killing Americans: U.S. reaches uncharted ground with attack

Washington ? President Barack Obama steered the nation’s war machine into uncharted territory Friday when a U.S. drone attacked a convoy in Yemen and killed two American citizens who had become central figures in al-Qaida.It was believed to be the first instance in which a U.S. citizen was ...

Are model airplanes a terrorist weapon?

Model airplanes are suddenly on the public’s radar as potential terrorist weapons.A 26-year-old man from a Boston suburb was arrested Wednesday and accused of plotting to attack the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol with remote-controlled model planes packed with explosives.These are not ...

Bank of America to start charging debit card fees

New York ? Will a monthly debit card fee soon be the norm?Ban of America said Thursday that it plans to start charging a $5 monthly fee when customers make debit card purchases. The fee will be rolled out starting early next year.Paying to use a debit card was unheard of before this year and is ...