National

Marines to wind down Afghan combat in 2012

Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan ? U.S. Marines will march out of Afghanistan by the thousands next year, winding down combat in the Taliban heartland and testing the U.S. view that Afghan forces are capable of leading the fight against a battered but not yet beaten insurgency in the country’s ...

Groups want Thomas, Kagan to sit out

Washington ? Conservative interest groups and Republican lawmakers want Justice Elena Kagan off the health care case. Liberals and Democrats in Congress say it’s Justice Clarence Thomas who should sit it out.Neither justice is budging — the right decision, according to many ethicists and ...

If you raise the price, they’ll still come

New York ? The way Americans are chomping Big Macs, lacing up pricey sneakers and gulping peppermint mochas in this economy, you’d think they’re taking advantage of big holiday discounts.The truth is they’re paying more.McDonald’s, Nike, Starbucks and other companies initially worried ...

U.S. military legacy rubs off on youth of Iraq

After more than eight years in Iraq, the departing American military’s legacy includes a fledgling democracy, bitter memories of war and for the nation’s youth, rap music, tattoos and slang.In other words, as the Dec. 31 deadline for completing their withdrawal approaches, U.S. troops are ...

Prosecutor: Reagan, Bush not criminally liable

Washington ? One of the prosecutors who investigated the Iran-Contra affair concluded two decades ago that neither Ronald Reagan nor George H.W. Bush was criminally liable in the scandal that tarnished the presidencies of both men, according to reports made public Friday.Associate independent ...

Shoppers scuffle on Black Friday

A shopper in Los Angeles pepper-sprayed her competition for an Xbox and scuffles broke out elsewhere around the U.S. as bargain-hunters crowded stores in an earlier-than-usual start to the madness known as Black Friday.For the first time, chains such as Target, Best Buy and Kohl’s opened ...

Occupy L.A. stands out for cooperation

Los Angeles ? When Occupy LA demonstrators recently proclaimed a downtown intersection “our street,” police watched as annoyed drivers honked horns and tried to maneuver around gyrating protesters. Officers only moved in after the third intersection takeover — telling protesters they had ...

Companies sending multiple messages on EPA regulations

Washington ? Large and small companies have told Republican-led congressional committees what the party wants to hear: dire predictions of plant closings and layoffs if the Obama administration succeeds with plans to further curb air and water pollution.But their message to financial regulators ...

Giffords serves Thanksgiving meal at Ariz. base

Tuscon, Ariz. ? U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords helped serve a Thanksgiving meal to service members and retirees at a military base in her hometown.Giffords arrived in the dining hall at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson at midday Thursday wearing a ball cap and an apron with her nickname of ...

Survey: More Kansans back tax hikes for the rich

Hays ? The percentage of Kansans who support tax increases for corporations and high-income earners has been growing since 2009.That's according to the latest survey from the Docking Institute of Public Affairs at Fort Hays State University. It finds tax increases for large corporations were ...

Obama pardons pair of gobblers

Washington ? With a wave of his hand, President Barack Obama on Wednesday gave two plump turkeys a Thanksgiving reprieve, noting that without his intervention, “they’d end up next to the mashed potatoes and stuffing.”The official national Thanksgiving turkey is a 19-week-old, 45-pound ...

Occupy protests cost nation’s cities at least $13M

New York City ? During the first two months of the nationwide Occupy protests, the movement that is demanding more out of the wealthiest Americans cost local taxpayers at least $13 million in police overtime and other municipal services, according to a survey by The Associated Press.The ...

Supercommittee failure complicates election year

Washington ? The failure of Congress’ deficit-reduction supercommittee adds a new dimension to the 2012 political contests, drawing political battle lines around broad tax increases and massive spending cuts that now are scheduled to begin automatically in 2013.President Barack Obama and his ...

Consumers expected to be cautious — and that’s a good thing

The rough economy, ongoing job insecurity and overall consumer caution will be expected to trim gift spending this holiday season.And that’s the way it should be, experts say, no matter who hopes or suggests that Lawrencians, Kansans and Americans should help the country buy, buy, buy its way ...

Where’s the salt? Hidden in your Thanksgiving menu

No need for a salt shaker on the Thanksgiving table: Unless you really cooked from scratch, there’s lots of sodium already hidden in the menu.Stealth sodium can do a number on your blood pressure. Americans eat way too much salt, and most of it comes inside common processed foods and ...

U.S., Britain, Canada team up on Iran sanctions

Thwarted internationally, the Obama administration cobbled together a new set of best-available sanctions against Iran on Monday that underlined its limited capacity to force Tehran to halt its suspected nuclear weapons program.The U.S. action was coordinated with Britain and Canada but not ...

Debate on use of pepper spray arises

San Francisco ? Viral videos of riot police repeatedly pepper spraying a row of seated, nonviolent Occupy Wall Street protesters at a California university has sparked outrage, an investigation and calls for the college chancellor’s resignation.It has also set off a debate about whether the ...

Super failure: Deficit-cutting panel gives in to defeat

Washington ? Congress’ supercommittee conceded ignominious defeat Monday in its quest to conquer a government debt that stands at a staggering $15 trillion, unable to overcome deep and enduring political divisions over taxes and spending.Stock prices plummeted at home and across debt-scarred ...

Mother of bomb plot suspect apologizes to New Yorkers

New York ? The mother of a “lone wolf” accused of plotting to attack police stations and post offices with homemade bombs apologized to New Yorkers on Monday, even as questions arose about why federal authorities — who typically handle terrorism cases — declined to get involved in what ...

Analysis: End to debt gridlock is not in sight

Washington ? The supercommittee’s failure reflects the nation’s divide: Americans crave both the Republicans’ demand for low taxes and the Democrats’ insistence on protecting social programs. So far, no group or leader has persuaded them they can’t have both, and there’s no quick ...