January 26, 2015

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US seeking end to Cuban restrictions on diplomats

This May 13, 2003 file photo shows the Cuban Interests Section at the Swiss embassy in Washington, D.C. . (AP Photo/Lisa Nipp, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — American officials head to Havana this week with fairly modest goals of cooperation with the Cuban government, seeking an end to restrictions on the U.S. Interests Section there so that an embassy — and symbol of the two countries’ new relationship — can eventually be established. The migration and normalization talks between Read More…

IMF cuts growth forecasts, citing sluggish EU, Japan, BRICS

TOKYO (AP) — The International Monetary Fund lowered its forecasts for global growth over the next two years, warning Tuesday that weakness in most major economies will trump gains from lower oil prices. The IMF’s report was released as China reported its slowest growth in 24 years. The IMF downgraded projections it issued in October Read More…

Pope: Catholics don’t have to breed ‘like rabbits’

Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the Manila Cathedral, in Manila, Philippines, Friday. Pope Francis had earlier issued his strongest defense yet of church teaching opposing artificial contraception on Friday, using a rally in Asia's largest Catholic nation to urge families to be "sanctuaries of respect for life." (AP Photo/Osservatore Romano, Pool)

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (AP) — Pope Francis is firmly upholding church teaching banning contraception, but said Monday that Catholics don’t have to breed “like rabbits” and should instead practice “responsible parenting.” Speaking to reporters en route home from the Philippines, Francis said there are plenty of church-approved ways to regulate births. But he said most Read More…

Snowplow tracking apps hold cities accountable for cleanup

In this Feb. 5, 2014, file photo, a Chicago Department of Public Works snowplow kicks up a spray of slush as he clears streets in Chicago. In a city so traumatized and obsessed with snow, it’s little surprise a computer app tracking the movements of Chicago’s hundreds of snowplows in real time has built up such an obsessive following. . (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)

CHICAGO (AP) — As another storm flung snow at Chicago, Alexandra Clark wondered how she’d get to work. Like an increasing number of snowbound city dwellers, she had a ready tool at hand: an app that tracks hundreds of city snowplows in close to real time. But something seemed out of whack. “Plow tracker said Read More…

10 Things to Know, Friday, Jan. 16

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Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today: 1. Europe unnerved by terror activity  France and Germany arrest up to 14 people suspected of links to the Islamic State group and a bomb threat leads to the evacuation of a Paris train station the morning after Read More…

Belgian authorities say 15 arrested in sweep

Police investigate a shootout in a street in Verviers, Belgium, Thursday. Belgian authorities say two people have been killed and one has been arrested during a shootout in an anti-terrorist operation in the eastern city of Verviers. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

  BRUSSELS (AP) — More than two dozen suspects have been arrested in Belgium, France and Germany in continuing searches for suspected terrorists, authorities said Friday. Thirteen people were detained in Belgium and two arrested in France in an anti-terror sweep following a firefight in which two suspected terrorists were killed, and more suspects are Read More…

Huge turnout as pope urges Filipinos to reject corruption

Pope Francis, left, hugs Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle at the end of a mass for clergy in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, in Manila, Philippines, Friday. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Pope Francis called Friday for authorities to reject the corruption that has plagued this Asian nation for decades and urged them to instead work to end its “scandalous” poverty as he brought his message of social justice to Filipinos who cheered him wildly at every turn. The enthusiastic reception on Francis’ first full Read More…

Justices must act fast if gay marriage to be settled in June

In this June 26, 2013 file photo, gay rights advocate Vin Testa waves a rainbow flag in front of the Supreme Court in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Time is running short for the Supreme Court to get same-sex marriage on its calendar if the justices want to tackle the issue before their current term ends in late June. They might have to decide to jump in at their closed-door conference Friday if they want to resolve the legal debate over gay marriage in the Read More…

Inmate shows no obvious distress in Oklahoma execution

Charles Warner

McALESTER, Okla. (AP) — In its first lethal injection since a botched one last spring,Oklahoma executed a convicted killer with a three-drug method also used by Florida for a punishment the same night. In an execution Thursday that lasted 18 minutes, Oklahoma inmate Charles Frederick Warner showed no physical signs of distress after the lethal drugs were administered, although he did Read More…

Rethinking the big speech that isn’t so big anymore

In this Jan. 28, 2014 file photo, Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio listens as President Barack Obama gives his State of the Union address on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The State of the Union just isn’t what it used to be. Sure, the pageantry and theatrics of the annual presidential address will all be there. The stem-winder of a speech from President Barack Obama. The standing ovations from his supporters, and strategic smirks and scowls from his opponents. The wall-to-wall media coverage and cable news Read More…