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Can Rubio follow Romney's path to the nomination?

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WASHINGTON -- Is Marco Rubio a conservative who wants to overthrow the GOP establishment or a potential standard-bearer for party pragmatists? He's trying to be both, of course.

That strategy has been tried before -- by Mitt Romney. And it worked, sort of. The question now, after Rubio's debate performance on Saturday night, is whether Rubio ...Read more

Rubio's stumble opens door to underdogs in final New Hampshire sprint

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WASHINGTON -- The final weekend before New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation presidential primary was a steady one for long-time front-runners Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. But a trio of governors who need strong showings Tuesday to revive their campaigns have one big reason to feel bullish: Marco Rubio.

The Florida senator, who surged to ...Read more

Obama confronts a failure of his presidency in Illinois capital

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WASHINGTON -- Presidents in the final year of their terms love to highlight their legacies. When Barack Obama journeys to the Illinois state capital this week, he'll instead point up one of his presidency's greatest failures.

National political divisions and partisan rancor have grown worse, not better, under Obama, a development he has ...Read more

Analysis: Cruz and Rubio differ in style, not so much on votes

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WASHINGTON -- The metaphor of the ideological "lane" has become the dominant way to describe the dynamics of the Republican presidential race.

Tuesday's New Hampshire primary is supposed to reveal if Ted Cruz has claimed a prime position on the "insurgent" side of the road and whether Marco Rubio has pushed to the front of the "establishment" ...Read more

Home-field advantage is only part of Sanders's appeal in New Hampshire

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Just a week after turning 2008's loss in the Iowa caucuses into a 2016 win, Hillary Clinton could be headed for the opposite fate in New Hampshire, where polls show she now trails Bernie Sanders by double digits.

Her campaign has advanced a rationale even promoted by Bill Clinton himself: "Nobody from a state bordering New Hampshire has ever ...Read more

Looking for another sign of a weakened China economy? Try the rent-a-foreigner market

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BEIJING -- To take stock of the Chinese economy, you can look at any number of traditional measures: Gross domestic product is growing at a slower pace, the equity markets are plunging, the currency's value is ebbing.

And now there's another indicator of change: The rent-a-foreigner market appears to be weakening, and going downscale.

Just a ...Read more

Islamic State-linked fighters seizing oil-rich land in Libya

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WASHINGTON -- As Islamic State forces lose ground in Iraq and Syria, fighters loyal to the group have seized territory in oil-rich Libya, levying taxes at gunpoint and creating sanctuaries to launch possible attacks in North Africa and Europe, U.S. officials say.

The Pentagon has sent special operations teams to gather intelligence and launched...Read more

Despite fears, big donors have small impact so far

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WASHINGTON -- Money may yet prevail in this year's presidential election, but the failure so far of big donors to propel candidates to the top of the heap has shown the limitations of even huge stockpiles of cash and put some critics of lax campaign finance laws on the defensive.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who has collected more super-PAC ...Read more

To prevent teen dating violence, some states push education

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WASHINGTON -- At a school in poverty-stricken East Oakland, Calif., Emilio Ortega asks the teenage boys he counsels how it would feel to see their mother, or sister, abused by a husband or boyfriend.

He knows they see people they admire on TV, in rap songs, and sometimes even at home channel their anger into aggression. Some of the boys, he ...Read more

Why it took years for FDA to warn about infections tied to medical scopes

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An outbreak at a Pennsylvania hospital in late 2012 should have been an early warning that a reusable medical scope was spreading deadly infections and nearly impossible to disinfect.

But staff at the federal Food and Drug Administration lost the report, one of multiple missteps that allowed doctors and hospitals to continue using the scope for...Read more

Will arrests bring 'real progress' in fight against impunity in El Salvador?

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SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador -- The wheels of justice have turned slowly since the execution-style killings of six Jesuit priests by El Salvador's armed forces in 1989, an event that shocked the world, brought sharp cuts in U.S. military aid to the strife-torn nation and indirectly facilitated the peace agreement the martyrs had sought.

El ...Read more

The majestic legacy of the National Park Service

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Like many great love affairs, mine began in childhood. The details are sketchy, drawn from memory and from photographs in a family album, old Super 8s. Our two-toned station wagon is loaded up in the driveway of the Altadena, Calif., home, room for five, our gear and a black Labrador named Sheba.

The Central Valley is a pre-dawn blur, but ...Read more

'Lead helps guard your health': How American companies sold a toxic product

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After toxic lead from old pipes started poisoning the drinking water in Flint, Mich., residents were outraged at the environmental regulators who incorrectly treated the water.

The same thing had happened in Washington, D.C., more than a decade earlier. In both cities, poorly treated water corroded the kind of old lead pipes you can find across...Read more

From Syria, glimpses of a dead city

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HOMS, Syria –– It was oddly tranquil up there on the roof of an obliterated commercial center in the Old City of Homs, once the center of Syria's sanguinary conflict. A panorama of ruin spread in all directions, the ghost of a vibrant community, blown apart in body and spirit.

Empty streets sliced through rubble piles and rows of hollowed-...Read more

Enjoy the National Park Service? Here's who to thank

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If you like today's national parks, be grateful that industrialist and native Californian Stephen T. Mather hit it big on borax mining in the 1890s.

Give further thanks that Mather's delicate mental health lasted long enough for him to launch a second career and pick a protege.

Mather and fellow Californian Horace M. Albright together helped ...Read more

Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador at center of clash over gay marriage

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WASHINGTON -- When the U.S. Supreme Court last summer gave same-sex couples the right to marry, Republican Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho said Congress should move quickly to protect the religious liberty of citizens who believe in traditional marriage.

Labrador introduced the First Amendment Defense Act, a bill that would prevent the federal ...Read more

Young Democrats gravitate toward elder Sanders

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DURHAM, N.H. -- To voters under 30, Bernie Sanders is one of them.

Forget Hillary Clinton. "She's a corporate sellout," said Emmy Ham, a senior international affairs and anthropology major at the University of New Hampshire.

And forget the notion that young women are eager to see Clinton president because of her gender. "There will be other ...Read more

Rubio seeks to reassure supporters as Republican rivals renew attacks

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LONDONDERRY, N.H. -- After the worst battering of his campaign, Sen. Marco Rubio worked Sunday to telegraph reassurance while rivals continued their pile-on and tried to shake up the Republican presidential contest in a state known for last-minute shifts of fortune.

Appearing on network television and at a packed town hall meeting in ...Read more

Rescuers race to find survivors in Taiwan quake; 124 trapped in apartment tower rubble

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TAINAN, Taiwan -- When Lee Nien-tzu arrived at the toppled apartment complex before dawn Saturday, she could have felt shock at the scale of the ruins, disorientation at having just experienced a major earthquake, or foreboding over the task that lay ahead of her.

Instead, she briefly reflected on the sadness of the situation, then scaled a ...Read more

Sanders fires up N.H. voters; Clinton looks beyond state and goes to Flint, Mich.

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PORTSMOUTH, N.H. -- After the earsplitting reggae faded, after the candidate tossed his unfashionable sport coat into the crowd like a rock star and after the "Bernie! Bernie! Bernie!" chants quieted, Bernie Sanders launched into a familiar speech that is so adored by fans that much of the audience could recite it -- and at times they did.

"Do ...Read more