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Hillary Clinton campaign outlines plans for fundraising and first big speech

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- Hillary Clinton's campaign aides knocked down speculation that they're aiming to raise $2 billion for the primary and general elections, saying the total they expect to need to win the White House is closer to the $1 billion that President Barack Obama needed to win re-election in 2012.

The $2 billion number has cropped up in ...Read more

Obama visits Miami shrine to Cuban saint

Politics / Political News /

MIAMI -- President Barack Obama extended a symbolic olive branch Thursday to Miami's Cuban Americans by paying his respects to the shrine of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre in Coconut Grove.

Earlier in the day, Obama visited the National Hurricane Center and met privately with the Pinecrest family of Steven Sotloff, the journalist slain last ...Read more

If NSA surveillance program ends, phone record trove will endure

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- The National Security Agency will mothball its mammoth archive of Americans' telephone records, isolating the computer servers where they are stored and blocking investigators' access, but will not destroy the database if its legal authority to collect the material expires on schedule this Sunday, officials said Thursday.

The NSA'...Read more

Biden accuses Russia of seeking to undercut U.S. allies

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON --Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday accused Russia of trying to undermine its European neighbors, funding anti-establishment groups and exploiting corruption to extend its influence.

Fourteen months after Russia annexed Crimea and instigated a broader separatist movement in Ukraine, the U.S.-European alliance is being put to its ...Read more

White House finalizes clean water rule, setting up clash with Congress

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- The White House on Wednesday finalized a rule intended to strengthen and clarify the Clean Water Act, setting up a clash with Republicans in Congress and the agriculture industry.

The rule is designed to help federal officials clarify and simplify which bodies of water fall under the control of the Clean Water Act, the pivotal ...Read more

Santorum joins a growing GOP White House race

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- Rick Santorum, touting himself as the candidate of the blue-collar, family-oriented Republican, launched another presidential bid Wednesday, but this time he's got a lot more than Mitt Romney to overcome.

Speaking to supporters in Cabot, Pa., near the town where he grew up, Santorum portrayed himself as a champion of working-class...Read more

Walker says he may cede Florida primary to Bush, Rubio

Politics / Political News /

Wisconsin residents often go to Florida in March to warm up. Scott Walker seems ready to make other plans for next year.

The Wisconsin governor and probable Republican presidential candidate said Tuesday that he might not compete in Florida's March 15 primary.

"If we chose to get in, I don't think there's a state out there we wouldn't play in,...Read more

Loretta Lynch, new attorney general, works to develop rapport with police

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- When Attorney General Loretta Lynch visited Baltimore in the aftermath of last month's anti-police riots, she made a point of meeting quietly with a dozen officers as they were going out to patrol the still-tense city.

"You have picked a noble profession," she told the officers, including one who had been injured in the rioting. "...Read more

Unrest will cost Baltimore $20 million, officials estimate

Politics / Political News /

BALTIMORE -- The recent rioting and unrest in Baltimore will cost the city an estimated $20 million, officials said Tuesday.

The expenses -- which go before the city's spending board for approval Wednesday -- include overtime for police and firefighters, damage to city-owned property and repaying other jurisdictions for police and other ...Read more

Marco Rubio's tax proposal challenges Republican Party's economic orthodoxy

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- Ever since 1981, when Ronald Reagan sat outside his California ranch and signed a tax-reform law that reversed half a century of mostly climbing rates, the pursuit of ever-lower income tax brackets has been the prime goal of Republican economic policy.

Altering that party orthodoxy has now become a main exhibit for Sen. Marco ...Read more

After 50 years of hostility, neglected U.S. mission in Havana shows its age

Politics / Political News /

HAVANA -- The oceanfront building that will become the U.S. Embassy in Cuba has faced a relentless enemy assault for more than 60 years. None of its assailants was human.

Heat, sun, high winds and salty air have taken their toll. Throw in the hostility that has marked U.S.-Cuban relations for most of the past five decades, and even routine ...Read more

Congress votes to extend federal money for highways through July

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON –– Congress voted to extend federal funds for highways and mass-transit programs through July while lawmakers work on a longer-term financing plan.

The Senate's voice vote early Saturday followed House passage Tuesday of the measure, which will go to President Barack Obama for his signature. The Highway Trust Fund's current ...Read more

Slain Salvadoran archbishop beatified in sign of Catholic Church's new direction

Politics / Political News /

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador -- A papal envoy Saturday declared Archbishop Oscar Romero "blessed" in a ceremony that drew hundreds of thousands of people and moved the Catholic martyr one step closer to sainthood 35 years after a sniper's bullet felled him at the altar.

Known as a champion of the poor and a voice for the voiceless, Romero was ...Read more

Analysis: Iraq issue plagues 2016 presidential hopefuls in both parties

Politics / Political News /

Every war casts a long shadow, from the heroism of the Greatest Generation to the dark ambiguities of Vietnam. It was inevitable, then, that the 2016 presidential candidates would be confronted with the war in Iraq.

Twelve years on, the broad questions raised by the invasion -- about trust in Washington and its leaders, about faith in dubious ...Read more

Monk, called 'Buddhist bin Laden' targets Myanmar's persecuted Muslims

Politics / Political News /

YANGON, Myanmar -- He's been described as the "Buddhist bin Laden," but Ashin Wirathu thinks he has more in common with the world's most famous fictional spy.

"James Bond is a nationalist," the monk said in a recent interview. Flashing a smile, he offered a vague recollection of a movie in which 007, to extract information from a woman, took ...Read more

Latest oil spill echoes 1969, with less of the political fallout

Politics / Political News /

LOS ANGELES -- Along the coastline north of Santa Barbara last week rose an apparition from 1969, as oil defiled the surface of the Pacific, the beachside rocks, wildlife.

The catastrophe offshore from Santa Barbara 46 years ago was huge -- 3 million gallons of oil, its release unstoppable for weeks. The political impact was also huge, as it ...Read more

Woman and her children mark a year in immigration lockup

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- One year locked up with her children.

For Claudia, 33, it's meant celebrating her daughter's 5th birthday under the watchful eye of guards and giving up on answering her 13-year-old son's pleas "to get us out of here."

It's also meant wrestling with her own fears that the family detention center in rural Pennsylvania -- the only ...Read more

Meaty battle: Canada, Mexico want to rob consumers of info

Politics / Political News /

The following editorial appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Friday, May 22:

The World Trade Organization said Monday the U.S. violates international trade pacts by requiring "country of origin" labels on packages of meat. Although the practice benefits consumers, who deserve to know where their beef and pork come from, it's likely to end...Read more

Redacted words caused more trouble for Clinton than 296 emails

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- It wasn't the 296 emails released Friday that caused the most trouble for Hillary Clinton. It was the sentence and a half in one that was redacted.

After months of review, the administration published messages Clinton exchanged about the deadly attacks in Benghazi, Libya, with her colleagues and friends while she was secretary of ...Read more

5 reasons the Iowa Straw Poll does not matter

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON -- R.I.P., Iowa Straw Poll. Badly wounded in 2011, it was lethally wounded Thursday.

Mike Huckabee announced he won't compete this year. Neither will Jeb Bush. So far, no one except Donald Trump has committed to participating -- if he runs.

For years, the circuslike summer event served mainly as a test of how much money candidates ...Read more