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Updated: 48 min 7 sec ago

'Pretty Good' Budget Deal Looks Good Enough To Avoid Shutdown

Wed, 2014-01-15 00:06

The so-called "omnibus" package of all 12 annual spending bills has more money in it than what Congressional Republicans wanted, but less than what President Obama had asked for. There is some disappointment with the measure on both sides of the aisle, but this time nobody is talking about forcing another government shutdown.

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Soon To Be Big In Japan, Jim Beam's Roots To Stay In Kentucky

Wed, 2014-01-15 00:05

In a deal worth some $16 billion, Japanese beverage giant Suntory is buying Beam Inc., maker of Jim Beam bourbon and owner of well-known American brands such as Maker's Mark. Industry leaders say it's a reflection of bourbon's exploding popularity in Asian markets, but some wonder if the new owners will preserve bourbon's Kentucky heritage.

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Russia Aims To Implement The Tightest Security In Olympic History

Wed, 2014-01-15 00:04

Russian officials say high-tech surveillance and the deployment of tens of thousands of troops are part of the most extensive Olympic security measures ever. The region surrounding host city Sochi is home to Europe's deadliest insurgency, and Islamist militants have proven their ability to strike.

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A Woman Comes To Terms With Her Family's Slave-Owning Past

Wed, 2014-01-15 00:03

Kate Byroade had always known her ancestors were slave owners, but she had been told their slaves were treated well. Understanding the truth took her on a difficult lifelong journey. Americans are shy "about calling out the great wickedness of slavery," she says. "We should not be."

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Report: NSA Maps Pathway Into Computers

Tue, 2014-01-14 23:33

The National Security Agency has implanted software in nearly 100,000 computers around the world that allows the U.S. to conduct surveillance on those machines, The New York Times reported Tuesday. The software was not implanted in computers in the U.S.

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Minn. Orchestra And Union Musicians End Bitter Lockout

Tue, 2014-01-14 22:50

The Minnesota Orchestra and union musicians ratified a new contract Tuesday, ending a 15-month lockout that saw renowned Finnish maestro Osmo Vanska quit as conductor last fall. The three-year agreement takes effect Feb. 1.

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Supreme Court Considers Legality Of Abortion Clinic Buffer Zones

Tue, 2014-01-14 21:01

Do boundaries meant to protect patients and staff outside abortion clinics violate the free speech rights of anti-abortion protesters? In 2000, the Supreme Court said no in a case involving "floating" buffer zones. But the issue is back before the court — which now has more conservative justices.

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Battery Problem Reported On Boeing Dreamliner In Japan

Tue, 2014-01-14 17:46

Reports of white smoke from a battery compartment have temporarily grounded a Boeing 787 Dreamliner in Japan, nearly a year after all the new airliners were grounded due to a problem with batteries overheating. Tuesday's incident happened on an airliner at Tokyo's Narita Airport that had no passengers aboard.

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IRS Gets Spending Bill Smackdown From Congress

Tue, 2014-01-14 16:12

In response to a 2013 scandal, lawmakers are pushing overall IRS funding to a five-year low and ordering the agency to obey the Constitution.

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5 Takeaways From The Omnibus Spending Bill

Tue, 2014-01-14 15:49

Regular order. That phrase refers to Congress conducting business in a methodical way, like it used to back before "dysfunctional" came to seem an official description of Washington. A new federal budget working its way through Congress could help restore regular order to Capitol Hill.

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Why The Youth Gap On Obamacare Exchanges Could Be A Yawner

Tue, 2014-01-14 15:08

Just about everybody was watching to see how many young people signed up for health insurance during the first three months that the new exchanges were open. Younger people are generally healthier, and their premiums tend to balance out insurers' outlays for older, sicker people.

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Federal Judge Strikes Down Oklahoma Ban On Gay Marriage

Tue, 2014-01-14 14:46

U.S. Senior District Judge Terence Kern said the state's constitutional amendment limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples violates the U.S. constitution. Gay marriages are on hold, however, pending an appeal.

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Gen. Dempsey Disputes Gates' Characterization Of Obama

Tue, 2014-01-14 14:26

In an interview with NPR, Gen. Martin Dempsey, the nation's top military officer, said he never questioned that Obama "trusted me." In his controversial book, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Obama felt the military was trying to box him into decisions.

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Charleston Mayor: Company Behind Chemical Leak Run By 'Renegades'

Tue, 2014-01-14 13:58

Mayor Danny Jones says he's not "even sure they cared what happened to the public." Jones adds the West Virginia capital is considering taking legal action.

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Drug Tests Don't Deter Drug Use, But School Environment Might

Tue, 2014-01-14 13:39

Drug testing might keep kids on the straight and narrow, but it remains controversial. Students said their drug use was more influenced by their school's environment than by the threat of drug tests, according to a survey. But neither seemed to affect teenage drinking.

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Christie Concedes 'Mistakes Were Made' In Bridge Scandal

Tue, 2014-01-14 13:35

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he'll cooperate with all "appropriate" investigations into Bridgegate, but in his annual State of the State speech he seeks to change the conversation to New Jersey's economic rebound.

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Hopes Dim For Long-Term Extension To Jobless Benefits

Tue, 2014-01-14 13:00

The Senate is still struggling to find a way to pay for an extension of unemployment benefits for those out of work for 26 weeks or more. Majority leader Harry Reid agreed to bring up five Democratic and five Republican amendments in hopes to winning enough Republicans over to get to the 60 votes needed for passage.

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In California, Alarm Grows Over Shrinking Water Levels

Tue, 2014-01-14 13:00

The drought in California has become so severe that cities are preparing to impose restrictions on water use in homes. In Northern California, the water level in Folsom Lake is so low that remnants of Gold Rush life, which have long been underwater, are now exposed and being collected.

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On Third Anniversary, Tunisians May Get A Constitution

Tue, 2014-01-14 13:00

Celebrations in Tunisia on Tuesday are marking the third anniversary of the revolution that led to the ouster of its dictator and set in motion the regional uprisings of the Arab Spring. As huge crowds gather in the streets of the capital, members of the National Assembly are voting on a new constitution that has the approval of both secular groups, which are popular in the capital, and Islamists, whose strongholds are in the countryside. New parliamentary elections are expected later this year.

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Christie Delivers Statewide Address Under Increased Scrutiny

Tue, 2014-01-14 13:00

Embattled New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie delivered his State of the State address on Tuesday. The address came at an awkward time for Christie, who faces a widening investigation into politically-motivated lane closures at the George Washington Bridge. Christie acknowledged the scandal but tried to steer the conversation toward education and other second-term priorities.

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