Steady drips of information about a horrific night in Libya are fueling Republican arguments and ads designed to fire up the conservative base and undercut the Democrats’ early favorite for president in 2016. Strategists in both parties disagree on the issue’s power to influence elections next year and beyond. But after eight months of trying, Democrats are still struggling to move past the terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi last Sept. 11 that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. Democrats insist that an independent inquiry, the dismissal of several State Department officials, and nine congressional hearings leave little new to say on the matter. Continue Reading
Law enforcement officials hunting a man suspected of killing his wife and two young daughters in Northern California have sought help from neighboring agencies. In an ongoing search, officers from at least a dozen state and federal law enforcement agencies fanned out on Friday across an area of rugged terrain along California’s remote north coast where they believe 45-year-old Shane Franklin Miller has taken cover. Miller, considered armed and extremely dangerous, knows well the tree-lined canyons of Humboldt County where he grew up. Investigators found his pickup truck abandoned near Petrolia, about 200 miles west of the home that Miller shared with his wife, Sandy, 34, and daughters, Shelby, 8, and Shasta, 5. “It’s very strategic how we’re moving through that forest area,” said Lt. Dave Kent of the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office. Continue Reading
Year after year, the clock ticked by and the calendar marched forward, carrying the three women further from the real world and pulling them deeper into an isolated nightmare. Now, for the women freed from captivity inside a Cleveland house, the ordeal is not over. Next comes recovery — from sexual abuse and their sudden, jarring reentry into a world much different from the one they were snatched from a decade ago. Therapists say that with extensive treatment and support, healing is likely for the women, who were 14, 16 and 21 when they were abducted. But it is often a long and difficult process. Continue Reading
Nursing women at a major Army headquarters in South Carolina don’t have to hide in a rest room if they want to breast-feed their babies or express milk for their young. Women soldiers and civilian employees as well as spouses visiting the headquarters are celebrating the very low-tech room. This $100 million command center now has a room set up exclusively to support nursing mothers, just as moms everywhere celebrate Mother’s Day on Sunday. Army spouse Dianna Troyer says she’s excited the Army installation has allowed a lactation room, which she can use when attending family support dinners and events. Troyer thinks the room will encourage more women to nurse their infants. Continue Reading
Beyond the Air Force’s embarrassing suspension of 17 nuclear missile launch officers lie two broader questions. Do those entrusted with the world’s most destructive weapons feel stuck in a dead-end career field, given the momentum toward more nuclear arms reductions? And is there a morale crisis among these officers? This matters because the missiles — 450 of them standing in below-ground silos, ready for launch at a moment’s notice — form a critical part of America’s nuclear defenses. There is little room for error. Continue Reading
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Police say an armed man with multiple hostages is barricaded inside a Trenton home in a standoff that has lasted approximately 12 hours.
Trenton Police Lt. Stephen Varn said a man has been holed up in a house in South Trenton since late Friday afternoon with “multiple hostages.” Varn declined to give any details on the number of people being held, their ages or relationship to the armed man. He said shortly before 5 a.m. Saturday that negotiations continued between police and the man. Earlier, authorities said police were called to the home mid-afternoon Friday on reports of a barricaded suspect. Continue Reading
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A top U.S. diplomat has begun meetings in Kabul today to hammer out the details on a key pact governing the future of the U.S. commitment to Afghanistan, signed a year ago.
The talks between U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns and Afghanistan’s foreign minister are the second round of negotiations over the provisions of the Strategic Partnership Agreement, a set of principles and general commitments signed in May 2012 by President Barak Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Delegates met in Washington in October. The agreement defines Washington’s commitment to Afghanistan over the next 10 years as well as its expectations of Kabul, including free and fair presidential elections next year. Sticking points may include the amount of funds the U.S. provides to Afghan security forces. Continue Reading
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says Congress must give more homeowners the chance to refinance their mortgages to save money.
Obama says more than 2 million people are saving about $3,000 a year after restructuring their loans under his administration but that more deserve the same chance. In his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama also calls on the Senate to confirm “without delay” his choice of Democratic Rep. Mel Watt to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees government-controlled mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Obama says the North Carolina congressman helped enact rules to protect consumers from dishonest lenders. In the Republican address, Alabama Rep. Martha Roby discusses legislation passed by the GOP-controlled House to give private-sector workers the right to trade overtime pay for additional time off. Continue Reading
RICHMOND, Ill. (AP) — A shootout between FBI agents and three suspects allegedly intending to rob a northern Illinois bank ended with the death of one suspect and the arrest of two others.
The shootout occurred Friday outside an Associated Bank branch in Richmond, a small town near the Illinois-Wisconsin state line. Joan Hyde, a special agent in the FBI’s Chicago office, says agents were in Richmond as part of an ongoing investigation. She said agents stopped the suspected robbers before they entered the bank. Continue Reading