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White House to GOP: Work with us on budget or face defeat

The White House on Sunday warned Republicans that a “my way or the highway” approach would spell the GOP’s defeat in upcoming budget negotiations and told its Democratic allies that they, too, will have to bend on President Barack Obama’s delayed spending plan set to be released this week. White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer said the White House was willing to work with rank-and-file Republicans to come up with an outline that both jump-starts the economy and reduces the nation’s red ink. Yet Pfeiffer also told the GOP that stubbornness among their party’s leadership would only yield public embarrassment
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Did the University of Colorado ignore warnings on theater shooter?

New questions confronted the University of Colorado, Denver on Friday amid disclosures that a psychiatrist who treated theater shooting suspect James Holmes had warned campus police a month before the deadly assault that Holmes was dangerous and had homicidal thoughts. Court documents made public Thursday revealed Dr. Lynne Fenton also told a campus police officer in June that the shooting suspect had threatened and intimidated her. Fenton’s blunt warning came more than a month before the July 20 attack at a movie theater that killed 12 and injured 70. Holmes had been a student in the university’s Ph.D. neuroscience program
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Strong anti-abortion bill heads to Kansas governor to become law

Kansas legislators gave final passage to a sweeping anti-abortion measure Friday night, sending Gov. Sam Brownback a bill that declares life begins “at fertilization” while blocking tax breaks for abortion providers and banning abortions performed solely because of the baby’s sex. The House voted 90-30 for a compromise version of the bill reconciling differences between the two chambers, only hours after the Senate approved it, 28-10. The Republican governor is a strong abortion opponent, and supporters of the measure expect him to sign it into law so that the new restrictions take effect July 1. In addition to the bans
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Obama faces choices in morning-after pill debate

President Barack Obama supports requiring girls younger than 17 to see a doctor before buying the morning-after pill. But fighting that battle in court comes with its own set of risks. A federal judge in New York on Friday ordered the Food and Drug Administration to lift age restrictions on the sale of emergency contraception — ending today’s requirement that buyers show proof they’re 17 or older if they want to buy it without a prescription. The ruling accused the Obama administration in no uncertain terms of letting the president’s pending re-election cloud its judgment when it set the age
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March jobs report disappointing, fewest adds in nine months

U.S. employers added just 88,000 jobs in March, the fewest in nine months and a sharp retreat after a period of strong hiring. The slowdown may signal that the economy is heading into a weak spring. The Labor Department said Friday that the unemployment rate dipped to 7.6 percent, the lowest in four years, from 7.7 percent. But the rate fell only because more people stopped looking for work. People who are out of work are no longer counted as unemployed once they stop looking for a job. The percentage of working-age adults Americans with a job or looking for
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Democrats, Republicans closing in on immigration bill deal

A group of Republicans and Democrats in the House is finalizing a sweeping immigration bill that offers work permits and the eventual prospect of citizenship to millions of people living illegally in the United States, aides say. That path to citizenship, however, is likely to take at least 15 years for many, longer than envisioned by Senate immigration negotiators or by President Barack Obama. The secretive House effort, which also aims to further tighten the border against foreigners crossing illegally into the U.S. and crack down on employers who hire them, has been overshadowed by the bipartisan negotiations in the
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Are jobs gaining in the United States?

The U.S. economy has enjoyed a four-month stretch of robust job gains, and on Friday the government will report whether that trend endured into March. Economists generally think it did. They predict that employers added a solid 195,000 jobs, according to a survey by FactSet. That’s a healthy gain, although below February’s 237,000 net jobs added. The unemployment rate is expected to remain at a four-year low of 7.7 percent. The Labor Department will release the report at 8:30 a.m. EDT Friday. Job gains have accelerated to an average of 205,000 per month from November through February. That’s nearly double
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Obama will accept entitlement cuts in exchange for taxes

President Barack Obama will offer cuts to Social Security and other entitlement programs in a budget proposal aimed at swaying Republicans to compromise on a deficit-reduction deal, a senior administration official said on Friday. Under a proposal that would cut the deficit by $1.8 trillion over 10 years, the president will offer to apply a less generous measure of inflation to calculate cost-of-living increases, the official said on condition of anonymity. That change would result in lower payments to some beneficiaries of the Social Security program for retirees and is staunchly opposed by many congressional Democrats as well as labor
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More violence found in states with weak firearms laws

Many states with the weakest firearms laws have the highest rates of gun-related homicides and suicides, according to a study released on Wednesday by a liberal think tank. Alaska had the most gun deaths, with 20.28 deaths per 100,000 people in 2010, twice the national average, the analysis by the Center for American Progress showed. Louisiana and Montana, which followed with 19.06 and 16.58 deaths per 100,000 people, respectively, were among the 10 states with the weakest gun laws, according to the study, the latest to link gun laws to firearm deaths. Eight of the states with the highest levels
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Connecticut governor ready to sign new, stricter gun control bills into law

Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy was expected to sign a wide-ranging bill that includes sweeping new restrictions on weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines, a response to last year’s deadly school shooting in Newtown. Following a total of more than 13 hours of respectful and at times somber debate, the House of Representatives and the Senate voted in favor of the 139-page bill crafted by leaders from both major parties in the Democratic-controlled General Assembly. The bill passed 26-10 in the Senate and 105-44 in the House. Both were bipartisan votes. Malloy’s office said he would sign the legislation at
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