Archives for News

Will immigration reform pass? That depends on who you ask

The push for comprehensive immigration legislation faces an uncertain fate in the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives even as Senate supporters voiced optimism on Thursday for overwhelming backing in that chamber. As the Democratic Party-controlled Senate pushed ahead on an 844-page bill that aims to rewrite America’s immigration law, the Republican-controlled House was still undecided on how broad of a bill it might consider – or even if it would advance legislation this year. That was the message delivered Thursday by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, who told reporters that he would be introducing a series of individual bills,
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Lots of talk about deficit reduction but little action

Liberals’ loud objections to White House proposals for slowing the growth of huge social programs make it clear that neither political party puts a high priority on reducing the deficit, despite much talk to the contrary. For years, House Republicans have adamantly refused to raise income taxes, even though U.S. taxes are historically low, and the Bush-era tax cuts were a major cause of the current deficit. And now, top Democrats are staunchly opposing changes to Medicare and Social Security benefits, despite studies showing the programs’ financial paths are unsustainable. Unless something gives, it’s hard to see what will produce
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Job market confidence grew in 2012

Confidence in the U.S. job market has rebounded to roughly a normal level from its record low after the Great Recession, a trend that could help boost the economy. Americans increasingly feel they could find a new job if necessary, according to the results of the 2012 General Social Survey, a long-standing poll of public opinion. And fear of being laid off dropped last year from its 2010 peak to roughly its average for the 35 years the question has been asked. The percentage of Americans who said it would be somewhat or very easy to find a job if
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Gay marriage about to become law in Rhode Island

  The number of U.S. states allowing gay marriage is set to enter double digits now that Rhode Island’s state Senate has taken a landmark vote. Legislation allowing gay and lesbian couples to wed passed Wednesday evening by a comfortable 26-12 margin. The House has already passed the bill, but will hold a largely procedural final vote next week before the bill goes to Gov. Lincoln Chafee, an independent, who said he will sign it into law. When he does, the last holdout in the region will join the five other New England states that already allow gay marriage. Nine
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Presidents gather to dedicate George W. Bush’s new library

All the living American presidents past and present are gathering in Dallas, a rare reunion to salute one of their own at the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center. Profound ideological differences and a bitter history of blaming each other for the nation’s woes will give way — if just for a day — to pomp and pleasantries Thursday as the five members of the most exclusive club in the world appear publicly together for the first time in years. For Bush, 66, the ceremony also marks his unofficial return to the public eye four years after the
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On many issues, Barack Obama and George W. Bush are a lot alike

Despite vast differences with President George W. Bush on ideology, style and temperament, President Barack Obama has stuck with Bush policies or aspirations on a number of fronts, from counterterrorism to immigration, from war strategy to the global fight against AIDS. Even on tax policy, where Bush advocated lower tax rates for all and Obama pushed for higher rates on the rich, Bush’s tax cuts for the middle class not only have survived under Obama, they have become permanent. Obama inherited from his predecessor two military conflicts, a war on terror and a financial crisis. He also inherited, and in
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A big shift in debate over immigration

The national mood on immigration has changed dramatically since Arizona approved a first-of-its-kind immigration law, igniting a furor over border security and the country’s treatment of immigrants. A mere three years later, President Barack Obama and Republicans and Democrats in Congress are lobbying for the nation’s first immigration overhaul in nearly three decades — and public opinion is on their side. The remarkable and almost shocking shift has renewed debate in Arizona and other states opposed to mass immigration about whether it’s time to double down or back off. Arizona’s law drew international complaints of unlawful police scrutiny and inspired
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Obama’s new drug war: More treatment, less prison time

President Barack Obama’s new strategy for fighting the nation’s drug problem will include a greater emphasis on using public health tools to battle addiction and diverting non-violent drug offenders into treatment instead of prisons, under reforms scheduled to be outlined by the nation’s drug czar Wednesday. Gil Kerlikowske, director of the National Drug Control Policy, is scheduled to release Obama’s 2013 blueprint for drug policy at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore. Millions of people in the United States will become eligible in less than a year for treatment for substance abuse under the new health care overhaul.
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Older Americans ignore realities of long-term health care needs

We’re in denial: Americans underestimate their chances of needing long-term care as they get older — and are taking few steps to get ready. A new poll examined how people 40 and over are preparing for this difficult and often pricey reality of aging, and found two-thirds say they’ve done little to no planning. In fact, 3 in 10 would rather not think about getting older at all. Only a quarter predict it’s very likely that they’ll need help getting around or caring for themselves during their senior years, according to the poll by the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs
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New strain of bird flu considered ‘one of most lethal’

A new bird flu strain that has killed 22 people in China is “one of the most lethal” of its kind and transmits more easily to humans than another strain that has killed hundreds since 2003, a World Health Organization (WHO) expert said on Wednesday. The H7N9 flu has infected 108 people in China since it was first detected in March, according to the Geneva-based WHO. Although it is not clear exactly how people are being infected, experts say they see no evidence so far of the most worrisome scenario – sustained transmission between people. An international team of scientists
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