Archives for News

Plane landing gear found in New York City: From 9/11?

A rusted 5-foot-tall piece of landing gear believed to be from one of the hijacked planes destroyed in the Sept. 11 attacks has been discovered near the World Trade Center wedged between a luxury apartment building and a mosque site that once prompted virulent national debate about Islam and free speech. The twisted metal part, jammed in an 18-inch-wide sliver of open space between the buildings, has cables and levers on it and is about 17 inches wide and 4 feet long, New York Police Department Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Friday. “It’s a manifestation of a horrific terrorist act a
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Slower than expected growth adds more bad economic news

The economy regained speed in the first quarter, but not as much as expected, heightening fears it could struggle to cope with deep government spending cuts and higher taxes. Gross domestic product expanded at a 2.5 percent annual rate, the Commerce Department said on Friday, after growth nearly stalled in the fourth quarter. Economists had expected a 3.0 percent growth pace. “It wasn’t the bang-up start to the year we had hoped for, and the signals from March suggested that we will only decelerate from here,” said Avery Shenfeld, chief economist at CIBC World Markets in Toronto. Growth rebounded in
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Is tax-free Internet shopping headed for the dumpster?

Internet shoppers are moving closer to paying sales taxes for their online purchases. But the fight is far from over. The Senate voted 63-30 Thursday to advance a bill that would impose state and local sales taxes on purchases made over the Internet. An agreement among senators delayed the Senate’s final vote on passage until May 6, when senators return from a weeklong vacation. Opponents hope senators hear from angry constituents over the next week, but they acknowledged they have a steep hill to climb to defeat the bill in the Senate. Their best hope for stopping the bill may
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How the Boston bombers’ plan to strike next in Times Square ran out of gas

Armed with a pressure-cooker explosive and five pipe bombs, the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing made a spur-of-the-moment decision last week to give the Big Apple a taste of their mayhem, New York officials say. The potentially deadly scheme fell apart when the brothers realized the car they had hijacked was low on gas. “We don’t know if we would have been able to stop the terrorists had they arrived here from Boston,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Thursday. “We’re just thankful that we didn’t have to find out that answer.” New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Dzhokhar Tsarnaev
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Senate moves to end air traffic controller furloughs

The Senate moved quickly late on Thursday to end air traffic controller furloughs that were causing widespread airline flight delays related to last month’s automatic federal spending cuts. Without any debate, the Senate unanimously passed legislation giving the Department of Transportation flexibility to use unspent funds to cover the costs of air traffic controllers and other essential employees at the Federal Aviation Administration. The House of Representatives, which is expected to approve the measure, could take it up on Friday, capping a feverish effort by Congress to end the flight delays that were snarling traffic at major U.S. airports and
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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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