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February 13, 2014 | By Tony Barboza
Obama administration officials met with a nationwide task force of state and local leaders in Los Angeles Thursday to hear what the federal government can do to help communities confront climate change. Gov. Jerry Brown and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti were among the governors, mayors and tribal leaders from across the country who joined federal officials for a closed-door meeting at Los Angeles City Hall. It was the second meeting since President Obama appointed the Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience last fall.
February 8, 2014 | By Timothy M. Phelps
WASHINGTON -- In a new milestone for gay rights, Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. will issue a directive Monday expanding government recognition of same-sex marriages to all federal courtrooms and prisons, and some federal benefits programs. The new policy, which Holder plans to announce Saturday night at a gay rights dinner in New York City, means the Justice Department will not object if gay or lesbian partners refuse to testify against their spouses in federal criminal and civil cases, and will push for them to be accorded the same rights in Bankruptcy court as other married couples.
February 7, 2014 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- As the U.S. hit its debt limit on Friday, a leading business group urged Congress to act quickly to raise it to avoid damaging the economy. The Business Roundtable sent a letter to House and Senate leaders Thursday night warning that "urgent action is required" to prevent a potential default as the Treasury Department was set to begin so-called extraordinary measures to extend the nation's borrowing authority. "Any default by the federal government on its debts would cause devastating, long-lasting effects for all Americans," wrote AT&T Inc. Chief Executive Randall Stephenson, the group's chairman, and United Technologies Corp.
February 4, 2014 | By Michael A. Memoli and Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON - With another major fiscal deadline looming at month's end, House Republicans are preparing to seek only modest concessions from President Obama to raise the nation's debt ceiling and will instead try to press their political advantage on other issues. The strategy is a stark reversal from 2011, when the new House Republican majority pushed a partisan debt standoff that led to a historic downgrade in the nation's credit rating. Republicans bore the brunt of public blame for both the downgrade and last year's 16-day government shutdown.
January 27, 2014 | By Richard Fausset
MEXICO CITY - The leaders of the vigilante “self-defense” groups of Michoacan state have signed an agreement with the Mexican government that transforms them into an officially sanctioned security force, officials announced Monday. The self-defense groups sprang up last year to confront the Knights Templar drug cartel and moved aggressively this month into territory where the cartel held sway. In an effort to prevent a widespread conflagration, the Mexican government sent thousands of troops and federal police into the contested region, promising to finally go after cartel leaders and demanding that the self-defense forces disarm.
January 20, 2014 | By Stephen Ceasar
Ngoctram Tran stuffed the things she hoped would unlock thousands of dollars toward her daughter's college education inside a plastic bag: her driver's license, Social Security cards, bank statements and W-2s. But the most important thing she'd need wasn't in the bag - patience. Tran and her daughter, Michelle Nguyen, 17, spent an evening recently at Garden Grove High School to finish the Free Application for Federal Student Aid - the cumbersome, but essential, form that can make or break a student's college assistance.
January 19, 2014 | By David S. Cloud, This post has been corrected. See note at bottom for details.
WASHINGTON - Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and House Republicans raised doubts Sunday about President Obama's plan to restrict the federal government's ability to collect data on domestic telephone calls, saying that private phone companies do not want the responsibility and would not be subject to oversight. "The whole purpose of this program is to provide instantaneous information to be able to disrupt any plot that may be taking place," Feinstein said on NBC's "Meet the Press.
January 16, 2014 | By Richard Fausset
NUEVO ITALIA, Mexico - The thousands of federal police and military troops who have descended on the troubled Mexican state of Michoacan have been busy arresting suspected drug cartel members, disarming untrustworthy local police officers and standing guard on street corners of its tiny towns, assault rifles at the ready. The troop buildup has so far deterred the region's vigilante “self-defense” groups from broadening their fight against the powerful Knights Templar drug cartel and helped President Enrique Peña Nieto avert a domestic disaster.
January 15, 2014 | By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON  -- The bitter partisan feud over the proper size of government came to a temporary truce Wednesday as the House easily approved a $1-trillion spending bill to avert another federal shutdown. Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) corralled his often restless Republican majority to support the bipartisan accord, which is expected to be approved by the Senate later this week. The measure, approved 359 to 67, will fund almost every aspect of federal operations for the remainder of the fiscal year, through Sept.
January 15, 2014 | By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON - Partisan lawmakers feuding over the proper size of government reached a temporary truce Wednesday as the House easily approved a $1-trillion spending bill aimed at averting another federal shutdown. House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) corralled his often-restless Republican majority into supporting the bipartisan accord, which is expected to be approved by the Senate this week. The measure, approved 359 to 67, will fund almost every aspect of federal operations for the remainder of the fiscal year, through Sept.
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