• Arkansas governor urges changes to religious objection bill

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Wednesday called for changes to a religious objection measure facing a backlash from businesses and gay rights groups, saying it wasn't intended to sanction discrimination based on sexual orientation.

    Associated Press
  • Iraq declares victory over Islamic State group in Tikrit

    TIKRIT, Iraq (AP) — Iraq declared a "magnificent victory" Wednesday over the Islamic State group in Tikrit, a key step in driving the militants out of their biggest strongholds.

    Associated Press
  • A day after missing deal deadline, Iran nuclear talks resume

    Iran and six world powers are pressing ahead with efforts to hammer out a framework accord.

    Associated Press
  • Getty oil heir found dead in Los Angeles home

    The grandson of billionaire Getty oil founder J. Paul Getty was found dead on Tuesday afternoon at his home in Los Angeles, the family said in a statement. Andrew Getty's parents, Ann and Gordon, confirmed the 47-year-old's death and requested privacy for the family during "this extremely difficult time", adding that further details would be released as they became available. Los Angeles Police Department spokesman Commander Andrew Smith said it was very early in the investigation and witnesses were being questioned, but no one was in custody. The death appeared to be either accidental or natural, Los Angeles County Coroner's Office spokesman Ed Winter told reporters in a news conference broadcast by TV station KTLA 5.

    Reuters
  • Singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell hospitalized

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Joni Mitchell was in intensive care in a Los Angeles-area hospital on Tuesday, according to the Twitter account and website of the folk singer and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer.

    Associated Press
  • Exclusive: Republican White House hopefuls attack Obamacare but take money

    By Andy Sullivan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Several Republican governors likely to run for president have secured hundreds millions of dollars under Obamacare while working to dismantle the healthcare law, according to a Reuters review of federal spending records. Governors Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Chris Christie of New Jersey, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and former Texas Governor Rick Perry, all staunch opponents of President Barack Obama's 2010 Affordable Care Act, have collectively applied for and won at least $352 million through grant programs set up by the law, federal records show. "Receiving federal grants that existed prior to the ACA is not the same as participating in the core elements of the ACA." The money in question stems from less controversial parts of the law that enhance public health and other nuts-and-bolts programs, rather than the insurance exchanges and expansion of the Medicaid program for the poor that have drawn fierce opposition from Republicans.

    Reuters
  • Arkansas governor rejects bill after pressure over gay discrimination

    By Steve Barnes LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Reuters) - Republican Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson on Wednesday rejected a religion bill he had said he would sign into law, reversing course after a national firestorm of criticism assailing such legislation as discriminating against gays and lesbians. In a news conference Hutchinson said he was sending the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) back to the Republican-controlled state legislature for a rewrite to better balance tolerance for diversity and protections of religious freedom. The governor said his own son had asked him to veto it, adding a personal element to the intense pressure to reject the bill he had already faced from businesses such as Arkansas-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the world's biggest retailer. "We just didn't get it perfect through that legislative process." Hutchinson's reversal came a day after Indiana Governor Mike Pence, also a Republican, said he was sending his state's RFRA back for a rewrite for the same reason.

    Reuters37 mins ago
  • Protesters again disrupt U.S. Supreme Court proceedings

    By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Protesters disrupted U.S. Supreme Court proceedings for the third time in just over a year on Wednesday, with several people shouting out before the nine justices heard oral arguments in a bankruptcy case. The protesters criticized two court rulings that pared back campaign finance restrictions. Activist group 99Rise, which was responsible for the previous disruptions in February 2014 and this January, issued a statement saying it was behind the protest.

    Reuters
  • World's oldest person dies at 117

    TOKYO (AP) — The world's oldest person has died nearly a month after celebrating her 117th birthday.

    Associated Press
  • Co-pilot told flight school of depressive episode in 2009

    Lufthansa says the note was found in emails that Andreas Lubitz sent.

    Associated Press
  • Indiana governor wants changes to religious-objections law

    Mike Pence said Tuesday that he wants legislation on his desk by the end of the week to clarify that a new religious-freedom law does not allow discrimination.

    Associated Press
  • Nigeria opposition leader fears 'tricks' after election victory

    ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Amid anger over an Islamic insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives, Nigerians threw out the incumbent and elected a 72-year-old former military dictator in a historic transfer of power officially announced early Wednesday following the nation's most hotly contested election ever.

    Associated Press
  • Lavrov, Zarif claim breakthrough in Iran nuclear talks

    Russia and Iran's foreign ministers claimed a breakthrough early Wednesday in talks on a framework deal curtailing Tehran's nuclear programme, but the US said not all issues had been agreed yet, as discussions were suspended for the night. "One can say with relative certainty that we at the minister level have reached an agreement in principle on all key aspects of the final settlement of this issue," Russian media quoted Sergei Lavrov as saying at talks in Switzerland. This came after Russia's top diplomat and the foreign ministers of five other major powers and Iran continued working through the night as they missed a midnight (2200 GMT) deadline to agree the main outlines of what they hope will be an historic accord. The powers hope a full agreement, due to be finalised by June 30, will see Iran scale back its nuclear capability to prevent Tehran developing nuclear weapons under the guise of its civilian programme.

    AFP
  • Police: Prisoner who stole gun, fled hospital found in DC

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Police say a prisoner who escaped custody at a northern Virginia hospital with a guard's gun has been captured in Washington.

    Associated Press
  • No nuke agreement yet: Iran talks push past deadline

    Diplomats wrap up six days of marathon nuclear talks with mixed results.

    Associated Press
  • On a cold Boston morning, remembering Teddy Kennedy

    A host of political luminaries attended the dedication Monday of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute on Columbia Point, right next to the presidential library of Teddy’s older brother, President John F. Kennedy.

  • Colorado theater gunman's mother says he's not a 'monster'

    The mother of accused Colorado theater gunman James Holmes says in a new book that she prays for her son’s victims daily, even calling out the deceased by name. “The first time I prayed for them by name and by wound, I was shaking, overcome,” Arlene Holmes writes.