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Dec 17, 2014

U.S. Senate confirms Obama nominee for No. 2 diplomat

The U.S. Senate confirmed the nomination of Tony Blinken as the country’s No. 2 diplomat Tuesday, as Democrats pushed to approve some of President Barack Obama’s choices for government posts before Republicans control Congress next year. Senators voted 55-38 to approve Blinken to serve ...

Norman Bridwell, Clifford creator, dead at 86

| Dec 17, 2014

Norman Bridwell, Clifford creator, dead at 86

Norman Bridwell, a soft-spoken illustrator whose impromptu story about a girl and her puppy marked the unlikely birth of the supersized franchise Clifford the Big Red Dog, has died at 86. Bridwell, who lived for decades in a house with a bright red door ...

Dec 17, 2014

Castaway rescued from remote Bahamas island

The U.S. Coast Guard has rescued a man who drifted at sea for five days and ended up stranded on an uninhabited island in The Bahamas. Coast Guard Petty Officer John-Paul Rios says the 39-year-old set out from Marathon in the Florida Keys in ...

Jeb Bush to 'actively explore' U.S. presidential bid

Dec 17, 2014

Jeb Bush to 'actively explore' U.S. presidential bid

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has all but declared his candidacy for president, an early move that raises more clearly the possibility of a 2016 showdown between America’s two most powerful political dynasties. Bush, the son and brother of two former Republican presidents, declared ...

Dec 17, 2014

Obama signs $1.1 trillion spending bill into law

With little fanfare to mark a rare bipartisan achievement, President Barack Obama on Tuesday signed a massive, $1.1 trillion spending bill that keeps the federal government operating over the next nine months. The legislation was a compromise that angered liberals and conservatives alike but ...

Dec 17, 2014

U.S. Congress extends dozens of tax breaks

The U.S. Senate approved a sweeping package of tax breaks Tuesday, sending to President Barack Obama a bill that allows individuals and corporations to save billions of dollars on their 2014 taxes. On the Senate’s final day of the year, lawmakers passed some 55 ...

Dec 17, 2014

Avian flu confirmed in wild birds in Washington

U.S. agriculture officials said Tuesday they have found avian influenza in wild birds in Washington state but there is no immediate public health concern. The Department of Agriculture said separate strains of the H5 virus were identified in a northern pintail duck and a ...

Dec 17, 2014

Armed group seizes and beats Mexican reporters

An armed group briefly seized about 60 Mexican reporters and their families and beat some of them for supposedly showing disrespect towards 43 missing students, a local journalist organization said Tuesday. The journalists were gathered for an annual awards ceremony Saturday in the town ...