Dec 18, 2014

113th Congress ends with more fights than feats

The tempestuous 113th U.S. Congress has limped out of Washington for the last time, capping two years of modest and infrequent legislating that was overshadowed by partisan clashes, gridlock and investigations. More than 200 bills became law during the past two years, according to ...

Cuban intelligence agents back in Cuba in U.S. exchange: Castro

Dec 18, 2014

Cuban intelligence agents back in Cuba in U.S. exchange: Castro

Three Cuban intelligence agents who had served 16 years in U.S. jails returned to Cuba on Wednesday as part of a prisoner exchange in which Havana freed an American foreign aid worker, President Raul Castro said. “Gerardo, Ramon and Antonio arrived in our homeland ...

Dec 18, 2014

Historic phone call sealed Cuba deal spurred by pope Francis

President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro sealed their landmark deal Tuesday in an almost hour-long phone call, capping 18 months of secret diplomacy spurred on by a personal appeal from Pope Francis to end Cuba’s isolation. It was the first time leaders ...

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 ...

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

Republicans tip hand on Obama lines of attack with nominees

Senate Republicans are previewing the lines of attack they’ll pursue in 2015 against President Barack Obama’s immigration, foreign policy and gun regulation policies during this week’s debate on executive-branch nominees. Tuesday, Republicans’ anger over Obama’s Nov. 20 order granting a temporary reprieve from deportation ...

Dec 17, 2014

U.S .judge calls Obama immigration action invalid

A federal judge in Pennsylvania declared Tuesday that President Barack Obama’s recent executive action to curb deportations for millions illegally in the U.S. is unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Arthur Schwab said Obama’s order in November amounts to “unilateral legislative action” in violation of the ...

Britain to seek out CIA torture report

Dec 15, 2014

Britain to seek out CIA torture report

A U.K. parliamentary panel wants access to information not made public in a U.S. Senate report that may pertain to Britain’s role in the interrogation and rendition of terror suspects following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Malcolm Rifkind, chairman of the Intelligence and Security ...