Congress heading on vacation, putting off messy decisions

Congress heading on vacation, putting off messy decisions

WASHINGTON (AP) – As lawmakers head out of the Capitol for a five-week summer recess, they leave behind a pile of unfinished business that all but guarantees a painful fall.

Not long after they return in September, lawmakers face a … Read Full Story

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Obama calls for shorter sentences for nonviolent convicts

Obama calls for shorter sentences for nonviolent convicts

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Calling it an issue America can’t afford to ignore, President Barack Obama laid out an expansive vision Wednesday for fixing the criminal justice system by focusing on communities, courtrooms and cellblocks. He announced a federal … Read Full Story

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US government records $51.8 billion budget surplus in June

US government records $51.8 billion budget surplus in June

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. government ran a budget surplus in June, leaving the budget deficit so far this year running under last year’s level.

The Treasury Department says the surplus in June totaled $51.8 billion, compared with a surplus … Read Full Story

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Pope in US to meet with homeless, prisoners and immigrants

Pope in US to meet with homeless, prisoners and immigrants

VATICAN CITY (AP) – Pope Francis will meet with homeless people, immigrants and prisoners during his upcoming trip to Cuba and the United States and become the first pope to address the U.S. Congress. He’ll also preside over a meeting … Read Full Story

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Feds: Mass. economy grew at a faster rate than U.S. economy in ’14

Feds: Mass. economy grew at a faster rate than U.S. economy in ’14

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – The Massachusetts economy, which represents nearly half of New England’s economy, grew at a faster rate last year than the U.S. economy. It was joined only by New Hampshire, while economic growth in the rest of … Read Full Story

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Bishops anticipate message from pope on immigrant detention

Bishops anticipate message from pope on immigrant detention

WASHINGTON (AP) – Catholic bishops called Monday for the federal government’s immigrant detention system to be dismantled, and predicted Pope Francis would address the issue when he visits the U.S. this fall.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said in … Read Full Story

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Clinton already uniting prospective GOP presidential field

Clinton already uniting prospective GOP presidential field

WASHINGTON (AP) – Hillary Rodham Clinton made no mention of her potential Republican rivals when kicking off her second campaign for president.

They didn’t share her restraint.

Rand Paul put Clinton at the center of his first television ad, titled … Read Full Story

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Hillary Clinton to announce presidential campaign on Sunday

Hillary Clinton to announce presidential campaign on Sunday

WASHINGTON (AP) – Hillary Rodham Clinton will end months of speculation about her political future and launch her long-awaited 2016 presidential campaign on Sunday, according to people familiar with her plans.

The first official word that Clinton will … Read Full Story

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2 Timorese men study in Illinois for their country

2 Timorese men study in Illinois for their country

JOLIET, Ill. (AP) – Sergio da Silva and Armindo Goncalves – part of a young generation from a young country – came to Joliet Junior College this year to study agriculture, hoping to improve farming back home.

The Timorese students, … Read Full Story

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US invites Brazil president to reschedule cancelled visit 

US invites Brazil president to reschedule cancelled visit 

SAO PAULO (AP) – Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s office says she has again been invited to make a state visit to Washington, two years after she declined a similar invitation to protest an American spy program.
Her office said Tuesday … Read Full Story

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Obamas to host Pope Francis at White House Sept. 23

Obamas to host Pope Francis at White House Sept. 23

WASHINGTON (AP) – The White House says President Barack Obama will host Pope Francis in Washington when he visits the United States this fall.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Obama and first lady Michelle Obama would welcome the pontiff … Read Full Story

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Feds move to stop fishing crimes by tracking seafood imports

Feds move to stop fishing crimes by tracking seafood imports

BOSTON (AP) – In an effort to eradicate illegal fishing and seafood fraud, the Obama Administration is launching a fish tracking system that would eventually tell consumers where their fish was caught, processed and stored.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce … Read Full Story

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Mandatory voting? Obama says it would be ‘transformative’

Mandatory voting? Obama says it would be ‘transformative’

WASHINGTON (AP) – They say the only two things that are certain in life are death and taxes. President Barack Obama wants to add one more: voting.

Obama floated the idea of mandatory voting in the U.S. while speaking to … Read Full Story

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ENMU to host two-week writing retreat in Portugal

ENMU to host two-week writing retreat in Portugal

PORTALES, N.M. (AP) – Eastern New Mexico University has announced it will host a two-week writers retreat this summer in Lisbon, Portugal.

The Portales News-Tribune reports that the European retreat will take place from Jun. 28 through July 10Read Full Story

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Obama: ‘Now is the moment’ for police to make changes

Obama: ‘Now is the moment’ for police to make changes

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama said Monday the deaths of unarmed black men in Missouri and New York show that law enforcement needs to change practices to build trust in minority communities, as a White House task … Read Full Story

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Homeland Security not the only area of Congress’ dysfunction

Homeland Security not the only area of Congress’ dysfunction

WASHINGTON (AP) – Congress’ dysfunction isn’t limited to the struggle to keep a Cabinet department running without interruption.

Lawmakers couldn’t finish their work last year and it’s showing now. The leftover business could prove even more divisive than the dispute … Read Full Story

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Some details about a Homeland Security shutdown

Some details about a Homeland Security shutdown

WASHINGTON (AP) – Spending for the Homeland Security Department expiresFriday at midnight if Congress doesn’t act before then. With lawmakers at loggerheads over immigration provisions in the agency’s annual funding bill, it’s not certain how the Capitol Hill … Read Full Story

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Republicans critical of Obama’s ‘amnesty bonuses’

Republicans critical of Obama’s ‘amnesty bonuses’

WASHINGTON (AP) – Millions of immigrants benefiting from President Barack Obama’s executive actions could get a windfall from the IRS, a reversal of fortune after years of paying taxes to help fund government programs they were banned from receiving.

Armed … Read Full Story

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