Advisory panel recommends more oversight for NSA WASHINGTON (AP) - If President Barack Obama follows even half of the recommendations urged by his advisory panel, the National Security Agency would significantly change the way it does business. The collection of U.S. phone records and the spying on other governments and their citizens would continue. But Americans' phone records would be held by phone companies, not the NSA, and multiple court orders, rather than just one, could be required before the information could be searched.
Bernanke's new formula for pleasing investors WASHINGTON (AP) - In his final performance, Ben Bernanke rewrote the script. Investors had been on edge for months about when the Federal Reserve might slow its economic stimulus. A pullback in the Fed's bond purchases, they feared, could jack up interest rates and whack stocks. Bernanke's mere mention of the possibility in June had sent stocks tumbling.
Egypt's Muslim Sisterhood takes lead in protests CAIRO (AP) - They tirelessly hold rallies, whether at night or under cold rain, chanting for the return of Egypt's ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. They clash with police, hurling back fuming tear gas canisters and getting dragged by their veils and thrown behind bars. At protests in universities, they get into fistfights with rival female students. Women supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood have stepped into the front line of Islamist protests, one of the few branches of the organization not crushed by a heavy crackdown since Morsi's removal in a July 3 coup.
Watch Top News Video
Pakistan protests may make US fly war cargo out WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. officials, frustrated that hundreds of military shipments heading out of Afghanistan have been stopped on the land route through Pakistan because of anti-American protests, face the possibility of flying out equipment at an additional cost of $1 billion. More than a week after Pakistani officials promised Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel that they would take "immediate action" to resolve the problem, dozens of protesters are still gathering on the busy overland route, posing a security threat to convoys carrying U.S. military equipment out of the war zone before combat ends a year from now.
Oil trains raise concerns in small towns, cities WOLF POINT, Mont. (AP) - It's tough to miss the trains hauling crude oil out of the Northern Plains. They are growing more frequent by the day, mile-long processions of black tank cars that rumble through wheat fields and towns, along rivers and national parks. As common as they have become across the U.S. and Canada, officials in dozens of towns and cities where the oil trains travel say they are concerned with the possibility of a major derailment, spill or explosion, while their level of preparation varies widely.
Indian official: Maid tried to blackmail diplomat NEW DELHI (AP) - An Indian diplomat who was arrested in New York City and accused of paying her housekeeper about $3 dollars an hour had accused the woman of blackmail over the summer, an Indian official said Thursday. The case has sparked a diplomatic furor between the United States and India, which is incensed over what its officials described as degrading treatment toward Devyani Khobragade, India's deputy consul general in New York.
Reno hospital killer targeted exam room area RENO, Nev. (AP) - Surgeons at a Reno hospital have treated victims in a series of deadly tragedies in recent years, including a horrific crash at the Reno Air Races, a fiery Amtrak accident, a shooting rampage at a pancake restaurant and a murder-suicide at a middle school just two months ago. This week, they found themselves fighting to try to save the lives of two of their own after a suicidal California man opened fire with a 12-gauge shotgun in the examination room area of a urology clinic. One doctor was killed, another critically wounded and a third person seriously injured by the shotgun blasts.
Fewer deportations big issue for Asians, Hispanics WASHINGTON (AP) - With immigration legislation stalled in Congress, Hispanics and Asian-Americans say getting relief from deportations is more important for many of the 11 million immigrants here illegally than creating a pathway to U.S. citizenship, a new study finds. Two polls released Thursday by the Pew Research Center expose a potential conflict for two minority groups that voted overwhelmingly last year for President Barack Obama, a Democrat. Obama is under pressure from immigration supporters to use his executive power to stop deportations.
Executions in US drop close to 20-year low in 2013 WASHINGTON (AP) - Reliance on the death penalty continues to decline with 39 people executed this year, only the second time in 19 years that fewer than 40 people were put to death, a private group reported Thursday. The Death Penalty Information Center, a nonprofit organization that opposes executions and tracks the issue, also said the number of new death sentences was near its lowest level since capital punishment was reinstated in the 1970s. There have been 80 new death sentences so far this year, three more than in 2012 and down from 315 in 1996, the group said.
Patriarch off 'Duck Dynasty' after gay comments LOS ANGELES (AP) - "Duck Dynasty" patriarch Phil Robertson is off the hit A&E reality series indefinitely after disparaging gays as sinners akin to adulterers and swindlers, the network said. A&E announced Wednesday what it called a "hiatus" for Robertson, 67, after he disparaged gays in the January edition of GQ magazine. He also said that, growing up in Louisiana before the Civil Rights movement, he never saw mistreatment of blacks.