US sharply criticizes new Israeli construction

FILE - In this March 3, 2014 file photo, President Barack Obama meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. Despite deeply strained relations, the president and prime minister stand united on the US-led campaign to defeat Islamic State extremists. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration warned Israel on Wednesday that plans for a controversial new housing project in east Jerusalem would distance Israel from "even its closest allies" and raise questions about its commitment to seeking peace with Palestinians.

US Secret Service chief resigns over security breaches

Director of the United States Secret Service Julia Pierson testifies before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, September 30, 2014Washington (AFP) - The director of the US Secret Service resigned Wednesday following a string of lapses by the elite presidential protection branch, including one in which an intruder ran through the front door of the White House.

China tells foreign countries not to meddle in Hong Kong
By Lesley Wroughton and Arshad Mohammed WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi responded on Wednesday to comments by the United States and others on pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, saying foreign countries should not meddle in China's domestic affairs. Wang, the most senior Chinese official to speak publicly about the protests, said Beijing had "very formally and clearly stated its position: Hong Kong affairs are China's internal affairs. All countries should respect China's sovereignty." He was speaking at the U.S. ...

In Scott Walker race, he's the main issue

In this Sept. 23, 2014 photo Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker campaigns for re-election at a manufacturing company in Racine, Wis. The airwaves and campaign appearances in the closely contested governor's race here are bristling with arguments designed to sway opinions before Election Day. But for nearly everyone in Wisconsin, the only issue is Scott Walker. And almost every voter already knows whether they love him or hate him. (AP Photo/Darren Hauck)MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The airwaves and campaign appearances in the closely contested governor's race here are bristling with charges over whether the incumbent did enough to create jobs in the state and whether the challenger is an out-of-touch liberal, and other arguments designed to sway opinions before Election Day.

Obama: New leadership was needed at Secret Service
WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says President Barack Obama believes it was in the best interest of the Secret Service for Director Julia Pierson to resign.

U.S. Secret Service director Pierson resigns under fire

U.S. Secret Service Director Julia Pierson testifies on Capitol Hill in WashingtonWASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secret Service Director Julia Pierson resigned under fire on Wednesday after a series of security lapses came to light involving the protection for President Barack Obama. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced Pierson's resignation and said Joseph Clancy, a veteran of the agency, was named acting director. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Obama had called Pierson to express his appreciation to her for her long years of service. ...

US issues final minimum wage rule for contractors
WASHINGTON (AP) — Labor Secretary Thomas Perez is issuing a final rule raising the minimum wage for employees of federal contractors to $10.10 an hour.

Court blocks part of new North Carolina voting law
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Parts of North Carolina's new voting law, considered one of the toughest in the nation, were set aside for next month's elections because they were likely to disenfranchise black voters, a federal appeals court panel ruled Wednesday.

White House: Obama believes Pierson resignation in best interest of Secret Service
WASHINGTON (AP) — White House: Obama believes Pierson resignation in best interest of Secret Service.

Republicans craft 2015 plan to force Obama's hand on Keystone

U.S. President Barack Obama listens at a meeting with India's PM Narendra Modi at the White House in WashingtonBy Amanda Becker and Timothy Gardner WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republicans plan to put approval of the long-delayed Keystone XL oil pipeline on a fast track early next year if they win a U.S. Senate majority in November, finally forcing President Barack Obama to make a tough call on the controversial plan. The $10 billion Keystone project to connect Canadian oil sands with U.S. refineries will top the list of Republican energy priorities if they gain control of the Senate after the November 4 midterm elections. ...

US, China air differences over Hong Kong protests

Local residents join a a pro-democracy sit in at a main intersection in the Mongkok district in Hong Kong, Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014. Student leaders of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong warned Wednesday that if the territory's leader doesn't resign by the end of Thursday they will step up their actions, including occupying several important government buildings. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)WASHINGTON (AP) — The top U.S. and Chinese diplomats publicly aired differences Wednesday over the protests in Hong Kong, where students want democratic changes to the electoral system.

Mother of former U.S. Marine says son suffers in Mexico jail

Former U.S. Marine Andrew Tahmooressi is escorted to a federal court in TijuanaBy Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The mother of a U.S. Marine held for six months in a Mexican prison appealed on Wednesday for the U.S. government to do more to free her son, who told her his guards threatened him with rape, torture and execution. Andrew Tahmooressi, 26, was arrested on March 31 by Mexican customs agents who found three guns in his pick-up truck at a border crossing between San Diego and Tijuana. He was charged with weapons offenses and has been imprisoned in Mexico ever since. His case has drawn the attention of U.S. ...

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