Senate panel advances Iran sanctions bill
The U.S. Senate Banking Committee voted 18-4 on Thursday to advance a bill that would toughen sanctions on Iran if international negotiators fail to reach an agreement on Tehran's nuclear program by the end of June.

10 Things to Know for Today

In this Nov. 20, 2014 photo, Yale University sophomore Yupei Guo studies on the school's campus in New Haven, Conn. Top U.S. universities like Yale, that worked to overcome reputations for serving only children of the American elite in recent generations, are now pushing to do the same internationally by reaching out in new ways to attract students of more varied backgrounds. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:



Key Democratic senator says wait until June for Iran sanctions bill

Democratic U.S. Sen. Brown after defeating Republican challenger Josh Mandel during his election night rally in Columbus, OhioDemocratic Senator Sherrod Brown, the top Democrat on the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, on Thursday called on panel members to wait until June to pass legislation to toughen sanctions on Iran, in order to give world powers and Tehran time to negotiate. "Congress should have the collective patience to wait until the end of June to see whether our negotiators can resolve the nuclear issue with Iran through diplomacy," Brown said in his opening statement as the banking panel prepared to vote on a sanctions bill. President Barack Obama has pledged to veto any bill imposing new sanctions now. As Republicans and Democrats in Congress debate how Congress should weigh in on nuclear talks with Iran, several other Democratic senators said earlier this week they would hold off on voting for any new sanctions bill until at least March 24.



Attorney General nominee moves closer to confirmation

Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015, before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on her nomination. If confirmed, Lynch would replace Attorney General Eric Holder, who announced his resignation in September after leading the Justice Department for six years. The 55-year-old federal prosecutor would be the nation’s first black female attorney general. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republicans demanded wholesale change at the Justice Department Thursday as they questioned whether President Barack Obama's attorney general nominee, Loretta Lynch, would provide it.



Census: 1 in 5 children on food stamps
Sixteen million children were on food stamps as of last year, the highest number since the nation's economy tumbled in 2008. Numbers released by the Census Bureau Wednesday as part of its annual look at ...

Communist Party USA Chairman Vows Cooperation With Democratic Party
The chairman of the National Committee of the Communist Party USA has penned a 2,023-word manifesto making the critical point that American Communists are eager to work with the Democratic Party to advance the modern communist agenda and achieve communist goals. “[L]abor and other key social forces are not about to leave the Democratic Party anytime soon,” Bachtell promised. This necessarily means working with the Democratic Party,” the communist leader explained. “Second, our objective is not to build the Democratic Party.

President Obama visits Philadelphia Thursday

President Obama visits Philadelphia ThursdayPresident Obama is set to arrive in Philadelphia today for an important gathering of his fellow Democrats.



Female English Teacher Promised 15-Year-Old Boyfriend They’d Be Together FOREVER
This week’s female high school teacher busted for having sex with an underage male student is Stephanie McCrea. McCrea, 35, teaches drama and English at Evergreen High School in Vancouver, Wash., The Oregonian reports. Local police detectives say McCrea has had quite a bit of sex with a 15-year-old Evergreen High student, her drama pupil, since the start of December 2014.

How Obama Has Left Red States Deeper in the Red

How Obama Has Left Red States Deeper in the RedIn a fascinating story Wednesday, Reuters asked John Hudak, an expert at the Brookings Institution, to look at how discretionary federal spending had been directed to states since 2009—that is, since the recession, but also since Obama came into office. In red states, spending is down 40 percent on average, while blue states and essential swing states (hi, Ohio!) have seen much milder declines, closer to 25 percent.



Lawmakers seek to end restrictions on travel to Cuba

A student holds up a photograph of Cuba's former President Fidel Castro at the memorial of Jose Marti on Revolution Square in HavanaBy Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Eight Republican and Democratic senators will introduce legislation on Thursday to end restrictions on U.S. citizens' travel to Cuba, the first effort in Congress toward ending the U.S. embargo since President Barack Obama moved to normalize relations last month. The bill would end legal restrictions on travel to the island by U.S. citizens and legal residents, according to a statement about the senators' plans. It would also end restrictions on banking transactions related to that travel. The Obama administration announced some loosening of restrictions on travel last month, but Congress must vote to end the laws that put them in place.



As gasoline prices drop, Americans swing to favor oil exports: Poll

Man gets gasoline at a BP station in St. Louis, MissouriAmericans are more likely than ever to favor easing a ban on exporting crude oil, so long as it does not lead to higher gasoline prices that have recently sunk to near $2 a gallon, according to a new Reuters-IPSOS poll. Lifting the ban will not be welcome for refiners, such as PBF Energy Inc and Alon USA Energy Inc , who have benefited from cheaper domestic crude oil supplies.



Obama to seek to bust limits on domestic, defense spending

President Barack Obama, speaks during the farewell tribute in honor of outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, at Fort Myer-Henderson Hall in Fort Myer, Va., Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will seek to bust through spending limits for both domestic and defense programs, the White House said Thursday, negating the effects of across-the-board cuts agreed to by both Democrats and Republicans and signed by Obama into law.



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