GOP-led House report debunks Benghazi allegations

FILE - In this Sept. 13, 2012 file photo, a Libyan man walks in the rubble of the damaged U.S. consulate, after an attack that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens on the night of Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012, in Benghazi, Libya. A two-year investigation by the Republican-controlled House Intelligence Committee has found that the CIA and the military acted properly in responding to the 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, and asserted no wrongdoing by Obama administration appointees. (AP photo/Mohammad Hannon, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — The CIA and the military acted properly in responding to the 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, a Republican-controlled House committee has found. Its report asserted no wrongdoing by Obama administration officials.



Analysis: Obama holds upper hand on immigration

FILE - In this Nov. 21, 2014 file photo, President Barack Obama delivers remarks on his executive action on immigration at Del Sol High School in Las Vegas. Obama has the upper hand in the fierce struggle over immigration now taking shape, with a veto pen ready to kill any Republican move to reverse his executive order, Democrats united behind him and GOP congressional leaders desperate to squelch talk of a government shutdown or even impeachment. With the public favoring changes in the current immigration system, the Republicans’ best short-term response appears to be purely rhetorical: that the president is granting amnesty to millions, and exceeding his constitutional authority in the process. Beyond that, their hopes of reversing his policies appear to be either a years-long lawsuit or the 2016 presidential election. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has the upper hand in the fierce struggle over immigration now taking shape, with a veto pen ready to kill any Republican move to reverse his executive order, Democrats united behind him and GOP congressional leaders desperate to squelch talk of a government shutdown or even impeachment.



Immigration row fuels early 2016 US presidential race

The crowd cheers as US President Barack Obama delivers remarks on the new steps he will be taking within his executive authority on immigration at Del Sol High School in Las Vegas, Nevada, November 21, 2014When President Barack Obama unveiled his immigration plan and Republican rivals howled their disapproval, the drama signaled not just a clash of political positions: it kicked off the 2016 presidential campaign. Several likely Republican White House contenders -- and a very prominent Democrat, Hillary Clinton -- provided some of the most visible early reactions to the president's controversial executive order. Their statements helped draw the battle lines of Washington's immigration warfare that is sure to extend all the way to the next national election, when Republicans will be seeking to end their eight-year White House drought. "I support the president's decision to begin fixing our broken immigration system and focus finite resources on deporting felons rather than families," Clinton, the 2016 Democratic frontrunner, said in a statement that earned attention in part for the swiftness of its release after Obama's announcement.



U.S. judge blocks New Jersey sports betting law
(Reuters) - A U.S. federal judge on Friday blocked a New Jersey law that would have allowed legal betting on sporting events at some places in the state. New Jersey officials have hoped that legalized sports wagering would generate more revenue for Atlantic City's gambling industry, which has lost customers to a spate of new casinos opening in nearby states. In a 31-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Michael Shipp wrote that the law, signed last month by Republican Governor Chris Christie, violated a federal statute that bans sports betting in nearly all U.S. states. ...

House intel panel debunks many Benghazi theories

FILE - In this Sept. 13, 2012 file photo, a Libyan man walks in the rubble of the damaged U.S. consulate, after an attack that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens on the night of Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012, in Benghazi, Libya. A two-year investigation by the Republican-controlled House Intelligence Committee has found that the CIA and the military acted properly in responding to the 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, and asserted no wrongdoing by Obama administration appointees. (AP photo/Mohammad Hannon, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — A two-year investigation by the Republican-controlled House Intelligence Committee has found that the CIA and the military acted properly in responding to the 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, and asserted no wrongdoing by Obama administration appointees.



Texas school board approves textbooks criticized for religious bent
By Jon Herskovitz and Jim Forsyth AUSTIN Texas (Reuters) - The Texas State Board of Education, whose decisions can have national ramifications, on Friday approved nearly 100 textbooks despite criticism the books exaggerated the influence biblical figures had in forming the U.S. system of government. The Republican-controlled 15-member body voted along party lines to approve the use of the textbooks for all ages of students in the second-most populous U.S. state, with about 5 million children in the public school system. ...

U.S. threatens to cut food stamp funding to Maine in photo ID row
By Dave Sherwood BRUNSWICK Maine (Reuters) - The federal government has threatened to cut funding for Maine’s food stamp program, saying the state may be violating recipients' civil rights by requiring welfare cards to bear their photograph. Maine began printing photos on electronic benefit (EBT) cards in July in an effort that Republican Governor Paul LePage said was designed to combat fraud. The U.S. ...

Families of death-row inmates' victims sought
BALTIMORE (AP) — Four men remain on Maryland's death row even though Governor Martin O'Malley signed a bill repealing the state's death penalty last May. But with only two months left in office, O'Malley may be taking action to commute the sentences to life in prison before Republican Larry Hogan takes office.

Ireland lauds Obama's immigration reform move
DUBLIN (AP) — Ireland is lauding President Barack Obama's executive orders granting new rights to millions of people living illegally in the United States, saying the reforms will allow thousands of Irish citizens to attend weddings and funerals in Ireland without fear of being barred from returning to their American lives.

Reaction to the president's immigration plan
"I think the president will come to regret the chapter history writes if he does move forward. Because the plan he's presenting is more than just, as the president himself has acknowledged, an overreach — it's also unfair." — Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

Powerful U.S. pro-Israel lobby holds fire as Iran deadline looms
By Matt Spetalnick and Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) - As the United States and other powers negotiate down to the wire on a nuclear deal with Iran, one voice has been unusually quiet - the main pro-Israel lobby in Washington. Israel deeply distrusts the attempt to reach a deal at talks in Vienna that would lift harsh international sanctions on Iran in return for limits to its nuclear program, aimed at preventing it from developing an atomic bomb. But its staunchest U.S. ...

Obama unveils U.S. immigration reform, setting up fight with Republicans

From left, Antonia Pena, Esperanza Nope, Antonia Surco and Dolores Fontalvo react after President Barack Obama's speech addressing immigration at Casa de Maryland in Hyattsville, Md., Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014. Obama’s sweeping changes to the U.S. immigration system could shield nearly 5 million people here illegally from deportation, without going through Congress. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)By Steve Holland and Roberta Rampton WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama imposed the most sweeping immigration reform in a generation on Thursday, easing the threat of deportation for some 4.7 million undocumented immigrants and setting up a clash with Republicans who vow to fight his moves. In a White House speech, Obama rejected Republican arguments that his decision to bypass Congress and take executive action was tantamount to amnesty for illegal immigrants. ...



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