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Updated: 29 min 3 sec ago

<p>Eric Cantor, the departing House

Sat, 08/02/2014 - 05:41

Eric Cantor, the departing House majority leader stunned by a June 10 upset in Virginia's primary, announced Friday morning that he would also resign altogether from Congress, effective Aug. 18.

After giving a farewell address to House colleagues Thursday morning, Cantor told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that his outright resignation would allow his successor, likely to be Republican nominee David Brat, to get an edge in seniority by taking office in November rather than January.

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Israel, Hamas agree to 72-hour humanitarian cease-fire

Sat, 08/02/2014 - 05:23

GAZA CITY —Israel and Hamas began observing an unconditional, 72-hour humanitarian truce Friday morning, a cease-fire that diplomats from the United States and the United Nations announced Thursday that could potentially pave the way for an end to the 24-day-old conflict.

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Argentina blames ‘vultures’ as it slips into default; limited fallout expected

2 hours 8 min ago

Argentina slipped into default status last night after failing to reach agreement with a group of unpaid bondholders.

While the news was bad for Argentina and its economy, most analysts expected the global fallout to be limited, in part because Argentina has been locked out of the world’s credit markets since its $100 billion default in 2002. There was little worry about  “contagion” and no air of  “crisis” either globally or in Argentina itself, where the story was competing for attention in news outlets with the surprise death of the long-time president of the national soccer association, the AFA, and a video of Orlando Bloom punching Justin Bieber.

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CIA director John Brennan apologizes for search of Senate committee’s computers

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 02:37

CIA employees improperly searched computers used by Senate investigators involved in a multi-year probe of the agency’s use of harsh interrogation measures on terrorism suspects, according to the findings of an internal agency inquiry that prompted CIA Director John Brennan to apologize to lawmakers this week.

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Senate sends VA, transportation bills to Obama on eve of summer recess

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 02:00

In a sprint to the finish line before a five-week break, the Senate on Thursday night approved bills to aid the troubled Department of Veterans Affairs and to extend federal highway funding through May.

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House GOP leaders spike border bill rather than see it defeated

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 01:43

House Republican leaders were ambushed by another conservative insurrection on Thursday, forced to scrap a pivotal vote on a border security bill and scramble to find a solution amid a familiar whirlwind of acrimony and finger-pointing.

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An Ebola patient is leaving Africa for treatment at an Atlanta hospital

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 01:21

The outbreak of the extraordinarily lethal Ebola virus has worsened in West Africa, with the contagion showing no sign of coming under control, prompting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday to warn Americans to avoid nonessential travel to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

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Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas is a rising Republican power in House, as well as a whip

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 01:11

The beginning of the collapse of House Speaker John A. Boehner’s border bill came Wednesday evening, when Texas Sen. Ted Cruz gathered more than a dozen House Republicans at his office in the Dirksen building on Capitol Hill.

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Krauthammer: Clueless in Gaza

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 00:35

John Kerry is upset by heavy criticism from Israelis — left, right and center — of his recent cease-fire diplomacy. But that’s only half the story. More significant is the consternation of America’s Arab partners, starting with the president of the Palestinian Authority. Mahmoud Abbas was stunned that Kerry would fly off to Paris to negotiate with Hamas allies Qatar and Turkey in talks that excluded the PA and Egypt.

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Zakaria: The rise of Putinism

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 00:31

When the Cold War ended, Hungary occupied a special place in the story of the revolutions of 1989. It was the first country in the Soviet orbit to abandon communism and embrace liberal democracy. Today it is again a trendsetter, becoming the first European country to denounce and distance itself from liberal democracy. It is adopting a new system and set of values that are best exemplified by Vladimir Putin’s Russia but are finding echoes in other countries as well.

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Sen. Ted Cruz denies he worked against House GOP border bill

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 23:52

As House Republicans struggled Thursday to rally behind legislation to address the influx of illegal immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), a tea party favorite who has close ties to House conservatives, dismissed talk that he was partly responsible for the GOP’s stumble.

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Editorial: Congress shirks its duty to deal with a humanitarian crisis

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 23:48

OPTING FOR the preposterous when summoned to do the practical, House Republicans rallied Wednesday behind a measure to sue President Obama, then threw up their hands Thursday when called on to resolve the crisis of tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors streaming across the southwestern border. Having postponed its planned Friday adjournment, the House now faces the choice of redeeming itself by acting on the humanitarian emergency or slinking away in disgrace.

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Southwest Airlines and SeaWorld are going their separate ways

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 22:26

Southwest Airlines and SeaWorld announced Thursday that they will be ending a marketing partnership that has lasted for more than a quarter of a century, issuing a joint statement that basically promises us that they will still be friends.

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During one-day cease-fire in Ukraine, team reaches site of plane crash, collects DNA

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 22:20

KIEV, Ukraine — A small advance team of forensic experts on Thursday finally reached the site where a Malaysia Airlines flight went down in eastern Ukraine two weeks ago, after four days of false starts cut short by heavy fighting in the area.

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Is spam free speech?

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 20:18

Every time somebody tries to discuss Twitter’s dismal abuse policies — which have left thousands of people open to threats and other harassment — she (or he!) is met with the same retort: Curbing abuse would limit speech. Limiting speech would impinge on perceived First Amendment rights. And impinging on First Amendment Rights, even when they belong to someone sending death threats or photos of dismembered bodies, would eventually topple all that is good and decent in America.

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Balz: Republicans deliver another self-inflicted wound

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 19:43

Republicans may yet win the elections in November. They may end up in control of both houses of Congress come January. But in the final week before a lengthy August recess, they have shown a remarkable capacity to complicate their path to victory.

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WorldViews: This is what an Israeli airstrike on a building in Gaza looks like

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 19:11

GAZA CITY — It was around 2:30 pm, and the word had spread on al-Jalla Street.

An Israeli airstrike was about to unfold. The target: a gray, concrete building of moderate height in the heart of Gaza City.

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Federal Eye: Federal paralegals had no work, so they surfed the Internet

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 18:43

Dozens of federal employees at an obscure agency that handles appeals of patent applications went years with so little work to do that they collected salaries — and even bonuses — while they surfed the Internet, did laundry, exercised and watched television, an investigation has found.

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House GOP turns table on Senate transportation bill

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 18:39

With threats that the spigot for transportation funding was about to squeeze shut, the House punted the politically charged issue back to the Senate on Thursday and then prepared to head home for a five-week recess.

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Hundreds of big donors, including Obama bundlers, are ‘Ready for Hillary’

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 18:36

A diverse cadre of big money Democratic players has directed millions of dollars into a super PAC supporting a potential presidential bid by Hillary Rodham Clinton, underscoring the extent to which the party machinery is tilting in her favor.

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