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Obamas hit Hawaii for year-end vacation
Barack Obama and family landed in Honolulu late Friday to kick off a two-week Hawaiian vacation, what the U.S. president earlier described as a chance for "sleep and sun" after a bruising year in Washington. Obama, with wife Michelle and daughters Malia and Sasha, along with Marian Robinson, Mrs. Obama's mother, emerged from Air Force One in casual garb after a 9 1/2 hour flight. The Obamas were welcomed by dignitaries including Admiral Samuel Locklear, Commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, and Governor of Hawaii Neil Abercrombie. The first couple briefly greeted service members waiting at Hickam Air Force Base for their arrival shortly before midnight local time.
From crime to cigarettes, Bloomberg leaves his mark on New York
By Ellen Wulfhorst NEW YORK (Reuters) - Love him or hate him, one thing is for sure: New Yorkers will not forget outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg anytime soon. As the independent billionaire politician bids farewell to City Hall by touting his accomplishments during 12 years in office, academics, urban planning experts and political pundits say the mark he made on New York is indelible and strong. While Bloomberg's final term was marred by a failed attempt to outlaw large sugary drinks and the furor over stop-and-frisk policing, he stands as one of the most successful mayors in New York history, they contend. "This will go down as, without question, one of the most influential and successful mayoralties in the history of the city," said David Birdsell, dean of the School of Public Affairs at the City University of New York's Baruch College.
Analysis: How the White House is rebranding Obamacare for 'young invincibles'
By Caren Bohan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Last summer, White House officials planning a nationwide push to urge young adults to enroll in new health insurance plans had a big problem: Polls showed that many young, healthy people who could be key to the success of the Affordable Care Act knew little about it or its October 1 rollout. Stars such as pop singer Lady Gaga - a Twitter icon with nearly 41 million followers - singer John Legend (5 million followers) and actress Olivia Wilde (1.2 million followers) tweeted messages urging their fans to "get covered" by the program known as Obamacare. The tweets faded quickly, though, when it became clear that the launch of the Obamacare website designed to enroll millions of Americans was a disaster that threatened the viability of President Barack Obama's signature domestic achievement. Now, with the HealthCare.gov website functioning better and enrollment deadlines for 2014 looming, the White House and its allies are making an urgent new pitch to "young invincibles" who may question whether they need health coverage.
Obama looking for "sleep and sun" after challenging year
By Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama declined to engage in a bout of political soul-searching on Friday and said that despite a botched health care rollout and stalled legislative initiatives, his year had not been all that bad. He acknowledged setbacks but declined to dwell on them at a year-end news conference in the White House briefing room hours before escaping Washington for two weeks of what he described as "sleep and sun" in Hawaii. As his top priorities, he mentioned getting Congress to extend unemployment benefits for people out-of-work and raising the minimum wage. Beyond that, his wish list included avoiding a debt ceiling fracas with Congress in the spring when the nation's borrowing limit must be raised.
93-year-old Florida mayor prepares run for 20th term in office
By Barbara Liston ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) - A 93-year-old Florida man believed to be the country's oldest mayor is seeking re-election for a 20th term in office. "I'm not going to rest on my laurels," John Land told Reuters on Friday after filing campaign paperwork to seek another four-year term as mayor of Apopka in the city's March 11 election. Research by the Orlando Sentinel newspaper, which covers Apopka, indicated that Land is both the oldest U.S. mayor and Florida's longest-serving mayor. Today, Apopka, located 18 miles northwest of Orlando, is Orange County's second-largest city with a budget of more than $66 million.Fri, 20 Dec 2013 19:03:11 -0500
Deportations dropped 10 percent last year
The Obama administration deported 10 percent fewer people last fiscal year than the year before, arguing that immigration agents focused on removing undocumented immigrants with criminal records.Thu, 19 Dec 2013 18:23:17 -0500
All but 1 Republican senator facing re-election in 2014 voted against the budget deal
Proposed NSA reforms wouldnt stop spying on foreign leaders
An independent review board says it's time to rewrite the rules on mass collection of telephone records and spying on Americans and people overseas.Wed, 18 Dec 2013 17:28:14 -0500
Behind-the-scenes doc shows moment Romney learned he had lost the presidency
A new behind-the-scenes documentary coming to Netflix next month shows a more candid side of the 2012 presidential nominee.Wed, 18 Dec 2013 11:44:56 -0500
New Obama adviser: Sorry for comparing House GOP to deadly cult
In a notable de-escalation of the White Houses rhetorical war on its critics, an incoming senior adviser to President Barack Obama compared House Republicans and the tea party to the infamous Jonestown cult that was behind one of the worst mass-murders of civilians in history. And then he apologized.