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U.S. urges Greece to reach debt deal

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew speaks during a news conference during the International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings in Washington, Friday, April 17, 2015. ( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew warns default would create "hardship" for Greece.

Sat, 18 Apr 2015 00:31:16 -0400
Gas-line blast at California shooting range injures 11

A fireball erupts after a large gas pipeline exploded in Fresno, Calif., Friday, April 17, 2015. The explosion and fire closed both directions of Highway 99, authorities said. (Kevin Ling via AP) MANDATORY CREDITFRESNO, Calif. (AP) A natural gas pipeline explosion at a California sheriff's gun range shot flames well over 100 feet into the air, left 11 people injured and brought traffic on a busy highway to a halt, authorities and witnesses said.

Sat, 18 Apr 2015 04:21:14 -0400
Suicide bomber kills 33 in bloody attack outside Afghan bank

Residents assist wounded men after a suicide attack outside a bank in the city of Jalalabad, eastern Afghanistan, on April 18, 2015A suicide bomber killed at least 33 people and wounded 100 others in an attack Saturday outside a bank in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad, according to officials. "Thirty-three dead bodies and more than 100 wounded were brought to the hospital," Dr Najeebullah Kamawal, head of the provincial hospital, told AFP. Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, provincial government spokesman, confirmed the attack -- the deadliest since November -- but put the death toll slightly lower at 30. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani strongly condemned the attack, which saw children among those killed, his office said in a statement.

Sat, 18 Apr 2015 04:53:35 -0400
California gas pipeline explosion, fire injure up to 15 people

A firefighter watches the blaze after a gas line exploded near FresnoBy Sharon Bernstein SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Reuters) - A construction crew on Friday accidentally ruptured a natural gas transmission line in Fresno, California, sparking an explosion and fire that injured up to 15 people, four of them critically, officials said. The 12-inch (30-cm) pipeline, belonging to Pacific Gas & Electric Corp , was struck by a backhoe near state Highway 99, unleashing a fireball that injured members of the construction team and a jail inmate crew nearby, Fresno Fire Department spokesman Peter Martinez said. One worker in critical condition was flown to hospital by helicopter, and 13 or 14 others were taken to hospitals for evaluation and treatment of injuries after the pipeline was ruptured at about 2:30 p.m., Martinez added. Four of the injured were taken to Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno, and two more were taken to the burn unit there, said hospital spokeswoman Mary Lisa Russell, adding that four were in critical condition and two serious.

Fri, 17 Apr 2015 23:23:00 -0400
Texas House approves bill that limits city bans on fracking

By Marice Richter DALLAS (Reuters) - A bill that would stop Texas cities from enacting their own bans on hydraulic fracturing in the nation's top crude oil and natural gas producing state was approved on Friday in the state House of Representatives. The bill bars cities from overly regulating the industry, targeting a ban on fracking, a method of extracting oil and gas that uses high pressure, adopted by voters in Denton, Texas, a college town about 30 miles (50 km) north of Dallas. Representatives voted 122-18 to advance the bill. The Texas Senate has yet to vote on a similar bill.

Fri, 17 Apr 2015 14:44:14 -0400
Los Angeles school district, teachers in tentative labor deal

Cope and Goss, 5, color Chinese masks at Broadway Elementary School in Venice, Los Angeles(Reuters) - The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and the city's teachers union reached a tentative agreement on Friday night, the union said, averting a possible strike. The three-year agreement includes a 10 percent pay rise spread over two years, investment in class size and counseling, as well as improvements to the evaluation system for teachers, United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) said on its website. Representatives for the school district could not be immediately reached early on Saturday, but school board member Steve Zimmer told the Los Angeles Times: "This is an important step in restoring trust and partnership between LAUSD and UTLA." "Our message to our teachers is simple: We believe in you. The agreement must be ratified by union membership and the district's Board of Education, the union said.

Sat, 18 Apr 2015 04:06:25 -0400
Clinton faces early test on trade deal fight

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton talks with reporters as she campaigns for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination at Kirkwood Community College in Monticello, IowaLess than a week after formally launching her presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton is already being tested on a thorny issue for Democrats: free-trade deals and their impact on workers. On Thursday, the debate rose to a full boil when members of Congress from both parties announced legislation that would give President Barack Obama the "fast-track" trade negotiating authority he needs to complete a massive Asia-Pacific free-trade deal. Over two days of campaigning in Iowa this week, where she discussed economics, Clinton, who is the commanding front-runner to be the Democratic nominee for the 2016 election, uttered not a word about the potential Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) between the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim countries.

Fri, 17 Apr 2015 18:07:43 -0400
Man gets 100-year term in murder of teacher in oil boom town

Man gets 100-year term in murder of teacher in oil boom townA man was sentenced to 100 years in prison Friday in a Montana teacher's murder a case that local officials say robbed the victim's rural hometown of its innocence amid an oil boom that's swept across ...

Fri, 17 Apr 2015 20:14:01 -0400
Gas-line blast closes California highway, 3 critically injured

Fresno explosionFRESNO, Calif. (AP) A large explosion closed both directions of a major highway in Central California and injured at least three people, authorities said Friday.

Sat, 18 Apr 2015 01:41:45 -0400
Obama calls delay of his attorney general nominee 'crazy'

In this Jan. 28, 2015 file photo, Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. President Barack Obama on Friday said it was "crazy" and "embarrassing" the way the Republican-led Senate has held up confirmation of his attorney general nominee, Loretta Lynch. "What are we doing here?" Obama said. "I have to say there are times when the dysfunction in the Senate just goes too far. This is an example of it. It's gone too far. Enough. Enough. "Call Loretta Lynch for a vote," he said emphatically. "Get her confirmed." (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)WASHINGTON (AP) President Barack Obama on Friday said it was "crazy" and "embarrassing" the way the Republican-led Senate has held up confirmation of his attorney general nominee, Loretta Lynch.

Fri, 17 Apr 2015 16:45:29 -0400
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