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National Guard aims to reach stranded school buses PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Wednesday, 29 January 2014 07:11

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal says the National Guard is sending military Humvees onto Atlanta's winter weather-snarled freeway system in an attempt to move stranded school buses and get food and water to students on them.

Deal says the Georgia State Patrol is also sending troopers to schools where children remain stranded after spending the night there after snow began falling Tuesday afternoon. He said in a statement early Wednesday morning that state transportation crews are continuing to treat roads and bring gas to stranded motorists.

Deal plans a briefing at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Capitol to discuss the state's "ongoing disaster response."

A sea of red brake lights remained at a standstill along a dozen lanes of the Downtown Connector shortly before dawn Wednesday.


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Obama vows to flex presidential powers in speech PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by JULIE PACE, AP White House Correspondent   
Wednesday, 29 January 2014 05:39

WASHINGTON (AP) — Seeking to energize his sluggish second term, President Barack Obama vowed Tuesday night in his State of the Union address to sidestep Congress "whenever and wherever" necessary to narrow economic disparities between America's rich and poor.

He unveiled an array of modest executive actions to increase the minimum wage for federal contract workers and make it easier for millions of low-income people to save for retirement.

"America does not stand still and neither do I," Obama declared in his prime-time address before a joint session of Congress and millions of Americans watching on television.

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Q&A: What's in the trillion-dollar farm bill? PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by MARY CLARE JALONICK, Associated Press   
Tuesday, 28 January 2014 18:58

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nearly 1,000-page compromise farm bill is designed to have something for everyone. There's more money for crop insurance popular in the Midwest, higher peanut and rice subsidies for Southern farmers and the renewal of federal land payments for Western states.

The bill also sets policy for the almost $80 billion-a-year food stamp program, which has doubled in cost in the last five years. Conservatives wanted to cut the program by as much as 5 percent, but the bill would only trim the program by $800 million a year, or 1 percent.

Some questions and answers about the farm bill and its politics:

Q: What is the farm bill?

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Simple, complicated Seeger changed American music PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by TED ANTHONY, AP National Writer   
Tuesday, 28 January 2014 18:49

Pete Seeger was a complicated man with a simple message: Make the world better, and be kind while doing it. To accomplish these goals, he harnessed hundreds of years of musical tradition into a single banjo and a single, unyielding human voice.

It is tempting, from the short-memory vantage point of today, to see only the white-haired grandfather, mellowed with age, already accustomed to (if slightly uncomfortable with) being treated as an American icon. But that would be unwise. The belly fire inside Seeger — the one that drove the musical movement that propelled him, and that he propelled — was that of a young rebel unsatisfied with anything but energetically chasing his dreams of a more just America.

Make no mistake: He was a pacifist through and through, but music was his weapon.

"My own biggest thing in life," he said once, "was simply being a link in a chain."

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McCain: Arizona GOP censure may spur sixth run PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by BRIAN SKOLOFF, Associated Press   
Tuesday, 28 January 2014 18:43

PHOENIX (AP) — U.S. Sen. John McCain hasn't decided whether he'll run for a sixth term, but the former GOP presidential nominee said Tuesday that the Arizona Republican Party's censure of him over the weekend may just have provided the motivation to seek office again.

The censure vote came during a meeting of state committee members who cited McCain's voting record as being insufficiently conservative.

The members said McCain has lent his support to issues "associated with liberal Democrats," such as immigration reform and funding President Barack Obama's federal health care law.

In response Tuesday, McCain said he has a strong conservative voting record and led the fight in the Senate against Obama's health care plan. He blames the censure on uninformed "extremist" party elements, and said, if anything, it only bolsters his consideration to run for a sixth term in 2016, the year he turns 80.

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