National

1.28.15:  Senate to begin hearings for Obama attorney general nominee

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — The first Republican-led confirmation hearing of the Obama administration is about to get underway as the Senate Judiciary Committee considers President Barack Obama’s nominee for attorney general.

If approved, Loretta Lynch would become the first black female attorney general. She is now the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

Lynch would replace Eric Holder, who announced his resignation in September after leading the Justice Department for six years.

Holder was a lightning rod for conservative criticism and clashed with congressional Republicans. By contrast, Lynch has already earned praise from several of the GOP members of the Judiciary Committee and is widely expected to win confirmation.

But first she will face tough questions from committee members on immigration, police misconduct and other issues.


1.28.15:  Waiting to see if interest rates will increase

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — The statement expected today at the end of the latest Federal Reserve policy meeting will be meticulously reviewed for any hints about future interest rate increases from current record lows.

The expectation is the Fed will repeat the pledge it made in December: That it will be “patient.”

The U.S. economy has steadily improved. Yet inflation has dipped further below the Fed’s target rate, thanks to plunging oil prices and a surging dollar. The stronger dollar makes foreign goods cheaper in the United States.

Most economists foresee no rate hike until June at the earliest. And given recent developments, some economists are starting to push back their predicted timetable for the first rate hike to September or December.


1.28.15:  Freezing cold and no heat for some

 

BOSTON (AP) —New Englanders are digging themselves out from yesterday’s blizzard that dumped more than 2 feet of snow and up to 3 feet in some areas.

 

Some flights at Boston’s Logan airport have resumed, but some 15,000 homes and businesses are without electricity in Massachusetts, including the entire island of Nantucket.

 

Knee-high snowfall and hurricane-force winds are giving way today to signs of regular life in New England.

The airlines and trains and public transit systems are moving again and the travel bans are being lifted.

 

The low temperature in Boston is expected to drop to 10 degrees, with a wind chill of minus 5.


1.27.15:  Travel bans lifted in New Jersey, New York City

 

NEW YORK (AP) — Motorists can get back on the roads in New Jersey and New York City, and subways and buses are restarting.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says a snowstorm-related New York City area travel ban is lifted, except for Suffolk County on Long Island. He says drivers should still use extreme caution.

He also says subway, bus and rail service should be back on a Sunday schedule by noon.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie lifted the ban on travel statewide at 7:30 a.m. The restrictions were put in place on Monday night to aid plowing.

 

Maine’s governor has declared a state of emergency as a major winter storm pounds the state this morning.

The storm, packing blizzard conditions, spun up the East Coast early today, but Maine and Massachusetts were expected to get the worst of it, with 1 to 3 feet of snow.

The National Weather Service says Providence, Rhode Island, could get about 2 feet of snow.

Gusty winds have been blowing through the northeast, with sustained winds of 15 to 25 miles an hour.

 

The snow storm prompted airlines to cancel some 7,700 flights.

 


1.26.15:  A blizzard for parts of Northeast

 

UNDATED (AP) — Some parts of the Northeast could get up to 2 feet of snow between today and tomorrow, as a nor’easter gets ready to pound the region.

The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning and the flight tracking site FlightAware says already more than 1,700 flights have been canceled.

Boston could get up to 24 inches of snow. Hartford, Connecticut could get 30 and Providence, Rhode Island is expecting as much as 27 inches of snow.

 

Meanwhile, utility crews from Michigan are heading to the Northeast to be in place to assist in dealing with power outages expected from the major storm.

More than 50 utility crew members, technicians, mechanic, and supervisors from around Michigan plant to leave today to travel east.  They will travel initially to New York state and then go where they are needed.


1.23.15:  UPS takes a hit during the holidays, cuts outlook

 

NEW YORK (AP) — The huge cost of ensuring timely deliveries cost UPS during the holidays and the shipping company is now cutting its outlook for the year.

Shares plunged nearly 10 percent in premarket trading Friday.

The Atlanta company hired more workers and boosted capacity at its facilities during the busy holiday season to avoid a repeat of 2013, when shippers struggled with a deluge of orders.

UPS Inc. now expects 2014 earnings of $4.75 per share, down from its previous forecast of between $4.90 and $5 per share. Industry analysts had been looking for earnings of $4.96 per share, according to FactSet. For the fourth quarter, UPS expects earnings of $1.25 per share, well below the $1.47 per share analysts had projected.

Shares of FedEx Corp. are down more than 2 percent.


1.23.15:  First significant winter storm to bear down on Northeast

 

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Northeast is expecting the first significant storm of the season this weekend.

The National Weather Service says the exact track of the storm is unclear, but some areas could get up to 8 inches of snow or more.

Even areas that escape the snow could face dangerous driving conditions.

The forecast is for up to 5 inches of snow for northern and eastern Connecticut. Parts of central Massachusetts could see up to 8 inches.


1.22.15:  Thousands to take part in March For Life in D.C.

 

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — Tens of thousands of Americans who oppose abortion, many of them young Catholics, are in Washington for the annual March for Life.

Thursday’s rally and march on the National Mall will mark the 42nd anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision.

Republican Congressman Mike Pompeo of Kansas says the large youth contingent is evidence that “the pro-life movement is stronger than ever,” and a reminder that “every single life is a gift.”

But Democratic Congresswoman Louise Slaughter of New York says abortion opponents should not be allowed to impose their beliefs on all women, some of whom may choose the procedure after consulting with clergy.

As protesters march, the House had planned to debate a bill banning most abortions after 20 weeks, but the debate was canceled late Wednesday after a revolt by Republican women and others, leaving the proposal short of votes.

President Barack Obama has said he’ll veto the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act if it reaches his desk.

 


1.22.15:  Edgewater mayor declares state of emergency

 

EDGEWATER, N.J. (AP) — The Mayor of Edgewater, New Jersey, has declared a local state of emergency following a huge apartment fire that forced hundreds of people from their homes.

Firefighters battling the blaze Wednesday afternoon were hampered by winds and frigid temperatures and smoke could be seen from New York City across the Hudson River.

There’ve been no reports of injuries.

Edgewater Mayor Michael McPartland says schools will be closed Thursday and access to roads is restricted until further notice.

 


1.22.15:  Day 2 of talks in Cuba

 

HAVANA (AP) — Delegations from the U.S. and Cuba will hold their second day of meetings in Havana today on normalizing ties.

They’re expected to discuss the lifting of restrictions on American diplomats in Cuba and assurances that Cubans will have unfettered access to a future U.S. Embassy in Havana.

The U.S. has rebuffed demands for broader changes to U.S. migration rules that grant virtually automatic legal residency to any Cuban who touches U.S. soil.