Nation / World

Many Hospices Fail to Send Visiting Nurse Prior to Death, Records Show

Saturday, December 20, 2014

When a hospice patient has chosen to die at home, as they typically do, the days immediately before death are typically the most difficult, and the time when families most need a visiting nurse. But many U.S. hospices regularly fail to send a nurse out to patients in the two days preceding death, according to a Washington Post analysis of millions of Medicare records. About one in five U.S. hospices …

First College Rating Details Emerge

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Obama administration on Friday is releasing the rough outlines of a much-anticipated college ratings system that may grade schools on such factors as graduation rates, loan repayments and post-graduation income. Many details remain to be decided over the next few months, with some wary colleges and universities sure to protest any measurements that might hurt their reputations. Without committing to any criteria, …

Pakistan Executes 2 Militants

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Islamabad — Pakistan hanged two convicted militants Friday in the country’s first executions in years, while warplanes and ground forces pounded insurgent hideouts in a northwest region bordering Afghanistan — part of a stepped-up response to the Taliban slaughter of scores of schoolchildren. Unchastened by criticism from all corners of the globe, the …

Parents Push For Plea Deal In Colo. Trial

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Denver — The parents of Colorado theater shooter James Holmes begged Friday for his life to be spared through a plea bargain — a move that rekindled the long-running, emotional debate about whether the horrific details of the …

Fate of Retailers’ Season Still in Doubt

Saturday, December 20, 2014

New York — Despite an early start, sales data provided to The Associated Press show that stores may once again have to rely on procrastinators to save the holiday shopping season. Sales rose 1.8 percent from Nov. 1 …

Stalwarts Won’t Relent on Cuba

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Washington — Opponents of President Obama’s diplomatic opening toward Cuba began plotting for the long road ahead to block the administration’s new policy, focusing on areas where congressional consent is necessary. The most likely targets are funding for new diplomatic operations in Havana, as well as the requirement …

Obama Says Sony Wrong To Pull Film

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Washington — President Obama criticized Sony Pictures Entertainment on Friday for retreating on a film that seemingly instigated a devastating cyberattack now blamed on the North Korean government. Amid escalating concerns over porous U.S. electronic security, the FBI said it had amassed evidence linking North Korea to the …

Panel: Overhaul Secret Service

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Washington — An independent panel on Thursday recommended sweeping changes at the Secret Service, saying the elite protective agency is “starved for leadership” and calling for an outsider as director, hundreds of new agents and officers and a higher fence around the White House. The panel, created in …

Bombing Suspect Back in Court

Friday, December 19, 2014

Boston — Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev returned to court Thursday for the first time since he was arraigned in July 2013, and he received a shout of encouragement from the mother-in-law of a man who was …

Study Links Autism to Air Pollution Exposure in Pregnancy

Friday, December 19, 2014

Women who are exposed to high levels of air pollution during their third trimester of pregnancy may be twice as likely to have an autistic child, a study found. Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health found the risk of autism rises in parallel with exposure to …

‘External Factors’ Cited in Russia’s Economic Woes

Friday, December 19, 2014

Moscow — Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday blamed “external factors” for the plunge in his country’s economy, but said it would bounce back within two years even “under the most unfavorable circumstances.” Speaking at his annual news conference, Putin was typically defiant, defending the annexation of Crimea, …

2 States Challenge Colorado Pot Legality

Friday, December 19, 2014

Lincoln, Neb. — Nebraska and Oklahoma on Thursday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to declare Colorado’s legalization of marijuana unconstitutional, saying the drug is being brought from Colorado into the neighboring states. Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning said …

Researchers Find Cellphone Security Flaws That Make cellphones vulnerable to hacking

Friday, December 19, 2014

German researchers have discovered security flaws that could let hackers, spies and criminals listen to private phone calls and intercept text messages on a potentially massive scale — even when cellular networks are using the most advanced encryption now available. The flaws, to be reported at a hacker …