Obama nearing a decision on intelligence review
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is hosting a series of meetings this week with lawmakers, privacy advocates and intelligence officials as he nears a final decision on changes to the government’s controversial surveillance programs. Obama could announce the changes as early as next week. He’s weighing more than 40 recommendations from a presidential review board […]
Unemployment benefits bill clears hurdle
WASHINGTON — White House-backed legislation to renew benefits for the long-term unemployed unexpectedly cleared an initial Senate hurdle on Tuesday, clearing the way for bipartisan negotiations in the opening days of an election-year session of Congress. The vote was 60-37 to limit debate on the three-month legislation, with a half-dozen Republicans siding with the Democrats […]
Texas abortion restrictions before federal court
NEW ORLEANS — A federal appeals court heard arguments Monday on whether the state of Texas can enforce a law that led to the closing of several abortion clinics, a case that ultimately appears bound for the U.S. Supreme Court. A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans didn’t […]
Unemployment bill first up in Senate for 2014
WASHINGTON — The Senate plunged into an election-year session Monday that promises to be long on political maneuvering and less so on accomplishment, beginning with a struggle over legislation to renew lapsed jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed. “I’m optimistic, cautiously optimistic, that the new year will bring a renewed spirit of cooperation to this […]
General Assembly to wrestle with pit bulls
Legislators will return to Annapolis this week hoping the third time is the charm for passage of a breed-neutral law on dog-attack liability.
State Sen. Jennie Forehand not seeking re-election
ANNAPOLIS — State Sen. Jennie Forehand says she won’t run for re-election. The Montgomery County Democrat said Friday that she will serve the rest of her term, which expires in January 2015. Forehand notes that she is in her 36th year in Maryland’s Legislature. She served 16 years in the House of Delegates before she […]
Feds seek long sentence in ‘Jihad Jane’ case
PHILADELPHIA — Federal prosecutors are asking for a lengthy prison sentence for a Pennsylvania woman who called herself “Jihad Jane” online. Prosecutors say in court papers that Colleen LaRose should spend decades behind bars for plotting to kill a Swedish cartoonist whose work had offended Muslims. Prosecutors say LaRose’s sentencing should serve as a deterrent […]
Deadline for Jan. 1 health coverage near in Md.
ANNAPOLIS — Maryland’s health exchange says more than 11,000 state residents have enrolled in private health plans. Maryland Health Connection on Friday released the latest number of enrollments to be 11,715 through Dec. 21. That’s up from last week’s numbers, when the exchange reported that 7,435 had enrolled as of Dec. 14. State officials say […]
Federal judge rules NSA phone surveillance legal
NEW YORK — Citing the Sept. 11 attacks, a federal judge ruled Friday that the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of millions of Americans’ telephone records is legal, a valuable tool in the nation’s arsenal to fight terrorism that “only works because it collects everything.” U.S. District Judge William Pauley said in a written opinion […]
Shutdown delays tax filing season by 10 days
WASHINGTON — Taxpayers eager to get refunds will have to wait an extra 10 days to file their federal tax returns. The Internal Revenue Service said Wednesday the government shutdown has forced it to delay tax filing season until Jan. 31. It had been slated to start Jan. 21. The IRS says the 16-day shutdown […]
Judge says NSA program is likely unconstitutional
WASHINGTON — In a ruling with potentially far-reaching consequences, a federal judge declared Monday that the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of millions of Americans’ telephone records likely violates the U.S. Constitution’s ban on unreasonable search. The ruling, filled with blistering criticism of the Obama administration’s arguments, is the first of its kind on the [&helli[...]
Holding out hope for a tax break
Despite revenues that continue to disappoint, some state officials are hoping there will be an opportunity to provide a tax break to Maryland businesses.