Hastert rose to speakership among the scandals of others WASHINGTON (AP) - Dennis Hastert's career as House speaker both arose and ended amid the sex-related scandals of others. Now, eight years after leaving Congress, Hastert's own legacy is threatened by an indictment charging financial misdeeds - and cryptically referring to "misconduct" against an unnamed person.
Washington removes Cuba from US list of terrorism sponsors HAVANA (AP) - The Obama administration formally removed Cuba from the U.S. terrorism blacklist Friday, a decision hailed in Cuba as the healing of a decades-old wound and an important step toward normalizing relations between the Cold War foes. Secretary of State John Kerry signed off on rescinding Cuba's "state sponsor of terrorism" designation exactly 45 days after the Obama administration informed Congress of its intent to do so on April 14. Lawmakers had that amount of time to weigh in and try to block the move, but did not do so.
This has been a month of extreme weather around the world WASHINGTON (AP) - Even for a world getting used to wild weather, May seems stuck on strange. Torrential downpours in Texas that have whiplashed the region from drought to flooding. A heat wave that has killed more than 1,800 people in India. Record 91-degree readings in Alaska, of all places. A pair of top-of-the-scale typhoons in the Northwest Pacific. And a drought taking hold in the East.
Nigeria's new president pledges fight against Boko Haram ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) - Nigeria's new president was sworn in on Friday and pledged to tackle Boko Haram "head on," asserting the fight against the Islamic extremists wouldn't be won until hundreds of schoolgirls abducted last year and other kidnapping victims were brought home alive. Muhammadu Buhari's new administration won a signal of support from the United States, which indicated it was prepared to increase military aid.
For O'Malley, a lot riding on Iowa in 2016 campaign DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Martin O'Malley is returning to the state that introduced him to presidential politics three decades ago, when he played guitar and knocked on doors for Gary Hart. This time he'll be tooting his own horn, so to speak, in a setting that could determine whether his longshot challenge to Hillary Rodham Clinton for the Democratic nomination takes root or fades away. The former two-term Maryland governor is expected to enter the Democratic campaign Saturday in Baltimore, where he served as mayor and built his political career. Then it's on to a union hall in Davenport and more Iowa events before he goes to New Hampshire on Sunday.
Fuel and potential fires for the US economy ahead WASHINGTON (AP) - The US economy should get better after a sputtering first quarter, but how much better? It's complicated. Steady hiring and low gas prices should help power solid growth through the rest of 2015. The harsh winter and a labor dispute that slowed trade at West Coast ports are both over. Home sales and construction are rebounding, along with business investment.