Gridlock in the Senate, progress in the House WASHINGTON (AP) - A budget agreement between key Republicans and Democrats. Even President Barack Obama was on board. All without anyone threatening to repeal this or shut down that. Gridlock, however briefly, took an early holiday in the bitterly polarized, Republican-run House.
Interpreter at Mandela event: I was hallucinating JOHANNESBURG (AP) - The man accused of faking sign interpretation while standing alongside world leaders like U.S. President Barack Obama at Nelson Mandela's memorial service said Thursday he hallucinated that angels were entering the stadium, has schizophrenia and has been violent in the past. Thamsanqa Jantjie said in a 45-minute interview with The Associated Press that his hallucinations began while he was interpreting and that he tried not to panic because there were "armed policemen around me." He added that he was once hospitalized in a mental health facility for more than one year.
Many optimistic despite Mandela's passing PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) - Nelson Mandela is gone, but many mourners waiting patiently for a chance to see Mandela for a last time on Thursday said they retain high hopes about South Africa's future. If the heady optimism of the days when South Africa's peaceful transformation to an all-race democracy in the 1994 elections has been diminished by time and economic challenges, many still believe the years ahead can be fruitful, with growing opportunity. Still, there is fear that Mandela's passing might open a door to unrest, clashes and possibly worse. And there are serious concerns about youth unemployment, crime and persistent poverty.
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Federal data show health disparities among states JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The slow rollout of a new federal health insurance marketplace may be deepening differences in health coverage among Americans, with residents in some states gaining insurance at a far greater rate than others. The demarcation may be as simple as Democrat and Republican.
Putin defends Russian conservative values MOSCOW (AP) - President Vladimir Putin cast Russia Thursday as a defender of conservative values against the "genderless and infertile" Western tolerance that he said equates good and evil. Putin's state-of-the nation address also contained a strong warning to those abroad who he claimed were seeking a military edge over Russia - a clear nod at the U.S. effort to develop long range non-nuclear weapons that Russia sees as a threat to its nuclear deterrent.
Mob hunts down Muslims in Central African Republic BANGUI, Central African Republic (AP) - African peacekeepers fired into the air Thursday in Central African Republic's chaotic capital, trying to disperse a mob bent on hunting down and killing Muslims taking refuge in a church compound. The unrest in Bangui underscored the rage and uncertainty that remains in the capital of the Central African Republic, despite the arrival of 1,600 French soldiers and patrols by regional African peacekeepers. The two forces are seeking to stabilize this impoverished, now lawless, country after more than 500 people were killed last week in sectarian bloodshed.
'12 Years,' 'Hustle' lead Globes nominations The searing historical epic "12 Years a Slave" and the con-artist caper "American Hustle" lead the 71st annual Golden Globes with seven nominations each. The nominations announced Thursday morning in Beverly Hills, Calif., by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association suggested "American Hustle" and "12 Years a Slave" - one outlandish and farcical, the other grimly accurate - may be this year's Oscar favorites.
Aviation schools prepare for boom in drone jobs GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) - Two student pilots are seated shoulder to shoulder before a bank of video monitors, maneuvering an unmanned aircraft by keyboard and mouse as the drone descends toward a virtual runway in a suburban landscape. Aaron Gabrielson and Andrew Regenhard, aviation students at the University of North Dakota and self-proclaimed video-game junkies, could just as well be sitting on a couch playing Xbox. But instead of tapping their fingers on a controller, they're learning to fly the plane and use onboard equipment that includes a camera with a zoom lens.
Calif. prostitutes may gain victim compensation SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California officials are considering whether to change a decades-old anti-crime regulation and allow prostitutes to receive money from a victim compensation fund if they're raped or beaten. Under the current system, those harmed in violent crimes can be paid for medical costs and related expenses, but prostitutes are excluded because their activities are illegal.
Phone hacker: Queen annoyed by nut-eating police LONDON (AP) - A private investigator convicted of eavesdropping on the voice mails of royal staff told a tabloid editor that Queen Elizabeth II was annoyed because police officers ate the nuts laid out for Buckingham Palace guests. The tidbit was passed on by Clive Goodman to Andy Coulson, then editor of the now-defunct News of the World.