WBRZ http://www.wbrz.com/ WBRZ National News National News en-us Copyright 2014, WBRZ. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Wed, 30 Jul 2014 15:07:19 GMT Synapse CMS 10 WBRZ http://www.wbrz.com/ 144 25 Senate likely to come up short on border bill http://www.wbrz.com/news/senate-likely-to-come-up-short-on-border-bill/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/senate-likely-to-come-up-short-on-border-bill/ National News Wed, 30 Jul 2014 1:22:32 AM Erica Werner Senate likely to come up short on border bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A bill to deal with the immigration surge at the border appears headed for procedural defeat in the Senate.

It comes as lawmakers trade blame over their inaction, just a few days before Congress' five-week summer recess.

Senate Democrats' $3.5 billion emergency spending bill is designed to help deal with tens of thousands of young migrants crossing the border illegally. But it appears to lack the necessary support to move forward even after the inclusion of hundreds of millions of dollars to fight Western wildfires and provide aid for Israel's defense.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says the stalemate is Republicans' fault. The minority leader, Mitch McConnell, blames the Democrats.

House GOP leaders hope to move their own smaller measure Thursday, but it's unclear whether they will succeed.


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House set to take up $17B VA overhaul bill http://www.wbrz.com/news/house-set-to-take-up-17b-va-overhaul-bill/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/house-set-to-take-up-17b-va-overhaul-bill/ National News Wed, 30 Jul 2014 1:17:53 AM Matthew Daly House set to take up $17B VA overhaul bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. - With a new Veterans Affairs secretary in place and an August recess looming, Congress is moving quickly to approve a compromise bill to refurbish the VA and improve veterans' health care.

The House could vote on the $17 billion bill as early as Wednesday, with a Senate vote expected soon after as lawmakers rush to complete their work before leaving town this weekend for a five-week recess.

The measure is intended help veterans avoid long waits for health care, hire more doctors and nurses to treat them, and make it easier to fire senior executives at the Veterans Affairs Department.

The House vote could come just one day after the Senate confirmed former Procter & Gamble CEO Robert McDonald to lead the sprawling agency.


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Mississippi abortion law ruled unconstitutional http://www.wbrz.com/news/mississippi-abortion-law-ruled-unconstitutional/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/mississippi-abortion-law-ruled-unconstitutional/ National News Tue, 29 Jul 2014 5:57:31 PM Michael Marsh Mississippi abortion law ruled  unconstitutional

JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI- The Mississippi law that would have closed the state's only abortion clinic was ruled unconstitutional by a federal appeals court.

The law was passed in 2012 and required doctors at the clinic to obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital.

Doctors at Jackson Women's Health organization applied for privileges at area hospitals but couldn't get them.

Lawyers for the state argued if the clinic closed women could go to other states for the procedure.

The three judge panel ruled Mississippi can't shift its obligation for constitutional rights of its citizens to another state since abortion was ruled legal in 1973 by the U.S. Supreme Court.


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New route to work finds wedding dress http://www.wbrz.com/news/new-route-to-work-finds-wedding-dress/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/new-route-to-work-finds-wedding-dress/ National News Tue, 29 Jul 2014 5:50:08 PM Michael Marsh New route to work finds wedding dress

NEW YORK- A woman taking a new route to work discovered her wedding dress she had dropped off at a dry cleaner before Superstorm Sandy hit.

Owner Hector Pacheco saved the dress from the rubble of his old store on Staten Island but he didn't have the name of the owner.

He couldn't rebuild, so he moved the store to a new location more than a year after the storm.  

He displayed the dress in his new store and Nichole Pagliaro saw it as she drove by.

She says she knew instantly it was her dress and she even had the ticket for it. She says she wants her daughter to wear it for her wedding. 


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Top Colorado court halts gay marriages in Boulder http://www.wbrz.com/news/top-colorado-court-halts-gay-marriages-in-boulder/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/top-colorado-court-halts-gay-marriages-in-boulder/ National News Tue, 29 Jul 2014 2:32:12 PM APNewsNow Top Colorado court halts gay marriages in Boulder

DENVER - Colorado's Supreme Court ordered Boulder County to stop issuing marriage licenses to gay couples while an appeal from the state attorney general is heard.

The court ruled Tuesday in response to an appeal from Republican Attorney General John Suthers, who has been trying for several weeks to get Boulder to stop issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. The court will hear the appeal, and it is ordering Boulder to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in the meantime.

The same court previously ruled in Suthers' favor in ordering Denver to quit issuing licenses, but that ruling didn't apply to Boulder.

Boulder was the first Colorado county to begin giving licenses to gay couples in June after the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Utah's ban. That ruling was stayed pending an appeal.


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Last crew member of Enola Gay dies in Georgia http://www.wbrz.com/news/last-crew-member-of-enola-gay-dies-in-georgia/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/last-crew-member-of-enola-gay-dies-in-georgia/ National News Tue, 29 Jul 2014 2:15:57 PM APNewsNow Last crew member of Enola Gay dies in Georgia

ATLANTA - The last surviving member of the crew that dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima has died in Georgia.

Tom VanKirk says his father, 93-year-old Theodore VanKirk, died Monday in Stone Mountain, Georgia.

VanKirk, also known as "Dutch," was the navigator of the Enola Gay. The B-29 Superfortress aircraft dropped "Little Boy" - the world's first atomic bomb - over the Japanese city of Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945. The bomb killed 140,000 in Hiroshima and 80,000 in Nagasaki three days later. Van Kirk was 24 years old at the time.

In a 2005 interview with The Associated Press, VanKirk said his World War II experience showed that wars and atomic bombs don't settle anything, and he'd like to see the weapons abolished.


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Senate bill would end NSA phone records collection http://www.wbrz.com/news/senate-bill-would-end-nsa-phone-records-collection/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/senate-bill-would-end-nsa-phone-records-collection/ National News Tue, 29 Jul 2014 2:01:45 PM Ken Dilanian Senate bill would end NSA phone records collection

WASHINGTON - Sen. Patrick Leahy on Tuesday introduced a bill to end the National Security Agency's bulk collection of phone records, a proposal that goes further than a similar House measure and has drawn support from civil liberties groups and the White House.

The bill represents the latest step in fulfilling President Barack Obama's promise to end the NSA's collection of domestic calling records, the most significant change in the wake of the leaks of once-secret surveillance programs by former NSA systems administrator Edward Snowden.

The measure drew support from Republicans, including Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.


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US appeals panel strikes down Miss. abortion law http://www.wbrz.com/news/us-appeals-panel-strikes-down-miss-abortion-law/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/us-appeals-panel-strikes-down-miss-abortion-law/ National News Tue, 29 Jul 2014 11:35:07 AM US appeals panel strikes down Miss. abortion law

JACKSON, Miss.- A federal appeals court panel has ruled that a Mississippi law that would close the state's only abortion clinic is unconstitutional.

The three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued its ruling Tuesday in a case involving the state's 2012 law, which required physicians at the clinic to obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital.

Physicians at Jackson Women's Health Organization applied for the privileges at Jackson-area hospitals but were unable to obtain them.

Attorneys for Mississippi argued that if the clinic closed, women could get abortions in other states.

The appeals court panel ruled that a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1973 established a constitutional right to abortion.

The panel ruled that Mississippi may not shift its obligation for established constitutional rights of its citizens to another state.


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Full appeals court upholds labels on meat packages http://www.wbrz.com/news/full-appeals-court-upholds-labels-on-meat-packages/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/full-appeals-court-upholds-labels-on-meat-packages/ National News Tue, 29 Jul 2014 10:33:53 AM Mary Claire Jalonik Full appeals court upholds labels on meat packages

WASHINGTON - A federal appeals court has upheld new government rules that require labels on packaged steaks, ribs and other cuts of meat to say where the animals were born, raised and slaughtered.

The meat industry has attempted to block the rules, saying they are costly to comply with and they provide no health benefits to the consumer.

The full appellate panel heard the case after a three-judge appeals panel ruled against the industry but suggested that the full court may want to review its decision.

Judge Stephen F. Williams wrote for the full court that the government's interest in the labels is "substantial" because there is a long history of such disclosures, a consumer interest in knowing a food's origin and health concerns if there is an illness outbreak.


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Clean air rules assailed as too much, too little http://www.wbrz.com/news/clean-air-rules-assailed-as-too-much-too-little/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/clean-air-rules-assailed-as-too-much-too-little/ National News Tue, 29 Jul 2014 9:35:11 AM Dan Elliott Clean air rules assailed as too much, too little

DENVER - Hundreds of people across the country are telling the Environmental Protection Agency its new rules for power-plant pollution either go too far or not far enough.

The agency is holding hearings starting Tuesday in Atlanta, Denver, Pittsburgh and Washington on President Barack Obama's plan to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent by 2030.

Denver's hearing got underway with Moffat County, Colorado, Commissioner John Kinkaid saying the rules would devastate the economy in his county, home to a major power plant.

Retired coal miner Stanley Sturgill of Harlan County, Kentucky, traveled to Denver to tell the EPA that coal-fired plants are crippling public health. He urged the agency to do more.

The EPA expects 1,600 people to speak in the four cities. The agency also has received more than 300,000 written comments.


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Conference committee approves $17B VA health bill http://www.wbrz.com/news/conference-committee-approves-17b-va-health-bill/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/conference-committee-approves-17b-va-health-bill/ National News Tue, 29 Jul 2014 9:02:39 AM APNewsNow Conference committee approves $17B VA health bill

WASHINGTON - House and Senate negotiators have approved a compromise bill to spend about $17 billion to overhaul the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Agreement by the 28-member conference committee was needed to move the bill to the full House and Senate. The bill is intended to help veterans avoid long waits for health care, hire more doctors and nurses to treat them, and make it easier to fire executives at the VA.

The measure includes $10 billion in emergency spending to help veterans who can't get prompt appointments with VA doctors to obtain outside care. It includes $5 billion to hire doctors, nurses and other medical staff and about $1.5 billion to lease 27 new clinics across the country.

Lawmakers hope to send the bill to the president later this week.


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House to vote on slimmed-down bill for border http://www.wbrz.com/news/house-to-vote-on-slimmed-down-bill-for-border/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/house-to-vote-on-slimmed-down-bill-for-border/ National News Tue, 29 Jul 2014 7:24:21 AM Erica Werner House to vote on slimmed-down bill for border

WASHINGTON, D.C. - House Republicans are heading toward a vote Thursday on a slimmed-down bill to address the immigration crisis on the border by sending in National Guard troops and speeding unaccompanied migrant youths back to Central America.

The bill will cost $659 million through the end of this fiscal year, far smaller than the $3.7 billion requested by President Barack Obama. Lawmakers leaving a meeting on the issue Tuesday morning said the bill appeared to enjoy widespread support, although some conservatives said they remained opposed.

Lawmakers said it was important to act this week before Congress adjourns for its annual August recess.

Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, predicted the legislation would pass with broad GOP support.


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Girl struck by plane on Florida beach dies http://www.wbrz.com/news/girl-struck-by-plane-on-florida-beach-dies/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/girl-struck-by-plane-on-florida-beach-dies/ National News Tue, 29 Jul 2014 6:52:52 AM Hunter Robinson Girl struck by plane on Florida beach dies

SARASOTA, FL - Law enforcement officials in Florida say a 9-year-old girl has died from injuries suffered when she was hit by a plane that crash-landed on the beach where she was walking with her father.

The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office said Tuesday morning that they were notified by the medical examiner's office that Oceana Irizzary had died. The child's father, 36-year-old Sgt. 1st Class Ommy Irizarry, died Sunday.

They were walking along Caspersen Beach in Venice Sunday afternoon when the 1972 Piper Cherokee plane made an emergency landing after reporting problems. Officials say the father and daughter were hit by either the plane or its debris.

The family is from Fort Stewart, Georgia. Ommy Irizarry and his wife, Rebecca, were celebrating their ninth wedding anniversary Sunday.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.


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With Israel at war, US lawmakers give full support http://www.wbrz.com/news/with-israel-at-war-us-lawmakers-give-full-support/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/with-israel-at-war-us-lawmakers-give-full-support/ National News Tue, 29 Jul 2014 12:17:45 AM Bradley Clapper With Israel at war, US lawmakers give full support

WASHINGTON - Members of Congress are falling over one another to show their support for Israel.

While much of the rest of the world watches the Gaza war in horror and scrambles for a cease-fire, U.S. lawmakers are pressing the Obama administration to take no action that puts pressure on Israel to halt its military operations.

Many even have criticized the administration's effort to halt violence that has killed more than 1,100 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and more than 40 Israeli soldiers and three civilians this month.

House Speaker John Boehner said Monday the administration should "stand with Israel, not just as a broker or observer but as a strong partner."

In recent days, Democrats and Republicans alike have sought increased U.S. military aid to Israel.


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Despite good news, Social Security and Medicare face problems http://www.wbrz.com/news/despite-good-news-social-security-and-medicare-face-problems/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/despite-good-news-social-security-and-medicare-face-problems/ National News Tue, 29 Jul 2014 12:15:36 AM Stephen Ohlemacher Despite good news, Social Security and Medicare face problems

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Despite some good news, Medicare and Social Security still face long-term financial problems as millions of baby boomers reach retirement.

Social Security's disability program is already in crisis as it edges toward the brink of insolvency.

The trustees who oversee Social Security and Medicare issued their annual report Monday on the financial health of the government's two largest benefit programs.

Medicare is getting relief from a slowdown in health care spending. Medicare's hospital trust fund won't be exhausted until 2030. That's four years later than last year's estimate.

Social Security's massive retirement program will remain solvent until 2034. The disability trust fund, however, is slated to run dry in just two years. At that point, the program will collect only enough payroll taxes to pay 81 percent of benefits.


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Study: 35 percent in US facing debt collectors http://www.wbrz.com/news/study-35-percent-in-us-facing-debt-collectors/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/study-35-percent-in-us-facing-debt-collectors/ National News Mon, 28 Jul 2014 11:57:56 PM Josh Boak Study: 35 percent in US facing debt collectors

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A study by the Urban Institute shows that more than 35 percent of Americans have debts and unpaid bills that have been reported to collection agencies.

These consumers fall behind on credit cards or hospital bills. Their mortgages, auto loans or student debt pile up, unpaid. Even past-due gym membership fees or cellphone contracts can end up with a collection agency, potentially hurting credit scores and job prospects.

The study by the Washington-based think tank released Tuesday points to a disturbing trend: The share of Americans in collections has remained relatively constant, even as the country as a whole has whittled down the size of its credit card debt since the official end of the Great Recession in the middle of 2009.


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Unusual home invasion http://www.wbrz.com/news/unusual-home-invasion/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/unusual-home-invasion/ National News Mon, 28 Jul 2014 5:52:32 PM Michael Marsh Unusual home invasion

ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO- Police got an unusual call for help during a home invasion and they rushed to the scene.

They found the intruder before it could slither away. A woman called 911 to report a snake invasion.

They believe it got into her home by way of an open door.

No one was hurt and the large snake was released in an open space in Albuquerque.


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Pastor gets endorsement from strip club http://www.wbrz.com/news/pastor-gets-endorsement-from-strip-club/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/pastor-gets-endorsement-from-strip-club/ National News Mon, 28 Jul 2014 5:47:04 PM Michael Marsh Pastor gets endorsement from strip club

PHOENIX, ARIZONA- A Democrat running for Congress got an endorsement from a strip club and he says he's happy to have the vote of confidence.

The Rev. Jarrett Maupin says he's happy to have the support of The Great Alaskan Bush Company of Phoenix.

Maupin calls himself a member of the Progressive Christian Coalition and says employees at the club voted to endorse him because he supports affordable student loans and all-day kindergarten.

He's in a close race for the 7th District with three other Democrats.

The strip club announced its endorsement with a sign that reads: "Jarrett Maupin for Congress 'The Rev.'"

Ironically, "The Rev" can't vote for himself because of a conviction five-years ago for lying to the FBI.


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FAA proposes to fine Southwest Airlines $12M http://www.wbrz.com/news/faa-proposes-to-fine-southwest-airlines-12m/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/faa-proposes-to-fine-southwest-airlines-12m/ National News Mon, 28 Jul 2014 11:22:38 AM Joan Lowy FAA proposes to fine Southwest Airlines $12M

WASHINGTON - The government is proposing a $12 million civil fine against Southwest Airlines for failing to comply in three separate cases with safety regulations related to repairs on Boeing 737 jetliners.

The Federal Aviation Administration said Monday that beginning in 2006 Southwest made "extreme makeover" alterations to eliminate potential cracking of the aluminum skin on 44 jetliners.

The FAA said an investigation determined that Southwest's contractor, Aviation Technical Services Inc. of Everett, Washington, failed to follow proper procedures for replacing the fuselage as well as other work on the planes. The agency said all of the work was done under the supervision of Southwest Airlines.

The statement said Southwest returned the planes to service when they were not in compliance with regulations.

Southwest has 30 days to reply to the proposed fine.


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US court: Va. gay marriage ban unconstitutional http://www.wbrz.com/news/us-court-va-gay-marriage-ban-unconstitutional/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/us-court-va-gay-marriage-ban-unconstitutional/ National News Mon, 28 Jul 2014 11:21:35 AM Michael Felberbaum US court: Va. gay marriage ban unconstitutional

RICHMOND, Va. - A federal appeals court has struck down Virginia's same-sex marriage ban.

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond ruled Monday that state constitutional and statutory provisions barring gay marriage and denying recognition of such unions performed in other states violate the U.S. Constitution. The Virginia gay marriage case is one of several that could go to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In February, U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen ruled that Virginia's same-sex marriage ban violates equal protection and due process guarantees. Lawyers for two circuit court clerks whose duties include issuing marriage licenses appealed.

The lawsuit was filed by two Norfolk men who were denied a marriage license and two Chesterfield County women whose marriage in California is not recognized by Virginia.


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