NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court this week hears a challenge to President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. If successful, the lawsuit would cripple Obama's prized domestic achievement, a program that has brought the U.S. as close as it has ever come to universal health care. The Affordable Care Act passed Congress in 2010 without a single Republican vote in favor. An explanation of the legal case:
By Jeff Mason WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Iran must commit to a verifiable freeze of at least 10 years on sensitive nuclear activity for a landmark atomic deal to be reached, but the odds are still against sealing a final agreement, U.S. President Barack Obama told Reuters on Monday. Interviewed at the White House, Obama moved to dial back tensions over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's planned speech to Congress on Tuesday opposing the Iran deal, saying it was a distraction that would not be "permanently destructive" to U.S. Israeli ties. Talks between major powers and Iran to restrict Tehran's nuclear capabilities in exchange for an easing of sanctions have reached a critical stage ahead of an end of March deadline for a framework deal and a June 30 date for a final agreement.
The mayor of Cleveland apologized Monday after a court filing by the Ohio city suggested that a 12-year-old black boy was responsible for his own death at the hands of police. Tamir Rice was shot and killed in a playground in November by a rookie police officer who apparently thought the youngster's pellet gun was a real firearm. The African-American boy's death, caught on video, prompted a national furor, three months after the killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson said Monday that the city will be amending its court filing in the coming days to remove any "insensitive" language, in a way that would not undermine its 20-point rebuttal of the Rice family lawsuit.
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Sci-fi solutions or making friends one at a time? Google and Facebook want more people online, searching around and clicking on ads. And they are finding new ways to make it happen — from selling smartphone data plans, to using solar-powered drone aircraft as floating cell towers to partnering with telecom providers in the developing world to get people hooked on apps.
Embattled Japanese auto supplier Takata said Monday it will double its production of replacement airbags in the next six months in response to a massive global safety recall. Takata, under fire from safety regulators over defective airbags linked to at least five fatalities, said it increased production of airbag replacement kits from 350,000 per month in December to 450,000 per month currently. "Takata has dramatically increased the production of airbag replacement kits in support of automotive recalls and safety campaigns," the company said. "Takata also is working with other suppliers to further increase the availability of replacement kits for its automotive customers." About 20 million vehicles produced by some of the world's biggest automakers are being recalled due to the risk their Takata-made airbags could deploy with excessive explosive power, spraying potentially fatal shrapnel into the vehicle.
NEW YORK (AP) — High-end smartphones from Samsung and HTC have gotten much of the attention at this week's wireless show in Barcelona, Spain, but cheaper options are coming from Microsoft, Lenovo and others too. Meanwhile, Google and Facebook are working on giving people more ways to use those devices.
Moscow and Kiev agreed a gas delivery deal until the end of March after EU-brokered talks in Brussels Monday, securing supplies to Europe after a row over supplies to rebel-held eastern Ukraine, the EU said. Gazprom, the Russian state-owned gas giant, threatened last week to halt deliveries to Ukraine and divert stocks instead to the eastern parts of the country controlled by pro-Kremlin separatists after Kiev cut them off. "I am satisfied that we managed to safeguard the full application of the Winter Package for the supply needs in Ukraine," said Maros Sefcovic, European Commission Vice-President for Energy Union, referring to a contract expiring on March 31 that Russia had threatened to scrap.