Bulgaria, heavily dependent on Russia for gas and oil, will estimate its own reserves and seek alternatives to cope with any worsening of the Ukrainian crisis, it said on Tuesday. Bulgaria imports over 70 percent of its energy resources, most of which come from Russia - through Ukraine - and is considering alternatives for its energy security. They are mainly economic," Deputy Prime Minister Tsvetin Yovchev said after a meeting of the government's security council over Ukraine. It meets over 85 percent of its gas needs with imports from Russia's Gazprom through only one route that passes Ukraine.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Tuesday asked Congress to include a long-sought measure to increase the International Monetary Fund's financial power to a package of economic aid to Ukraine. Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee are preparing legislation to provide at least $1 billion in loan guarantees to support Ukraine's economy. The U.S. Treasury Department is asking Congress to also include legislation that would double the IMF's resources and thereby allow countries like Ukraine access to a bigger pool of potential aid. ...
New York (AFP) - US stocks soared on Tuesday after Russia pulled back troops from the border with Ukraine and President Vladimir Putin played down the option of sending troops into the ex-Soviet state.
EWING, N.J. (AP) — A gas line damaged by a contractor exploded "like a bomb" while utility crews worked to repair it Tuesday at a town house development in New Jersey, and at least seven people were injured and several homes destroyed or damaged.
VIENNA (AP) — Acting at Ukraine's request, the United States and 14 other nations on Tuesday formed a military observer mission intended to monitor the tense Crimea region, and a U.S. official said the team planned to leave within 24 hours.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear said Tuesday that the state will hire outside attorneys to appeal a decision granting legal recognition to same-sex couples married in other states and countries after the attorney general announced that he would not pursue the case further.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Carl Kasell, a signature voice of NPR News for decades, is stepping down from the comedy news quiz show "Wait, Wait ... Don't Tell Me!" and retiring from the network this spring.
CAIRO (AP) — The co-founder of U.S.-based anti-war group CodePink said Tuesday that Egyptian police detained her at Cairo's international airport when she tried to enter the country on route to the Gaza Strip and treated her roughly, fracturing her shoulder as they handcuffed her before deporting her.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday that reassuring words from Iranian officials about not wanting nuclear weapons do not square with Tehran's actions — and that the international community needs to exert more pressure to deny Iran the capability of making nuclear arms.
Some $30 million proposed by President Barack Obama could help hospitals fight the growing problem of antibiotic resistance much the way Britain has, US health authorities said Tuesday. The extra funds for fiscal year 2015, if approved by Congress, would double the amount spent on efforts to cut back on overprescribing of antibiotics, a widespread trend that experts agree is contributing to dangerous superbugs and untreatable infections worldwide. The money would help "establish a robust infrastructure that can detect antibiotic resistance threats and protect patients and communities," said Tom Frieden, chief of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The goal is to reduce deadly infections that are often picked up by patients in hospital and long-term care settings by half in five years, he said.
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) — Officials say Islamic militants have burned 11 people to death inside their homes in northeastern Nigeria, where frequent attacks have claimed at least 130 lives in the past four days alone.
BOULDER, Colorado (AP) — The University of Colorado in Boulder is the new home of an extensive collection of Holocaust-era documents, books and photographs.
By Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama proposed spending $1.5 billion next year for the Middle East and North Africa, largely to address the growing humanitarian crisis in Syria as Washington steps up efforts to deal with three-year-long civil war. Besides funding for Syria, the $1.5 billion is intended to promote reforms and transitions in the Middle East and North Africa, still feeling the effects of the "Arab Spring" revolts of 2011. More than 140,000 people have died in Syria's civil war and millions more have been forced from their homes. Since 2011, Washington has provided $1.3 billion in humanitarian assistance for Syrian refugees.
By Andy Sullivan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama and Republicans in Congress both believe the United States' job-training system is in need of an overhaul. In his budget request for the coming fiscal year, Obama proposes more than $7.7 billion in new spending to set up new apprenticeship and on-the-job training programs and restore funding to existing programs that have been cut in recent years. The emphasis on job training in a budget that includes few other spending hikes could help Obama's Democrats appeal to voters who remain anxious about the slow pace of job creation even as the unemployment rate has fallen to 6.6 percent from a high of 10 percent in 2009. Obama described the system as a "maze of confusing training programs" in his 2012 State of the Union address.
Exciting research suggests that a shot every one to three months may someday give an alternative to the daily pills that some people take now to cut their risk of getting HIV.
By David Ingram WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama returned to the subject of mass shootings on Tuesday by proposing to spend millions of dollars more on gun safety programs, inspections of retailers and background checks for people buying firearms. If enacted by a U.S. Congress that has been wary of gun control measures, the $182 million package would advance an issue that rose to the top of the national agenda after the December 2012 shooting of 20 children and six adults at a Newtown, Connecticut, elementary school. The White House put forward the package as part of a proposed budget for the government fiscal year that begins on October 1. Included in the package is $13 million to improve the background check system run by the FBI and $22 million more for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which inspects federally licensed firearms dealers.
(Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama released his fiscal year 2015 budget request to Congress on Tuesday, and lawmakers will promptly ignore it. Obama outlined how he would parcel out $1.014 trillion on government agencies' discretionary programs ranging from the military to national parks. The level, barely above this year's spending cap of $1.012 trillion, was set by a recent budget deal and forces Obama to make some difficult cuts to fund the programs he wants. If the president wants to spend more, he'll have to sell Congress on the idea of raising additional revenues.
U.S. President Barack Obama's call on Tuesday for an end to billions of dollars in tax breaks echoes a 979-page draft reform plan last week from Dave Camp, the top Republican tax writer in the House of Representatives. Given the gridlock in Washington, neither the Democrat Obama, who included the tax reforms in his fiscal 2015 budget, nor Camp, the Ways and Means Committee chairman, has much chance of success. Camp would eliminate scores of tax breaks while lowering tax rates for individuals and businesses. Obama proposes repealing fewer tax breaks and using the tax savings in part to pay for more aid to low-income workers.
By Gabriel Debenedetti WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In a budget proposal that aims to make government more efficient, President Barack Obama on Tuesday floated the idea of using alternative metals to make penny and nickel coins. The fiscal 2015 budget, released on Tuesday, points out that the coins' manufacturing and circulation have not changed in decades and that the Treasury Department has been reviewing the coins' production. The budget does not include a specific cost savings figure for the potential changes but it identifies the rise of electronic commerce as a reason to review the coins' makeup and distribution. Obama's 2014 budget had pegged the cost of manufacturing a penny at two cents and the price of a nickel at 11 cents.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House's fiscal 2015 budget request includes a separate "opportunity, growth and security" fund that would give the Pentagon $26.4 billion in extra funding for maintenance, training and a host of aircraft. The Pentagon's budget documents said the initiative was "fully paid for" and would allow the U.S. military to accelerate schedules for developing and buying new weapons to "ensure that the United States maintains technological superiority over any potential adversaries. ...