By Edith Honan NEW YORK (Reuters) - A 214-year-old mansion that has served as the official residence for New York City mayors since World War Two will welcome its first full-time occupants in 12 years when Bill de Blasio is sworn in as mayor in January. De Blasio announced on his website on Wednesday that he will move his family into Gracie Mansion from their Brooklyn apartment. The Federal-style mansion on the banks of the East River has been without full-time occupants since Rudolph Giuliani moved out in 2001 amid marital troubles. "It's a tough decision," de Blasio, who has cast himself as a family man with middle-class roots, said in a statement.
By Ian Simpson WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In the year since the massacre of 26 schoolchildren and adults in Newtown, Connecticut, efforts to pass gun legislation have stalled in the U.S. Congress but shifted to the states, helped by the deep pockets of outgoing New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. In scores of statehouse battles, both gun-control and gun-rights advocates have notched wins since a mentally unstable gunman killed 20 first-graders and six adults at Newtown's Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. Electoral and legislative fights since Newtown - including the election last month of a Democratic gun-control supporter, Terry McAuliffe, as governor of Virginia, the home state of the powerful National Rifle Association gun lobby - are likely a foretaste of battles to come next year in federal and state elections.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A law under consideration in South Korea's parliament has sparked vociferous debate by grouping popular online games such as "StarCraft" with gambling, drugs and alcohol as an anti-social addiction the government should do more to stamp out.
USA Today, nicknamed "The Nation's Newspaper," is getting local. Gannett Co, the parent company of the nationally distributed newspaper, announced on Wednesday that it planned to include pages of USA Today in 35 of its local community papers after a fall test proved successful. The move, which will happen through the first quarter of next year, will increase USA Today's circulation, a metric advertisers watch closely. It will also free up resources so the community newspapers can concentrate on local reporting.
By Dan Levine WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In the cloistered federal appeals courts, where cameras are taboo and life-tenured judges toil in seclusion, Randall Rader relishes his persona as a hard-charging front man. While working a full case load as chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, Rader gives up to 100 speeches a year - frequently abroad - extolling the American patent system that his court oversees. "We want to project that energy." Rader's frenetic personality makes him an able ambassador for the Federal Circuit, created in 1982 to handle patent appeals from around the country in order to bring uniformity to a highly technical area of law. In the midst of a new tech boom, a recent University of Iowa study found the rate at which Federal Circuit judges unanimously agreed in its patent cases went from about 80 percent in 2005 down to 60 percent last year.
NEW YORK (AP) — Time magazine selected Pope Francis as its Person of the Year on Wednesday, saying the Roman Catholic church's new leader has changed the perception of the church in an extraordinary way in a short time.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Backers of a narrowly drawn budget deal are selling it as a way to stabilize Congress' shaky fiscal practices and mute some of the partisan rancor that has helped send lawmakers' public approval ratings plummeting. But the bipartisan pact doesn't solve long-term tax and spending issues, leaving liberals and conservatives alike grumbling.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Asiana Airlines captain who crashed a Boeing 777 at San Francisco International Airport in July told investigators he was stressed out and "very concerned" about attempting a visual approach because the runway's automatic warning systems were out of service due to construction, according to an investigative report released Wednesday.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Asiana Airlines captain who crashed a Boeing 777 at San Francisco International Airport in July told investigators he was stressed out and "very concerned" about attempting a visual approach because the runway's automatic warning systems were out of service due to construction.