U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner on Thursday accused the State Department of stonewalling its review of the long-pending Keystone XL pipeline, saying Secretary of State John Kerry must address the issue to make the department's actions more transparent. "The Democrats are dragging their feet," Boehner, the top House Republican, told reporters, referring to the TransCanada Corp's project to bring 830,000 barrels per day of mostly Canadian oil sands petroleum to refineries and ports on the Gulf Coast. "Now the State Department is stonewalling and is refusing to answer basic questions about its review. The State Department, which is assessing the project because it crosses the national border, received comments from eight federal agencies this week on whether the pipeline is in the country's interest.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A top U.S. regulator just announced he wants more power to oversee Internet service, much in the same way that the government already regulates phone service and other public utilities. The goal is to prevent Internet service providers like AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, Sprint and T-Mobile from blocking or slowing down Web traffic, or striking deals with companies that provide content like Amazon, Google or Netflix to move their data faster than others.
U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner said on Thursday that Pope Francis will address a joint session of the U.S. Congress on Sept. 24, marking the first time a pope has delivered such a speech. The pope is expected to visit Washington, New York and Philadelphia during his trip to the United States. After the trip was announced last year, Boehner said that he had invited the head of the Roman Catholic Church to speak to lawmakers. "On Sept. 24 His Holiness Pope Francis will visit us here at the United States Capitol.
CHICAGO (AP) — An Illinois prison watchdog group and a Montana organization that tracks campaign contributions in 50 states are among the nine winners of the 2015 MacArthur Foundation grants to nonprofit groups.
By Bill Cotterell TAMPA, Fla. (Reuters) - Republican Governor Rick Scott, off to a rocky start in his second term in office, faced an extraordinary meeting on Thursday with Florida's Cabinet in which he admitted botching the ouster of the state’s top police administrator. Since his narrow victory over former Governor Charlie Crist in November, Scott has run into a series of controversies. In the past month, Scott was rebuked by the state Republican Party, which rejected his choice to lead the party and instead elected state Representative Blaise Ingoglia in an unheard-of snub for a newly re-elected governor. Last week, former state prisons director Michael Crews, who had been ousted by Scott, accused the governor of neglecting staff shortages and crumbling facilities in the Department of Corrections.
By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday put on hold the execution by Texas of convicted murderer Lester Bower as it considers whether to hear his full appeal including the assertion that his three decades on death row amount to cruel and unusual punishment. Bower, 67, is one of the longest-serving prisoners on death row in Texas. He was sentenced to death for murdering four men in 1983 in an aircraft hangar near Sherman, Texas. Bower was scheduled to be executed on Feb. 10.