By Mark Hosenball and Doina Chiacu WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States offered $5 million on Monday for help in finding an American who disappeared in Iran eight years ago and appealed to Tehran to cooperate in the search for the former FBI agent, Robert Levinson. "We ask the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to work cooperatively with us on the investigation into Robert Levinson’s disappearance so we can ensure his safe return," Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement. The White House National Security Council said it was "committed to the safe return of Bob Levinson to his family." Levinson disappeared from Kish Island, an Iranian resort in the Gulf, on March 9, 2007, while on a business trip as a private investigator. Levinson traveled to Kish to meet Daoud Salahuddin, an American wanted in the murder of an Iranian diplomat in a Washington suburb in 1980.
By P.J. Huffstutter CHICAGO (Reuters) - No new research projects will begin at the U.S. government's key livestock study center until animal welfare is improved through stronger oversight and better training of standards, U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said on Monday. Vilsack also ordered that USDA staff update electronic record-keeping practices at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (USMARC) facility in Nebraska, to ensure all animals are being appropriately monitored and cared for. The agency announced in January it was looking into livestock conditions at the center, which seeks ways to improve profitability of the U.S. livestock industry, such as by making pork loins less fatty, after a New York Times report said staff had failed to follow basic animal welfare standards during decades of research. While "no instances of animal abuse, misuse, or mistreatment were observed," according to a draft of the report released Monday by USDA, the facility was not in compliance with Agricultural Research Service policies, in part because the center's committee charged with keeping track of animal care had fallen short of its oversight duties.
By Brendan O'Brien MILWAUKEE (Reuters) - Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, a Republican presidential hopeful, signed a bill into law on Monday that stops private sector workers from being required to join a union or pay dues as a condition of employment. The law takes effect immediately, making Wisconsin the 25th state to approve a so-called right-to-work law and marking the latest victory for Republicans targeting labor unions, following adoption of similar laws in Michigan and Indiana in 2012. "It sends a powerful message across the country and around the world," Walker said, adding that what he called freedom to work is one of the three or four things that people ask about when he is on trade and investment tours for Wisconsin. "This is one more tool that will help grow good paying, family supporting jobs here in the state of Wisconsin, particularly in the areas where you need them in manufacturing," Walker said.
By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Supreme Court on Monday spurned two appeals involving U.S. treatment of Guantanamo Bay detainees, barring a Syrian man from suing the United States over alleged torture and blocking the release of images purported to show evidence of a Saudi man's mistreatment. In one case, the court left in place a January 2014 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit against a Syrian former detainee, Abdul Rahim Abdul Razak al Janko. He had sought to sue the United States for damages stemming from his treatment during seven years at the U.S. facility in Cuba. Janko says he was tortured and suffered physical and psychological degradation at Guantanamo from 2002 to 2009 after being detained in Afghanistan in 2001.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — As Lori Goldstein was beginning her career in the late 1970s, stylists weren't a staple of the fashion industry, home shopping networks didn't exist and a naked and pregnant Demi Moore had yet to bare her belly at checkout counters everywhere from the cover of Vanity Fair.
(Reuters) - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman reached a settlement with the three biggest U.S. credit-reporting agencies in a deal that will change the way they handle errors and treat medical debt. Under the agreement, set to be announced on Monday, Equifax Information Services LLC, Experian Information Solutions Inc and TransUnion LLC, will be more proactive in resolving disputes over information contained in their reports. The three credit-reporting agencies (CRAs) collect and provide credit information on more than 200 million consumers in the United States. Credit reports provided by the CRAs are used to assign numerical ratings called "credit scores," which help lenders determine whether they should grant loans to consumers and at what interest rates.