WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans in Congress advanced balanced-budget plans bristling with cuts in Medicaid and other benefit programs Thursday, determined to make a down payment on last fall's campaign promise to erase deficits by the end of the decade.
By Brendan Pierson NEW YORK (Reuters) - A New York state judge on Thursday refused to release the transcripts of secret grand jury proceedings into the killing of an unarmed black man last July by a white police officer who put him in a chokehold. Acting Supreme Court Justice William Garnett said that civil liberty groups, the news media, public defenders and New York's elected public advocate had not shown a "compelling and particularized need" for the records, and that making them public would undermine the grand jury process. "Most important to the integrity and thoroughness of the criminal justice system is the assurance to witnesses that their testimony and cooperation are not the subject of public comment or criticism," the judge wrote. Eric Garner's death, along with the fatal shooting of an unarmed 18-year-old black man in Ferguson, Missouri, last August by a white police officer sparked protests around the country by people outraged by police treatment of African Americans.
By Eric Walsh and Julia Edwards WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama will sign an executive order on Thursday that sets a goal for the U.S. government to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2025, the White House said. Although the federal government accounts for only 0.7 percent of net U.S. emissions, it is the single largest energy consumer in the United States, according to the White House. Meeting the goal would cut 21 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions from 2008 levels, it said.
By Lisa Lambert WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy pledged on Thursday to get tough on his agency for keeping quiet about officers allegedly driving drunk on White House grounds, but he also knocked down reports that the incident involved a collision or that agents purposely deleted surveillance video of it. President Barack Obama chose Clancy, who took office last month, to clean up the security service's problems. On March 4, two Secret Service officers drove past barricades at the White House and into an area locked down because of a suspicious package. On Tuesday, a House of Representatives subcommittee grilled him for not firing agents suspected of being involved and blasted him for not conducting his own investigation.
NEW YORK (AP) — A judge on Thursday refused to release testimony heard by a grand jury that declined to indict a police officer in the chokehold death of Eric Garner, arguing there wasn't a good enough reason to make the secret information public.