Congress renews undetectable gun ban for decade
WASHINGTON (AP) — Narrowly beating a midnight deadline, Congress voted Monday to renew an expiring ban on plastic firearms that can evade airport detection machines. But Republicans blocked an effort to toughen the restrictions — the latest defeat for gun-control forces in the year since the grade school massacre in Newtown, Conn.
Dempsey presses Congress to act on defense bill
WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation's top military leader pleaded with Congress on Monday to complete the defense bill before year's end as Democrats and Republicans on the Armed Services committees reached agreement on compromise legislation to pay for warfighters, ships and aircraft.
Prospects dim for fast renewal of jobless benefits
WASHINGTON (AP) — Prospects dimmed Monday for a quick extension of expiring unemployment benefits as Republican officials said they would not agree to include a renewal in any year-end budget deal.
Obama to get help from former top Clinton aide
WASHINGTON (AP) — John Podesta, a former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton and a trusted Democratic operative, will join the White House staff as a senior counselor to President Barack Obama, two persons familiar with the move said late Monday.
Obama in South Africa for Mandela memorial service
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — President Barack Obama opened a day of remembrance and celebration Tuesday for his personal hero Nelson Mandela, arriving in South Africa for a memorial service honoring the anti-apartheid icon who died last week at age 95.