President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference at the White House on Friday. President Obama spoke about the economy and the Affordable Care Act and answered questions from members of the media before leaving for his two-week vacation in Hawaii.
Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 1:09 pm
President Obama has ordered a one-year review of the military's response to sexual assault within the ranks, saying his administration has "an urgent obligation" to respond to the problem.
"If I do not see the kind of progress I expect, then we will consider additional reforms that may be required to eliminate this crime from our military ranks," the president said in a statement on Friday.
By a vote of 59-34 the Senate on Friday moved the nomination of Janet Yellen to be the next chairman of the Federal Reserve past a key procedural hurdle.
The vote invoked "cloture" — effectively preventing Republicans from filibustering President Obama's nominee.
Next up for Yellen's nomination: A confirmation vote, set for Jan. 6. With the Democratic caucus controlling 55 of the Senate's 100 seats, she's expected to get a majority and then become the first woman to head the central bank.
Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 1:43 pm
Scott Brown still knows how to make an entrance.
The former Massachusetts senator — and a soon-to-be official resident of Rye, N.H. — arrived at the New Hampshire GOP's holiday party in his trademark pickup truck Thursday evening, and was greeted by more than 100 chanting protesters.
Only hours before the deadline to sign up for health insurance that will begin Jan. 1, the Obama administration has offered people whose plans have been canceled a new option. They can sign up for catastrophic coverage instead.
These little-noticed plans cover only three primary care visits, specified preventive services and medical costs that exceed a catastrophic amounts. In 2014, that's $6,300 for an individual.
"Although individual employees have engaged in misconduct or inappropriate behavior, we did not find evidence that misconduct is widespread," concludes a report from the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general. The IG's investigation was launched after the 2012 scandal over some agents' behavior while they were on a mission in Colombia.
NPR's business news begins with some good news on the economic front.
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GREENE: The U.S. economy grew by 4.1 percent in the third quarter of the year, and that's significantly higher than the earlier projection of 3.6 percent. The upward revision comes mostly thanks to stronger consumer spending, and it is the fastest jump in growth in almost two years. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Maybe it all started with ugly Christmas sweaters. Or with cheesy inflatable Santas. Or hideously inappropriate tree ornaments. But Christmastime – at least its visible trappings and accoutrements – seems to be getting tackier.