Published Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014 | 3:25 p.m.
Updated Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014 | 3:25 p.m.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Speaker John Boehner on Thursday all but ruled out passage of immigration legislation before this fall's elections, saying it would be difficult for the Republican-led House to act on the issue that President Barack Obama has made a top domestic priority. In his most pessimistic comments, Boehner blamed the stalemate on widespread skepticism that Obama would properly enforce any immigration reforms that Congress approved. The GOP leader didn't mention that his own members have balked at acting on the contentious issue, which could enrage core conservative voters in the midterm election year.
ATLANTA (AP) — A generation after the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s death, his children are fighting among themselves again, this time over two of their father's most cherished possessions: his 1964 Nobel Peace Prize medal and the Bible he carried. The civil rights leader's daughter Bernice King has both items, and her brothers, Dexter King and Martin Luther King III, asked a judge last week to order her to turn them over. She said her brothers want to sell them.
BEIRUT (AP) — A suicide bomber blew himself up at the gates of a Syrian prison Thursday and rebels stormed in behind him, freeing hundreds of inmates as part of an offensive aimed at capturing key government symbols around the northern city of Aleppo, activists said. Government forces, meanwhile, dropped crude "barrel bombs" in deadly airstrikes as both sides escalated their fight for the strategic city ahead of a second round of peace talks set for next week. Opposition leaders threatened to suspend the talks over the barrel bombings.
The Obama administration is considering an extension of the president's decision to let people keep their individual insurance policies even if they are not compliant with the health care overhaul, industry and government officials said Thursday. Avalere Health CEO Dan Mendelson said Thursday that the administration may let policyholders keep that coverage for as long as an additional three years, stressing that no decision has been made. Policymakers are waiting to see what rate hikes health insurers plan for the insurance exchanges that are key to the overhaul's coverage expansions.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Two senior American diplomats, thinking their conversation about the Ukraine was secure and private, were caught disparaging the European Union in a phone call that was apparently bugged, and U.S. officials say they strongly suspect Russia of leaking the conversation. The suspicions were aired Thursday after audio of the call was posted to the Internet and amid continuing criticism of the United States in Europe and elsewhere over NSA spying on foreign leaders and U.S. They also came as the Russia-hosted Winter Olympics opened under tight security to prevent possible terrorist attacks and highlighted distrust between Washington and Moscow that has thrived despite the Obama administration's attempt to "reset" relations with the Kremlin.
SURGIONSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — An East Tennessee couple faces a murder charge, accused of forcing the man's 5-year-old daughter to drink more than 2 liters of grape soda and water, causing her brain to swell and rupture, authorities said. According to the Hawkins County Sheriff's Office and the autopsy report, Alexa Linboom was brought in to the emergency room on Jan. 1, 2012, by her father, Randall Vaughn, and his wife, Mary Vaughn.
Just as heart attack symptoms may differ between men and women, so do stroke risks. Now, the American Heart Association has issued its first guidelines for preventing strokes in women. They focus on birth control, pregnancy, depression and other risk factors that women face uniquely or more frequently than men do.
SOCHI, Russia (AP) — It's designed to celebrate a millennium of Russian might and this country's modern rebound, and kick off two weeks of extraordinary human endeavors and planetary sportsmanship. But the ceremony opening the Sochi Olympics on Friday, more than anything, will be about one man: Vladimir Putin. He charmed and strong-armed his way to hosting the games at a summer beach resort that he envisioned as a winter paradise. He stared down terrorist threats and worldwide wrath at a scarcely veiled campaign against gays. He has shrugged off critiques that construction of the most costly games in Olympic history was both shoddy and corrupt.
BURBANK, Calif. (AP) — Jay Leno said farewell to "The Tonight Show" once before, but that turned out to be just a rehearsal. On Thursday, Leno is stepping down for the second and presumably last time, making way for successor Jimmy Fallon in New York. When Leno gave up the venerable show to short-lived host Conan O'Brien in 2009, he did a prime-time NBC comedy series before reclaiming "Tonight" in 2010.
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (AP) — Ralph Kiner, who slugged his way into the baseball Hall of Fame and enjoyed a half-century career as a popular broadcaster, died Thursday. He was 91. The Hall said Kiner died at his home in Rancho Mirage with his family at his side.