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April 15, 2014

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AP Top News at 8:44 a.m. EST

Updated Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014 | 5:44 a.m.

Obama speech: Big new theme, some familiar content

WASHINGTON (AP) — Newly repackaged, President Barack Obama's State of the Union address will deliver familiar content along with some targeted first-time initiatives that both test and illustrate the limits of divided government in an election year. His message to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday will identify measures where he and Congress can cooperate, and he will press issues that will distinguish him and Democrats from Republicans. He'll also make a case for acting alone.

10 Things to Know for Today

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today: 1. OBAMA TO FOCUS ON THE ACHIEVABLE IN STATE OF THE UNION SPEECH

Ousted Egypt leader shouts inside cage at trial

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's toppled President Mohammed Morsi appeared at a new trial Tuesday wearing a white prison uniform in soundproof glass-encased metal cage, pacing and shouting angrily at the judge in apparent disbelief: "Who are you? Tell me!" In a half hour of recorded footage aired on state television, Morsi protested being in a cage for his trial on charges related to prison breaks in 2011, yelling: "Do you know where I am?"

Ukrainian parliament repeals anti-protest laws

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — In back-to-back moves aimed at defusing Ukraine's political crisis, the prime minister submitted his resignation Tuesday and parliament repealed anti-protest laws that had set off violent clashes between protesters and police. The twin moves were significant concessions to the protesters who have occupied the capital's main square for two months and fought sporadically with police for the last 10 days. Yet key issues remain unresolved in Ukraine's political crisis, including the opposition's repeated demands for President Viktor Yanukovych to resign and a new election to be held.

Syrian peace talks on hold for the day

GENEVA (AP) — A member of the Syria opposition says peace talks are breaking off early for the day to give time for the government to bring a proposal for the future of the country. Murhaf Joueijati, a member of the Syrian National Coalition's negotiating team, told reporters early Tuesday afternoon that there would be no negotiating session for the remainder of the day.

Southerners warned of icy mess in days ahead

ATLANTA (AP) — Across the South, residents stocked up on fuel and groceries, schools and offices closed, and road crews were at the ready as a storm moved in Tuesday from the central U.S., threatening to bring snow, ice and subzero temperatures to a region more accustomed to air conditioners and sunscreen than parkas and shovels. Even with the timing and severity of the blast of freezing precipitation uncertain, officials from parts of Texas to southeastern Virginia warned motorists to stay off the roads and remain inside.

Folk singer, activist Pete Seeger dies in NY

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Buoyed by his characteristically soaring spirit, the surging crowd around him and a pair of canes, Pete Seeger walked through the streets of Manhattan leading an Occupy Wall Street protest in 2011. Though he would later admit the attention embarrassed him, the moment brought back many feelings and memories as he instructed yet another generation of young people how to effect change through song and determination — as he had done over the last seven decades as a history-sifting singer and ever-so-gentle rabble-rouser.

US looks at ways to prevent spying on NSA spying

WASHINGTON (AP) — As the Obama administration considers ending the storage of millions of phone records by the National Security Agency, the government is quietly funding research to prevent eavesdroppers from seeing whom the U.S. is spying on, The Associated Press has learned. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has paid at least five research teams across the country to develop a system for high-volume, encrypted searches of electronic records kept outside the government's possession. The project is among several ideas that could allow the government to store Americans' phone records with phone companies or a third-party organization, but still search them as needed.

'Long-term unemployment' — one mom's story

AURORA, Ill. (AP) — Down the road from an emergency food pantry where a small crowd waits for the chance to gather free groceries, there is a church sign that reads: "If you need help, ask God. If you don't, thank God." Debbie Jurcak, one of those in line, will tell you that it is indeed divine help — or, anyway, faith-based organizations — that she and her family have relied on in recent weeks. Late last month, the federal government ended her unemployment benefits, six months after she was laid off from an administrative job.

Toddlers love selfies: Parenting in an iPhone age

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Every so often, Brandi Koskie finds dozens of photos of her 3-year-old daughter, Paisley, on her iPhone — but they aren't ones Koskie has taken. "There'll be 90 pictures, sideways, of the corner of her eye, her eyebrow," said Koskie, who lives in Wichita, Kan. "She's just tapping her way right into my phone."