Gloom at Syria talks as Russia backs government advance
By Denis Dyomkin and Shadia Nasralla MUNICH (Reuters) - Major powers began a new round of Syria talks on Thursday focusing on calls for a ceasefire and access for aid, but the mood was dour with Moscow showing no sign of calling off its bombing in support of a massive new government advance. With the Syrian opposition saying it cannot accept a truce because it does not trust the Russians, diplomats saw little chance of progress. The first peace talks in two years collapsed last week before they began in the face of the government offensive, one of the biggest and most consequential of the five-year war.
Judge rules Cosby's wife must give deposition, with limitsBOSTON (AP) ? A federal judge in Massachusetts has ruled that Bill Cosby's wife must answer questions under oath in a defamation lawsuit filed by seven women who claim Cosby sexually assaulted them decades ago.
Lagarde set for second term as IMF chief
Christine Lagarde, the first woman to head the International Monetary Fund, became assured Thursday of a second term as managing director to steer it through a global economic slowdown. The executive board of the global crisis lender announced that there were no challengers facing Lagarde, for the five-year term that begins in July. There was little question that the race would be uncontested after Lagarde, 60, said she was running for a second mandate on January 22, a day after the nominations period opened.
Smithsonian giving visitors a virtual look inside Apollo 11WASHINGTON (AP) ? A calendar hand drawn on the wall marking days in space and scribbled warning instructions to not open certain doors. Those are some of the things the public will be able to see as part of a new, 3D look inside the spacecraft that took astronauts on America's historic 1969 mission to the moon.
Yellen says no negative interest rates in store for US
Janet Yellen said Thursday that the Federal Reserve had no plans to move toward negative interest rates, following the Swedish central bank's rate cut deep into negative territory. "I was surprised it was possible to move rates as negative as some countries have done," she said in a Senate hearing.
Black U.S. lawmakers group endorses Clinton White House bid
By Doina Chiacu WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was endorsed by the Congressional Black Caucus on Thursday, a much-needed boost to her campaign as it competes for the important black voting bloc in South Carolina's primary this month. Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, have built strong ties to the African-American community over the past decades. Several lawmakers cited Clinton's long history of not only working on issues important to black Americans, but on getting Democrats elected and advancing the party's agenda.
NBA Heat's Whiteside banned one game for elbowing
Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside, the NBA's top shot blocker, has been suspended one game without pay for elbowing San Antonio Spurs center Boban Marjanovic, the league announced Thursday. Whiteside, who honed his game for two years in China and Lebanon, averages 3.9 blocks a game, ranks as the NBA's second-most accurate shooter by hitting 61.7 percent from the floor and is fifth in the league in rebounds with 11.0 a game. The 26-year-old American 7-footer (2.13m) was whistled for a flagrant 2 foul and ejected with 9:35 remaining in the fourth quarter of Tuesday's 119-101 Miami home loss to the Spurs.
Clinton aims to reset campaign with focus on black voters
MILWAUKEE (AP) ? After an overwhelming loss in New Hampshire, Hillary Clinton is staking a campaign comeback on her ability to woo black and Latino voters, placing outreach to those communities at the center of her strategy to retool her 2016 bid.
Low U.S. jobless claims underscore labor market strength
By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, suggesting the labor market remains on solid footing despite slowing economic growth and a stock market rout. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits declined 16,000 to a seasonally adjusted 269,000 for the week ended Feb. 6, the Labor Department said on Thursday. "The economy might be sailing into a storm, the financial markets say, but if so, the U.S. economy is in a very strong position to weather whatever comes, with the labor market the strongest in decades," said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG Union Bank in New York. The report was overshadowed by escalating fears over global growth, which sent the yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note plunging to a more than three-year low.
Firearms seized in record numbers at US airports in 2015: official
Security agents seized a record number of firearms at US airports last year, and nearly all of them were loaded, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Thursday. In all, 2,500 weapons were seized in 2015 by Transportation Security Administration agents, who screened 695 million passengers, he said. Johnson said 84 percent of the seized firearms were loaded.