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  • SEATTLE— American Indian tribes wrestling with whether to legalize marijuana have scheduled a national conference on the topic next month in Washington state. Organizer Robert Odawi Porter, a tribal law expert and former president of Seneca Nation in New York, says there's been a lot of discussion among tribes since the Justice Department announced in...

  • WASHINGTON, Jan 27- The top U.S. trade official told lawmakers on Tuesday he hopes to wrap up an ambitious Pacific trade pact within months as he urged Congress to back the administration's trade agenda. Trade Representative Michael Froman said the administration looked to lawmakers to pass bipartisan legislation allowing a streamlined approval process...

  • Senate bill calls for end to Seattle tunnel project Tuesday, 27 Jan 2015 | 1:17 PM ET

    SEATTLE— Two state senators say it's time to scrap the stalled Seattle tunnel project and bury Bertha, the broken-down $80 million state-of-the-art drilling machine, so the transportation department can find alternatives to fix or replace the viaduct that carries traffic along the city's waterfront. Curtis King, chairman of the Senate Transportation...

  • Gov. Inslee's cap-and-trade plan makes polluters pay Tuesday, 27 Jan 2015 | 12:47 PM ET

    About three dozen people from across the state testified before the House Environment Committee on a bill to cap the overall amount of carbon emissions in the state and require major polluters to pay for each metric ton of carbon released. Joe Fitzgibbon, D- Burien, who chairs the committee, said the impacts of climate change are real and the state can't afford to...

  • House GOP moves toward possible lawsuit on immigration Tuesday, 27 Jan 2015 | 11:47 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— House Republicans are moving toward authorizing a potential lawsuit against President Barack Obama on immigration, House Speaker John Boehner announced Tuesday, as the GOP struggled for a way to stop the president's unilateral deportation curbs. Boehner announced the plans in a closed-door meeting with lawmakers, telling them GOP leaders are...

  • Democrats put brakes on Iran sanctions bill Tuesday, 27 Jan 2015 | 10:20 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— Senate Democrats on Tuesday put the brakes on new Iran sanctions legislation, ending for now a looming showdown between Congress and President Barack Obama over negotiations to prevent Tehran from having the capability to make a nuclear weapon. At the same time, supporters of the bill say the letter signals the White House that Menendez and his...

  • WASHINGTON, Jan 27- The top U.S. trade official urged Congress to back the administration's trade agenda on Tuesday and said an ambitious Pacific trade pact is nearing completion. Trade Representative Michael Froman said the administration was looking to lawmakers to pass bipartisan legislation allowing a streamlined approval process for trade deals,...

  • BEIJING, Jan 27- Multinational law firm Dentons and China's biggest legal practice Dacheng Law Offices said on Tuesday they had signed off on their merger, a move that will create the world's biggest law firm. The structure is necessary because China forbids foreign law firms and lawyers from practising law, and instead relegates them to advisory roles.

  • WASHINGTON, Jan 27- The final form of an ambitious Pacific trade pact is coming into focus, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said on Tuesday as he urged Congress get behind the U.S. trade agenda. In remarks prepared for delivery to key congressional committees, Froman said the administration was looking to lawmakers to pass bipartisan legislation...

  • LITTLE ROCK, Ark.— Arkansas' public schools, prisons and Medicaid program would receive boosts in funding while most other state agencies would see a small cut under a $5.2 billion budget plan Gov. Hutchinson proposed increasing the Medicaid budget by $80 million and boosting money for public schools by nearly $51 million. The governor is proposing using about...

  • U.S. securities class action lawsuits shrink in size Tuesday, 27 Jan 2015 | 12:01 AM ET

    Losses claimed by shareholders, measured by how much stock prices fell when alleged frauds were disclosed, shrank 45 percent in 2014 to an eight-year low of $57 billion, a study released Tuesday by Cornerstone Research and Stanford Law School showed. The average size dropped to $34 million, a three-year low, in 2014 from $86 million a year earlier, a study released...

  • The Senate failed to get the 60 votes needed to limit debate, voting 53 to 39 on the measure. The Keystone bill allows Congress to approve TransCanada Corp's project to link Canada's oil sands to refineries on the Gulf Coast. Democrats, who lost control of the Senate as a result of November's elections, flexed their muscles to deliver a message to Majority Leader...

  • Senate pulls brake on Keystone pipeline bill Monday, 26 Jan 2015 | 6:28 PM ET
    Crews from Enbridge Energy Partners inspect a crude oil pipeline in Thief River Falls, Minn.

    Democrats in the U.S. Senate blocked the Keystone XL pipeline bill from moving forward on Monday, but the stall may be temporary.

  • WASHINGTON— Senate Democrats temporarily stalled progress Monday on a bill to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline, the top priority of the Republican-controlled Congress. In a 53-39 vote, the Senate blocked an attempt by Republican leaders to wind down debate. The vote caps a partisan dispute— which had the Senate working into the early hours last Friday— over...

  • But if the Alaska delegation is any hint as to where things are headed, his proposal is going nowhere in a Republican-controlled Congress. Lisa Murkowski, chair of the Senate Energy committee, said the administration's plans were a "kick to the gut" that treated Alaska as if it were a "snow globe out there" that should be left untouched. There is no drilling in the...

  • WASHINGTON— The Senate is closing in on a vote to authorize the Keystone XL oil pipeline, although Democrats temporarily stalled progress Monday. But the fate of the $8 billion project depends not only on what happens in Congress, but also in the courts, at the White House and with TransCanada, the pipeline's developer. The Republican-controlled Congress is...

  • WASHINGTON, Jan 26- The $3.7 trillion U.S. municipal bond market will benefit from a recent delay in implementing part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law known as the Volcker Rule, Moody's Investors Service said on Monday. Last month Congress passed legislation giving banks extra time to comply with the rule. The implementation delay until July 2017 will "...

  • WICHITA, Kan.— A former executive who sued a firm managing part of the privatized Medicaid program in Kansas asked a judge Monday to toss out counterclaims accusing her of trying to extort $3 million, calling those claims a "not so thinly-veiled campaign of retaliation." The latest legal dustup comes in the federal lawsuit filed against Sunflower State Health...

  • WASHINGTON, Jan 26- The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday sided with a company that amended a collective bargaining agreement to force retirees to pay toward healthcare costs, throwing out a lower-court ruling that favored the former employees who objected to the change. On a unanimous vote, the nine-member court handed a win to M&G Polymers USA, a subsidiary of Italy-...

  • Ohio Attorney General sues over health care law tax Monday, 26 Jan 2015 | 2:03 PM ET

    COLUMBUS, Ohio— Applying a tax aimed at helping keep premiums affordable under the federal health care law to state and local governments is unconstitutional, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine claimed in a lawsuit filed Monday. The parties include the state, Warren County, the University of Akron, Bowling Green State University, Shawnee State University and...