The Fast Fix
  • Rick Perry is a serious contender for the Republican presidential nod. Here are five things you need to know about him.

    Texas Governor Rick Perry enters the 2012 presidential race greeted by polls suggesting he is a serious contender for the Republican nomination.

    Here are five fast facts on Rick Perry:

    1. Perry was a yell leader at Texas A&M University. It's a much sought-after position and an early indication of Perry's political aspirations.

    2. He used to be a Democrat. Perry was elected to a West Texas state House seat in 1984 as a Democrat and even served as Al Gore's Texas chairman during the 1988 presidential race. He switched to the GOP in 1989.

    3. Perry's first statewide office in Texas was as Agriculture Commissioner. Expect him to remind Iowa voters of that fact early and often given the state's farming-based economy.

    4. Perry is the longest serving governor in the country currently. He took office in December 2000 after George W. Bush was elected president and won a third

    Read More »from The Fast Fix: Five fast facts about Rick Perry
  • The Iowa straw poll will kick off the Republican presidential race Saturday. Losing can put a candidate out of the running, but winning doesn't guarantee anything.

    The first major test of the 2012 presidential race will be Saturday in the unlikeliest of places -- Ames, Iowa.

    Every four year, the Ames Straw poll serves as the official kickoff of the Republican presidential race. Winning can mean newfound frontrunner status. Losing can mean you are out of the race.

    Ames is part carnival and part exercise in democracy. Candidates pay to bus in their supporters and spend the day wooing undecided voters with entertainment, food and the occasional bouncy room.

    Nine candidates for president will be on the Ames ballot with Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann seen as the favorite going into Saturday's vote.

    The candidate with the most riding on the Ames result is former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty. Pawlenty has struggled to get people excited about his candidacy and if he flops at Ames, he

    Read More »from The Fast Fix: The race begins!
  • The Iowa debate is early in the campaign season, but it's crucial for the Republican presidential candidates who come out on top.

    Ames, Iowa, is the site of Thursday's debate, the first time the major Republican candidates will be on stage together since June.

    The only new face will be former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who has struggled to make a dent since entering the race. Neither Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who is expected to run, nor former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who still hasn't said anything about her plans, will be at the debate.

    The star of the show is likely to be Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who's been riding a wave of momentum since her strong performance in the June debate in New Hampshire. Polling shows Bachmann running strong in Iowa and she is the favorite to win Saturday's Ames Straw Poll.

    Bachmann's rise over the past two months ensures she will be on the receiving end of barbs from her rivals as they seek to slow her progress. How she handles the slings and

    Read More »from The Fast Fix: Facing off in Iowa

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(57 Stories)
  • 14 more Nigeria schoolgirls escape Islamists
    14 more Nigeria schoolgirls escape Islamists

    Maiduguri (Nigeria) (AFP) - Another 14 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram Islamists in the northeast have escaped, leaving 85 missing on Saturday after an attack that has sparked global outrage, an official said. The unprecedented mass abduction of 129 teenage girls from the Chibok area of Borno state has been described as among the most shocking ever by Boko Haram, an extremist group blamed for killing thousands since 2009. “I am glad to say that 14 more students have escaped from their abductors,” Borno’s education commissioner Inua Kubo told journalists. They have since been sent to their family villages, while the three others had returned to their school in Chibok and were being cared for there, he said.

  • Sub search for missing jet to be finished in week
    Sub search for missing jet to be finished in week

    A robotic submarine looking for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane continued to dive Sunday after completing about half of its search on the bottom of the Indian Ocean with no luck, prompting an official ...

  • Delay in ferry evacuation puzzles maritime experts
    Delay in ferry evacuation puzzles maritime experts

    MOKPO, South Korea (AP) — It is a decision that has maritime experts stumped and is at odds with standard procedure: Why were the passengers of the doomed South Korean ferry told to stay in their rooms rather than climb on deck?

  • Mt. Gox CEO won't appear in U.S. for questions about bankruptcy case

    Mark Karpeles, the chief executive of Mt. Gox, said he would not come to the United States to answer questions about the Japanese bitcoin exchange's U.S. bankruptcy case, Mt. Gox lawyers told a federal judge on Monday. In the court filing, Mt. Gox lawyers cited a subpoena from the U.S. Department of Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, which has closely monitored virtual currencies like bitcoin. "Mr. Karpeles is now in the process of obtaining counsel to represent him with respect to the FinCEN Subpoena. Until such time as counsel is retained and has an opportunity to 'get up to speed' and advise Mr. Karpeles, he is not willing to travel to the U.S.", the filing said.

  • GRIEVING DAUGHTER ANTICIPATES EACH MOTHER'S DAY WITH DREAD

    DEAR ABBY: It has been a year since my mother passed away. The month of February was especially tough because it was the month of her birthday and also the month in which she died. Mother's Day will be here soon, and I'm already feeling bitter, anticipating all of the commercials, advertising, brunches and everything. I don't want to be bitter about Mother's Day, but I am. How do people typically celebrate Mother's Day when they have lost their mother? -- JODY IN KEARNEY, NEB. DEAR JODY: Please accept my condolences for the loss of your mother. ...

  • Hundreds paddle out for surf icon Hobie Alter
    Hundreds paddle out for surf icon Hobie Alter

    DANA POINT, Calif. (AP) — Hundreds of surfers and rowers have honored Hobie Alter's request by paddling out in the Pacific in his memory.

  • New portrait unveiled for British queen's birthday
    New portrait unveiled for British queen's birthday

    LONDON (AP) — A portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by renowned British photographer David Bailey has been unveiled to mark the monarch's 88th birthday.

  • Iran says plane at airport leased to Ghana after US-flagged plane sighting

    Iran says that a plane which landed in Tehran airport flying the American flag was leased to Ghana's presidential office and carrying a business delegation from the West African nation. The New York Times reported on Thursday that a plane owned by the Bank of Utah was parked in Mehrabad Airport in Tehran on Tuesday. Its presence was noteworthy as the United States and Iran have been at loggerheads for decades and the Islamic Republic is subject to certain economic sanctions. State news agency IRNA on Friday night quoted Iranian foreign ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham as saying that the plane was transporting the brother of Ghana's president and a mining delegation.

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