• In her new role as a private citizen and potential presidential candidate, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the renamed Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation announced on Friday a new initiative to promote early childhood education.

    "New research shows that what happens here [in a child's home] during the first five years of your child's life will make a difference for the rest of his or her life," Clinton says of the home in a video announcing "Too Small to Fail."

    According to its website, the initiative is designed "to promote new research on the science of children’s brain development, early learning and early health." And it plans to "help parents, businesses and communities identify specific actions ... that they can take to improve the lives of young children."

    The decision to put childhood development ahead of a 2016 presidential race seemingly rebrands Clinton as someone focused on domestic issues, not just on international relations.

    And childhood

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  • Will Obama send (more) Americans to Syria?

    A Free Syrian Army fighter runs for cover from snipers in Deir al-Zor, June 13, 2013.Picture taken June 13, 2013. (Khalil Ashawi/Reuters)
    The White House announcement that President Barack Obama has decided to provide direct military aid to Syria’s rebels didn’t include the word “arms.” And the word “weapons” appears only as part of “chemical weapons,” as in “our intelligence community assesses that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons.”

    In fact, Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes, who detailed the decision on a conference call with reporters late Thursday, repeatedly declined their invitation to detail what, exactly, Washington is sending to try to tip the balance in the opposition’s favor.

    “This is more a situation where we're just not going to be able to lay out an inventory of what exactly falls under the scope of that assistance other than to communicate that we have made that decision,” Rhodes said. (He used variations on the ‘inventory’ line at least four times during the call.)

    That’s a little odd. Here’s how National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden described a decision to escalate aid

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  • Jeb Bush: Immigrants are ‘more fertile’

    Jeb Bush speaks Friday at the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference in Washington, D.C. (Mary F. Calvert/Reuters)

    Jeb Bush, a former governor of Florida, had a lot to say at Friday's Faith and Freedom Coalition conference. But the thing that has everyone talking: his description of immigrants as "more fertile" than native-born Americans.

    Bush, a recurring potential candidate for president, is fluent in Spanish, married a Mexican-born woman and has a strong contingent of Hispanic support in Florida. When he said at the annual meeting in Washington, D.C., that immigrants are "more fertile," and so can replenish the country's population with young people, he likely misspoke, although it's true that immigrant women have a higher fertility rate than women born in the U.S.

    The line overrode his other remarks—even one suggesting that the United States model itself after Canada on immigration.

    Noting that immigrants create more businesses than do individuals born in the United States, he said, "Canada is the place that we might want to look to"—referring to a country often attacked by conservatives as an

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  • Israel vows 'harshest response' to further Jerusalem attacks
    Israel vows 'harshest response' to further Jerusalem attacks

    Any future attacks on Jerusalem will be met with the "harshest response" Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday after a Palestinian car attack killed a baby. "Jerusalem is united and was, and always will be, the eternal capital of Israel. Following an order from Netanyahu late on Wednesday, police have bolstered their presence across the city in a bid to end months of unrest in the occupied eastern sector. "We will return peace and security to Jerusalem," Netanyahu said.

  • Takata shares drop on report of US air bag probe
    Takata shares drop on report of US air bag probe

    Shares in Japanese auto parts maker Takata sank in Tokyo on Thursday as nervous investors reacted to a report that US justice officials are investigating the firm over an air bag defect that may have killed several drivers. The embattled firm's shares fell 6.16 percent to 1,582 yen ($15) in Tokyo, after plunging 22 percent on Tuesday following an earlier air bag safety warning. The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that federal prosecutors in New York are probing whether Takata made misleading statements about the safety of its bags to US regulators. According to the New York Times, at least 139 injuries have been linked to Takata air bags, including 37 reported as exploding.

  • Boyfriend leads police to pregnant Ohio woman's remains

    By Kim Palmer CLEVELAND (Reuters) - An Ohio man who confessed to killing his pregnant girlfriend and burning down their Columbus apartment led authorities to her body early Wednesday, Ohio police said. Jacob Ferrero, 22, confessed to the murder and arson to Columbus police and fire investigators late Tuesday night, Columbus Police Sgt. Rich Weiner said. Ferrero, who was arrested on Tuesday, was charged on Wednesday with the murder of his live-in girlfriend, Samantha Greenlee, also 22. ...

  • Europe's banks face moment of truth from ECB review

    By Laura Noonan and Eva Taylor LONDON/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The euro zone's 130 biggest banks received the European Central Bank's final verdict on their finances on Thursday after a review aimed at drawing a line under persistent doubts about the health of the region's banking sector. Most lenders already had a good idea of how they had fared in the region's most comprehensive-ever bank tests before the results landed around noon, after getting "partial and preliminary" figures from the ECB in recent weeks. ...

  • Khamenei says Iraq can beat IS without foreigners
    Khamenei says Iraq can beat IS without foreigners

    Tehran (AFP) - Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Tuesday told Iraq's visiting premier that the Baghdad government is capable of defeating Islamic State jihadists without foreign troops being deployed.

  • Ingenious new app is every math teacher’s nightmare come true
    Ingenious new app is every math teacher’s nightmare come true

    If your school doesn’t already collect your smartphones before you go to class, we’re certain that it will start doing so after seeing this new mobile app. Per Engadget, an app called PhotoMath is every math teacher’s worst nightmare come to life as it will solve equations for you just by using your smartphone’s camera. MORE GREAT APPS: This brilliant app will send you a photo of the person who stole your smartphone As you can see in the video posted below, the app uses your camera to scan the page for mathematical symbols and will then decipher the precise syntax of the problem it sees and then solve it. So far, the app can read basic arithmetic expressions, fractions, powers

  • Here are the best times to watch tomorrow’s partial solar eclipse
    Here are the best times to watch tomorrow’s partial solar eclipse

    On Thursday, a partial solar eclipse is expected to darken the skies above. A partial solar eclipse occurs when the sun and moon are not exactly in line and the moon only partially obscures the sun. We’d like to reiterate that just because the sun is partially obscured, it’s still a very bad idea to stare directly into it, no matter how much you may be tempted to try. With that warning out of the way, here are the best times to watch: 1:35 p.m. local time in Seattle 1:52 p.m. in San Francisco 2:08 p.m. in Los Angeles Phoenix  around 2:21 p.m. Denver at 3:18 p.m. Chicago at 4:36 p.m. Dallas at 4:48 p.m. 5:45 and 6 p.m. local time in

  • Inspector: 'Serious lapse' at Secret Service
    Inspector: 'Serious lapse' at Secret Service

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A government investigation Wednesday criticized a bizarre Secret Service assignment that pulled agents from their duty near the White House and sent them to the rural Maryland home of a headquarters employee embroiled in a personal dispute with a neighbor.

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