• White House doesn’t have ‘figure on costs’ of Africa trip

    Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the president's birthplace.

    President Barack Obama makes the first extended trip to Africa of his presidency next week—but he won't be stopping in his ancestral homeland.

    Obama's weeklong trip—June 26-July 3—which he's taking with his wife, Michelle, and daughters Sasha and Malia, as well as with members of his economic and trade team, is to signal America's interest in trade, democracy and economic development in Africa. He will visit Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania.

    "We see Africa as one of the most important emerging regions in the world," deputy national security adviser for strategic communications Ben Rhodes told reporters on a conference call Friday. He added that the administration sees "growing economic opportunities [in the continent] for increased trade and investment" by U.S. businesses.

    The trip will also focus on "democracy and democratic institution-building," Rhodes said.

    Rhodes acknowledged the

    Read More »from White House doesn’t have ‘figure on costs’ of Africa trip
  • The top 9,486 ways Jay Carney won’t answer your questions (interactive)

    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

    Jay Carney doesn’t have an answer for that. He hasn’t discussed that subject with the president. He will refer you to the Department of [insert agency here]. He refuses to speculate on that. He’ll have to get back to you.

    But he appreciates the question.

    A Yahoo News analysis of the 444 briefings through June 18 that Carney has held since becoming White House press secretary has identified 13 distinct strains in the way he dodges reporters' question. Since Carney held his first daily briefing with reporters in the White House Brady Press Briefing Room on Feb. 16, 2011, for example, he’s used some variation of "I don’t have the answer" more than 1,900 times. In 1,383 cases he referred a question to someone else. But will he at least speculate on hypotheticals? No. In fact, he has refused to do so 525 times.

    In the following interactive, you can browse all 9,486 of Carney’s most-used responses and verbal crutches.

    The main function of a White House press secretary is to shape messaging

    Read More »from The top 9,486 ways Jay Carney won’t answer your questions (interactive)
  • Kanye West and Kim Kardashian (Getty Images)

    You probably didn't wake up this morning wondering what Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio thought about Kim Kardashian and Kanye West naming their new baby "North." (Congratulations! You're normal, unlike us.) Thankfully, talk radio host Andrea Tantaros asked Rubio about the celebrity couple's newborn on her show Friday.

    "You're probably only going to get this question from me today," Tantaros told Rubio during an interview. "Kanye West named his baby with Kim Kardashian 'North West.' Do you think that's a slight to Florida? Should they have named him 'South East?'"

    "Oh gosh, I guess we could just wait for another baby," Rubio said. "That's going to be an interesting birth certificate."

    Tantaros also congratulated Rubio on the Miami Heat's victory in the NBA Championship on Thursday night and asked if he partied hard with LeBron James the night before.

    "Oh no," Rubio said. "Those days are long gone."

    As our dedicated readers will recall, Rubio was once a regular on the Miami

    Read More »from Rubio weighs in on Kim Kardashian-Kanye West baby name

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  • Final Glance: Railroad companies

    Shares of some top railroad companies were down at the close of trading: CSX fell $.21 or .7 percent, to $30.52. Canadian National Railway Co. fell $.77 or 1.1 percent, to $67.58. Canadian Pacific Railway ...

  • Passengers stuck in Hawaii for 3 nights get cash
    Passengers stuck in Hawaii for 3 nights get cash

    WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — A group of Air New Zealand passengers were stranded for a third night Monday after being repeatedly told their plane was delayed due to mechanical problems.

  • AP ANALYSIS: Amid war, endgames in Gaza emerge
    AP ANALYSIS: Amid war, endgames in Gaza emerge

    TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — The savage fighting between Israel and Hamas is escalating in Gaza, cease-fire efforts take on elements of farce, and bravado rules the public discourse. But even through the fog of war, a few endgame scenarios can nonetheless be glimpsed.

  • Putin may have passed point of no-return over Ukraine
    Putin may have passed point of no-return over Ukraine

    By Timothy Heritage MOSCOW (Reuters) - Vladimir Putin risks becoming an international pariah over the Ukraine crisis but the Russian president is battening down the hatches for the gathering economic and political storm. The United States and the European Union saw the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 as a chance for Putin to distance himself from pro-Russian separatists in east Ukraine and seal the border across which they say arms are reaching the rebels. Instead Putin has stood firm, blamed the crash on his pro-Western antagonists in Kiev and signaled no change in his stance, leaving Russia facing the threat of much tougher international sanctions and economic and political isolation. With an about-turn all but impossible for Putin after a fierce media campaign that has demonized the West, painted Ukraine's leaders as fascists and backed the rebels to the hilt, he appears to have passed the point of no-return.

  • Edward Norton’s Mission to Help You Raise Money for A Good Cause
    Edward Norton’s Mission to Help You Raise Money for A Good Cause

    Edward Norton is a Hollywood A-lister with memorable roles in "Primal Fear," "Fight Club" and "American History X." He's also a passionate philanthropist with an entrepreneurial spirit. After running the New York City Marathon for charity in 2009, he got the idea of developing an online platform that would combine fundraising with social media; soon after he co-founded Crowdrise.

  • List of Hamas demands, and why Israel unlikely to accept them
    List of Hamas demands, and why Israel unlikely to accept them

    JERUSALEM (AP) — Hamas rulers have presented a list of demands to stop their fire on Israel in the Gaza war. Israel has said it doesn't want to reward Hamas for its rocket campaign, but has other reasons to oppose the demands — mostly based on security.

  • Family finds 300-year-old sunken treasure off Florida's east coast
    Family finds 300-year-old sunken treasure off Florida's east coast

    By Barbara Liston ORLANDO Fla. (Reuters) - A Florida family scavenging for sunken treasure on a shipwreck has found the missing piece of a 300-year-old gold filigree necklace sacred to Spanish priests, officials said on Tuesday. Eric Schmitt, a professional salvager, was scavenging with his parents when he found the crumpled, square-shaped ornament on a leisure trip to hunt for artifacts in the wreckage of a convoy of 11 ships that sank in 1715 during a hurricane off central Florida's east coast. "It's priceless, unique, one of a kind," said Brent Brisben, operations manager for Queens Jewels, which owns rights to the wreckage, located in 15-foot (4.5-meter) deep Atlantic Ocean waters. Schmitt's parents have hunted for sunken treasure as a hobby for a decade.

  • Russia drafts regulation on import duties for Ukraine: document

    Russia's Economy Ministry has drafted a regulation introducing import duties on Ukrainian goods, a draft document showed, in an apparent response to Kiev's trade deal with the European Union. Russia said last month it was likely to respond with trade barriers after Kiev signed an association agreement with the EU which provides for free trade between the two. According to the text of the draft regulation, published on a government website, a wide range of Ukrainian goods - from beer to furniture and cars - will be subject to duties that Russia's Customs Union applies to "most favoured nations", ending a more favourable tariff regime.

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