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Congress 2nd slackest in history

Thursday, December 18, 2014

WASHINGTON — The 113th Congress will just have to settle for being bad instead of the worst — at least as far as productivity is concerned. President Barack Obama signed a whopping 51 bills Thursday, the White House announced, bringing the most recent tally of laws enacted in the past Congress to 286, according to a Los Angeles Times review. That would be just three more than the 283 public …

Governor gets high-level call on air

Thursday, December 18, 2014

BOSTON — Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has fielded calls on hundreds of subjects during his monthly “Ask the Governor” radio show. But this call was one of a kind. “Uh, Governor, this is Barack Obama, formerly of Somerville,” the caller began Thursday. “I’ve got a few complaints about service in and around the neighborhood, but I’ve moved down South since that time.” The …

Warren backers set up shop in Iowa

Thursday, December 18, 2014

DES MOINES, Iowa — Liberal activists eager to draft Sen. Elizabeth Warren into a run for president are working the ground in Iowa, the pivotal early-voting state where an organizing effort is already in place — for Hillary Rodham Clinton. MoveOn.org held a meeting Wednesday evening in Des Moines as part of its …

Area briefs

Friday, December 5, 2014

South Hadley CANDIDATES WANTED: Nomination papers for the town election April 7 will be available starting Monday. The following offices will appear on the ballot: moderator, one year; Select Board, two seats for three-year terms; School Committee, two seats for three-year terms; Board of Assessors, one seat for …

Clinton, in Boston, supports probes of police-involved deaths in Mo., NY

Thursday, December 4, 2014

WASHINGTON — Hillary Rodham Clinton said Thursday the nation’s criminal justice system is “out of balance” and she supports federal reviews of police-involved deaths of black men in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York City. Clinton said the two …

Baker to meet with Obama

Thursday, December 4, 2014

BOSTON — Massachusetts Gov.-elect Charlie Baker is gearing up for a daylong trip to the White House on Friday where he’s scheduled to meet with President Barack Obama. Baker told The Associated Press on Thursday that at first …

Putin offers little relief for Russia’s fiscal woes

Thursday, December 4, 2014

MOSCOW — Russia will defend its geopolitical interests, President Vladimir Putin warned Thursday as he promised economic reforms to pull his country back from the brink of recession. But Putin’s patriotic bluster and vague promises did little to …

Netanyahu fires 2 ministers

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

JERUSALEM — After months of acrimony within his government, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fired two centrist ministers Tuesday, accusing them of plotting to topple him. The prime minister offered a blistering attack on Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, saying they had repeatedly criticized …

Warren draws praise, ire as freshman senator

Sunday, November 30, 2014

BOSTON — In her first two years in the U.S. Senate, Elizabeth Warren has drawn praise and ire among her Capitol Hill colleagues as well as the ardent support of liberal loyalists. The Massachusetts Democrat has locked horns …

Congress’ final days crammed

Sunday, November 30, 2014

WASHINGTON — Like a student who waited until the night before a deadline, lawmakers resuming work Monday will try to cram two years of leftover business into two weeks, while also seeking to avoid a government shutdown. Their …

Warren meets Mideast leaders

Monday, November 24, 2014

BOSTON (AP) — U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren has met with Israeli and Palestinian leaders during a tour of the Middle East, her first official congressional trip overseas. Warren’s office confirmed the Massachusetts Democrat met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel …

S.C.’s Graham rejects GOP Benghazi report as ‘garbage’

Sunday, November 23, 2014

WASHINGTON — A top Republican took aim at his GOP colleagues on Sunday for issuing a report that largely absolved the Obama administration for its handling of the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, dismissing …

New parties struggle for toehold in Mass.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

BOSTON — When Massachusetts voters cast ballots on Election Day, they not only picked winners and losers in a host of key races, they also gave a big boost to those seeking an alternative to the state’s two …