US News

Obama, Republicans to Meet on Supreme Court Vacancy

 VOA News President Barack Obama is hosting Senate Republican leaders Tuesday to discuss his planned appointment to the Supreme Court. The nine-member court has an opening following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia last month.  But Republicans have said Obama should not make an appointment to the lifetime position in his final year in office, instead leaving that to whomever is the next president. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said ahead of the White House meeting they intend to reiterate that message. Obama will be joined by fellow Democrats Vice President Joe Biden, Senate…
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Politics

Super Tuesday Mega-Vote Could be Key to Presidential Nomination

Greg Flakus HOUSTON, TEXAS—For Republicans, Super Tuesday may be the last chance for candidates to blunt the momentum of front-runner Donald Trump, the real estate billionaire from New York. For Democrats, the voting contests from Massachusetts to Texas could determine if Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders can remain viable as former secretary of state Hillary Clinton's momentum builds. Voters in 13 states and one territory (American Samoa) are set to cast ballots in primaries and caucuses Tuesday. It is unlikely that a candidate in either party will win sufficient delegates to claim the nomination, but a big win in several delegate-rich…
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Politics

Growing Minority Numbers Shake Up US Presidential Race

Steve Baragona The transformation of American politics is happening in miniature about 40 kilometers southwest of Washington, in Prince William County, Virginia. Corey Stewart chairs the county board. He lives in a historic home where George Washington slept on his honeymoon. Stewart says the house looks a lot like the Founding Father's Mount Vernon manor did before wings were added. "If you want to see what Mount Vernon originally looked like, come to Bel Air," he said. Historically, Prince William County has been solidly Republican. Six of the eight county board members are Republicans. But the party's dominance here could…
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Featured

Republicans Try to Keep Pace With Trump on Super Tuesday

VOA News The race to be the next president of the United States has its most important day so far Tuesday as candidates compete in 11 states.  Those trailing in polls hope to make major moves to catch a pair of frontrunners who lead by double digits. Tuesday is hugely important for Republicans with businessman Donald Trump riding a three-state winning streak and favored in 10 of the so-called "Super Tuesday" states.  Trump trails only in the southern state of Texas, where Senator Ted Cruz hopes to capture his home turf. The key will not be how many states Trump…
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US News

A Selfie Photo Might Be Your Next Password

VOA News All those selfies may turn out to be useful after all. Credit card company MasterCard says its customers could soon use selfie photos (and a fingerprint) instead of passwords to make payments online. The company thinks a biometric system that could read a photo of your face would be more secure and could drive sales. Speaking with CNBC at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the company said biometric security has been used on a trial basis in the United States and the Netherlands. MasterCard said that 53 percent of shoppers forget their passwords at least once a…
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Health

NIH Taking First Steps to Huge Precision Medicine Project

Associated Press WASHINGTON—The Obama administration is moving ahead with a major project to learn how to better tailor treatments and preventive care to people's genes, environment and lifestyle. As part of the Precision Medicine Initiative, the National Institutes of Health plans to be gathering data from at least 1 million volunteers by 2019, work that will go beyond standard medical exams to include even day-to-day wellness information gathered from smartphones or wearable sensors. At a White House summit Thursday, the NIH is announcing first steps to set up that massive database so it can begin recruiting soon. "For most of…
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US News

Obama Considering Republican Nevada Governor for Supreme Cour

Ken Bredemeier The White House is vetting Republican Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval for the Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, sources familiar with the process said Wednesday. Sandoval met with Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid on Monday while the governor was in Washington for the National Governors Association meeting. A 52-year-old Mexican-American, Sandoval was appointed a judge by President Barack Obama's predecessor, George W. Bush, before being elected governor in 2010. Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval participates in the opening session of the National Governors Association Winter Meeting in Washington, Feb. 20, 2016. While he is…
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US News

Loophole Allowing US Imports of Slave-produced Goods Closed

VOA News For the past 84 years, an exemption in law allowed the import of goods produced by slaves and others forced into labor, including children, as long as demand exceeded supply. In two weeks, that will be illegal. President Barack Obama signed a trade bill Wednesday that includes a provision closing a loophole in a law that went into effect in 1932. That measure, the Tariff Act of 1930, did prohibit slave labor imports, but said the ban did not apply to any goods that were not otherwise produced in large enough quantities to "meet the consumptive demands of…
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Entertainment

Museum Highlights Tubman’s Bravery, Toughness in Battling Slavery

Chris Simkins CAMBRIDGE, MARYLAND—Born a slave on a farm on the Eastern Shore of the state of Maryland, Harriet Tubman is a legend in the annals of African-American history for leading many slaves to freedom — sometimes at than 100 years after her death, a new generation is learning about this remarkable woman. "People are fascinated with Harriet Tubman because they see her as an ordinary person who rose up against all odds to escape the savagery of slavery," said Donald Pinder, president of a group that runs the Harriet Tubman Museum in Cambridge, Maryland. "The tourists who come here…
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Politics

For Both Parties, South Carolina Primaries Loom Large in Presidential Race

Brian Allen COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA—Because this state's presidential primaries are the first in the southeastern United States, experts say they are among the most important early battlegrounds in the nominee selection weeks, Republican and Democratic candidates have crisscrossed the state. From major rallies packing thousands of supporters into convention centers and town halls to smaller discussions in churches and university buildings, candidates on both sides of the aisle have fought hard for each vote in this pivotal state. Spread out over two weeks, the campaigning ends Saturday when Democratic Party voters go to the polls to choose between Hillary Clinton…
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