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Obama asks $60.4B for Sandy victims



Published: Sat, December 8, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

Obama asks $60.4B for Sandy victims

WASHINGTON

President Barack Obama asked Congress on Friday for $60.4 billion in federal aid for New York, New Jersey and other states hit by superstorm Sandy in late October. It’s a disaster whose cost is rivaled only by the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the 2005 hurricane that devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.

Obama’s request adds a huge new to-do item to a congressional agenda already packed with controversy on how to resolve the nation’s budget woes and avoid the so-called fiscal cliff.

Man in his 30s has 2nd winning ticket

PHOENIX

Lottery officials announced Friday that a married man in his 30s from a wealthy Phoenix suburb has claimed his half of the $587.5 million Powerball jackpot, deciding to collect the winnings now and not next year because of the nation’s looming fiscal cliff.

The man decided to remain anonymous after he bought $10 worth of tickets and kept the winning slip in the visor of his car overnight before realizing he was a multimillionaire.

Syrian rebels set sights on airport

BEIRUT

Syrian rebels fighting to topple President Bashar Assad set their sights Friday on the capital’s international airport in a bid to cut off the regime’s supplies, clashing with government troops nearby and again forcing the closure of the airport road.

A fighter who is part of the push against Damascus International Airport declared it a legitimate target, claiming that the regime has stationed troops and elite forces there as well as military planes that transport ammunition.

Losing control of the airport would be a major blow to the regime, which recently has lost two air bases near the capital.

Issues remain after pot legalization

DENVER

Pot may be legal, but workers may want to check with their boss first before they grab the pipe or joint during off hours.

Businesses in Washington state, where the drug is legal, and Colorado, where it will be by January, are trying to figure out how to deal with employees who use it on their own time and then fail a drug test.

It is another uncertainty that has come with pot legalization as many ask how the laws will affect them.

“There’s just an incredible amount of gray right now” about how marijuana legalization affects employers, said Sandra Hagen Solin of the Northern Colorado Legislative Alliance, a coalition of chambers of commerce.

Police departments are especially worried. Officers take oaths to protect all laws, state and federal. In this case, pot is still prohibited under federal law.

Pilots OK new pact with American

DALLAS

American Airlines is closer to exiting from bankruptcy and possibly merging with US Airways after its pilots approved a new labor contract.

With the pilots’ deal announced Friday, American has negotiated new, lower-cost contracts with all its unions since filing for bankruptcy protection just over a year ago.

Company executives insist the savings will let American compete as an independent airline. But rival US Airways has been pressing to merge, arguing that both must get bigger to succeed against huge rivals United and Delta. And US Airways executives want to run the combined company.

Associated Press


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