Deal to avoid next shutdown in the works
The contours of a mini-deal to avert another government shutdown emerged Wednesday. Crafted by Republican Rep. Paul D. Ryan and Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, the proposed compromise could go before the House for a vote as soon as next week. But prospects for passage remain murky. The pending two-year deal levies no new taxes and fends off some Pentagon budget cuts but preserves spending for social programs.
Weapons transfer could be delayed
The head of the mission charged with destroying Syria's chemical weapons said Wednesday that preparations are on track to move the most dangerous chemical agents from sites in the war-torn country to the port of Latakia, but there are serious security issues on key roads. Sigrid Kaag told reporters after briefing the U.N. Security Council that "there are factors beyond our control" that could affect the ambitious schedule to destroy Syria's entire chemical weapons program by mid 2014.
Railroads to offer same-sex benefits
The nation's largest freight rail carriers announced Wednesday they will provide health care benefits to the same-sex spouses of their employees, one day after legally married, gay engineers filed a federal lawsuit in Seattle. Gus Melonas, a spokesman for BNSF Railway Co., read the statement from the National Railway Labor Conference to the Associated Press.
California: Paul A. Ciancia, the man charged with killing an airport safety officer and shooting three others at Los Angeles International Airport last month, made a brief initial appearance before a federal judge here Wednesday, his face scratched and his neck bandaged. The judge ordered him held without bail.
Baghdad: Iraqi authorities say insurgents have attacked a security headquarters, killing four people. Police officials say the assault on Wednesday took place when a car bomb exploded in Kirkuk.