Agreement on $1.1 trillion spending bill
Congressional negotiators on Monday unveiled a $1.1 trillion spending bill that would fund federal agencies through the rest of the fiscal year and end the threat of another government shutdown. Facing a Wednesday deadline, House and Senate leaders were preparing a temporary bill to keep the government open through the weekend. That would give lawmakers a few days to review the measure. It puts flesh on the bones of a bipartisan budget deal struck in December, when Republicans and Democrats agreed to partially repeal spending cuts known as the sequester. As a result, the Pentagon will avoid a $20 billion cut and domestic agencies — which have absorbed sequester reductions — will get a bump up in funding of similar size.
Hard-liners praise nuclear agreement
Iranian hard-liners on Monday cautiously welcomed the completion of an interim nuclear accord that will provide Tehran with some relief from Western economic sanctions in return for a suspension of certain nuclear activities for six months. "This is the first step toward a cease-fire," Rasoul Sanaeirad, a political assistant to the Revolutionary Guards, told the Fars news agency. "It seems the Americans are determined to overcome the atmosphere of conflict."
Pilots grounded after landing error
The pilots of a Southwest Airlines flight that landed at the wrong Missouri airport were grounded Monday, the airline said. The Boeing 737 was traveling from Chicago's Midway Airport to Branson Airport on Sunday but instead landed at tiny Taney County Airport seven miles away. No one was hurt, but after the 124 passengers were let off the plane, they noticed the airliner had come close to the end of the runway, where it could have tumbled down an embankment if it had left the pavement. Southwest said it's common for pilots to be grounded while the airline and officials investigate.
New Mexico: A state court said Monday that terminally ill residents have a constitutional right to obtain "aid in dying," a ruling that could make New Mexico the fifth state to allow patients to seek aid in dying if their conditions become unbearable.
Israel: Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was laid to rest Monday at his ranch as the nation bid a final farewell to one of its most colorful and influential leaders.