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U.S. judge says cannot seize Kurdish crude for now

Tuesday, 3:36 PM

The oil tanker United Kalavyrta approaches Galveston, TexasBy Anna Driver and Kristen Hays HOUSTON (Reuters) - A high-stakes dispute over a tanker carrying $100 million in Iraqi Kurdish crude took a surprising turn on Tuesday when a U.S. judge said she lacked jurisdiction given the ship's distance from the Texas shore and urged that the case be settled in Iraq. Federal magistrate Nancy K. Johnson said that because the tanker was some 60 miles (100 km) offshore, and outside territorial waters, an order she issued late on Monday for U.S. Marshals to seize the cargo could not be enforced. She said the dispute between Iraq's central government and the autonomous region of Kurdistan should be resolved in Iraq. Overnight Johnson signed an order directing the marshals to seize the 1 million barrels of crude from the United Kalavrvta tanker anchored in the Gulf of Mexico.


Argentina officials arrive for debt deadline talks

Tuesday, 3:36 PM

Mediator Daniel Pollack arrives for a meeting in New York, Tuesday, July 29, 2014. Argentina's government says it will make another effort to make a deal with U.S. creditors ahead of a looming deadline that risks sending the country into its second default in 13 years. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)NEW YORK (AP) — Argentina's finance secretary arrived Tuesday for talks aimed at avoiding that country's second default in 13 years, though it was unclear whether meetings with a mediator offered any real chance at a deal.


Obama says strains over Ukraine not leading to new Cold War with Russia

Tuesday, 3:44 PM

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks to reporters about new sanctions imposed on Russia as he departs the White HouseBy Steve Holland and Anna Yukhananov WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama escalated U.S. economic sanctions against Russia on Tuesday for its aggression against Ukraine but dismissed suggestions the growing chill in U.S.-Russian relations marked the start of a new Cold War. The United States and the European Union, in a carefully coordinated action, announced targeted new sanctions against Russian banks, energy and defense firms. It was the West's most serious response yet to what it calls Russian instigation of and continuing support for the separatist uprising in the east and the shootdown of a Malaysian passenger jet on July 17 over eastern Ukraine. Obama, speaking at the White House, said the sanctions will have a "greater impact on the Russian economy than we've seen so far" in a drive to force Moscow to stop backing the separatists.


U.S. lawmakers worry about border security without extra funds

Tuesday, 3:41 PM

U.S. President Obama speaks at the Summit of the Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders in WashingtonBy Doina Chiacu and Richard Cowan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. border security will probably suffer if Congress fails to act on President Barack Obama's $3.7 billion request to cope with the explosion of child migrants into the U.S. Southwest, lawmakers and congressional aides warned on Tuesday. Those concerns came amid signs that a Republican bill in the House of Representatives and a Democratic measure in the Senate, both of which were more modest than Obama's request, faced challenges. The Democratic-controlled Senate has scheduled a procedural vote for Wednesday on a $2.7 billion border funding bill. Senator John Cornyn of Texas told reporters he did not know of any fellow Republicans who will support it, indicating it likely will fall short of the 60 votes needed to advance in the 100-member Senate.


ESPN suspends Smith for comments on abuse

Tuesday, 3:37 PM

FILE - In this Saturday, Dec. 12, 2009 file photo, Stephen A. Smith arrives at Spike TV's Video Game Awards in Los Angeles. ESPN says it has suspended sportscaster Stephen A. Smith, Tuesday, July 29, 2014 for a week because of comments about domestic abuse suggesting women should make sure they don't provoke attacks. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File)NEW YORK (AP) — ESPN has suspended outspoken sportscaster Stephen A. Smith for a week because of his comments about domestic abuse suggesting women should make sure that they don't do anything to provoke an attack.


NCAA to settle head injury suit with $70 million fund

Tuesday, 3:31 PM

By Mary Wisniewski CHICAGO (Reuters) - The NCAA has agreed to settle a head injury lawsuit by providing $70 million for concussion testing and diagnosis of student athletes in a move to change the way colleges address sports safety, according to court documents filed on Tuesday. The class-action agreement, if approved by a federal judge and class members, would apply to student athletes in all sports who played at schools regulated by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) at any time in the past and up to 50 years into the future. The proposed NCAA settlement comes about three weeks after a federal judge's preliminary approval of an open-ended settlement between the National Football League and thousands of former players. While the money in the NFL settlement was intended to resolve all of the personal injury claims for the plaintiffs' out of pocket damages, Tuesday's proposed NCAA settlement was designed to pay only for research and a medical monitoring program.

Colorado court tells county to stop issuing gay marriage permits

Tuesday, 3:46 PM

By Daniel Wallis and Keith Coffman DENVER (Reuters) - Colorado's top court ordered the Boulder County Clerk on Tuesday to stop giving out marriage licenses to gay couples while it considers an appeal by the state's attorney-general who says a ban on same-sex nuptials remains in force. The clerk, Hillary Hall, has issued 202 of the permits since late last month when a federal appeals court ruled in favor of gay marriage in conservative, neighboring Utah. ...

Top Colorado court halts gay marriages in Boulder

Tuesday, 3:45 PM

UTAH GAY MARRIAGE TO SCOTUSColorado's Supreme Court ordered Boulder County to stop issuing marriage licenses to gay couples while an appeal from the state attorney general is heard.


Twitter assuages growth concerns for now as shares soar 35 pct

Tuesday, 3:45 PM

Twitter logo is displayed on the floor of the New York Stock ExchangeBy Edwin Chan SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Twitter Inc halted a slowdown in user-growth in the second quarter with the help of product tweaks and services built around the summer's World Cup, assuaging concerns for now that the online messaging service had peaked. Shares of the company soared 35 percent on Tuesday after it reported monthly active users had risen a better-than-expected 24 percent, chalking up what would be its largest gain in a single day and adding almost $7 billion to its market value. ...


US, Europe impose tough new sanctions on Russia

Tuesday, 3:34 PM

President Barack Obama speaks on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, July 29, 2014, as he announces new economic sanctions against key sectors of the Russian economy in the latest move to force Russian President Vladimir Putin to end his support for Ukrainian rebels. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)WASHINGTON (AP) — Spurred to action by the downing of the Malaysian airliner, the European Union approved dramatically tougher economic sanctions Tuesday against Russia, including an arms embargo and restrictions on state-owned banks. President Barack Obama swiftly followed with an expansion of U.S. penalties targeting key sectors of the Russian economy.


NCAA to settle head injury suit with $70 million fund

Tuesday, 3:31 PM

By Mary Wisniewski CHICAGO (Reuters) - The NCAA has agreed to settle a head injury lawsuit by providing $70 million for concussion testing and diagnosis of student athletes in a move to change the way colleges address sports safety, according to court documents filed on Tuesday. The class-action agreement, if approved by a federal judge and class members, would apply to student athletes in all sports who played at schools regulated by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) at any time in the past and up to 50 years into the future. The proposed NCAA settlement comes about three weeks after a federal judge's preliminary approval of an open-ended settlement between the National Football League and thousands of former players. While the money in the NFL settlement was intended to resolve all of the personal injury claims for the plaintiffs' out of pocket damages, Tuesday's proposed NCAA settlement was designed to pay only for research and a medical monitoring program.

U.S. Senate unanimously confirms McDonald to head veterans agency

Tuesday, 3:21 PM

Obama nominates McDonald to head the Veterans Administration in WashingtonThe U.S. Senate on Tuesday unanimously confirmed Bob McDonald as the next Veterans Affairs secretary, pinning Washington's hopes on the former Procter & Gamble Co chief executive to launch a massive turnaround effort at the troubled agency. McDonald, 61, replaces retired Army general Eric Shinseki, who resigned in late May amid a scandal over cover-ups of long waiting times for health-care appointments at VA hospitals and clinics across the country. The 97-0 vote to confirm McDonald comes a week after he pledged to bring corporate-style discipline and accountability to the agency, refocusing its 341,000 employees on serving veterans. "In the wake of the biggest scandal in the history of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Bob McDonald certainly has his work cut out for him," House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller said after the Senate vote.