JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Lawmakers in many states have been trying to boost their post-recession economies by cutting income taxes, curbing aid to the long-term jobless or holding down the minimum wage. Some have pursued all of these steps. Whether such policies will spur businesses to expand as hoped isn't yet clear. But collectively, the actions could ease the financial burden for the states' most affluent residents while reducing the safety net for those at the bottom.
DETROIT (AP) — Along rows of cubicles at the General Motors Technical Center in suburban Warren, engineers knew for years about faulty ignition switches in small cars. Safety officials in the same complex knew, too. So did the lawyers downtown. That knowledge loitered inside GM for at least a decade until this February, when the company recalled 2.6 million cars to repair the switches. During that time, at least 13 people lost their lives in crashes tied to the problem. Why that delay happened — and who is responsible — should be revealed Thursday, when a report by former U.S. Attorney Anton Valukas is made public.
IMPERIAL, Calif. (AP) — A Marine jet crashed into a residential area and destroyed two homes in a Southern California desert community Wednesday, but no one was injured, authorities said. Despite the explosive crash on a street of tightly packed houses, 1st Lt. Jose Negrete (neh-GREH-tay) said no people on the ground were hurt. The pilot had ejected safely, was taken to a hospital for evaluation and released, officials said.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate is moving forward on a compromise bill to help veterans avoid long waits to see a doctor and make it easier to fire administrators who falsify records to cover up long wait times. Hopes for a vote as soon as Thursday have dimmed, but senators said they would press ahead on a measure to address an uproar over veterans' health care following allegations that veterans have died while waiting to see a Veterans Affairs doctor.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The married couple with a taste for exotic travel set out for Central Asia in the summer of 2012, moving as tourists through a region not normally visited by Westerners. It was a risky venture by any standards, not least because young travelers were expecting their first child. They crossed into Afghanistan where, one day, Joshua Boyle emailed relatives from an Internet cafe in a part of the country he called unsafe.
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's housing ministry said Thursday it was advancing plans for nearly 1,500 new settlement housing units in the West Bank and east Jerusalem in response to the new Palestinian unity government backed by the Islamic militant group Hamas. Housing Minister Uri Ariel said in a statement that the move was a "fitting Zionist response to the formation of a Palestinian terror government," adding that the housing plans were "just the beginning."
WASHINGTON (AP) — Many of the 8 million people who signed up for coverage under President Barack Obama's health care now have an asterisk next to their names. A government document provided to The Associated Press indicates that at least 2 million people enrolled for taxpayer-subsidized private health insurance have data discrepancies in their applications. Each individual has at least one mismatch between key personal information they supplied and what the government has on record.
YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Perched on a stool on a bustling sidewalk in Myanmar's biggest city, an elderly gentleman pecks away on a clunky manual typewriter. It's a will, Aung Myint says, barely looking up as his fingers rise high over the keys and hammer down with a steady sense of purpose. He points with his chin to the stack of papers he still needs to get through before he heads home, 30 or more, many of them legal papers hastily delivered by lawyers who work at the courthouse down the street.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Carrie Underwood's special connection with CMT viewers helped her continue her run at the CMT Awards — and crash Luke Bryan's party. Underwood won her third straight video of the year Wednesday night, taking the top honor for the fifth time with "See You Again." The "American Idol" champion is CMT's top overall winner with 11 belt buckles in her career.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Donald Sterling is leaving without a fight. He is dropping his plans to sue the NBA, leaving only approval by the league's owners for Steve Ballmer to become the new owner of the Los Angeles Clippers.