Health insurers flirted with Democrats, supported them with money and got what they wanted: a federal mandate that most Americans carry health care coverage. Now they're backing Republicans, hoping a GOP Congress will mean friendlier regulations. They may get more than they're wishing for.
LONDON (AP) — The WikiLeaks website is poised to release what the Pentagon fears is the largest cache of secret U.S. documents in history — hundreds of thousands of intelligence reports that could amount to a classified history of the war in Iraq. U.S. officials condemned the move and said Friday they were racing to contain the damage from the imminent release, while NATO's top official told reporters he feared that lives could be put at risk by the mammoth disclosure.
PARIS (AP) — The French Senate, pushed into an early vote, approved on Friday a hotly contested bill raising the retirement age to 62, hours after riot police forced the reopening of a strategic refinery to help halt growing fuel shortages amid nationwide strikes and protests. In tense balloting after 140 hours of debate, the Senate voted 177-153 for the pension reform. The measure is expected to win final formal approval by both houses of parliament next week.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration on Friday laid out a five-year, $2 billion military aid package for Pakistan as it pressed the Islamabad government to intensify its fight against extremists there and in neighboring Afghanistan. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced the plan during the latest round of U.S.-Pakistani strategic dialogue. The administration will ask Congress for $2 billion for Pakistan to purchase U.S.-made arms, ammunition and accessories from 2012 to 2016, Clinton said.
ON THE FLOOR OF THE GULF OF MEXICO (AP) — Just 20 miles north of where BP's blown-out well spewed millions of gallons of oil into the sea, life appears bountiful despite initial fears that crude could have wiped out many of these delicate deepwater habitats. Plankton, tiny suspended particles that form the base of the ocean's food web, float en masse 1,400 feet beneath the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, forming a snowy-like underwater scene as they move with the currents outside the windows of a two-man sub creeping a few feet off the seafloor.
ATLANTA (AP) — As many as 1 in 3 U.S. adults could have diabetes by the year 2050, federal officials announced Friday, in a dramatic revision of earlier projections. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 1 in 10 have diabetes now, but the number could grow to 1 in 5 or even 1 in 3 by mid-century if current trends continue. "This is alarming," said Ann Albright, director of the CDC's Division of Diabetes Translation.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Ousted NPR analyst Juan Williams said Friday that he believes his former employer had been looking for a reason to fire him and used comments he made this week about Muslim airline passengers as an excuse to do so. Meanwhile, a U.S. senator said he would start the ball rolling to cut federal funding to the network. Muslim groups were outraged by Williams' comments Monday on Fox News that he gets nervous when he sees people in Muslim dress on planes. But Williams' firing two days later prompted complaints by conservatives and even some liberals that NPR went too far.
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Lindsay Lohan sidestepped another jail stint Friday when a California judge sent the 24-year-old troubled starlet back to rehab, telling her she was an addict and faced jail time if she relapsed again. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elden S. Fox ordered Lohan to remain at the Betty Ford Center until Jan. 3 and report back to court in late February.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Nevada Supreme Court refused Friday to overturn O.J. Simpson's armed robbery and kidnapping convictions stemming from a gunpoint heist in a Las Vegas hotel room. In its ruling, the court said it concluded each of Simpson's eight appeal arguments were without merit.
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Colby Lewis went to Japan expecting to finish his career there. Then after two seasons in the Far East, his original team offered him a chance to come back home and pitch. Now Lewis could deliver the Texas Rangers their biggest victory in the franchise's 50 seasons. Beat the New York Yankees in Game 6 of the AL championship series Friday night, and the Rangers are headed to their first World Series.