President Barack Obama is heralding a major reshuffling of his war and intelligence team as the right move to protect the nation's security interests. The president announced four major personnel changes Thursday, formalizing news that began spilling out about two days earlier.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Confronting doubters who harbor questions about his place of birth, President Barack Obama chose to defy one of his White House's own rules: Don't get dragged into the news skirmish of the day. This time, he decided he had to. In an extraordinary step, the White House produced a copy of his detailed Hawaii birth certificate Wednesday after obtaining a special waiver from the state to make it public.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The economy slowed sharply in the first three months of the year. High gas prices cut into consumer spending, bad weather delayed construction projects and the federal government slashed defense spending by the most in six years. The 1.8 percent annual growth rate in the January-March quarter was weaker than the 3.1 percent growth in the previous quarter, the Commerce Department reported. And it was the worst showing since last spring when the European debt crisis slowed growth to a 1.7 percent pace.
RABAT, Morocco (AP) — A massive terrorist bombing ripped through a cafe popular among tourists in the heart of the Moroccan city of Marrakech on Thursday, killing 14 people including foreigners and wounding 20, the government spokesman said. The blast in the iconic Djemma el-Fna square was Morocco's deadliest attack in eight years.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Commercials promoting sugary breakfast cereals could be put on a strict diet under government guidelines urging food companies to limit marketing of unhealthy products to children. Under a proposal announced Thursday by several government agencies, companies would be urged to only market foods to children ages 2 through 17 if they are low in fats, sugars and sodium and contain specified healthy ingredients.
NEW YORK (AP) — Exxon earned nearly $11 billion in the first quarter, a performance likely to land it in the center of the national debate over high gasoline prices. The world's largest publicly traded company said Thursday that higher oil prices boosted profits 69 percent from a year ago. The result was Exxon's best since earning a record $14.83 billion in 2008's third quarter.
LONDON (AP) — Each step has been rehearsed, each flower meticulously arranged, the aisle of Westminster Abbey transformed into a flowering green avenue of trees. As Kate Middleton and best man Prince Harry had a final run-through inside the abbey where she will marry Prince William on Friday, a growing throng of curious tourists, dedicated monarchists, souvenir vendors, William-watchers and Harry-hunters turned the Union Jack-bedecked streets outside the iconic landmark into a scene of festive chaos.
TITUSVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Space Coast hotels are sold out, residents are renting bedrooms and restaurants are doubling food supplies as thousands of tourists arriving for Friday's launch of space shuttle Endeavour are boosting a region fearing its economic future. The launch is the next-to-last for the program and President Barack Obama and his family will be in attendance.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The NFL has told its teams and players to get back to football, at least for now. In a memo released Thursday hours before the draft, the NFL said players could resume voluntary workouts at team facilities, meet with coaches and go over playbooks beginning Friday. It also promised to distribute detailed procedures for signing free agents or making trades and other roster moves.
PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — Crumbling unity among militants could provide the Pakistan army an opening to conduct a limited offensive against a particularly vicious Taliban group in a strategic tribal region, according to analysts and a senior military official. The target of such an operation in North Waziristan would be the most violent factions within the so-called Pakistani Taliban. Their leader, Hakimullah Mehsud, is believed to be increasingly isolated after executing a prominent former Pakistani official over the objections of senior militant leaders.