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In Illinois, Obama issues an appeal for political unity

Darlene Superville, Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 10th - 1:40pm

President Barack Obama returned Wednesday to the Illinois capital where he launched his national political career and appealed for help ridding politics of "polarization and meanness" that discourage participation in civic life.

HBO Now has 800,000 paying subscribers since April launch

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 10th - 1:20pm

HBO Now, the standalone online version of the premium TV channel, has gained about 800,000 paying subscribers since it launched in April, contributing significantly to the 2.7 million net new HBO customers last year.

Yellen: Persistent economic weakness could slow rate hikes

Martin Crutsinger, Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 10th - 1:10pm

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen cautioned Wednesday that global weakness and falling financial markets could depress the U.S. economy's growth and slow the pace of Fed interest rate hikes.

Hold the onions! Panera works to quell rage of wrong orders

Candice Choi, Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 10th - 1:10pm

Panera wants to eliminate one of the biggest scourges of eating out — bungled orders.

Latest: US House backs bill requiring EPA notify about lead

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 10th - 1:10pm

The latest on developments in the lead contamination of Flint's water (all times local):

IMF chief warns Ukraine over slow pace of reform

James Ellingworth, Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 10th - 12:50pm

The head of the International Monetary Fund warned Ukraine on Wednesday that the organization would be unable to keep supporting the country financially if it doesn't step up its reform efforts.

Federal budget in black for January

Martin Crutsinger, Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 10th - 12:40pm

The federal government recorded a budget surplus in January of $55.2 billion, helped by a timing quirk that shifted benefit payments to December.

Ryan, Republicans grapple with alternative to Obama budget

Andrew Taylor, Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 10th - 12:32pm

Meet the new boss. Confronting the same tea party challenges as the old boss.

Senate bill aims to derail NKorea's nuclear weapons program

Richard Lardner, Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 10th - 12:20pm

Seeking to derail North Korea's drive for nuclear weapons, senators set aside their partisan differences on Wednesday to support legislation aimed at starving Pyongyang of the money it needs to build an atomic arsenal.

Twitter tweaks its timeline in pursuit of more users

Michael Liedtke, Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 10th - 11:50am

Twitter is tweaking the way that tweets appear in its users' timelines in its latest attempt to broaden the appeal of its messaging service.

The Latest: Kansas House plan hinders hospital privatization

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 10th - 1:41pm

The Latest on the Kansas House's debate on budget legislation (all times local):

VW, Audi, BMW recall nearly 1.7M vehicles in air bag mess

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 10th - 1:40pm

Volkswagen, Audi and BMW are recalling nearly 1.7 million vehicles with Takata air bag inflators that can rupture and hurl shrapnel into drivers and passengers.

Senate panel OKs bill to reduce desegregation funding

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 10th - 1:31pm

A Senate panel has passed a measure that would significantly reduce funding used to provide an equal opportunity education to minority students in Arizona school districts.

Pro racecar driver Scott Tucker charged in payday loan scam

Larry Neumeister, Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 10th - 1:30pm

Professional racecar driver Scott Tucker was arrested Wednesday on criminal charges accusing him of living the high life on the backs of millions of desperate people who used his payday lending operation to get quick cash over the Internet.

UConn warns cuts could lead to closing regional campuses

Pat Eaton-Robb, Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 10th - 12:50pm

The leaders of Connecticut's public colleges and universities asked lawmakers Wednesday to spare their schools major budget cuts, warning that more reductions could mean the elimination of academic and athletic programs and even shuttering some campuses.

Louisiana revenue forecasts drop again; budget gap at $850M

Melinda Deslatte, Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 10th - 12:50pm

Louisiana's budget gap grew worse Wednesday, reaching a projection of about $850 million and placing government services at risk of deep cuts, with only four months remaining to rebalance the state's spending plan.

Panel approves $15.8 million for mental health institutes

Todd Richmond, Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 10th - 12:41pm

The Legislature's budget committee overwhelmingly approved state health officials' request Wednesday to pump millions of dollars more into upgrades at Wisconsin's mental health institutions.

Educators back Wolf, but skeptical he'll win over lawmakers

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 10th - 12:40pm

Pennsylvania educators are happy to see Gov. Tom Wolf advocating this week for another big boost in aid to public schools in his second budget proposal, but say they are skeptical he will secure a significant victory from the state Legislature since he's yet to get what he wanted in his first attempt.

Sales tax hike for teacher pay set for House consideration

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 10th - 12:00pm

The state House is set to take up the proposed half-cent sales tax increase that would help fund Gov. Dennis Daugaard's plan to boost teacher pay in South Dakota.

President: Czechs paid $6.2M ransom to Pakistan kidnappers

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 10th - 11:40am

The Czech Republic paid a ransom for the release of two Czech women who were kidnapped in Pakistan in 2013, President Milos Zeman said Wednesday.