WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is signaling that the Fed will likely resume raising interest rates later this month to reflect a strengthening job market and inflation edging toward the central bank's 2 percent target rate. Yellen also says in a speech in Chicago that the Fed expects steady economic improvement to justify additional rate increases. While not specifying how many rate hikes could occur this year, Yellen notes that Fed officials in December had estimated that there would be three this year.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A Pentagon spokesman says the U.S. has conducted more than 30 airstrikes this week in Yemen aimed at an al-Qaida affiliate seen as intent on attacking the United States. Navy Capt. Jeff Davis told reporters today that U.S. warplanes over the past two days have targeted members of the group known as al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, as well as the group's infrastructure, fighting positions and heavy weapons.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States says basic freedoms of expression and free association are on the decline around the world, making it harder for opposition groups and human rights activists to organize. That's the conclusion of the State Department's annual human rights report being released today. The report says there are growing crackdowns on the media and internet freedom and suppression of political opposition groups. It says "civil society" groups that represent different sectors of a population have less room to operate. Human rights groups and some lawmakers are criticizing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for declining to speak publicly about the report or to promote it.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The U.S. Justice Department says it's halting a review and reform process of the Memphis Police Department. In October, Justice Department officials launched the comprehensive review of Memphis police after citizens criticized the department's use of deadly force and its treatment of the black community. Today, the department says it won't proceed with the collaborative reform process, and that it has made other technical assistance and training resources available to Memphis police. The review began after an announcement in September that federal officials found insufficient evidence to file civil rights charges in the July 2015 shooting of a black man by a white officer.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Missouri police official says the man accused of threatening eight Jewish institutions and the Anti-Defamation League will also be questioned about the desecration of a Jewish cemetery. Authorities say 31-year-old Juan Thompson made the threats in an effort to harass and vilify his former girlfriend. They say some of the threats against the institutions were made in the woman's name.