By Ros Krasny WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The House of Representatives approved a bill as expected on Wednesday declaring that a presidential permit was not needed to approve the Canada-to-Nebraska leg of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, a move that would take a decision on the project away from the Obama administration. The Republican-controlled House voted 241-175 with support from some Democrats. The bill faces an uphill battle because it would have to pass the Senate with enough votes to overcome a promised veto from President Barack Obama. …
Read more here: U.S. House votes to force approval of Keystone pipeline
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — NASCAR honored members of its royal families with inductions into the Hall of Fame on Wednesday.
Read more here: Family Ties: Jarrett, Petty enter NASCAR hall
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Voters approved a law limiting the number of medical pot shops in Los Angeles after politicians failed for years to corral the blossoming industry.
Read more here: Vote on pot shops could end lingering LA issue
The Chicago Board of Education voted on Wednesday to close 50 schools – including about 10 percent of all elementary schools – in the largest mass school closing in the nation. The closings in mainly Hispanic and African-American neighborhoods have drawn protests by parents and teachers union leaders who say the closures will expose children to greater gang violence in a city that recorded 506 murders in 2012. …
Read more here: Chicago board approves largest school closing
Infinity Ward, the acclaimed developer behind hit games such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and the upcoming Call of Duty: Ghost, is looking to bring strikingly realistic models and environments to the latest installment in the Call of Duty franchise. The new gaming engine that will debut with Call of Duty: Ghost later this year will deliver a variety of graphical improvements such as enhanced visual fidelity, high-resolution textures and more. The company notes that one of its new technologies, known as Sub-D, greatly improves formerly blocky details by exponentially boosting polygon counts in real-time, allowing for incredibly realistic character models that can show fine hairs, bruising, cuts and even the dirt beneath finger nails. Call of Duty:
Read more here: Video: Infinity Ward shows how Call of Duty: Ghost will be its most realistic, immersive game yet
SYDNEY (Reuters) – Ford Motor Co is set to announce it is closing its two Australian auto plants and will cease production in the country by 2016 as it struggles with sliding sales, high costs and a strong Australian dollar, local media reported on Thursday. Ford is set to close its engine plant in Geelong and its assembly plant in Broadmeadows, both in the state of Victoria, News Ltd reported. Ford was not immediately available for comment but had planned an announcement for later on Thursday, according to the report. …
Read more here: Ford to close Australia auto plants: reports
The US government has acknowledged the killing of four American citizens as part of its drone attack program – one person intentionally and three others not specifically targeted but killed in strikes aimed at terrorist suspects.
Read more here: US acknowledges killing four American citizens in drone strikes
By Megha Rajagopalan BEIJING (Reuters) – European aid groups said their banks in Europe had stopped sending money to North Korea in the wake of U.S. sanctions on Pyongyang's main foreign exchange bank, leaving them scrambling for a solution short of hand-carrying cash into the impoverished country. Aid groups said if it became impossible to send enough money to operate, donors might withdraw support for their programs. …
Read more here: European banks stop sending money to North Korea: aid groups
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans pushed through a bill Wednesday to bypass the president to speed approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to Texas. Democrats criticized the legislation as a blatant attempt to allow a foreign company to avoid environmental review.
Read more here: House passes GOP bill to speed pipeline approval
By Andy Sullivan, Gabriel Debenedetti and Poornima Gupta WASHINGTON (Reuters) – For years, Apple Inc kept a low profile in Washington as it grew into one of the most valuable companies in the world. Now the iPad maker has taken the lead, perhaps inadvertently, on a top priority for U.S. business: simplifying America's tax code. Chief Executive Tim Cook, who was called before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations on Tuesday to answer questions about Apple's alleged tax avoidance, used his appearance to plead for an overhaul of corporate taxes. …
Read more here: Apple, former Washington wallflower, now at center of tax fight