The Obama White House has cleared the way for federal authorities to get more information on gun purchases along the southwest border.
Dealers who sell multiple semi-automatic weapons to the same person in a short period of time must report the sales to federal authorities.
The new rule will apply in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas — states where illegal gun running from the U.S. to Mexico is rampant — and comes as gun trafficking along the border gets scrutiny from Congress.
Even though it's been nearly eight months since political rivals in Iraq came together to form a coalition government, key positions in that government have yet to be filled, and political infighting continues.
At issue is the fact that Iraq's prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, who's backed by the country's Shiites, and his main rival, Ayad Allawi, who's backed by the Sunnis, simply cannot agree on who should run the ministries of defense and interior.
Today the federal government released proposed rules that will govern how states set up and run new marketplaces where individuals and small businesses can shop for health insurance.
The so-called exchanges are a key element of the health care overhaul law. Sliding subsidies for private insurance on the exchanges will be available for residents who earn up to 400 percent of the poverty level, about $43,560 this year.
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has been on the job for all of 11 days and he's already frustrated with Iraq.
"I'd like things to move a lot faster here, frankly, in terms of the decision-making process. I'd like them to make a decision, you know: Do they want us to stay? Don't they want us to stay? ... But damn it, make a decision," he said during a visit to Baghdad on Monday following a brief trip to Afghanistan. It's Panetta's first trip to the warzones since assuming his new job last week.