National

1:47am

Tue February 7, 2012
Around the Nation

China's Heir Apparent Rekindles Early Ties To Iowa

During his pending trip to the United States, Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping hopes to reunite with Iowans he met back in 1985, during an agricultural mission to America. Here, Xi attends a meeting with Vice President Joe Biden last August.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

China's Vice President Xi Jinping is coming to America. Next week, he'll meet with President Obama at the White House. He'll lead a trade delegation to California. And he also plans to make a stop in Muscatine, Iowa.

Why Muscatine? It turns out that Xi wants to catch up with old acquaintances — he first visited the town (population 22,886) in the 1980s, as part of an agricultural mission.

Back then, the man who is likely to soon become China's president had dinner with Sarah Lande and her husband.

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2:05pm

Wed January 25, 2012
The Two-Way

Alaska Airlines To Stop Handing Out Prayer Cards

An Alaska Airlines jet. On that airline, prayer cards are no longer going to be part of the flying experience.
Gabriel Bouys AFP/Getty Images

"After more than 30 years of handing prayer cards to customers aboard its planes, Alaska Airlines has decided the practice is outdated and will stop doing it on Feb. 1," The Seattle Times reports.

A few things struck us about this news.

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10:01pm

Tue January 24, 2012
Around the Nation

Irene's Floods Dry Up Business In Vermont Town

When Waterbury, Vt., got walloped by the remnants of Hurricane Irene, the small town sustained an estimated $9 million in damages to personal property, and countless millions more in lost business revenue. Five months later, the waters have receded, but Waterbury's future remains uncertain.

On Main Street, a church bell still chimes every day, but daily life in Waterbury hasn't been the same since Irene.

"It's palpable," says Bill Shepeluk, Waterbury's municipal manager. "You can sense that it's not as vibrant as it was."

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1:49am

Tue January 24, 2012
Around the Nation

Online Lottery Could Be Coming To A State Near You

Several states — including Illinois and New York — are now pushing forward with plans to offer lotteries on the Internet.
iStockphoto.com

Several states — including Illinois and New York — are now pushing forward with plans to offer lotteries on the Internet. That's in the aftermath of an opinion from the Justice Department, which reverses a long-standing policy and says states are free to conduct online gambling within their borders.

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3:00am

Sat January 7, 2012
Law

When Property Rights, Environmental Laws Collide

Originally published on Sat January 7, 2012 8:20 am

Chantell and Mike Sackett say the EPA violated their right to due process when it said they were building a house on a wetland. The Supreme Court will hear the case on Monday.
Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Monday in a case near and dear to EPA haters.

It would seem to be a David-and-Goliath case that pits a middle-class American couple trying to build their dream home against the Environmental Protection Agency. But the couple, Michael and Chantell Sackett, is backed by a veritable who's who in American mining, oil, utilities, manufacturing and real estate development, as well as groups opposed to government regulation.

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