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Keystone XL bill passes in Senate, faces Obama veto


Senators Schumer and Stabenow respond to Republicans at a Democrat response news conference after vote on amendments on the Keystone XL pipeline bill in WashingtonThe U.S. Senate passed a bill on Thursday to approve the long-pending Keystone XL oil pipeline, despite the White House saying earlier in the day that President Barack Obama would veto the measure. The Republican-led Senate passed the bill that would approve TransCanada Corp's project to carry 800,000 barrels per day of heavy Canadian crude to Nebraska on the way to Gulf Coast refineries and ports. The House has passed its own pipeline bill and will work with the Senate to send the bill to the Obama's desk. After the potential veto, Obama is expected to make his own decision on the pipeline after the State Department finishes a review in coming weeks.


'Peace between us,' Raul Castro says of U.S. ties


Cuban President Raul Castro applauds during the closing session of the III CELAC Summit 2015 in the Pedregal building, northwest of San Jose, on January 29, 2015Cuban President Raul Castro gave an endorsement to peace between the United States and his communist country, with the two nations in talks to restore ties after decades of animosity. Asked by a journalist at a summit of Latin American and Caribbean states what he would most like to see after the US economic embargo of Cuba is lifted, Castro barked: "Peace, peace between us, peace between the United States and us. Castro first said he would have to consider the question because the end of the economic embargo may be a long way away. US and Cuban diplomats met last week in Havana in landmark talks aimed at renewing ties that broke off in 1961.


Texas lawmaker under fire for divisive Facebook post


The Texas and Israeli flags are waved by protesters who gathered to disrupt and heckle a group gathered for a Texas Muslim Capitol Day rally, Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015, in Austin, Texas. Hundreds of Muslims gathered for the rally as part of their biennial Texas Capitol lobbying day. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)A newly-elected Texas state lawmaker is under fire for a divisive Facebook post asking Muslim visitors to an event at the state capitol in Austin to pledge allegiance to the United States.


U.S. funding impasse blocks Secret Service hires: Homeland Security chief


U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Johnson listens to a question from a Republican member of Congress as he defends Obama's executive action on immigration at Capitol Hill in WashingtonBy Doina Chiacu and Susan Cornwell WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Secret Service cannot hire new agents for the next presidential election or make improvements at the agency until Congress settles a dispute over funding, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said on Thursday. Johnson said in a speech in Washington that uncertainty over the budget for the Department of Homeland Security, which secures U.S. borders, airports and coastal waters and protects the president, had put security initiatives on hold. These included recommendations made in December by a review panel on the Secret Service, which has been plagued with a series of security lapses, among them a White House intruder and a drone that landed on the mansion's lawn early Monday. Secret Service protection extends to major presidential and vice presidential candidates and their spouses within four months of a presidential election.


NYC public defenders in video advocate killing police, city finds


By Ellen Wulfhorst NEW YORK (Reuters) - Attorneys at a New York City public defenders' office participated in an online video that advocated the killing of police officers, featuring the lyrics "time to start killing these coppers," a city investigation disclosed on Thursday. The video "Hands Up," which shows singers pointing guns at someone portraying a police officer, was released shortly before the deadly ambush on Dec. 20 of two New York City officers by a gunman angry over police killings of unarmed black men. Two attorneys with the Bronx Defenders, a city-funded legal service organization, appear in the anti-police video, some of which was filmed at the Bronx office, according to the New York City Department of Investigation report. The Bronx Defenders posted a message on its website saying it "abhors the use of violence against the police." "The Bronx Defenders never approved the music video 'Hands Up,' and never saw it before it went online," it said.

Suspected Ebola patient admitted to California hospital


By Sharon Bernstein SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Reuters) - A patient suspected of contracting Ebola after traveling in West Africa and exhibiting symptoms of the disease was admitted on Thursday to a special isolation hospital unit in Sacramento and was being tested for infection, officials said. The patient was considered at a relatively low risk of infection. Although recently in an area where Ebola transmission is widespread, the person had no known contact with anyone who has had the disease, said Laura McCasland, a spokeswoman for the Sacramento County Public Health Department. McCasland said she did not know precisely where or when the patient had traveled in West Africa, the epicenter of the worst Ebola epidemic on record, or why the individual was there or for how long.
Concerts

Fleetwood Mac @ KFC Yum Center Tues Feb 17


Nickelback @ KFC YUM CENTER Wednesday, Feb 25


Elton John @ U.S. Bank Arena Friday, February 27


Kongos @ Mercury Ballroom Saturday, February 28


Chris Brown & Trey Songs @ U.S. Bank Arena Saturday, February 28


Meghan Trainor @ Mercury Ballroom Sunday, March 1


Maroon 5 & Magic! @ KFC Yum Center Saturday, March 14


Andy Grammer @ 20th Century Theatre in Cincinnati Wednesday, March 25


Stevie Wonder @ KFC Yum Center Friday, March 27


The Who @ KFC Yum Center Sat, May 9