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Supreme Court won't hear dispute over debit card fees

Supreme Court won't hear challenge from retailers over debit card swipe fees
Sam Hananel, The Associated Press

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a challenge from retailers who claim the Federal Reserve allows banks to charge businesses too much for handling debit card transactions.

The justices let stand a federal appeals court ruling that upheld the Fed's cap of about 24 cents per transaction on so-called "swipe fees." That ruling was a setback for merchants who pay the fees to banks every time a customer uses a debit card to make a payment.

The case was a battle between two powerful and politically influential industries with billions of dollars at stake.

Man cited in Georgia for eating cheeseburger while driving

Alabama man cited for eating cheeseburger while driving under Georgia's distracted driver law
The Associated Press

MARIETTA, Ga. - A man says he was cited by police outside Atlanta for eating a cheeseburger while driving.

Madison Turner, who's from Alabama, tells Atlanta station WSB-TV ( he ordered a double quarter-pounder with cheese from a McDonald's in the Marietta area shortly before he was pulled over last week.

Turner says the officer told him he saw him eating the cheeseburger for two miles, telling the man "You can't just go down the road eating a hamburger."

Jury selection starts for defendant in '98 embassy bombings

Jury selection starts for defendant in 1998 bombings after 1 man dies, another pleads guilty
The Associated Press

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Jury selection starts Tuesday for a defendant in a trial stemming from the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa.

Khaled al-Fawwaz will be tried alone after one co-defendant pleaded guilty last year to reduced charges and another co-defendant died this month.

The attacks in Kenya and Tanzania killed 224 people, including a dozen Americans.

Al-Fawwaz has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy charges. If convicted, he could face life in prison.

Baird says Palestinians made ICC 'mistake'

Baird says Palestinians made mistake pursuing Israel at international court
Mike Blanchfield, The Canadian Press

Canada is reaffirming its unequivocal support of Israel's bid to block a Palestinian attempt to pursue war-crimes charges against the Jewish state at the International Criminal Court.

The Palestinians "made a huge mistake" by going to the ICC, an United Nations institution that Canada played a lead role in creating in the 1990s, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said Monday in Jerusalem.

Turkey president convenes Cabinet amid power-grab claims

Turkish president Erdogan chairs 1st Cabinet meeting amid accusations of power-grab
Suzan Fraser, The Associated Press

ANKARA, Turkey - Turkey's president on Monday convened a Cabinet meeting for the first time, a political manoeuvr that is raising concerns among critics that he is pushing ahead to expand the powers of the largely ceremonial presidency.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has dominated Turkish politics for the past decade as prime minister and was elected president in August, has set his sights on turning the parliamentary system into a presidential one, giving the head of state more executive powers.

Pope's statement on climate change: 5 things to know

Pope's statement on climate change: following John Paul II & Benedict XVI, tackling science
Rachel Zoll, The Associated Press

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Pope Francis, who pledged on the day of his installation as pontiff to make the environment a priority, is drafting a highly anticipated encyclical on ecology and climate change.

Environmentalists are thrilled by the prospect of a rock-star pope putting his moral weight behind efforts to curb global warming. Francis said last week he wanted the document to be released in time to be read before the next round of U.N. climate treaty talks in Paris at the end of the year.

EU calls for anti-terror alliance with Arab countries

EU calls for anti-terror alliance with Arab countries after killings, arrests in Europe
Lorne Cook, The Associated Press

BRUSSELS - The European Union on Monday called for an anti-terror alliance with Arab countries to boost co-operation and information-sharing in the wake of deadly attacks and arrests across Europe.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said Monday that "we need an alliance. We need to strengthen our way of co-operating together."

Deadly Israeli strike deals painful blow to Hezbollah, Iran

Deadly Israeli airstrike in Syria deals painful blow to Hezbollah and its Iranian backers
Diaa Hadid And Zeina Karam, The Associated Press

BEIRUT - Beating their chests in anger and chanting "Death to Israel," thousands of mourners marched Monday in a funeral procession for a prominent Hezbollah fighter killed with five other members of the Shiite militant group in an Israeli airstrike in Syria's Golan Heights.

Police ticket boy after toy motorcycle hits SUV

Mexico police ticket 6-year-old boy, impound his toy motorcycle after crash with SUV
The Associated Press

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico - Police in this border city repented Thursday over ticketing a 6-year-old boy for reckless driving, driving without a license and not having his vehicle registered after he drove his miniature motorcycle into an SUV.

The boy's mother, Karla Noriega, said police impounded the miniature gasoline-powered motorbike that her son got for Christmas after he crashed into an SUV on Dec. 27.

Myanmar frees prominent political prisoners

Myanmar releases prominent political prisoners after presidential pardon
The Associated Press

YANGON, Myanmar - Myanmar has freed several prominent political prisoners, which has been a key condition set by Western countries for easing sanctions against the country.

Myanmar authorities freed the prisoners Friday as part of a presidential pardon for 651 detainees. Relatives and supporters of activists and ethnic minority politicians confirmed their release.

Myanmar state radio and television announced said that the 651 detainees were being freed to take part in "nation-building."

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