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Budget negotiations to continue over weekend; sticking points remain ethics and education

State lawmakers planned to hold meetings throughout the weekend as they put the finishing touches on the state budget. But, a couple big issues remain unresolved. Senate Republicans are trying to modify Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to require full disclosure of law clients in legislators’ outside business. Senate GOP Leader Dean Skelos, who works part-time at a private law firm, says he expects to agree on a “robust” new disclosure law, but concedes that it may only apply to new law clients,...
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During a tough Israeli election campaign, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu managed to antagonize, among others, the White House, Israel's Arab citizens and the Palestinians.

Now that Netanyahu's Likud Party has come out on top, the prime minister has sought to ease tensions with a series of gestures.

The current upheaval in Yemen is a sharp reminder of the fragility of the global oil market. Airstrikes by Saudi Arabia against Houthi rebels in Yemen has stoked fears of a disruption to the supply market.

Yemen and Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil producer, share a long border. While Yemen is only a small producer of crude oil, it controls the Bab el-Mandeb Strait at the southern entrance to the Red Sea.

The president of the University of Oklahoma says two dozen students from the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity have been disciplined for taking part in a racist chant about African-Americans and lynching that was videotaped and went viral earlier this month.

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State lawmakers planned to hold meetings throughout the weekend as they put the finishing touches on the state budget. But, a couple big issues remain unresolved.

Senate Republicans are trying to modify Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to require full disclosure of law clients in legislators’ outside business.

Senate GOP Leader Dean Skelos, who works part-time at a private law firm, says he expects to agree on a “robust” new disclosure law, but concedes that it may only apply to new law clients, not existing business arrangements.

When word came of Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid's decision to retire, various observers and Democratic constituencies quickly emerged with their choices for his successor as the party's Senate leader.

There were those who touted Patty Murray of Washington, the proven problem-solver and veteran legislator who has worked her way up the ladder of Senate succession. Others talked up Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who in just two years has emerged as a star in the caucus and who has also joined the leadership in a junior role.

The official dictionary of the Swedish language is getting a fresh infusion of 13,000 new words, editors of the Swedish Academy have announced.

Among the additions is a gender-neutral pronoun. Instead of just he (han) and she (hon), there will now be hen as well.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, who has announced that he won't seek re-election in 2016, says he is backing Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, the Senate's No. 3 Democrat, to succeed him in the leadership position.

"He [Schumer] will be elected to replace me in 22 months," he told Nevada Public Radio. "One reason that will happen is because I want him to be my replacement."

Saudi Arabia unleashed another round of airstrikes today on its southern neighbor, Yemen. The warplanes targeted Houthi rebel targets, including air bases, in a bid to neutralize the militants' air defenses.

Explosions rocked the capital, Sanaa, and anti-aircraft guns could be heard returning fire, according to The Associated Press.

Hoping to reverse a steep increase in HIV infections in southern Indiana, Gov. Mike Pence has temporarily suspended state law and his own anti-drug policies to implement a short-term needle exchange program for addicts.

Jake Harper at member station WFYI in Indianapolis reports:

"Pence issued the order on Thursday, after meeting with Scott County health officials yesterday.

The global aviation industry is moving swiftly to change policies to reassure the traveling public in the wake of the apparently deliberate crash of airliner into the French Alps, killing all 150 aboard.

Airlines from around the world have announced that they will begin requiring two crew members in the cockpit at all times after investigators on Thursday announced that the crash of Germanwings Flight 4U 9525 occurred when the co-pilot locked the pilot out of the cockpit and placed the Airbus A320 into a deliberate descent.

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