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United States Top Stories

Web companies give first look at secret government data requests

Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo and Google on Monday began publishing details about the number of secret government requests for data they receive, hoping to show limited involvement in controversial surveillance efforts. The tech industry has pushed for greater transparency on government data requests, seeking to shake off concerns about their involvement in vast, surreptitious surveillance programs revealed last summer by former spy contractor Edward Snowden. The government said last month it would relax rules restricting what details companies can disclose about Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court orders they receive for user information. Several companies, including Google and Microsoft, sued the government last year, seeking the ability to disclose more of that data.

U.S. says HealthCare.gov enrollment appeal hearings to begin soon

The Obama administration on Monday said it will soon begin hearings to resolve problems for people who enrolled in health insurance through the Obamacare website HealthCare.gov, only to encounter errors including unnecessarily high costs. The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the lead agency responsible for implementing the healthcare reform law, issued a statement saying it was reaching out to consumers with error-ridden enrollments to help them complete applications for coverage without a formal appeal. The statement came in response to a Washington Post report that said about 22,000 Americans have appealed to CMS for help fixing enrollment mistakes that have led to excessive charges, enrolled them in the wrong health plan, or denied them coverage altogether. The appeals have hit a technological dead end, the newspaper reported, because the administration has yet to complete the technology infrastructure necessary to manage the appeals process.

Snowstorm sweeps across Northeast, trapping Super Bowl fans

By Ellen Wulfhorst NEW YORK (Reuters) - A fast-moving winter storm swept into the Northeast on Monday, yet again forcing flight cancellations, slowing traffic and proving weather-forecasting groundhog Punxsutawney Phil right. Travelers leaving the New York City area after Sunday night's Super Bowl championship football game faced long delays at the region's airports and risky driving on snow-covered roads. Hardest hit by the storm-related flight delays and cancellations was Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, the closest to the stadium where the Denver Broncos fell to the Seattle Seahawks 43-8 in the National Football League's matchup.

Seattle Super Bowl win buoys a city used to losing

SEATTLE (AP) ? For a city accustomed to losing not just games, but teams, the Seattle Seahawks' dominant Super Bowl win provided a long overdue catharsis, buoying the spirits of a fan base that hasn't always had much to cheer about.

Convicted murderer escapes from Michigan prison

In this surveillance photo from a Middlebury, Ind., gas station provided by the Michigan State Police is Michael David Elliot who escaped from the Ionia Correctional Facility in mid-Michigan Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014 after creating a hole at the bottom of the two perimeter fences and crawling through, according to authorities. Elliot was serving a life sentence for fatally shooting four people and burning down their Gladwin County house in 1993. (AP Photo/Michigan State Police)IONIA, Mich. (AP) ? An intense manhunt was underway Monday for a convicted killer who peeled a hole in two fences with his hands to escape from a Michigan prison before abducting a woman and fleeing to Indiana where the victim and her vehicle were safely recovered, authorities said.


A new entitlement? The right to preschool

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) ? Republican governors and lawmakers who now control a majority of state capitols have been pushing aggressively to cut spending and shrink government ? with one glaring exception.

Former 2nd lady Joan Mondale dies at age 83

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) ? Joan Mondale, who burnished a reputation as "Joan of Art" for her passionate advocacy for the arts while her husband was vice president and a U.S. ambassador, died Monday. She was 83.

Man allegedly shot by Aaron Hernandez shot again

FILE - In this Friday, Oct. 4, 2013, file photo, Alexander Bradley, right, talks with his attorney Robert Pickering, left, during a court appearance at Hartford Superior Court on in Hartford, Conn. Bradley, who alleges he was shot by former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, has been shot again in Connecticut. Hartford police Lt. Brian Foley says Bradley was shot several times in the leg Sunday night, Feb. 2, 2014, at the Vevo Lounge Bar & Grill, and was taken to a hospital. His condition hasn't been released. (AP Photo/The Hartford Courant, Richard Messina, Pool, File)HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) ? Hartford police say a man who alleges he was shot in the face by former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was shot again in a dispute over money.


 

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