Many Americans who fly would rather not listen to other passengers make phone calls during a flight. A new Associated Press-GfK survey indicates that about 3 out of 5 travelers who've flown at least once in the past year oppose lifting the current ban on in-flight cellphone calls. Opposition rises to 78 percent among those who've flown more than four times. The Federal Communications Commission is set to begin debate tomorrow on a proposal to lift the phone-call restriction.
The city of Brownsville released a mobile app called Access Brownsville. It’s a way to request services, ask questions and get up to date information on city operations and events. It includes trash pickup scheduled and job openings.
Critics of the budget deal worked out by Democratic and Republican negotiators in Congress complain that most of the deficit savings won't be seen for years. And the Congressional Budget Office backs that up -- with a preliminary estimate that 80 percent of the deficit savings will come in the final three years of the 10-year agreement. Still, House Republicans today are signaling support for the plan, even though they say it isn't perfect.
The historic saga "12 Years a Slave" is the leading nominee for Screen Actors Guild awards. It scored four nominations, while "Lee Daniels' The Butler" received three, as did "August Osage County." The awards will be presented in January.
Relief agencies have been scrambling to distribute some desperately needed winter supplies, including blankets and tarps, to Syrian refugees who have sought safe haven in Lebanon and Jordan. The area has been hit with a blustery storm that dumped torrential rain and snow. It pushed temperatures below freezing in northern Lebanon and some areas of the Bekaa Valley, which is dotted with refugee settlements. An estimated 1.4 million Syrians are in Lebanon, fleeing the civil war in their homeland.
The Brownsville Christmas Parade has been rescheduled for Monday, December 16 at 7 p.m., weather permitting. The parade was originally scheduled for December 9.
Edinburg officials announced a three-mile hike and bike trail will be constructed next year. The plan is to eventually connect that trail with McAllen’s pedestrian route on Second Street. The trail will cost more than $1.6 million. Officials said the trail will be constructed with mostly federal grant money. Construction is expected to start in Fall 2014.
Organizers of the McAllen Marathon announced more than 1,000 participants signed up for the event. Several people who were signed up for the Dallas Marathon have been contacting McAllen organizers about the event, after the Dallas Marathon was canceled due to the cold weather. The Dec. 15 event is a Boston Marathon qualifier.
It's a second day of declines on Wall Street so far today. Stocks opened lower as investors continue to take profits toward the end of the year. Many people are moving to the sidelines ahead of the Federal Reserve meeting next week. Because recent economic numbers have been so strong, there's a growing belief that the Fed will ease back on its bond-buying program.
A 15-year search to develop a female equivalent to Viagra has hit another roadblock. Sprout Pharmaceuticals says it has reached an impasse with the Food and Drug Administration over its drug (flibanserin) designed to boost sexual desire in women. The FDA questions whether the drug's benefits outweigh its risks, describing its effectiveness as "modest" while side effects include fatigue, dizziness and nausea. Sprout says it's appealing the FDA's decision to deny approval.
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is asking for an investigation into the administration's botched rollout of HealthCare.gov. Sebelius wants the department's inspector general to look into the contracting process, management and performance and payment issues that may have contributed to the flawed launch. The website for buying insurance coverage is working better now after two months of repairs. A House panel is expected to give Sebelius another grilling over the new health care law later today.
A leading Senate deficit hawk says a budget agreement unveiled yesterday fails to address wasteful spending that is inflating the federal debt. Sen. Tom Coburn tells MSNBC the accord announced by the Republican House budget committee chairman and his Democratic counterpart in the Senate likely was the best that could be achieved. The Oklahoma Republican says he can't support the deal because it doesn't go far enough toward deficit reduction and doesn't attack duplication in federal programs.
South Africa's last apartheid-era president says his hope now is that Nelson Mandela's "focus on lasting reconciliation will live and bloom in South Africa." F.W. de Klerk made the remarks after paying has final respects in Pretoria today, where Mandela's body is lying in state. Thousands of mourners have been filing past the flag-draped casket, taking a final look at Mandela through a glass bubble.
Time magazine has selected Pope Francis as its Person of the Year. Time managing editor Nancy Gibbs says in his first year as pontiff, Francis has managed to change the tone, the perception and the focus of one of the world's largest institutions in an extraordinary way.
Secretary of State John Kerry has asked Democrats and Republicans in Congress not to sink a historic deal with Iran that would see it make concessions on enriching uranium to avoid new sanctions. Kerry called relations with Iran very delicate and said the choices are "an enduring resolution" or "continued hostility" that could lead to conflict.
TransCanada has begun injecting crude oil into its $2.3 billion pipeline between Cushing and the Gulf Coast. The company says that means the 485-mile pipeline is another step closer to commercial operation. The pipeline, called the Gulf Coast Project, would be the southern leg of TransCanada's proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport oil from Canada's oil sands and the Bakken Shale in North Dakota to refineries in the Houston area.
A Texas man caught in a federal sting has pleaded guilty to intending to smuggle five guns and five grenades to a Mexican drug cartel. Federal prosecutors in Laredo say 40-year-old Richard John Medina was arrested after taking delivery of weapons from a confidential ATF informant. Medina could receive to up to 10 years in prison at his sentencing, which has not yet been scheduled.
A bird strike is the official cause of a crash that sent an $8 million jet plummeting to the ground in North Texas during a training flight in July. Two pilots suffered minor injuries when they ejected from the T-38 Talon before it crashed south of Sheppard Air Force Base and burst into flames. Sheppard officials said Tuesday the bird struck the jet's canopy, shattering it and sending fragments into an engine that then failed.
A Houston-area man wanted for murder after his girlfriend turned up missing and traces of blood were found at her home has been taken into custody in East Texas. Twenty-nine-year-old Colt Morgan is accused in the Nov. 3 death of 44-year-old Wende Marshall of Cypress. Investigators have said they believe Marshall was stabbed during an argument and her body burned at her residence, which showed signs of a cleanup. Fresh paint was on the walls. Her body has not been found.
They'd been missing in the frigid mountains of northern Nevada since Sunday -- but the two adults and four children who were found today are said to be in good condition. A sheriff's official says a member of the public who'd been taking part in the ground search had located them. Aircraft had also been involved in the search for James Glanton, his girlfriend Christina McIntee, and the four children -- two of their own and a niece and nephew.
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