Thursday, May 21, 2015         

New York Times

For three election cycles, American Crossroads, the brainchild of Karl Rove and other leading Republican strategists, has been among the most powerful forces in national politics, a shadow party that has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on advertising, data and opposition research to help elect candidates.

Hundreds of volunteers fanned out across New York on Thursday morning as part of an outreach campaign for nail salon workers organized by city officials, with the goal of reaching by day’s end thousands of manicurists and educating them about their rights and how to protect their health.

President Barack Obama denied that the United States and its allies were losing the fight against Islamic State forces in the Middle East, but he acknowledged in an interview posted online on Thursday that more should be done to help Iraqis recapture lost territory.

Aided by four friends, and to the cheers of some of her classmates, the student who protested Columbia University's handling of her sexual assault complaint by carrying a mattress around campus all year hoisted it for the last time Tuesday as she crossed the stage at a graduation ceremony.

In 1988, a rising comic named Jerry Seinfeld went to the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park for a Christmas party for "Late Night With David Letterman." Seinfeld had just made a deal to do a sitcom for NBC, and he buttonholed Letterman in the corner of the restaurant and asked him for advice.

Jeb Bush has his famous last name as a calling card, for better or worse. But Scott Walker's name does not ring many bells outside Wisconsin. Ted Cruz is not even well known in Texas.

WASHINGTON » When the Environmental Protection Agency proposed a major new rule intended to protect the nation's drinking water last year, regulators solicited opinions from the public.

BAGHDAD » As Shiite militiamen began streaming toward Ramadi on Monday to try to reverse the loss of the city to the Islamic State, the defeat has given new momentum to Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's rivals within his own Shiite political bloc.

WASHINGTON » The quotes he posts are rarely pithy, and often sayings he thinks up in the shower. The photographs he puts up sometimes show him frowning, while others show him gazing oddly into the horizon. And he does not seem to care about the importance of videos.

It is a natural question, one that many people have raised before, and have raised again since Tuesday's fatal Amtrak crash in Philadelphia: Should trains have seatbelts?

As the 2016 campaign unfolds, Hillary Rodham Clinton will benefit from one rapid-response team working out of a war room in her New York headquarters - and another one working out of a "super PAC" in Washington.

Seen from the Internet, it is a vast education empire: hundreds of universities and high schools, with elegant names and smiling professors at sun-dappled American campuses.

MOSCOW » Few people looking to buy a trendy, state-of-the-art smartphone anywhere in the world today would even think about a Russian model, but the makers of the YotaPhone aspire to change that.

WASHINGTON » A Twitter post recently caught the eye of Bill McKibben, the environmental advocate and godfather of the Keystone XL pipeline protests. It included an image from "The Simpsons" showing Homer and his family basking in mountains of cash in their living room, followed by a report on Hillary Rodham Clinton's appearance at a fundraiser with a lobbyist from the Keystone fight.

After nearly 20 years on the job, Jim Jeffries, the police chief in LaFollette, Tenn., has seen his share of marijuana seizures — dry green buds stashed in trunks or beneath seats, often double-bagged to smother the distinctive scent.

WASHINGTON >> So Jeb Bush now says he would not have invaded Iraq if he knew then what he knows today. Neither would Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, John R. Kasich, Rand Paul, Rick Santorum or Marco Rubio. In fact, Rubio said, “Not only would I not have been in favor of it, President Bush would not have been in favor of it.”

MOSCOW >> For Russia, victory came three days after Victory Day, in the form of Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit this week to the Black Sea resort city of Sochi.

NEW YORK >> Lizzie Valverde and Katy Olson were strangers when they enrolled at Columbia University a few years ago. Valverde is from New Jersey, while Olson had grown up mostly in Florida and Iowa.


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