Obama seeks funds to fight Zika; sees no cause for panic
WASHINGTON/LONDON (Reuters) - Barack Obama will ask the U.S. Congress for more than $1.8 billion in emergency funds to fight Zika at home and abroad and pursue a vaccine, the White House said on Monday, but the president also said there is no reason to panic over the mosquito-borne virus. Zika, spreading rapidly in South and Central America and the Caribbean, has been linked to severe birth defects in Brazil and public health officials' concern is focused on pregnant women and woman who may become pregnant. Obama's request to Congress includes $200 million for research, development and commercialization of new vaccines and diagnostic tests for the virus.
Groups urge Kerry to work for release of U.S. businessman held in Iran
By Yeganeh Torbati WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Five Iranian-American groups wrote to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry last week, urging him to work for the release of an Iranian-American businessman who has been detained in Iran since October. The letter, delivered on Friday, said there was no evidence to justify the detention of Siamak Namazi, who was "left behind" in the wake of a U.S.-Iran prisoner deal that saw other Americans released from Iranian jails last month. "An American who has worked tirelessly as a bridge-builder of cultures, countries, and faiths is sitting in a prison in Tehran," said the letter, which was signed by the National Iranian American Council, the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans and other groups.
Obama to meet with Jordan's King Abdullah: White House
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama will meet with Jordan's King Abdullah at the White House on Feb. 24, the White House said on Monday. The two leaders plan to discuss the fight against Islamic State, support for Syrian and Iraqi refugees in Jordan and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the White House said. (Reporting by Ayesha Rascoe; Editing by Susan Heavey)
The Latest: Bus crash closes I-95 in Connecticut
Feds find Fiat Chrysler gear shifters can confuse drivers
DETROIT (AP) ? Electronic gear shifters on some newer Fiat Chrysler SUVs and cars are so confusing that drivers have exited the vehicles with the engines running and while they are still in gear, causing crashes and serious injuries, U.S. safety investigators have determined.
The Latest: Lawyer: 'Serial' witness should have been found
BALTIMORE (AP) ? Here's the latest on the hearing for Adnan Syed, the convicted killer at the center of the "Serial" podcast who is asking a judge for a new trial. The hearing began last Wednesday and is now in its fourth day.
AccuWeather: On-and-off snow through Tuesday
Damaged cruise ship to turn around, sail back to New Jersey
MIAMI (AP) ? A Royal Caribbean cruise ship ran into high winds and rough seas in the Atlantic Ocean on Sunday, forcing frightened passengers into their cabins overnight as their belongings flew about, waves rose as high as 30 feet, and winds howled outside. The cruise line says that although no one was injured and the ship suffered only minor damage, it's turning around and sailing back to its home port in New Jersey.
Judge adopts deal involving racial claim at Arizona prisons
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) ? A federal judge has signed off on an agreement between Arizona and an inmate to end a claim of racial segregation in the state's 10 prisons.
AccuWeather: Snow is heading our way