Congress unlikely to OK Obama's clean energy bid
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama said Saturday that he will ask the Republicanled Congress to double spending on research and development into clean energy by 2020. But the request is unlikely to be fulfilled.
GOP lawmakers scoff at the science behind climate change and dismiss Obama's pleas for the issue to be dealt with urgently. In an unusual twist in Obama's final year in office, the Republican leaders of the House and Senate Budget Committees have said they will not hold a customary hearing on the president's budget proposal the day after they receive it.
Obama on Tuesday plans to send to Congress the spending blueprint for the budget year that begins Oct. 1. The release will come on the day when New Hampshire voters get their say in the first presidential primary of the 2016 race to succeed him.
"Rather than subsidize the past, we should invest in the future," Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address, outlining his wish for the increased spending.
Federal spending on research and development of clean energy would jump from $6.4 billion this year to $12.8 billion by 2020 under Obama's proposal, administration officials said.
Spending would increase by about 15 percent in each of the five years of the pledge. If approved, the budget that takes effect Oct. 1 would provide $7.7 billion for clean energy research and development across 12 federal departments and agencies for the 2017 fiscal year.— AP
Radioactive water spilled into well at nuclear plant
BUCHANAN, N.Y. — An apparent overflow at a nuclear power plant north of New York City spilled highly radioactive water into an underground monitoring well, but nuclear regulators said the public isn't at risk.
Officials at the Indian Point Energy Center in Buchanan, 40 miles north of Manhattan, reported on Friday that water contaminated by tritium leaked into the groundwater under the facility. The contamination has remained contained at the site, said Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who ordered the state's Departments of Environmental Conservation and Health to investigate.
The leak occurred after a drain overflowed during a maintenance exercise while workers were transferring water, which has high levels of radioactive contamination, said Neil Sheehan, a spokesman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
"We don't believe there's any concern for members of the public," Sheehan said.— AP
Chicago officer sues estate of teen student he shot
CHICAGO — A white Chicago police officer who fatally shot a black 19-year-old college student and accidentally killed a neighbor has filed a lawsuit against the teenager's estate, arguing the shooting left him traumatized.
The unusual lawsuit was filed Friday amid city leaders' efforts to win back the public's trust after several cases of alleged police misconduct.
Robert Rialmo's lawsuit provides the officer's first public account of how he says the Dec. 26 shooting happened. It says Rialmo opened fire after Quintonio LeGrier swung a bat at his head at close range.
LeGrier's father, Antonio LeGrier, filed a wrongful death lawsuit, saying his son wasn't a threat.
New York moves to stop 'gay conversion' therapy for kids
NEW YORK — New York is taking steps to stop therapists from trying to change young people's sexual orientation, joining a number of states that have taken action against what's known as "gay conversion" therapy.
Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced plans for new regulations Saturday. They will bar New York insurers from covering the therapy for minors and will prohibit mental health facilities under state jurisdiction from offering it to minors.
It's not immediately clear how many insurers or facilities statewide provide the coverage or therapy now.
States including California, New Jersey and Illinois have banned conversion therapy. But efforts to ban it have failed in other states, including Colorado.
Opponents of conversion therapy say it has been discredited and can harm young people. Supporters say banning it limits treatment options.— AP
Twitter CEO says timeline will stay in real time
NEW YORK — Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said Saturday the social media website's stream of tweets will stay live and in real time, disputing a media report that a change was in the works.
News and entertainment site BuzzFeed reported Friday that Twitter was going to introduce a timeline based on an algorithm rather than a real-time stream. The report upset some users, who created the hashtag RIPTwitter to debate the change.
But Dorsey took to Twitter to dispute the report.
"Twitter is live," he tweeted.
"Twitter is real-time."
Twitter is facing slowing user growth and has been trying to make its service more appealing.— AP