By Jonathan Spicer and Jason Lange WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Janet Yellen, fresh from taking the helm of the Federal Reserve, made it clear on Tuesday she would not make any abrupt changes to U.S. monetary policy, saying the central bank was on track to keep reducing its stimulus even though the labor market recovery was far from complete. In her first public comments since becoming Fed chief earlier this month, Yellen had testy exchanges with some Republican lawmakers over Wall Street regulation and central bank independence. But she managed to keep financial markets calm by emphasizing continuity with the policy approach taken by her predecessor, Ben Bernanke. Yellen said the central bank must keep its eye on the "unusually high" incidence of long-term unemployment and the "exceptionally high" proportion of Americans who can find only part-time work as it plots a tricky reversal of its very accommodative policy stance.
By Marina Lopes NEW YORK (Reuters) - A 17-year-old Maryland boy has become one of the first openly gay Boy Scouts to achieve the Boy Scouts of America's highest rank since the organization reversed its ban on gay youth nearly six weeks ago. Pascal Tessier, who publicly voiced his opposition to the ban on gay members, started with the group a decade ago as a Cub Scout and earned 21 merit badges before being named an Eagle Scout on Monday, said his father, Oliver Tessier, a consultant in Chevy Chase, Maryland. "It is phenomenal as a statement for the community that he was able to speak out for kids who could not speak out," Oliver Tessier in a phone interview. "He stressed many times that the values he learned from Boy Scouts allowed him to speak out for what was right." Calls and emails to Scouting magazine, which is the group's official publication, and to Pascal's Scoutmaster were not immediately returned on Tuesday.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Juggling a pair of tenuous diplomatic efforts, President Barack Obama on Tuesday vowed to come down like "a ton of bricks" on businesses that violate Iranian sanctions while nuclear negotiations are underway. He also conceded "enormous frustration" with stalled Syrian peace talks and offered little hope of ending the conflict soon.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Unwilling to risk spooking the markets, and leading a fractured GOP majority, House Speaker John Boehner on Tuesday stepped back from a confrontation with Democrats to let Congress vote on increasing the government's borrowing cap without trying to extract any concessions from the White House.
She was the biggest of child stars. She was the top U.S. box-office draw from 1935 to 1938, bigger than Clark Gable, Bing Crosby, Gary Cooper or Joan Crawford. She kept children singing "On the Good Ship Lollipop" for generations, retired from acting at age 21 and went on to a diplomatic career. Here's a look at the life of Shirley Temple, who died Monday at age 85:
By Lamine Chikhi OULED GACEM, Algeria (Reuters) - A military transport plane carrying members of the Algerian armed forces and their relatives crashed into a mountain on Tuesday, killing 77 people, the worst air disaster in the North African country in a decade. State television showed footage of the wreckage of the plane near the village of Ouled Gacem in eastern Algeria, smoke rising from the site and emergency crews scouring the forested area for survivors and bodies. "I saw the military plane crashing, and it was cut into two pieces," Mohamed, a fireman told Reuters at Ouled Gacem, near the crash site in Oum El Bouaghi province, 500 km (300 miles) east of Algiers. Colonel Lahmadi Bouguern told the APS state news agency that 99 passengers and four crew were on board the C-130 Hercules transport plane, which took off from the southern Tamanrasset province and was bound for Constantine.