4:14pm

Wed December 14, 2011
All Politics are Local

Senate Blocks Balanced Budget Amendment

The Senate rejected an attempt to amend the U.S. Constitution to require a balanced budget in an effort to reduce the deficit on Wednesday. The Balanced Budget Amendment has been heralded by Republican lawmakers such as U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., as a way to control federal spending and reduce the country’s $15 trillion debt, but it failed in a 53-to-47 vote along strict party lines.

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4:14pm

Wed December 14, 2011
Middle East

Mysterious Events Leave Tehran Feeling Under Siege

Originally published on Wed December 14, 2011 7:12 pm

A picture released by the official website of Iran's Revolutionary Guard on Dec. 8 shows Iranian Revolutionary Guard Brig. Gen. Amir-Ali Hajizadeh (right) looking at a U.S. spy drone that crashed in Iran on Dec. 4.
AFP/Getty Images

It's never easy trying to figure out just what is going on in Iran.

But it has been especially difficult of late — after an explosion that reduced a missile base to rubble, another blast that was heard but not seen, and the mysterious case of the downed American stealth drone.

These events have left a slew of questions and very few answers.

The huge explosion at the missile base outside Tehran on Nov. 12 was heard in the capital, about 30 miles away, and, satellite pictures show, it devastated the base.

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4:09pm

Wed December 14, 2011
The Commonwealth

Marion County Manufacturer Creates 150 Jobs

Gov. Steve Beshear Wednesday announced Wilbert Plastic Services Inc. will create 150 new jobs in Lebanon with the addition of a new product line to manufacture parts for Ford Motor Co. Wilbert Plastic Services was recently awarded a new contact with Ford to manufacture a new product line of automotive interior components and associated parts to support the assembly of the 2013 Ford Escape and other models at the Louisville Assembly Plant.

4:05pm

Wed December 14, 2011
State Capitol

Beshear Avoids Coal in Inauguration Speech

In his inauguration speech, Gov. Steve Beshear spoke about education and the importance of building a generation that can lead Kentucky in the future. But it was a far cry from the pro-coal rhetoric that dominated some of his speeches earlier this year. Beshear’s avoidance of the issue didn’t surprise many observers, who know where the governor stands on coal.

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4:02pm

Wed December 14, 2011
The Commonwealth

Louisville's Former Archbishop Kelly Dies

The former leader of the Archdiocese of Louisville has died. Archbishop Thomas C. Kelly retired in 2007 after 25 years leading the Archdiocese. Kelly joined the Dominican order sixty years ago and was ordained in 1958. He served in New York early in his career, working with the order as well as with the Archdiocese of New York tribunal and the Legion of Decency.

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3:58pm

Wed December 14, 2011
The Commonwealth

State-Ordered Health Insurance Offered In January

Health insurers offering individual plans in Kentucky will be required to allow open enrollment for children under 19 next month. The rule is the result of an early battle to implement national healthcare reform. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act began prohibiting health insurers from denying coverage due to an applicant's pre-existing health condition on September 23rd, 2010. Insurers in Kentucky offering "child-only" policies reacted.

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3:56pm

Wed December 14, 2011
Lexington/Richmond

Fire Chief Withdraws Disability Request

Embattled Lexington Fire Chief Robert Hendricks is no longer seeking a disability pension from the city after calling off a re-hearing set for Wednesday with the Police and Fire Pension Board. "On the rehearing for Robert Hendricks, that has been cancelled. It has been withdrawn," Administrative Specialist Susan Combs told board members.

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3:56pm

Wed December 14, 2011
It's All Politics

Not So Fast, Newt: Gingrich As Polling Phenomenon

Originally published on Wed December 14, 2011 6:32 pm

Republican presidential candidates Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich laugh at a presidential debate at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., in October.
Scott Eells AP

Poll after poll shows Newt Gingrich with a commanding lead for the Republican nomination for president.

The latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll is the gaudiest yet, giving the former speaker of the House 40 percent among Republicans across the country, nearly double the number for erstwhile front-runner Mitt Romney.

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3:39pm

Wed December 14, 2011
Iraq

How Much Influence Will Iran Have In Iraq?

Originally published on Thu December 15, 2011 9:36 am

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki (left) shakes hands with Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during an official meeting in Tehran last year.
STR AFP/Getty Images

Earlier this month, a ceremony took place in Baghdad that was unthinkable under Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein: Ashura, the annual Shiite ritual marking the slaying of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad and one of the most revered figures in Shiite Islam.

As the trumpets sounded in Baghdad's notorious Shiite slum of Sadr City, boys and men wearing white shrouds brought swords down onto their shaven heads. Thick red blood gushed onto their faces. Hussein sacrificed for us, the belief goes, and devoted followers are ready to sacrifice for him.

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3:35pm

Wed December 14, 2011
The Two-Way

Christmas Stamps Are OK; Christmas Carols? Not At The Post Office

There's been some consternation on the Web about what happened this weekend at a post office in Silver Spring, Md., when three Christmas carolers — all decked out in shawls, bonnets and a top hat (for the guy) — popped in and started singing.

It seems that one of the USPS managers on duty jumped into action, telling the trio that they couldn't do that because they were on government property.

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