National News

Former Los Alamos National Laboratory nuclear physicist Pedro Leonardo Mascheroni was sentenced Wednesday to five years in jail.

U.S. Scientist Jailed For Trying To Help Venezuela Build Bombs

A scientist who worked for the Los Alamos National Laboratory, and who pleaded guilty two years ago to promising to build nuclear weapons for Venezuela, has been sentenced to five years in jail.

Argentina-born Pedro Leonardo Mascheroni, a 79-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen, told undercover FBI agents posing as Venezuelan officials that he could design and supervise the building of 40 nuclear weapons for Caracas, including one targeted on New York City, in exchange for an unspecified amount of money.

Cuba's President Raul Castro listens during the summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States in San Antonio de Belen, Costa Rica, on Wednesday.

Raúl Castro Demands Return Of Guantánamo Before Normalizing Ties With U.S.

Cuban President Raúl Castro seemed to throw some pretty big hurdles in front of efforts to establish normal diplomatic relations with the United States.

In a speech at a summit of Latin American countries, President Raúl Castro said a rapprochement with its northern neighbor would not make sense without three conditions: 1. The lifting of the U.S. embargo on Cuba. 2. The return of the U.S. base at Guantánamo Bay. 3. Compensation for "human and economic damage" the Cuban people have suffered.

A relative of a passenger of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 holds a picture of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak with the writing "Please bring back my husband."

Malaysia Says Disappearance Of MH370 Was An Accident

The government of Malaysia has now officially declared the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 an accident.

The aircraft is thought to have crashed somewhere in the southern Indian Ocean in March 2014, but search crews haven't found a trace of it.

The BBC reports:

President Obama speaks to the media after the automatic budget cuts associated with the sequester took effect in March 2013.

Obama's Budget Would Undo Broad, Automatic Cuts Made In 2013

When President Obama meets with House Democrats tonight during their retreat in Philadelphia, officials say he'll lay out the details of his budget proposal, which will include reversal of large cuts to federal spending instituted in 2013.

A woman holds up a portrait of late prosecutor Alberto Nisman near the funeral home where a private wake was held for him Wednesday in Buenos Aires.

Examining The Sinister Background Of Argentina's Spy Agency

The mysterious death of an Argentine prosecutor has brought attention to the dark history of the country's intelligence agency. The Intelligence Secretariat began in the aftermath of World War II, when its first mission was to help Nazis fleeing Germany find shelter in Argentina. This strange and troubling start foreshadowed the murky dealings to come.

And So We Meet, Again: Why The Workday Is So Filled With Meetings

The ouster of Bryan Stockton from his perch as CEO at Mattel this week came as the toymaker's best-known brands like Barbie stagnate and it loses business to Web-based games.

Stockton himself said last year that Mattel lacked an innovative culture and blamed it in part on something specific: bad meetings. That's a common and persistent corporate ailment.

Scott Ryan-Hart is a cartographer for the Ohio Department of Transportation, where a typical meeting can last more than two hours.

Jed Brown drives 100 miles each day to work between Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Cheaper gas is making his commute more manageable, but he doesn't expect the low prices to last.

For Long-Haul Drivers, Cheap Gas Means A Sweeter Commute

With wages still stuck for many Americans, the big drop in gasoline prices is the equivalent of an unexpected cash bonus for the nation's drivers.

The average American household is expected to save $750 this year from lower gas prices, according to the Energy Department.

But Thomas Kinnaman, an economist at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pa., says it's instructive to look beyond the word "average."

Lori Lomas, an insurance agent with <a href="http://www.featherfinancial.com/" target="_blank">Feather Financial</a> in Quincy, California, has noticed that her clients in San Francisco have many more health carrier options than her mountain neighbors.

Insurance Choices Dwindle In Rural California As Blue Shield Pulls Back

After the insurance exchanges set up under the Affordable Care Act first went live in late 2013, Lori Lomas started combing the website of Covered California on a hunt for good deals for her clients. Lomas is an agent at Feather Financial, in the Sierra Nevada mountain town of Quincy, California; she's been selling health policies in rural communities for more than 20 years.

Relatives of Jordanian pilot Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh, who was captured by ISIS militants in Syria, protest in front of royal palace in Amman, Jordan, Tuesday. Jordan has suggested it might be willing to hold a prisoner exchange for his release.

ISIS Hostage Said To Announce New Deadline For Prisoner's Release

In an update to a complicated situation, a Japanese hostage held by the violent extremist group ISIS has reportedly been forced to record a message setting a Thursday deadline for Jordan to release an Iraqi prisoner. If not, the message says, the group will kill a Jordanian pilot it's holding.

The new demand and deadline was reported Wednesday, the day ISIS's original 24-hour deadline for the release of Sajida al-Rishawi, Iraqi prisoner held in Jordan, was to expire.

Air Force One, carrying President Obama, passes a Boeing building in Seattle. The Air Force has announced that the next Air Force One will also be a Boeing aircraft.

The Next Air Force One Will Be A Boeing 747-8

The Air Force has picked a new Air Force One, the Boeing 747-8, and it wasn't even a close race. In a statement announcing the pick, the Air Force said the decision was made "through a Determinations and Findings document, which "authorizes the commercial aircraft purchase by other than full and open competition."

Pages