National News

Homebuilding remains slumped at levels not seen since WWII.

Housing Market Fake-Outs Stump Economists

Many homebuyers have been throwing down cold hard cash for their entire house purchase in recent years. Some are baby-boomers who sold a bigger house and are downsizing. Some are investors. Others are from outside the U.S.

"Top of the list in terms of cash sales in the first quarter was Florida, with 64 percent of all sales going to cash buyers, followed by New York, 59 percent; Alabama, 56 percent," says Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac, which did a study on cash purchases.

Children detainees sleep in a holding cell at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing facility in Brownsville,Texas.

Obama Administration Seeks Change In Law To Speed Deportations

President Obama will ask Congress for about $2 billion in emergency funds and for a change in the law in an effort to stem the tide of Central American immigrants flooding the Southern border, according to a White House official.

The Iraqi prime minister's security spokesman, Lt. Gen. Qassem Atta, holds a press conference on Saturday in Baghdad. The government is launching an offensive against insurgents in the northern city of Tikrit.

Iraqi Military Launches Offensive Against Insurgents In Tikrit

The Iraqi government launched a heavy offensive on Tikrit, the hometown of the late dictator Saddam Hussein and one of the early wins by the Sunni insurgent group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

The Associated Press reports the Iraqi government moved in on Saturday with ground troops, tanks and helicopters. The wire service adds:

In Nigeria, Many Girls Are Married And Divorced Before Adulthood

Muslim Refugees In Greece Make Do Without A Mosque

Emerging Alliances In Mosul Raise Tensions And Complications

Nasa Bends The Rules To Get Two Rovers To Mars

Justices To Rule In Hobby Lobby Contraception Case

Her Baby Is At Risk; Lauren's Story

They're odds. That's all they are. Not fate, just probabilities. Lauren Weinstein, cartoonist, is having a baby, and she's told — out of the blue — that she and her husband are both carriers of the gene that causes cystic fibrosis. They are sent to a genetic counselor. What happens next — told in five beautifully drawn, emotionally eloquent cartoons — tells what it's like to walk the edge for a few weeks. She's so many things (sad, funny, scared, puzzled), and then there's the ender. Take a look.

(Top left, clockwise) Macmen N' Cheese; chocolate ramen; udon and egg. (Bottom row) Ramen fritatta; cannellini beans and spinach; and southwest taco from the book <em>Rah! Rah! Ramen.</em>

'Artisanal' Ramen? Instant Noodles Get A Healthy Dose Of Hacking

If there's one thing college students know well, it's a belly full of instant ramen.

"Ramen always has been and always will be a college staple," says Rick Brandt, a recent University of Iowa graduate.

And it's not just college students who turn to the noodles in lean moments: When your food budget is reduced to quarters dug out of the couch, or when hunger pangs strike at ungodly hours, ramen noodles may come to the rescue.

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