National News

Matchmaking apps like Tinder can help people find potential dates quickly.

Mobile Match Apps Are 'Dating On Steroids'

It's Valentine's Day and if you aren't giving or getting roses from someone special you might be thinking about next year.

If you're using OkCupid or Match.com you might be considered old school. These days, whether you're gay or straight, a lot of the dating energy is focused on apps. Like a lot of technological change, apps bring efficiency to the process, though that may not always be a good thing.

Kristy Vannatter used to use the online dating service eHarmony, but she says it was a lot of work.

Ralph Waite more recently had a recurring role on the CBS drama <em>NCIS</em> as Jackson Gibbs.

Actor Ralph Waite, Father On 'Waltons,' Dies At 85

Ralph Waite, the actor best known as the father on the hit television show The Waltons, died Thursday. He was 85. His manager, Alan Mills, confirmed the news.

The Waltons aired on CBS from 1972 until 1981.

It was about a family in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains in the Depression-era 1930s.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., in front of the federal district court in Washington, where he filed his lawsuit against the Obama administration and the NSA.

Rand Paul's NSA Lawsuit Helps Him Lay Claim To A Big Issue

By filing his lawsuit against the Obama administration, including the National Security Agency, over the intelligence agency's collection of phone call data, Sen. Rand Paul now has ownership of a major issue in a way no other potential 2016 presidential candidate can lay claim.

Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., and Rep. Ron Barber, D-Ariz., right, pick up box lunches on Feb. 12 before boarding a bus for a trip to a retreat in Cambridge, Md., where House Democrats will hold strategy meetings for two and a half days.

As Takeover Hopes Fade, House Democrats Remain Upbeat

House Democrats face a decidedly grim election season.

Their hopes of wresting control from the GOP look increasingly remote. Their legislative agenda is stymied. And some of their biggest liberal standard-bearers – Californians Henry Waxman and George Miller — are retiring.

So, as they hunker down on Maryland's Eastern Shore for their annual "issues conference" Thursday and Friday, why do they seem to be in such good spirits?

TV producer Colleen Bell, shown here in a 2013 photo, was a big donor for President Obama before she was nominated to become ambassador to Hungary. Obama has chosen more political appointees than his predecessors.

More Ambassador Posts Are Going To Political Appointees

The nominee to be U.S. ambassador to, say, Hungary should be able to explain what the U.S. strategic interests are in that country — right?

But Colleen Bell, a soap opera producer and President Obama's appointee to be U.S. envoy to that European country, struggled to answer that simple question during her recent confirmation hearing.

Jason Brown skated to Prince during his short program Thursday.

In Men's Figure Skating, U.S. Pins Hopes On A New Class

What's the hardest sport at the Winter Games — biathlon, aerial skiing, snowboarding, or high-flying slopestyle?

Jeremy Abbott thought it was one of those until an Olympic official told him otherwise. "Hands down," he was told, "absolutely, figure skating is the hardest."

Abbott may not completely agree, but he says it's the rare affirmation he's gotten as a male figure skater.

Passengers wait in line at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on Thursday. A major snowstorm has delayed flights from Atlanta to New York.

Many Flights Canceled, But Fewer Fliers Stranded On Tarmac

Would-be air travelers sitting at home may be frustrated about their canceled plans. But most likely, they are happier than they would have been had they gotten trapped on an icy tarmac.

And that used to happen many hundreds of times a year before the Department of Transportation stepped in to reduce the frequency of passenger incarcerations.

Hannah Rood, 3, receives an H1N1 vaccine at a clinic in San Pablo, California, during the 2009 swine flu epidemic.

Stopping Microbes Not Missiles: U.S. Plans For Next Global Threat

Spot the next plague before it arrives. Predict the next swine flu outbreak before it makes headlines. Even detect a biological weapon before it's launched.

These are the goals of an ambitious initiative, launched Thursday, to build a worldwide surveillance system for infectious diseases.

Facebook software engineer Brielle Harrison demonstrates the website's expanded options for gender identification at her company's Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters. Harrison, who helped engineer the project, plans to switch her identifier to "Trans Woman."

Facebook Gives Users New Options To Identify Gender

Gender identity online is evolving.

Facebook is rolling out changes to its 159 million members in the U.S. that will allow people to have a wider choice than simply male or female when selecting a gender description on the site.

A third option now appears in the gender field: custom. Users who select that option can then choose from roughly 50 options including Trans Male or Female, Cisgender or Androgynous.

House Speaker John Boehner, Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (left), and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (right) were among the 28 Republicans whose votes made it possible for most other Republicans to vote against the debt ceiling hike.

Debt Ceiling Vote Relied On GOP's 'Tough Vote' Caucus

Within the House Republican Conference, an unofficial "tough vote" caucus is taking shape.

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