LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A federal judge on Monday withheld ruling on a motion by defense lawyers to throw out a corruption case against former Arkansas treasurer Martha Shoffner, who is accused of accepting $36,000 in exchange for steering state business to a bond dealer.
By Ulf Laessing and Feras Bosalum TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Libya on Monday stopped a North Korean-flagged tanker that had loaded oil from a rebel-held port, after naval forces briefly exchanged fire with the rebels, officials said. They also said the government will assemble forces to "liberate" all occupied ports, raising the stakes over a blockage that has cut off vital oil revenue. The conflict over oil wealth is increasing fears that the OPEC producer may slide deeper into chaos or even splinter as the fragile government fails to rein in dozens of militias that helped oust Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 but now defy state authority. The rebels, who have seized three ports and partly control a fourth in the North African country, said they had dispatched forces to central Libya to deal with any government attack.
By Mark Felsenthal and Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House on Monday forecast more robust economic growth in 2014 than last year and a further pickup in the economy for 2015. Under a White House projection, the U.S. economy is expected to expand by 3.1 percent this year, faster than last year's 1.7 percent. Growth would pick up to 3.4 percent in 2015, the White House said. The jobless rate, which reached a high of 10 percent in 2009, fell to a five-year low of 6.6 percent in January.