Obama to seek wilderness designation for Alaska refuge

President Barack Obama says he will ask Congress to designate more than 12 million acres of the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge, including the Coastal Plain, as a wilderness area. The designation would seal the area off from oil exploration and give it the highest degree of federal protection available to public lands.

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Starting pitcher Ted Lilly #30 of the Chicago Cubs delivers the ball against the New York Mets on August 28, 2009 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Jonathan Daniel, Getty Images)
Ex-Major League Baseball player Ted Lilly accused of fraud
Former Major League Baseball player Ted Lilly has been charged in California with three felonies related to insurance fraud.
The new Kia 2010 Forte Coupe is displayed at the press preview for the New York Auto Show April 9, 2009 in New York City. (Spencer Platt, Getty Images)
Kia recalling nearly 87,000 Fortes because of fire risk
Kia Motors America is recalling nearly 87,000 of its 2014 Forte sedans because of faulty equipment that could cause the cars to catch fire.
Handguns are displayed at a gun shop. (Justin Sullivan, Getty Images)
Oregon focus of effort to expand background checks for guns
Fresh off a victory in Washington state, a leading gun control group backed by billionaire Michael Bloomberg hopes to make Oregon its next prize in a campaign to require all gun sales go through universal background checks.
(William B. Plowman, Getty Images)
Nevada considering strict condom regulation for porn films
Adult film production migrated from California to Nevada after voters in Los Angeles County approved a law requiring condom use on set. Now, a condom use requirement could follow.
Barack Obama  (Getty Images)
Obama seeks to leverage ties with India's Modi during visit
President Barack Obama will seek to leverage his burgeoning bond with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi into progress on climate change, defense and economic ties as he opens a three-day visit to New Delhi.
(Getty Images)
Mastercard to lift hold on US credit card swipes in Cuba
Mastercard says it will lift the ban on U.S. credit card transactions in Cuba beginning in March, based on new guidance from the U.S. Department of Treasury.
United Airlines flight attendant Tina looks at personal entertainment systems on the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner during a tour of the jet at Los Angeles International Airport on November 30, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  In January the new jet is scheduled to begin flying daily non-stop between Los Angeles International airport and Japan's Narita International Airport and later to Shanghai staring in March. The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner will accomodate 219 travelers with 36 seat in United Business First, 70 seats in Economy Plus and 113 in  Economy Class. The carbon-fiber composite material that makes up more than 50 percent of the 787 makes the plane jet and more fuel-efficient.  (Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images)
Garden gnome fans fret: SkyMall files for bankruptcy
Apparently, airline passengers aren't buying enough garden gnomes, superhero pajamas and heated cat shelters. SkyMall has filed for bankruptcy.
The website  (Bloomberg/Getty Images/Andrew Harrer)
Gov't reverses on health care privacy problem
The Obama administration is reversing itself after an outcry over consumer privacy on, the government's health insurance website.
Union members from around the country rally at the Michigan State Capitol to protest a vote on Right-to-Work legislation December 11, 2012 in Lansing, Michigan. (Bill Pugliano, Getty Images)
US reports slight decline in union membership during 2014
Union membership in the U.S. is down slightly, making up just over 11 percent of the workforce last year.

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