WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama says child care, family leave and workplace flexibility aren't frills, they're basic needs.<br />
In his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama is lamenting workplace policies that he says are outdated. He says the U.S. is one of just three countries that don't require paid maternity leave.<br />
Obama says some businesses are pursuing family friendly policies. But he says the U.S. must make it easier for parents and those with sick relatives to stay in the workplace. He says something's wrong when hard workers must choose between work and family.<br />
Obama plans to hold a summit on working families on Monday.<br />
In the Republican address, Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan says Obama's record on energy development is abysmal. He says the U.S. must build an infrastructure that will lead to energy abundance.
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
House Republican leaders rallied around one of their own, Whip Steve Scalise, on Tuesday after he said he regrets speaking 12 years ago to a white supremacist organization and condemns the views of such groups.
President Vladimir Putin's chief political foe was convicted along with his brother on Tuesday in a fraud case widely seen as a vendetta by the Kremlin, triggering one of Russia's boldest anti-government demonstrations in years.
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