FORT BELVOIR, Va. (AP) President Barack Obama says the government must ensure that the Veterans Affairs Department has the resources to keep up with the demands of troops returning from war. <br />
Obama is speaking at a signing ceremony for a $16.3 billion measure allowing the Veterans Affairs Department to hire thousands of doctors, nurses and other health professionals at the VA's nearly 1,000 hospitals and outpatient clinics nationwide. <br />
The president is speaking at Fort Belvoir, an Army base 20 miles south of Washington. Congress approved the measure last week before taking a five-week recess. It was one of the few significant bills approved this year by both the House and the Senate.
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.
Nearly two hours of discussion at a community meeting on racial profiling came to an end when a white man with a backpack made his way to the front of the fellowship hall at St. Paul United Methodist Church on Summit Street.
U.S. stocks are closing sharply higher after China's main stock index logged its biggest gain in eight weeks. A report also showed that the U.S. economy expanded at a much faster pace than previously estimated.