WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama is asking Americans this Labor Day to think about the rights and benefits that people often take for granted.<br />
In his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama says he's optimistic about the growing economy. He says decisions made now will determine whether the recovery will pick up speed.<br />
Obama says workers and unions fought for things like Social Security, Medicare, workplace safety laws and the right to organize. He says those fights built a stronger middle class.<br />
Obama says to strengthen the modern middle class, the U.S. must raise its minimum wage. He says states and businesses have raised wages already and Congress should, too.<br />
In the Republican address, Rep. Larry Bucshon of Indiana says Republicans are focused on creating jobs, lowering costs and restoring opportunity.<br />
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.
Georgia recently joined ten other states in deciding to sue the federal government over policies that would allow transgender students to use the school bathroom of their choice. Legal expert Byron Henry joined the Afternoon News Wrap this week to discuss how the battle may shake out once the dust has settled.