Ervin confirms she's running for Governor of Maryland

Valerie Ervin confirmed Thursday afternoon that she was indeed would seek Maryland's top job and has named former Baltimore County School Board member Marisol Johnson as her running mate.

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As far back as the early 1990s, Washington thought trade and investment eventually would make China more democratic. In the past couple of years, though, the Communist Party has doubled down on repression at home and become more aggressive overseas.

In short, things have not turned out as Washington had hoped, and relations between the world's two major powers are tense these days.

President Obama will bolster the U.S. military force in Iraq with up to 1,500 more personnel, White House press secretary Josh Earnest says, to serve "in a non-combat role to train, advise, and assist Iraqi Security Forces, including Kurdish forces."

The move is the latest U.S. attempt to counteract the extremist group ISIS, which has made significant gains in Iraq and neighboring Syria in recent months.

The new U.S. deployment follows requests from the Iraqi government and the advice of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, Earnest says.

Once again the Supreme Court will decide whether the Affordable Care Act lives or dies.

Defying expectations, the court announced Friday it has agreed to hear a case that challenges the heart of the law: subsidies that help people pay their insurance premiums. In about three dozen states, the federal government runs the online marketplaces (exchanges) where individuals can find health plans.

Liberians love fashion. Even in tiny villages in the rain forest, men drive motorcycles wearing aviator sunglasses, gold watches and brightly colored polo shirts — yellow, pink or purple — sometimes with the collars turned up.

At church on Sunday, women wouldn't dare wear a dress bought off the shelf. Instead, they carefully select fabrics with vibrant patterns and then have tailors sew impeccably fitted frocks.

Liberian conversations are no different: They're filled with flair and aplomb.

The dream of hundreds of space tourists was dealt a blow last Friday when Virgin Galactic's experimental SpaceShipTwo broke up over California's Mojave Desert. The pilot was injured and the co-pilot died in the accident.

But many are still holding on to their tickets.

The Supreme Court will again take up a central question about President Obama's signature law — the Affordable Care Act.

On Friday, the court decided to hear a case challenging the legality of some of the subsidies provided by the federal government.

Updated at 4:35 p.m. ET

Police in San Bernardino County today announced their arrest of a suspect in the murder of Joseph McStay, his wife and two young sons, whose bodies were found in shallow graves in the California desert in 2013, four years after their mysterious disappearance.

Charles "Chase" Merritt, 57, described by authorities as a business associate of the family, was arrested on Oct. 5 in Victorville, Calif., about 85 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border where the bodies were found on Nov. 11, 2013, police said.

Electronic medical records were supposed to usher in the future of medicine.

Prescriptions would be beamed to the pharmacy. A doctor could call up patients' medical histories anywhere, anytime. Nurses and doctors could easily find patients' old lab results or last X-rays to see what how they're doing. The computer system could warn doctors about dangerous drug combinations before it was too late.

Updated at 1:15 p.m. ET

A federal judge today gave the OK to a bankruptcy exit strategy proposed by Detroit nearly 16 months after the city asked for protection from its creditors.

At a 1 p.m. ET hearing, Judge Steven Rhodes found that the plan was fair and feasible. He's expected to issue a written ruling later.

"This city is insolvent and desperately needs to fix its future," Rhodes said.

Updated at 4:25 p.m. ET

A federal judge in Missouri has ruled that the state's ban on same-sex marriage violates the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution, adding to an already confusing mix of contradictory decisions that is sure to propel the issue to the Supreme Court.

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