National Briefs: Comcast to buy Time Warner

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PHILADELPHIA -- Comcast Corp. has agreed to acquire Time Warner Cable Inc. for about $159 a share in an all-stock deal, combining the largest two U.S. cable companies, according to four people familiar with matter. The deal will be announced today, according to the people, who asked not to be named because the negotiations have been private.

Charter Communications Inc., the fourth-largest U.S. cable company, had offered about $132.50 a share to Time Warner Cable's management, a bid that was rejected. Charter announced it had nominated a slate of directors earlier this week to replace Time Warner Cable's board members if a deal couldn't be reached. Time Warner Cable had asked for $160 a share in its counterproposal to Charter.

Boston bombing trial set

BOSTON -- A federal judge Wednesday set Nov. 3 as the start of the trial for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who is accused of the deadly bombing of the Boston Marathon last year.

Prosecutors say Mr. Tsarnaev, 20, worked with his older brother, Tamerlan, to place two pressure-cooker bombs near the finish line of the marathon April 15, 2013. The explosions killed three people and wounded more than 260.

The trial date is far earlier than the fall 2015 trial date that was requested by Mr. Tsarnaev's defense team.

Ky. must honor marriages

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- A federal judge ruled Wednesday that Kentucky must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, part of an unprecedented barrage of marriage-equality lawsuits in states where voters have overwhelmingly opposed recognition of gay and lesbian couples.

U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II struck down part of the gay-marriage ban that Kentuckians had approved in 2004, saying it treated gays and lesbians "in a way that demeans them."

Military pensions restored

WASHINGTON -- Congress voted Wednesday to restore full cost-of-living pension increases for younger military retirees, completing a bipartisan capitulation to veterans groups that rose up against a modest cut when it was enacted less than two months ago.

The Senate voted 95-3 for the measure, one day after the House approved it, 326-90. The White House said President Barack Obama would sign it.

College donations rise

BOSTON -- Donations to U.S. colleges and universities rose 9 percent to a record $33.8 billion in the year through June as stock market gains fueled giving.

Stanford University led all institutions, according to a report released Wednesday by the Council for Aid to Education in New York. The school near Palo Alto, Calif., raised $931.6 million in donations.



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