National Briefs: Obama unveils research hubs

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WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama on Tuesday announced the creation of two Pentagon-led institutes to boost advanced high-tech manufacturing, with the eventual goal of creating jobs that have been lost to global competition.

As part of his year-old promise to expand public-private manufacturing partnerships across the country, Mr. Obama announced a new center in his hometown of Chicago, concentrating on high-tech digital manufacturing and design. The other new hub will be located in Canton, Mich., outside Detroit, and specialize in light metal manufacturing.

The administration previously had a manufacturing hub pilot program in Youngstown, Ohio, and Mr. Obama announced the creation of another Energy Department-led hub in Raleigh, N.C., last month. He encouraged Congress to approve funding for even more to keep up with global competition.

Local companies supporting the ventures include Alcoa, Ansys, Kennametal and RTI International Metals.

President, Boehner huddle

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama and Speaker John A. Boehner sat across from each other for an hour Tuesday in the leather-bound chairs of Mr. Obama's office and quickly ticked through a remarkably long list of issues.

They chatted about economic matters like manufacturing, trade promotion authority and flood insurance, according to aides to both men. They discussed the Affordable Care Act and the president's push for an immigration overhaul. They engaged on efforts to wind down the war in Afghanistan, the process of getting a budget, and the stalled highway funding bill. And don't forget the California drought and Mr. Obama's new plan for fighting fires.

But while the meeting offered a rare moment for private sharing by the leaders of the country's two dominant political parties, few of their colleagues expect it to lead to any legislative breakthroughs. Aides to both men Tuesday called it "constructive" but offered no evidence that Washington gridlock is over.

Court rules on searches

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that police officers may enter and search a home without a warrant as long as one occupant consents, even if another resident has previously objected.

The ruling -- based on a case involving a Los Angeles Police Department search -- gives the police more leeway to search homes without obtaining a warrant, even in situations where there is no emergency.

Ariz. leader back amid flap

PHOENIX -- Gov. Jan Brewer returned to Arizona on Tuesday and faced a pressing decision about a bill on her desk that has prompted a national debate over religious and gay rights.

The Arizona Legislature passed a bill last week allowing businesses whose owners cite sincerely held religious beliefs to deny service to gays. It allows any business, church or person to cite the law as a defense in any action brought by the government or individual claiming discrimination.

The legislation has caused a national uproar. The chorus of opposition has grown each day, with the business community, the state's Super Bowl Committee and both Republican U.S. senators calling for a veto. Former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney was the latest prominent voice to weigh in and urge Ms. Brewer to veto the bill.



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