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Some exempted from minimum wage, increased or not

FILE - This April 2, 2014 file photo shows Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, right, accompanied by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., left, and others, urging approval for raising the minimum wage, during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. When the Senate debates a Democratic proposal to raise the federal minimum wage, some workers won’t benefit even if lightning strikes and the long-shot effort prevails. More than a dozen categories of workers are exempt from the current $7.25-an-hour minimum, running from casual babysitters to some workers with disabilities to crews on fishing ships. The bill by Harkin, would gradually raise the minimum to $10.10 by 2016 but doesn’t close any loopholes, which also include live-in companions for the elderly, staffs of state and local elected officials and jobs at summer camps and seasonal amusement parks. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — Some low-paid workers won't benefit even if a long-shot Democratic proposal to raise the federal minimum wage becomes law.



Arkansas voter ID law challenged in court by ACLU

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A civil liberties group filed suit Wednesday to block a new Arkansas law requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls before it is enforced for the first time state-wide in the primary election next month.
Geneva talks on Ukraine face steep hurdles

Soldiers from the Ukrainian Army sit atop combat vehicles as they are blocked by people on their way to the town of Kramatorsk, Wednesday, April 16, 2014. Pro-Russian insurgents commandeered six Ukrainian armored vehicles along with their crews and hoisted Russian flags over them Wednesday, dampening the central government's hopes of re-establishing control over restive eastern Ukraine. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)MOSCOW (AP) — Thursday's high-level talks in Geneva on Ukraine come as the country's eastern regions are awash in turmoil and pro-Russian insurgents have seized police stations and government buildings in at least nine cities.



US economy emerges from winter freeze: Fed's Beige Book

Shoppers take advantage of sales on November 29, 2013 in New York CityThe US economy is showing clear signs of emerging from the brutal winter, with consumer spending picking up broadly, the Federal Reserve's Beige Book survey said Wednesday. "Economic activity increased in most regions" of the country since the prior Beige Book in early March, the report said, with "modest or moderate" expansion in most of the Fed regions surveyed. The review of economic conditions covered mid-February through early April, capturing still-severe winter weather effects that began to fade last month. The report will be used in the next monetary policy meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee on April 29-30.



White House urges Ukraine to continue to restore order responsibly

ON BOARD AIR FORCE ONE (Reuters) - The White House on Wednesday said it was appropriate for the Ukraine government to take action to restore law and order and urged it to continue to do so in a measured and responsible way. White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters traveling on Air Force One that Kiev had responded with "admirable restraint" to destabilizing actions by armed separatists in the country. (Reporting by Steve Holland, writing by Jeff Mason; Editing by Sandra Maler)


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