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The top politics stories of 2014Jets fire coach Rex Ryan, GM John Idzik (Yahoo Sports)

The U.S. Capitol building is seen before U.S. President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address in front of the U.S. Congress in WashingtonAs 2014 draws to a close, Yahoo News writers look back at some of the biggest political stories of the year.


FILE - In this Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014, file photo, New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan, left, and general manager John Idzik watch their team warm up before an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, in East Rutherford, N.J. Jets owner Woody Johnson fired Ryan and Idzik on Monday, Dec. 29, 2014, after one of the most disappointing seasons in franchise history. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) -- Woody Johnson decided to completely clean house.


Missing AirAsia plane may be at 'bottom of sea'Falcons fire Mike Smith after 2nd straight losing season (Yahoo Sports)

Family members of passengers onboard missing AirAsia flight QZ8501 cry at a waiting area in Juanda International Airport, SurabayaBy Gayatri Suroyo and Fergus Jensen SURABAYA, Indonesia/JAKARTA (Reuters) - A missing AirAsia jet carrying 162 people could be at the bottom of the sea after it was presumed to have crashed off the Indonesian coast, an official said on Monday, as countries around Asia sent ships and planes to help in the search. The Indonesia AirAsia plane, an Airbus A320-200, disappeared after its pilot failed to get permission to fly higher to avoid bad weather during a flight from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore on Sunday. ...


Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith speaks at a news conference after an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014, in Atlanta. The Carolina Panthers won 34-3. (AP Photo/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Curtis Compton)

ATLANTA (AP) -- Mike Smith was fired as the Atlanta Falcons' coach Monday, one day after the end of his second straight losing season and a 34-3 rout by the Carolina Panthers before booing fans at the Georgia Dome.


7 dead as ferry rescue is completeHarbaugh, 49ers agree to part ways (Yahoo Sports)

Passengers and crew of the Italian-flagged Norman Atlantic, that caught fire in the Adriatic Sea, disembark from a ship in the harbor of Bari, southern Italy, Monday, Dec. 29, 2014. A ferry carrying nearly 500 people caught fire off the Greek island of Corfu early Sunday, trapping passengers on the top decks as gale-force winds and choppy seas hampered the evacuation. Greek and Italian rescue helicopters and vessels struggled to reach the stricken ferry, with nearby merchant ships lining up to form a wall against the raging gusts. (AP Photo/Gaetano Lo Porto)BARI, Italy (AP) -- Helicopters defied high winds and stormy seas Monday to evacuate hundreds of passengers and staff from Greek ferry that caught fire off Albania. Five people died and survivors told of a frantic rush to escape the flames and pelting rain.


San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh, left, talks with owner Jed York before an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) -- Jim Harbaugh gathered his players and told them he is leaving, and they joined their voices for one final, familiar chant: ''Who's got it better than us? No-body!''


Diversity in GOP 2016 hopefulsSteelers top Bengals 27-17 to win AFC North (Yahoo Sports)

FILE - In this Dec. 17, 2014 file photo, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., the son of Cuban immigrants, expresses his disappointment in President Barack Obama's initiative to normalize relations between the United States and Cuba, during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington. Long criticized as the party of old white men, Republicans are seeing a diverse group of people step up for possible contention in the 2016 presidential race. This class of contenders could include Rubio and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz who are both Hispanic, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, the first Indian-American governor in the U.S., Carly Fiorina, a female business leader and Ben Carson, an African-American neurosurgeon. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — Long criticized as the party of old white men, Republicans are seeing a diverse group of people step up for possible contention in the 2016 presidential race.


Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant heads to the end zone to score a touchdown after making a catch during the second quarter of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Don Wright)

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Ben Roethlisberger spoke quietly while teammates raucously pulled on AFC North champion T-shirts around him. The Pittsburgh quarterback has been here before.


Tensions with New York City police go beyond racial issues: commissionerPackers, limping Rodgers beat Lions 30-20 to win NFC North (Yahoo Sports)

Law enforcement officers turn their backs on a live video monitor showing New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has he speaks at the funeral of slain New York Police Department (NYPD) officer Rafael Ramos in New YorkBy Frank McGurty NEW YORK (Reuters) - Tensions between New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and the police are rooted in issues that go beyond racial relations, the police commissioner said on Sunday, a day after the funeral of one of the two officers slain a week ago in their patrol car. The tensions "involve labor contracts. They involve a lot of history in the city that's really different from some of what's going on in the country as a whole," Bill Bratton said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "You need to understand this isn't just about policing," he said. ...


Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers throws during the second half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Jim Slosiarek)

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- A heating pad wrapped around his sore left calf, Aaron Rodgers could only watch helplessly on television monitors in the locker room as the Detroit Lions surged closer to his Green Bay Packers.




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 Bismarck Views and Opinions
Why U.S. Engagement Policy Is The Correct One

Invariably, when one thinks of the efficacy of a nation’s military, the mind’s eye is drawn to the ability of that country to deliver a \"warhead onto the forehead\" of their enemies. Indeed, owing to the Pentagon’s slick packaging of the First Gulf War, modern conflict, in the American mind, became synonymous with high-tech toys, grainy videos of successful missile shots, and a quick resolution of hostilities.

Capitalism and The Wealth Gap

When it comes to the efficient delivery of goods and services, capitalism is the proven economic model that puts people to work and products on the shelves. Whether those jobs end up paying enough money to purchase the items on those shelves is another matter, however.

Living Wages Are A Global Problem

The recent protests for an increased minimum wage are part of a larger global protest. The purpose is the same for low wage earners all over the world; increase wages to match the cost of living, and allow workers to form unions if desired and needed. The global protest has gained media attention all over the world, but critics claim that is the only accomplishment the movement will have.

Ukraine: Not What It Seems

After tense days of fighting this week, people in Ukraine are mourning the dead and celebrating the removal of President Victor Yanukovych from power. The final struggle that began on February 18, was the bloodiest endured by the protesters of Euromaidan. By February 22 the fighting was over.

Religious Freedom Bill - Protecting The Faithful or Legalized Discrimination?

After a much heated national debate, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed the controversial bill that would have allowed people and businesses in the state to refuse services to LBGT people based on their religious belief.

Coup Or Civil War In Egypt

The day after new protests erupted in Egypt the military in a show of support presented an ultimatum to Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood-led government. Morsi was to step down from power and meet all of the demands of the Egyptian people, or face being removed by the military on Wednesday. As the ultimatum deadline draws closer in Egypt, Morsi refuses to leave, insisting that parliamentary elections are needed before he should be removed, and that he doesn't have permission from the United States to remove himself from power. Most recently he stated he will pay with his life to preserve the sanctity of the ballot box.

 
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