Texas nurses Nina Pham and Amber Vinson have tested negative for Ebola, much to the relief of public health officials seeking to calm the public after the nation's fourth case was confirmed in New York City.


     The Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) will pay $170 million to settle a class action alleging that its statements caused investor losses.

     A Massachusetts-born man says he spent 10 years in "unlawful exile" after the United States deported him, only to have his recently reissued U.S. passport revoked. 

     The most powerful politicians in the world today are Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping.
     Angela Merkel comes in a lame third, and the president of the United States isn't even on the map.
     This is not a slam on President Obama. It's just how it is.
     Chinese scholar Orville Schell, in an alarming story in the Oct. 23 New York Review of Books, described how China deliberately insulted former President Jimmy Carter on his recent trip to China.
     Schell, our pre-eminent scholar of things Chinese, accompanied Carter and saw it with his own eyes. Carter, the most moderate of men, was so offended from the deliberate insults that he wanted to call off the rest of the trip and come home.
     But Jimmy didn't do it because he's a good guy, and he knew the harm he could have done by acting like a human being.
     Schell quoted Xi as saying - though not directly to Carter: "One part of the now-longstanding Chinese leadership critique of Western-style democracy is that it is prone to paralysis and gridlock and ultimately governmental weakness."
     Can we deny it?
     Look at Congress today. Look at it for the past six years.
     In a biography of Julius Caesar, Adrian Goldsworthy proposed that one reason for the fall of the Roman republic was that "most of the Roman elite preferred to let some of the major problems facing the republic to go unanswered rather than see someone else gain the credit for dealing with them."
     Ahem.
     Since President Obama was elected for the first time, the U.S. Congress has devoted itself to crippling him. Speaker of the House John Boehner declared it his primary objective. And he's managed to do it.
     This has nothing to do with who is right or wrong, or who is on "the right side of history." It's about power.
     The fact is that Putin - who is a bad man, a kleptocrat, a murderer, a sleaze - and Xi - vide supra - wield more pure power in the world today than does the United States.
     This is due, in great part, as Xi said, to the dysfunctional U.S. Congress.
     For more than 2,000 years, since the reign of Julius Caesar, the world has wondered whether it's possible to be a successful ruler and a good man - at the same time.
     Goldsworthy, in his 2006 book, "Caesar: Life of a Colossus," wrote that Caesar was a great man, but not a good man.
     Look at our presidents in the past 50 years.
     How many of them have been good men?
     Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama.
     They were two of the weakest presidents we've ever had. Weak in the political sense - unable to get their laws passed - not weak personally.
     Then look at our strong presidents - Nixon, LBJ, GW Bush.
     What a bunch of creeps - no matter where they squatted on the political spectrum.
     Many moons ago, I worked at a newspaper that handed out annual "merit pay raises." One year the boss gave a reporter a 3-cents an hour raise.
     Think that's about right for Congress?
     Oh, that's right, they grant their own pay raises. And perks.
     Is it possible in today's world to be a powerful politician and a good man?
     I don't know.
     Just thought I'd ask.

     Activists unhappy with the renewal of research that subjects baby monkeys to "psychological torment" have filed suit for a school's records. 

     Arizona's withholding of information about lethal-injection drugs is unconstitutional, The Guardian and other news outlets claim in federal lawsuit. 

     A former Associated Press editor sued the news organization for $950,000, arguing her firing for publishing an erroneous article was completely unwarranted. 

     An injunction for the networks against television-streaming service Aereo probably means "the end of its business," a federal judge said. 


     A Vice News reporter seeking records about the five Guantanamo Bay prisoners exchanged for U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl filed four federal complaints this week. 

     An Upper East Side auction house infringed on 69 Willem de Kooning works by including them in a promotional video, the artist's foundation claims in Federal Court.

     DePuy Orthopedics won a bellwether products liability trial Thursday when a federal jury cleared it of liability for a woman's injuries from its discontinued Pinnacle hip implants.

     The ACLU sued Miami-Dade County, Fla. to block enforcement of a law that prevents registered sex offenders from living within 2,500 feet of places where children gather. 

     The Dallas Morning News wants records from a district attorney it says used forfeiture funds to settle a personal car-collision case and to sweep his office for listening bugs before a federal investigation. 

     Ten people made so much money running a string of 40 Bay Area brothels that they wired more than $288,000 to Asia for their recruiters to hire more prostitutes, federal prosecutors say in a 32-count indictment. 

     School officials did nothing to stop the bullying of a gifted Las Vegas middle school student who killed herself two days after her 13th birthday, her parents claim in court. 


     Former NFL quarterback and head coach Ted Marchibroda Jr. sued his attorneys this week, in a $1 million fight over fees for players he recruited for a sports agent.

     The new offensive coordinator for the University of Texas at Austin football team sued Oklahoma A&M, claiming his old school is "harassing and intimidating" him and interfering with his contract. 

     The leader of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America disproportionately fired minorities after expressing an intent to move the group away from serving its base of ethnic minorities, two black former employees claim. 

     Members of the hip-hop band The Pharcyde must arbitrate a legal wrangle over use of its name, a federal judge ruled. 

     An insurer need not defend a La Quinta Inn from a guest family's claim for an armed police raid due to mistaken identity, the insurer claims in court. 

     A man who claims his penis was amputated during a routine circumcision has had his malpractice suit thrown out for the second time. 

     A Michigan watchmaker may sue two former employees who allegedly helped a competitor score the company's NFL and MLB licensing rights. 

     A Florida woman who lost a job offer after she refused to submit to a drug test must make her case for damages to a jury. 

     Environmentalists who fought a National Park Service plan to build parking lots and bus stops near Muir Woods National Monument have settled their dispute with the government. 

     Allegations that Dreamfields pasta was falsely advertised as a healthy alternative to traditional pasta will cost a Post Foods subsidiary $7.9 million to settle, a federal judge ruled. 

     A Long Island police department will pay $2.5 million to the family of a sickly bipolar man who died when denied his medication in custody. 

     A Brooklyn judge was denied another chance to sue New York Daily News for defamation over columns suggesting he was corrupt. 

     A fight over alleged contamination of a licorice ingredient will continue after a federal judge's ruling on spoiled syrup. 

     Pierce County (Wash.) sheriff's officers Tasered and beat a mentally disturbed man to death though he had committed no crime, his mother claims in Federal Court. 

     A New York screenwriter says her business partners wrested control of her film, "Dining With Alex," and plan to release it without her in February.

     An outgoing Tennessee state senator was arrested two nights in a row for stalking and threatening his neighbor.

     A federal judge on Friday evening granted a request from the NCAA and the nation's four major professional sports associations to temporarily stop New Jersey from allowing legalized sports betting.


     Heirs of jazz legend Duke Ellington cannot challenge EMI's use of foreign subpublishers, the New York Court of Appeals ruled. 


     Alexander Beltran Herrera a former commander of the FARC terrorist organization was sentenced for taking three Americans hostage in 2003 and holdng them for nearly five years.


     Two South African brothers were indictedon charges they sold illegal rhino hunting trips to American hunters, and sold the trophy horns on the black market. 

     A contractor with a $51 million arbitration award against Honduras cannot enforce the judgment here, a federal judge ruled, citing jurisdiction. 

     Raj Rajaratnam's brother Rengan reached an $840,000 settlement with the SEC on civil charges after his criminal trial ended in an acquittal.


     Cleveland police and sheriff's officers broke down a door, guns drawn, and manhandled two grandparents for 2 hours, smashing their stuff in front of their terrified granddaughter, then realized they had come to the wrong place, the family claims in Cuyahoga County Court.  


     Comcast and Integrated Tech Group sent a service tech to a woman's home and he masturbated in front of her, making her sick, she claims in Federal Court. 


     Mars food company uses oversized candy and food boxes to deceive customers about how much they contain, California claims in Yolo County Court.