By Andy Sullivan
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - One part of the Obama administration's technically flawed HealthCare.gov website is actually working as promised. Unfortunately, the company that built it does not intend to seek more government business.
Working out of a garage a few blocks north of the White House, a 12-person software shop called Development Seed built a customer interface praised for its elegance and stability, a bright spot in the rollout of a website that has been an embarrassment for President Barack Obama.
By Lisa Baertlein and P.J. Huffstutter
DALLAS (Reuters) - For more than a century, ranchers and their kids have paraded cattle around the dusty show ring at the State Fair of Texas in Dallas, in a rite of passage that is part farm economics, part rural theater.
Today, with U.S.
By Angus McDowall
RIYADH (Reuters) - When Saudi Arabia's veteran foreign minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, made no annual address to the United Nations General Assembly last week for the first time ever, his unspoken message could hardly have been louder.
For most countries, refusing to give a scheduled speech would count as little more than a diplomatic slap on the wrist, but for staid Saudi Arabia, which prefers back-room politicking to the public arena, it was uncharacteristically forthright.
Engaged in what they see as a life-and-death struggle for the future of the Middle East with arch-rival Iran, Saudi rulers are furious that the international body has taken no action over Syria, where they and Tehran back opposing sides.
By Khaled Yacoub Oweis
AMMAN (Reuters) - Alarmed by the rise of al Qaeda in Syria, Saudi Arabia is trying to strengthen rival Islamists with ties to Riyadh and this week helped engineer a consolidation of rebel groups around Damascus under a Saudi-backed leader.
That might bolster the opposition militarily as President Bashar al-Assad's forces have been pushing back, but it also underlines al Qaeda's expansion in Syria - and the proliferation of splits among Assad's enemies, just as world powers are trying to corral them into talks with his government.
Rebel and diplomatic sources said it was Saudi Arabia which nudged rebel brigades operating in and around Damascus to announce this week that they have united under a single command comprising 50 groups and numbering some thousands of fighters.
By Samia Nakhoul
BEIRUT (Reuters) - Bashar al-Assad, who only a month ago faced the likelihood of U.S. missile strikes that could have tipped the balance of Syria's war against him, has won a reprieve.
His supporters, political sources in Damascus say, are jubilant, convinced the threat of regime change has lifted and that the Assads can face down opponents they consider weak - U.S. President Barack Obama and France's President Francois Hollande among them - just as they saw off their predecessors.
"I think they feel that they can live this out and wait for leaders like Hollande and Obama to leave office, just as they did with Jacques Chirac and George W.
By Marcus George
DUBAI (Reuters) - An Iranian war veteran fell into a coma in a Tehran hospital last week after suffering respiratory failure, his lungs ravaged by mustard gas during the Iran-Iraq war 30 years ago.
Hadi Kazemnejad is one of up to 1,000,000 Iranians who were exposed to chemical weapons by Saddam Hussein's Iraq, officials say. Between 10,000 and 20,000 people were killed and 100,000 of those who survived have developed illnesses, often chronic.
Cases like Kazemnejad's point to the long-term damage of chemical warfare and also help explain Iran's nuanced reaction to allegations regional ally Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used such weapons against his own people.