In Southern California, the power grid is always a hot topic. It's a part of the country that is all too familiar with the rolling blackouts. And now there is more reason for concern about the region's capacity to generate electricity. The San Onofre nuclear power plant is shutting down for good, thanks to worn-out parts. It's been off-line for more than a year after a pipe was found leaking radioactive steam. At its peak, San Onofre provided power for 1.4 million homes.
In his speech in Belfast, President Obama talked at length about the transformation of that city from conflict zone to a city bustling with normal healthy daily life. He got the biggest burst of applause when he tossed in a bit of Irish vernacular.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Students lounge at cafes asking each other, what's the crack?
BLOCK: What's the crack? Translation, how you doin'? Are you having fun?
OBAMA: So to paraphrase Seamus Hayden(ph), it's the manifestation of sheer bloody genius. This island is now chic.
The Supreme Court sided with government regulators in an important case involving the pharmaceutical industry and patent law. At issue were contracts between "brand-name" pharmaceutical companies and "generic" producers in which the brand-name company paid the generic not to compete. The court said the Federal Trade Commission could challenge such contracts.
When the maker of a brand-name drug pays a maker of generic drugs to not produce a lower-priced version of their product, the Federal Trade Commission can challenge the arrangement on antitrust grounds, the Supreme Court ruled Monday. The ruling may end the era of what regulators call "pay-for-delay" deals.
The justices voted 5-3 to allow a case to go forward in which the FTC is challenging one of many such deals. Several companies are involved in the case, including Solvay Pharmaceuticals, maker of AndroGel, and generic-drug maker Actavis.
Iran's newly elected president, Hasan Rowhani, gave a news conference in the capital Tehran on Monday. He said he would pursue a path of moderation.
Credit Ebrahim Noroozi / AP
Hasan Rowhani's victory in Iran's presidential election produced street celebrations in Tehran on Saturday, in sharp contrast to the weeks of violent protests that followed a disputed election four years ago. Rowhani is being hailed as a moderate, though hard-line clerics are still seen as the most powerful force in the country.
Ever since Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution, the U.S. has been in search of moderate Iranian leaders who could steer the country away from its hostile standoff with America.
To cite one famous example, President Ronald Reagan's administration secretly sold weapons to Iran in the mid-1980s in the belief it could work with the country's "moderate" elements even as Iran remained under the control of revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.