Painkiller critics take aim at hospital surveys, procedures

WASHINGTON (AP) — Critics of how prescription painkillers are administered in the U.S. are calling on health officials to phase out hospital procedures and questionnaires used to manage pain.

  • Written by MATTHEW PERRONE, AP Health Writer

Syrians begin voting for new parliament in government areas

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syrians in government-controlled areas headed to polling stations Wednesday to elect a new 250-member parliament that is expected to serve as a rubber stamp for President Bashar Assad.

  • Written by ALBERT AJI, Associated Press

Regulators: 5 big banks get failing grades for crisis plans

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal regulators say five of the biggest banks in the U.S. failed to develop adequate plans for how they might reshape themselves in case of bankruptcy, which could leave them unable to survive without another taxpayer bailout.

  • Written by MARCY GORDON, AP Business Writers KEN SWEET, AP Business Writers

Paul Ryan is not running for president _ or passing a budget

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Paul Ryan's national stature is such that he had to call a news conference to deny he wants to be president. Back on Capitol Hill, he's about to blow through a statutory deadline to pass an annual budget, a major embarrassment for him and House Republicans.

  • Written by ERICA WERNER, Associated Press ANDREW TAYLOR, Associated Press

Public wants Senate action on court, but interest is modest

WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly 2 in 3 Americans back Democrats' demands that the Republican-run Senate hold hearings and a vote on President Barack Obama's pick for the Supreme Court. But an Associated Press-GfK poll also suggests that GOP defiance against considering the nominee may not hurt the party much because, to many people, the election-year fight is simply not a big deal.

  • Written by ALAN FRAM, Associated Press EMILY SWANSON, Associated Press