Despite years of prodding by the Obama administration, close to half the nation's governors will not take a critical step to implement the president's health care law next year, leaving the job of running new insurance markets for their residents to the federal government. These exchanges are designed to allow consumers who don't get coverage through work to go online to comparison shop for health insurance. Insurance companies selling on exchanges will have to meet new minimum standards and offer a range of plans. States must build websites that tell consumers whether they are eligible for subsidized coverage and the cost of a plan's premiums, based on factors such as age and sex.
Hours before a gunman opened fire at a Connecticut elementary school, an Oklahoma teenager was arrested for allegedly plotting to attack his high school and trying to recruit classmates to help him. Police in Bartlesville, a community about 40 miles north of Tulsa, arrested 18-year-old Sammie Eaglebear Chavez on charges of conspiring to cause serious bodily harm or death. He was jailed on $1 million bond.
Japanese were voting today in parliamentary elections that were expected to return the conservatives to power after a three-year break. Major newspapers were predicting the Liberal Democratic Party, led by the hawkish former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, would win a majority in the 480-seat lower house of parliament. Voters have soured on Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's push to double the sales tax.
Suicide bombers armed with rockets attacked the military side of an airport in the northwestern city of Peshawar, killing four civilians and wounding more than 30, officials said. Five militants also were killed. Peshawar is on the edge of Pakistan's tribal region, the main sanctuary for Al-Qaida and the Taliban in the country.