US, Cuba to normalize relations  The United States and Cuba have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations and open economic and travel ties, marking a historic shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island after a half-century of enmity dating back to the Cold War, American officials said Wednesday.

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Government reaches agreement to allow airline merger

WASHINGTON (AP) - The CEO of US Airways calls it "very good news." Doug Parker is reacting to an agreement announced by the Justice Department that will allow US Airways and American Airlines to merge. Parker will be in charge at the new company.

The settlement still requires approval by a federal judge. It will require American and US Airways to give up some takeoff and landing rights in Washington and New York, and also to turn over gates at airports in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas and Miami to low-cost carriers, to offset the impact of the merger.

Attorney General Eric Holder says the agreement will ensure more competition on nonstop and connecting routes nationwide. The department says the agreement to give up slots and gates at airports is "groundbreaking."

The companies expect to complete the merger in December.

A half dozen states had joined the federal government's lawsuit aimed at blocking the merger, fearing the loss of flights and jobs at their airports.