WASHINGTON

Protesters assail Obama for waging ‘war on coal’

Hundreds of coal industry workers and supporters gathered Tuesday in front of the U.S. Capitol as a parade of coal-state lawmakers assailed the Obama administration as waging a “war on coal” with new environmental rules.

Last month, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed standards aimed at curbing carbon dioxide emissions, a major contributor to global warming, according to most climate scientists. However, the rules would make it nearly impossible to build new coal-fired power plants without expensive and unproven technology to capture carbon dioxide and pump it underground.

On Tuesday, miners from several coal-producing states, some wearing yellow hard hats and carrying signs that said “Impeach Obama,” cheered as lawmakers of both parties and other speakers criticized the administration.

“I blame one man,” Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., told the crowd. “President Barack Obama.”

Farm bill negotiators face tough talks on food stamps

Negotiators in the Senate and House of Representatives will convene Wednesday to begin resolving differences in a long-delayed farm bill. It won’t be easy.

The 41-member panel must bridge a huge divide in the five-year, $500 billion reauthorization bill’s most contentious issue: cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly called food stamps.

The Republican-controlled House passed a bill that would cut food stamps by $39 billion out of a projected $800 billion over 10 years.

In addition, the House SNAP provision would require able-bodied adults without children to work or volunteer for 20 hours a week to receive federal assistance.

The Democratic-held Senate’s farm bill also would cut food stamps, but by $4.5 billion over a decade. The Senate plan wouldn’t add work requirements.

DANBURY, Conn.

Couple accused of punishing girl with electric shock collar

Police say a Danbury couple faces charges after a 9-year-old girl in their care was punished with an electric shock collar used to discipline barking dogs.

Forty-three-year-old Eduardo Montanez is held on $250,000 bond on charges including third-degree assault, risk of injury to a child and cruelty. Thirty-four-year-old Paula Montanez is held on $200,000 bond on charges including risk of injury to a child, conspiracy to commit third-degree assault and conspiracy to commit cruelty.

Police said Montanez allegedly forced the girl to bark so the collar would shock her, and his wife didn’t stop him. Police said the couple was upset about the girl’s school progress, WVIT-TV reported.