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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Several bills pushed through before winter break

LANSING, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Michigan lawmakers are now on winter break after tying up loose ends Thursday night.

Health care and the health of citizens were big focuses in the session this year.

The House and Senate both voted to let local governments allow or prohibit medical marijuana dispensaries in their own communities.

Other bills approved Thursday by the House clarify that patients can use non-smokable forms of marijuana and set the stage for pharmacy sales of the drug if the federal government signs off.

Lawmakers also voted to prohibit insurance companies from offering abortions unless women pay a fee in addition to the premium.

The so-called "rape insurance" bill was brought before the legislature as an initiative petition organized by Right to Life of Michigan and cannot be vetoed by the governor.

Bills requiring every public school in Michigan to have special injectors to treat allergic reactions are going to Governor Rick Snyder's desk. Children can die if they don't get a dose of epinephrine to stop reactions to peanuts or bee stings.

The law would make sure they have access to them in school and require that staff members be trained to use them.

The health care overhaul also took center stage. The House passed a bill that would require Michigan insurers to give annual estimates of the federal health care law's impact on customers' premiums. The Senate will vote on the bill next year.

The House and Senate are both on break until January 8th. That's when the 2014 session begins.