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Facebook releases government surveillance data

By Joseph Menn and Gerry Shih SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Several Internet companies have struck an agreement with the U.S. government to release limited information about the number of surveillance requests they receive, two sources familiar with the discussions told Reuters. Facebook became the first to release aggregate numbers of…

Ohio abortion bill would require doctors to disclose income amount from abortions to patients

Women’s health advocates in Ohio are furious over a new bill that would require a 48-hour waiting period before abortions and for women seeking the procedure to go over their financial situation with their doctors. According to the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, the bill would mandate that doctors who perform abortions disclose…

Congressional tax panel heads: IRS needs ‘significant restructuring’

IRS shakeup needed after scandal, chairmen of Congress' tax-writing panels say (via The Christian Science Monitor) The Internal Revenue Service may need to be restructured after the agency was found improperly targeting conservative groups seeking non-profit status, the chairmen of the two congressional tax-writing committees say. “There does need to…

Colorado wildfire subsides after wrecking 400 homes

By Keith Coffman COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Reuters) – A deadly wildfire that has ravaged 400 homes, ranking as Colorado’s most destructive ever, subsided on Friday as authorities reported significant headway in containing the blaze on the outskirts of Colorado Springs with help from rain and calmer winds. The fire has…

Ecuador imposes ‘gag order’ on radio and TV stations

Ecuador slashed the private sector’s share of radio and television frequencies Friday and restricted content, the culmination of a battle between the president and media he accuses of undermining him. Leftist President Correa has long had tense relations with private news outlets and has come under fire from international rights…

Debate follows study blaming men for menopause

Men and their preference for younger female mates may have led to the phenomenon of menopause in women, according to a controversial study by Canadian researchers published this week. “If women were reproducing all along, and there were no preference against older women, women would be reproducing like men are…

‘Bill Mill’ group ALEC trying to skirt open records laws in Wisconsin

Last week, The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) filed suit against Wisconsin State Senator Leah Vukmir for failing to release documents as required under the state’s public records law. CMD alleges that Sen. Vukmir possesses materials pertaining to her involvement with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the controversial organization of which…

Officials declare Monsanto-resistant wheat an ‘isolated incident’

U.S. agriculture officials said Friday the discovery of genetically engineered wheat in an Oregon field appears to be an isolated incident. The plants, modified to be resistant to Monsanto herbicide, were discovered last month and led some Asian importers to halt or suspend trade with US wheat growers while an…

Al Gore: NSA surveillance program ‘not really the American way’

Former vice-president – not persuaded by argument that program was legal – urges Congress and Obama to amend the laws The National Security Agency’s blanket collection of U.S. citizens’ phone records was “not really the American way”, Al Gore said on Friday, declaring that he believed it to be unlawful.…

New Jersey special election fight heads to high court

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New Jersey’s State Supreme Court said on Friday it would hear a challenge to Governor Chris Christie’s plan to hold a special election in October to fill the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by the death of Senator Frank Lautenberg. The state’s highest court said a…

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