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California judge rules assault wasn’t rape because woman wasn’t married

A California appeals court has overturned the rape conviction of a man charged with raping a sleeping woman, basing the decision on an 1872 law that does not protect unmarried women the same protections as those who are married. According to the LA Weekly blog, the court found in favor…

Barney Frank: I would accept temporary appointment to John Kerry’s Senate seat

On Friday, Massachusetts congressman Rep. Barney Frank (D) announced that he has spoken to Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick about the possibility of accepting a temporary appointment to Sen. John Kerry (D-MA)’s seat in the U.S. Senate should Kerry be confirmed as U.S. Secretary of State. After 32 years in the…

O’Reilly: Asians not liberal ‘by nature’ because they’re ‘industrious and hard-working’

Thursday on Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor,” host Bill O’Reilly and producer Jesse Watters engaged in a discussion of the changing demographics of the U.S. and noted, with puzzlement, that many Asian-Americans are voting Democratic. According to Media Matters, O’Reilly suggested that this is surprising because “Asian people are…

Tea party Reps vote for ousted Allen West over Boehner for Speaker of the House

The vote for Speaker of the House began Thursday morning in the wake of the New Year’s fiscal cliff deal that has left many in the Republican Party unhappy with the party’s Congressional leader, Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), particularly members of the tea party caucus. According to NPR, the vote…

Mysteriously sourced report claims hyrofracking safe in New York state

A leaked report provided to the New York Times and other media outlets claims that health studies have concluded that the controversial natural gas extraction technique, hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” would be safe to conduct in New York State. According to the Times, the party providing the analysis claims the report,…

Hackers produce disturbing video evidence in Ohio gang rape case

KnightSec, a hacking group affiliated with the “Anonymous” collective, has released a video of teenager Michael Nodianos glorying in the gang rape of a 16-year-old girl by his high school football player teammates. According to the Atlantic Wire, hackers are intervening, putting now-scrubbed evidence back online because other teenagers and…

Chicago cardinal: Same sex marriage an ‘affront’ to society

Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George and his six auxiliary bishops wrote a letter on Tuesday calling same sex marriage “an affront to reason and the common good of society.” According to the Chicago Tribune, the clergyman urged parishioners to lobby their elected representatives against the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act,…

Expert says drug-resistant malaria could spawn global health ‘nightmare scenario’

The rise of drug-resistant malaria in the border region between Thailand and Myanmar could presage a global health crisis, say some scientists. According to NBCNews.com, millions of people worldwide could die if the new strain of the parasitic disease follows historic routes of transmission, prompting a need for swift action…

Study shows human ancestors may have ‘walked up’ trees

A new study challenges the notion that humans’ primate ancestors came down from trees and only gradually began to walk upright. According to Scientific American, new findings in the fossil record indicate that our species’ journey to our modern bipedal posture may have been much more complicated and convoluted that…

Senate passes bill to avert ‘fiscal cliff’ tax hikes

Update from AFP: The White House and top Republicans struck a dramatic deal to avert huge New Year tax hikes and postpone automatic spending cuts that had threatened to send the US economy into recession. After months of agonizing over the crisis, weeks of debate about a possible solution, and…

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