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Citizens United 2.0? Supreme Court could kill limits on political donations

Three years after its historic Citizens United decision upended America’s campaign finance system, the Supreme Court appears poised to allow even more cash to flood into US politics. In one of the most highly anticipated cases of a judicial term that got underway this week, the US high court on…

UN chief urges action on Syria humanitarian crisis

UN chief Ban Ki-moon called Tuesday for “action” over the dire humanitarian situation in conflict-torn Syria as efforts were underway to destroy the regime’s chemical weapons. “The Security Council has… made a strong commitment to relieve the humanitarian situation to reach millions of desperate civilians. Now these commitments must be…

NSA chief open to letting an independent agency store phone data

The National Security Agency’s director said Tuesday he is open to storing telephone records in a neutral “repository” to alleviate concerns about government snooping. General Keith Alexander, speaking about the controversy over bulk collection of phone “metadata” said his personal view is that more transparency would help restore public trust…

Stocks sink as D.C. budget paralysis continues

US stocks, led by the tech-rich Nasdaq, tumbled Tuesday as a Washington budget and debt ceiling impasse dragged on without clear progress. In late-morning trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 85.55 (0.57 percent) to 14,850.69. The broad-based S&P 500 lost 12.43 (0.74 percent) at 1,663.69, while the Nasdaq Composite…

Pentagon names envoy to finally shut down Guantanamo Bay

The Pentagon on Tuesday named an envoy to shut down the controversial prison at Guantanamo Bay, showing renewed commitment to US President Barack Obama’s elusive goal. Paul Lewis, formerly a legal expert for the House of Representatives on Guantanamo, will look at ways to close the jail and transfer detainees…

Obama administration upholds ban on some Samsung devices due to Apple patent

The Obama administration Tuesday upheld a decision to ban some Samsung mobile technology products due to the company’s violation of patents owned by rival Apple. US Trade Representative Michael Froman rejected a Samsung effort to overturn the August ruling by the US International Trade Commission to ban some older model…

Execute elephant poachers on the spot, Tanzanian minister urges

A government minister in Tanzania has called for a “shoot-to-kill” policy against poachers in a radical measure to curb the mass slaughter of elephants. Khamis Kagasheki’s proposal for perpetrators of the illicit ivory trade to be executed “on the spot” divided opinion, with some conservationists backing it as a necessary…

IMF predicts U.S. economic growth to slow due to political havoc

The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday cut its growth forecast for the US economy, and warned that Washington’s political paralysis could drag growth down further. The Fund, in its new World Economic Outlook, said the US economy would grow 1.6 percent this year and accelerate to 2.6 percent in 2014,…

Pope Francis calls special synod on the modern family

Pope Francis has called an extraordinary assembly of the Synod of Bishops next year to discuss the Church’s position with regard to the family, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said Tuesday. Due to be held from October 5 to 19, 2014, the synod, or council, entitled “The Pastoral Challenges of the…

Clashes between Islamists and police in Egypt leaves 57 dead

The death toll from weekend clashes between Islamists and police has reached 57, a senior Egyptian health ministry official told AFP on Tuesday. Khaled al-Khatib said that 48 people died in Cairo and nine in other parts of the country. Authorities had previously given a toll of 51. Khatib said…

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