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Judge nixes Fort Hood shooting suspect’s defense strategy

Fort Hood shooting: Judge nixes Nidal Hasan defense strategy. What now? (via The Christian Science Monitor) A military judge overseeing the court-martial of Maj. Nidal Hasan ruled Friday that the Army psychiatrist cannot argue in court that he killed 13 soldiers at Fort Hood in defense of Taliban leaders in…

Chemical blasts spur questions about Southern petrochemical corridor

Donaldsonville explosion: With Southern industrial boom come dangers (via The Christian Science Monitor) Back-to-back explosions at chemical plants only miles apart along the Mississippi River have given pause to those who live in the shadows of America’s dirtiest industries. On Thursday, an explosion at a chemical plant in Geismar, La.,…

U.S. now has most Spanish speakers outside Mexico

There was a time when Latino immigrants in the United States hushed up their Spanish, trying to blend in. Now you hear it all over, as Latinos flex their growing political and media muscle. Indeed, the trilled R’s and staccato bursts of the language of Quixote liven up city streets…

Pope Francis suggests marriage equality is a political ‘fashion’

Pope Francis urged French members of parliament to shun “fashions” in legislation, a day after the pontiff spoke out against gay marriage. “Your role… consists in proposing laws, amending them or even repealing them,” the pontiff told a delegation of MPs from France, adding that it is “necessary… to inject…

‘Insolvent’ Detroit moves closer to filing for bankruptcy

By Bernie Woodall and Steve Neavling DETROIT (Reuters) – Detroit said on Friday it would stop making payments on some of its about $18.5 billion debt, which would put it in default, and the “insolvent” city called on most of its creditors to accept pennies on the dollar to help…

Saudi women get jail terms for trying to help Canadian woman get divorce

A Saudi court handed two Saudi women 10-month jail sentences on Saturday for seeking to help a Canadian woman who wanted to leave her Saudi husband with their children, human rights activists said. The court also banned Fawzia al-Ayuni and Wajiha al-Huaider from leaving the kingdom for two years, rights…

Transatlantic EgyptAir flight bound for New York diverted to Britain

An EgyptAir flight from Cairo to New York was diverted Saturday to a Scottish airport, where police are attending the scene, a spokesman at the airport told AFP. The spokesman for Glasgow Prestwick Airport could not say why the flight was diverted. “An EgyptAir aircraft, flight number MSR985, was en…

Al Gore says Obama must veto ‘atrocity’ of Keystone XL tar sands pipeline

Former vice-president says oil pipeline is ‘really a losing proposition’ and demands climate plan promised at inauguration Al Gore has called on Barack Obama to veto the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, describing it as “an atrocity”. The former vice-president said in an interview on Friday that he hoped Obama…

UPDATE: Moderate cleric Hassan Rohani to be Iran’s next president

Update: DUBAI (Reuters) – Moderate cleric Hassan Rohani has won Iran’s presidential election, Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar announced on state television on Saturday. Najjar said 72 percent of the 50 million eligible Iranians had turned out to vote, and that Rohani had secured just over the 50 percent of the…

Iraq journalists detained for 10 days for ‘stealing’ minister’s notepad

Iraqi press freedom activists on Saturday decried the detention for more than 10 days of two journalists accused of stealing the notebook of the country’s defence minister following a meeting of political leaders. Mohammed Fuad and Afdhal Jumaa are alleged to have stolen Saadun al-Dulaimi’s notepad after the June 1…

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