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Treasury secretary calls on Congress to replace sequester with less stupid budget cuts

US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew called Thursday for Congress to replace the programmed “sequester” spending cuts with more sensible reductions that will not retard economic growth. Laying out the Obama administration’s views on negotiations just starting, Lew warned that the sequestration, which could increase the cuts forced in fiscal 2013…

Libyan air force officer shot dead in Benghazi

A Libyan air force colonel was killed Thursday in Benghazi, the latest in a series of attacks on security forces in the cradle of the 2011 revolution. “The head of air traffic controllers in Benina military base, Colonel Adel Khalil al-Tawahini, was killed Thursday morning,” said Colonel Abdallah al-Zaidi, a…

Pirates kidnap two U.S. citizens off the coast of Nigeria

Pirates have stormed an oil supply vessel off southern Nigeria and kidnapped the ship’s captain and chief engineer, both US citizens, a private security firm and US officials said Thursday. A US-flagged C-Retriever owned by American oil servicing company Edison Chouest Offshore was attacked on Wednesday off the city of…

South Carolina soup kitchen refuses to allow atheists to volunteer

A group called the Upstate Atheists in Spartanburg, South Carolina were rebuffed in their efforts to volunteer at the Spartanburg Soup Kitchen. “I told [the Spartanburg Soup Kitchen] we wouldn’t wear our T-shirts. We wouldn’t tell anyone who we are with. We just want to help out,” Upstate Atheist president…

Two teachers killed this week: How safe are U.S. schools?

Two teachers killed this week: How safe are US schools? (+video) (via The Christian Science Monitor) Philip Chism, 14, stands during his arraignment for the death of Danvers High School teacher Colleen Ritzer in Salem District Court in Boston, Massachusetts October 23. Chism was held without bail on a murder…

GOP’s biggest donor believes U.S. should nuke Iran

In New York yesterday, Sheldon Adelson, the casino mogul who’s currently the Republican’s biggest donor, told a panel at Yeshiva University that the United States should drop a nuclear weapon on Iran. Adelson was asked whether he “would support negotiations with Iran if they stopped all enrichment of uranium.” “Negotiate?”…

Listening to music eases pain for many: survey

More than 40 percent of people say listening to music can help alleviate pain, with songs by Elton John, Robbie Williams and Simon and Garfunkel among the favourites, a new British survey out Thursday said. Music seems to have an even bigger impact for younger people, with two-thirds those questioned…

GoDaddy’s chief SOPA supporter Christine Jones running for Arizona Governor

As anyone who followed the SOPA fight remembers, GoDaddy was an early (and vocal) supporter of SOPA. This was mainly the work of its General Counsel, Christine Jones, who (prior to SOPA specifically being released) testified before Congress in support…  …

Texas judge forced to resign after caught texting instructions to assistant DA during trial

Oh, the hilarity that is the phrase “criminal justice system.” Talk to any defense attorney and they’ll tell you how the deck is stacked against defendants and defense lawyers. The ideal of “innocent until proven guilty” has become little more than…  …

Universal Studios discontinues annual Halloween special in which Superman ‘turns gay’ after being sprinkled with fairy dust

A Bill and Ted Halloween show has been cancelled over complaints that it reinforced homophobic stereotypes by depicting Superman “turned gay” after being sprinkled with fairy dust. The show, which screens annually at the Universal Studios theme park in Los Angeles, was criticised by bloggers and the Gay and Lesbian…

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