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Biden and Kerry urge Senate to go slow on sanctions against Iran

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and other top administration officials met with senior Democrats in a bid to persuade the Senate to hold off on new Iran sanctions, his office said Friday. With Washington negotiating with Tehran’s new leadership over the Islamic republic’s nuclear drive, Biden sought to press pause…

Noam Chomsky warns Canada’s shale gas energy plans will have dire consequences

Canada’s rush to exploit its tar sands and shale gas resources will destroy the environment “as fast as possible”, according to Noam Chomsky. In an interview with the Guardian, the linguist and author criticised the energy policies of the Canadian government under Prime Minister Stephen Harper. He said: “It means…

School ordered black student dressed as Jesus to remove his costume because it offended ‘religious sensibilities’

Marshon Sanders, a high school student in Highland Park, Illinois, was removed from class and ordered to change out of his Halloween costume after some in the school complained it was offensive. Sanders, an African-American, was dressed as Jesus. “I wanted to be Jesus because I just got baptized and…

North Carolina Republican switches party affiliation: ‘I guess being American just isn’t good enough’ for the GOP anymore

Yesterday, a North Carolina Republican congressional candidate switched his party affiliation to Democrat, saying that he “refuse[s] to be part of an extremist movement in the GOP that only appears to thrive on fear and hate mongering of anyone and everyone who doesn’t walk their line.” In a statement posted…

Six of the biggest tech firms call on Congress to reform NSA mass surveillance

Six of the biggest US technology firms are urging Congress to rein in the National Security Agency by providing more transparency about surveillance and improve privacy protection. In a letter to a Senate committee, the tech giants applauded the introduction of the USA Freedom Act aimed at ending bulk collection…

48 million Americans see food stamp cuts due to congressional inaction

The US Congress on Friday allowed an estimated $5 billion cut to the US federal food stamps program, slashing the social safety net for the poor, elderly and disabled. Almost 48 million Americans have had their food subsidies cut after a 2009 recession-fighting measure expired Thursday with no congressional action…

U.S. manufacturing grows for fifth month in row

US manufacturing output grew for the fifth straight month in October, suggesting stronger economic growth in the fourth quarter, an industry survey released Friday showed. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its purchasing managers index for manufacturing activity rose to 56.4 percent last month from 56.2 percent in September.…

Seven people injured during shooting at Los Angeles airport

Police believe a gunman who opened fire at Los Angeles airport Friday acted alone, a police chief said, while not confirming reports that the shooter and one victim were killed. “We believe at this point that there was a lone shooter, that he acted,” said Patrick Gannon, head of the…

Florida sheriff charged after releasing drunk driver arrested for concealed weapons violation on ‘Second Amendment’ grounds

Jury selection in the trial of suspended Liberty County, Florida Sheriff Nick Finch — who is accused of illegally acting on behalf of a man arrested on a concealed weapons charge — began today. Finch was arrested after it came to light that he helped Floyd Parrish, who had been…

Afghan schoolgirl scarred in acid attack now a teacher

When attackers threw acid in Shamsia Husseini’s face outside her school in Afghanistan, she defied them by returning to class — and now she has struck another blow for female education by becoming a teacher herself. Shamsia suffered severe burns on her eyelids and cheeks in the November 2008 assault,…

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