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Sotomayor reflects on her unlikely rise to the top: ‘It’s like being struck by lightning’

From behind an imposing wood desk in her office at the US Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor reflects on her unlikely but very American rise from the Bronx to the highest court in the land. “To be a justice, that was a fantasy, not even a dream because it’s so rare,”…

Saudi prince sues Forbes for libel over claim he’s only worth $20 billion

LONDON (Reuters) – Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has sued Forbes magazine for libel in a British court, alleging its valuation of his wealth at $20 billion was short of the mark by $9.6 billion, Britain’s Guardian newspaper reported on Friday. The prince, a grandson of Saudi Arabia’s founder…

Obama to send envoy to Guantanamo Bay to consider closure

By Roberta Rampton WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s chief of staff and two leading senators will travel to the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba on Friday to consider how to meet Obama’s vow to move detainees and close the facility, a White House spokeswoman said. Obama’s chief of staff,…

Immigration reform backers insist bill will pass within a few weeks

By Richard Cowan and Thomas Ferraro WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Senate on Friday plunged into a spirited debate on overhauling the country’s immigration rules, with a verdict likely by the end of June on legislation that could define President Barack Obama’s final years in office. The “Border Security, Economic Opportunity…

Source says Cory Booker will announce Senate run on Saturday

(Reuters) – Newark Mayor Cory Booker was expected to announce on Saturday he will run for U.S. Senate in New Jersey in a Democratic primary set for August to fill the seat of the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg, a source close to Booker said on Friday. The campaign staffer asked…

Alaska uses drones to inspect oil and gas pipelines at a fraction of the cost

By Krithika Krishnamurthy (Reuters) – No pilot was required when the Aeryon Scout took off into the leaden skies of Alaska to inspect a stretch of oil pipeline. The miniature aircraft was guided by an engineer on the ground, armed only with a tablet computer. The 20-minute test flight, conducted…

California glitch-ridden nuclear plant shut down for good

A California nuclear power plant shut down last year after a radiation leak will be permanently closed, its owners said Friday. Southern California Edison (SCE) has been trying to fix problems which came to light last year after a minor leak in one reactor at the San Onofre plant, north…

Court rules prisoner has a First Amendment right to ‘erotic’ werewolf novel

California’s First District Court of appeals ruled recently that its prisons don’t have the right to restrict inmates’ access to literary depictions of sex and violence, even if the book itself is far from a timeless literary masterpiece. When Andres Martinez — a “voracious reader,” his lawyer Richard Braucher told…

Victims say military sexual assault reforms don’t go far enough

Victims and their advocates speak out after military leaders balk at Senate proposal to strip commanders of some powers During this week’s battle of wills between legislators and military leaders at the Senate armed services committee hearing into sexual assault, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and other…

Pussy Riot members make surprise U.S. visit to help free jailed friends

Two members of the Russian feminist punk-rock band Pussy Riot on Friday urged the United States to help free their friends jailed last year for an anti-government protest performance. The two women, who slipped into the country on a surprise visit, met with US lawmakers as well as White House…

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