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eBay founder backs project to ‘empower’ journalists

eBay founder Pierre Omidyar announced plans Wednesday to back a project with investigative reporter Glenn Greenwald which “elevates and supports” journalists and “allows them to pursue the truth.” Omidyar said in a statement he is backing the new media project, details of which are still being developed, separate from his…

John Boehner to allow House to vote on Senate deal to end government shutdown

Republican leaders conceded defeat in their two-week battle to derail Barack Obama’s health care reforms on Wednesday, agreeing to a series of votes that were likely to re-open the government and avert a looming debt default. With just hours to go until a deadline set by the Treasury department for…

Biggest known star in the universe is ripping itself apart

The biggest known star in the cosmos is in its death throes and will eventually explode, astronomers said on Wednesday. Using a telescope at the European Southern Observatory in Chile, the astronomers said they had spotted telltale signs in a star called W26. Located about 16,000 light years away in…

Polish artist in hot water over Soviet rapist sculpture

A Polish artist is facing possible charges and has drawn ire from Russia for installing a sculpture of a Soviet soldier raping a pregnant woman in the northern port city of Gdansk. “I wanted to show the tragedy of women and the horrors of war,” arts student Jerzy Bohdan Szumczyk,…

The Obama administration doesn’t want the Supreme Court to look at NSA spying

President Barack Obama’s administration is urging the Supreme Court not to take up the first case it has received on controversial National Security Agency cybersnooping. US government attorneys argue that the Supreme Court does not have the jurisdiction to take the case, filed in July by the Electronic Privacy Information…

Harvard law professor: Affirmative action not about putting down white people

During a presentation last weekend at the Politics and Prose bookstore, Harvard law professor Randall Kennedy argued that affirmative action in college admissions was a legally acceptable form of “benign discrimination.” Kennedy was at the legendary D.C. bookstore to discuss his new book, “For Discrimination: Race, Affirmative Action, and the…

Is the shutdown over? Senate leaders say they have hammered out a compromise

US senators scrambled together an eleventh hour compromise Wednesday that they hoped might protect Washington’s battered financial standing by heading off fears of a default. The Senate deal must still pass a divided and unpredictable House of Representatives, but lawmakers were hopeful it will allow the US government to reopen…

Republican can’t figure out why government shutdown shut down government parks

For nearly six minutes on Wednesday morning, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) angrily berated the head of the National Park Service for closing down parks and memorials in Washington, D.C. During a joint committee hearing, the Republican congressman asked NPS Director Jonathan Jarvis why protesters associated with Occupy Wall Street were…

Will Germany’s ‘bling bishop’ cause more people to leave the church?

Germany’s Roman Catholic Church, already grappling with the fallout from a child sex scandal, fears losing more followers — and financing — because of public anger over a big-spending “bling bishop”. For the past week the Bishop of Limburg, Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, has generated damaging headlines after the cost of…

Police arrest 28-year-old man linked to dry ice ‘bombs’ at Los Angeles airport

A man has been arrested in connection with explosive devices made from dry ice found at the Los Angeles International Airport, police said Wednesday. The suspect, Dicarlo Bennett, was taken into custody Tuesday and booked for possession of a destructive device near an aircraft. Bail has been set at $1…

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