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GOP lawmakers consider plan to lift debt ceiling in exchange for Obamacare delay

With five days until a possible U.S. government shutdown, lawmakers were mulling options Thursday for keeping agencies open while potentially postponing a battle over President Barack Obama’s health care law. The Senate expected to approve a stopgap funding bill soon that strips out a provision defunding the controversial health law,…

Panasonic to abandon consumer smartphones

Japanese electronic giant Panasonic said Thursday it will abandon research into new smartphones for retail consumers at home as it struggles to make inroads in a sector dominated by Apple and Samsung. The move comes two months after competitor NEC said it was pulling out of the market citing tough…

Pakistani teen activist Malala pleads to UN: Send books, not guns

Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teen shot by the Taliban for championing girls’ education has stood by world leaders at the United Nations and called for books not guns. “Instead of sending weapons, instead of sending tanks to Afghanistan and all these countries which are suffering from terrorism, send books,” she…

Prisoner’s father renews appeal to Iranian president for his release

The father of a US citizen imprisoned in Iran forwarded a letter to President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday pleading with him to free his son on humanitarian grounds. Ali Hekmati, who is originally from Iran and lives in the US state of Michigan, said he was “very sick” with a…

Citigroup will pay Freddie Mac $395 million in mortgage settlement

US banking giant Citigroup Wednesday announced an agreement to pay Freddie Mac $395 million to settle claims of potential flaws in millions of mortgages it sold Freddie. Wednesday’s settlement covers potential future claims on 3.7 million loans sold to the quasi-public Freddie between 2000 and 2012, a period that includes…

WATCH: U.S.-Russia crew begins shortened trip to International Space Station

An American and two Russians blasted off Thursday for the International Space Station atop a Soyuz rocket that will slash more than a day off the usual travel time. Michael Hopkins of NASA and Oleg Kotov and Sergei Ryazansky of Russia took off without a hitch from the Baikonur space…

Air Force converts F-16 fighters into drones

The U.S. Air Force has test flown an F-16 fighter jet without a pilot on board for the first time, in the latest sign of the military’s increasing reliance on drones. The robotic F-16 flew for 55 minutes with an empty cockpit from a base in Florida last week, as…

Revealed: NSA spied on Martin Luther King and senators opposed to Vietnam War

The National Security Agency eavesdropped on civil rights icon Martin Luther King and heavyweight boxer Muhammad Ali as well as other leading critics of the Vietnam War in a secret program later deemed “disreputable,” declassified documents revealed Wednesday. The six-year spying program, dubbed “Minaret,” had been exposed in the 1970s…

Soccer-based Colombian soap scores a ratings goooooool

With Colombia’s national football team close to qualifying for the 2014 World Cup, viewers are tuning in by the millions to a telenovela about their dream team of the 1990s. The soap opera — known simply as “La Seleccion” (marketed in English as “Football Dreams, a World of Passion”) —…

NASA adapting space radar for use helping rescue workers

A portable radar device that can sense live victims beneath a collapsed structure was inspired by the same technology used to detect distant objects in space, NASA said Wednesday. The prototype for the new tool was demonstrated for reporters by US space agency experts who are collaborating with the Department…

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