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Hobby Lobby wins a stay against birth control mandate in Obamacare because it ‘violates’ religious beliefs

By Jonathan Stempel (Reuters) – A federal judge has temporarily exempted Hobby Lobby Stores Inc from a requirement in the 2010 healthcare law that it offer workers insurance coverage for birth control, which the retailer said violated its religious beliefs. The preliminary injunction issued by U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton…

U.S. regulators charge City of Miami and its ex-budget director with fraud

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Securities and Exchange Commission charged the city of Miami and its former budget director with fraud on Friday, for allegedly making misleading statements and omissions in bond documents in order to mask general fund deficits. The regulatory agency said it was seeking injunctive relief and financial…

Britain unveils new fracking tax credits called world’s ‘most generous’ incentives

The British government presented tax breaks for energy fracking companies on Friday to create the world’s “most generous” regime for shale gas extraction. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne revealed plans to slash from 62 percent to 30 percent the tax on a proportion of production profits, in a bid…

Michigan appeals state judge’s order to stop Detroit bankruptcy

DETROIT (Reuters) – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette on Friday appealed a state judge’s declaratory judgment that the bankruptcy petition Detroit’s emergency manager filed in federal court Thursday should be withdrawn. The appeal of Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina’s Friday order was made in the Michigan Court of…

Hong Kong seizes 1,000 baby elephant tusks shipped from Togo to China

More than 1,000 ivory tusks, mainly from baby elephants, were seized by Hong Kong customs in their biggest haul in three years, officials said on Friday. The tusks, which weigh over two tonnes and are worth more than US$2 million, were discovered at the city’s main port in a cargo…

Appeals court rules intelligence reporter James Risen must testify if indicted whistleblower was his source

By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A federal appeals court ruled on Friday that the First Amendment right to free speech does not prevent a New York Times journalist from giving testimony in a high-profile government leak case. The ruling by the Richmond, Virginia-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals…

Kerry: Peace talks between Israel and Palestine to resume in Washington D.C. within a week

US Secretary of State John Kerry announced on Friday that an agreement has been reached between the Israelis and Palestinians for the basis to resume Middle East peace talks. “I’m pleased to announce that we’ve reached an agreement that establishes a basis for resuming final status negotiations between the Palestinians…

Hadron Collider provides exhaustive confirmation of conceptual framework of subatomic particles

Tests at the world’s biggest collider have provided the most exhaustive confirmation to date of the Standard Model, a four-decade-old conceptual framework for fundamental particles, CERN said on Friday. Physicists at two giant underground laboratories straddling the French-Swiss border have given the most accurate measurement yet of a change in…

Michigan Gov. Snyder on Detroit bankruptcy: ‘We will come out with a stronger, better Detroit’

Detroit will be a great city again once the birthplace of the US auto industry gets a fresh start with a bankruptcy filing, Michigan’s governor said Friday. Saddled with more than $18 billion in debt and a shrunken tax base, the Motor City has been so strapped for cash it…

Eight elderly men held captive in Houston home under ‘prison’-like conditions

Update (4:11 p.m. Eastern): CNN is now reporting that police found eight people in the Houston home, all men between the ages of 50 and 80. Police found that four elderly men had been kept captive in a north Houston home in poor and dirty conditions, according to Houston local…

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