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Obama nominates John Koskinen to lead IRS

By Kim Dixon and Patrick Temple-West WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Thursday nominated John Koskinen, who has held a variety of roles in government, to lead the Internal Revenue Service amid a controversy over the agency’s scrutiny of conservative political groups. If confirmed by the Senate, Koskinen will…

Portuguese court orders rehiring of drunk ‘happy worker’ garbage collectors

LISBON (Reuters) – A Portuguese court has ordered a waste removal company to rehire an employee it fired for being drunk on his rounds and said tipsy trash men appear happier to members of the public. The appeals court in Porto, a northern city renowned for its port wines, also…

German Catholic seminary school expels students for Nazi salutes, death camp jokes

By Tom Heneghan, Religion Editor PARIS (Reuters) – An investigation into rumors of neo-Nazi activity at a seminary in Bavaria has resulted in two student priests being expelled for imitating the Nazi salute and making jokes about death camps, two bishops announced. The commission probing rumors of neo-Nazi activity at…

Witnesses detail Ariel Castro’s abuse: Plastic toilets that were not often emptied

By Kim Palmer CLEVELAND (Reuters) – Witnesses testified in graphic terms on Thursday how Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro abducted three women and imprisoned them for a decade in his home, where he sometimes kept them in chains, isolated from each other and without regular meals. A police officer, a psychiatrist…

Rep. Keith Ellison: Taxpayers ‘are subsidizing’ fast food corporations’ minimum wage business model

“We Can’t Survive on $7.25″ (via Moyers & Company) Fast food workers in seven U.S. cities are walking off the job this week in what organizers say is the largest strike in the industry’s history. The wave of protests began Monday in New York City, where workers earning as little…

U.S.-Russia ties won’t suffer over Snowden: senior Kremlin official

NOVO-OGARYOVO, Russia (Reuters) – Ties between Russia and the United States will not suffer because of the “relatively insignificant” case of fugitive former U.S. security contractor Edward Snowden, a senior Kremlin official said on Thursday. “Our president has … expressed hope many times that this will not affect the character…

As Keystone stalls, TransCanada OKs bigger East Coast pipeline

(Reuters) – TransCanada Corp gave the green light to building a $12 billion oil pipeline to ship Canada’s Western oil sands crude to refiners on its east coast and beyond, scaling up the project as its U.S.-bound Keystone XL line remains stalled in Washington. The company said it would move…

Kansas meatpacker recalls 50,100 pounds of ground beef

(Reuters) – A Kansas meatpacker has recalled 50,100 pounds of ground beef that may be contaminated with the E. coli bacteria, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service said. The USDA said on Wednesday evening that routine monitoring had confirmed the presence of E.coli O157:H7 in the…

Simulated fellatio, group sex and copulating crocodiles draw boos at 200th anniversary production of Wagner’s Ring cycle

By Michael Roddy BAYREUTH, Germany (Reuters) – Richard Wagner made hand grenades for the 1849 Dresden uprising, so maybe he would have cheered the tumultuous end of his 200th birthday “Ring” cycle in Bayreuth, a production that has raised questions over his heirs running the festival. A thunderous chorus of…

Archived papers reveal Queen Elizabeth’s ‘World War Three’ speech

By Li-mei Hoang LONDON (Reuters) – Relations between the Soviet Union and the West had become so tense 30 years ago that British officials drew up a speech for Queen Elizabeth to deliver to the nation in the event of a nuclear war, newly released archives showed on Thursday. In…

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