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No sign of cyber leaker Snowden on flight to Cuba

MOSCOW (Reuters) – A Russian passenger plane left Moscow for Havana on Thursday without any sign of former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden on board, witnesses said. Cuba is considered a possible destination for Snowden on his way to Ecuador, where he is seeking asylum. The 30-year-old American is…

North Dakota pro-choice advocates file lawsuit against strict abortion law

Abortion and reproductive rights advocates filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against legislation that would impose the nation’s toughest anti-abortion ban on women in North Dakota. It is the latest of several anti-abortion measures in the state advocates say are unconstitutional and represent and “all-out assault on women’s rights.” The lawsuit…

Pope Francis orders investigation of Vatican bank

Pope Francis has set up a commission to review the secretive and scandal-dogged Vatican bank in a bid to personally oversee a “greater harmonisation” between its activities and the wider Roman Catholic church. A panel of five people – including two cardinals and Mary Ann Glendon, a Harvard law professor…

Texas executes its 500th death row inmate

The US state of Texas executed its 500th convict since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976, a record in a country where capital punishment is in decline elsewhere. Kimberly McCarthy, 52, was declared dead by lethal injection at 6:37 pm (23:37) GMT in the “Walls Unit,” a red brick…

Tennessee man charged with attempting to extort $1 million from Romney

By Douwe Miedema WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Tennessee man was charged with attempting to extort $1 million during last year’s election by threatening to release former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s tax returns that he falsely claimed he had stolen, the Department of Justice said on Wednesday. Michael Mancil Brown,…

Senate approves $46 billion border security amendment

By Richard Cowan and Thomas Ferraro WASHINGTON (Reuters) – About $46 billion in border security was added on Wednesday to a comprehensive immigration bill headed toward bipartisan passage in the U.S. Senate, but Republicans in the House of Representatives voiced strong opposition. The Democratic-led Senate is expected to approve the…

Judge throws out Abu Ghraib detainees’ torture case citing jurisdiction

By Jonathan Stempel (Reuters) – CACI International Inc has won the dismissal of a lawsuit accusing it of conspiring to torture detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad, as the defense contractor benefited from a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision over alleged human rights abuses on foreign soil. In…

Ecuador: Decision to grant Edward Snowden asylum could take months

By Alessandra Prentice and Steve Gutterman MOSCOW (Reuters) – A former U.S. spy agency contractor facing charges of espionage remained in hiding at a Moscow airport on Wednesday while the prospect grew of a protracted wrangle over his fate. Ecuador, where Edward Snowden has requested asylum, said a decision could…

Mexicans turn to social media to report on drug war

They tweet and blog about street gunfights and murders in Mexican regions plagued by the drug war, keeping people informed about gangland crimes which local newspapers are too afraid to report on. With traditional media often intimidated by drug cartels, social media has given Mexicans a way to stay appraised…

California to resume same-sex weddings within weeks

Gay and lesbian couples will be able to marry again in California after the US Supreme Court’s Prop 8 ruling Wednesday — although it could take a few weeks, and opponents have vowed to fight on. Same-sex couples celebrated the ruling in the famously liberal western US state, which briefly…

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