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Congressional tax panel heads: IRS needs ‘significant restructuring’

IRS shakeup needed after scandal, chairmen of Congress' tax-writing panels say (via The Christian Science Monitor) The Internal Revenue Service may need to be restructured after the agency was found improperly targeting conservative groups seeking non-profit status, the chairmen of the two congressional tax-writing committees say. “There does need to…

Colorado wildfire subsides after wrecking 400 homes

By Keith Coffman COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Reuters) – A deadly wildfire that has ravaged 400 homes, ranking as Colorado’s most destructive ever, subsided on Friday as authorities reported significant headway in containing the blaze on the outskirts of Colorado Springs with help from rain and calmer winds. The fire has…

Ecuador imposes ‘gag order’ on radio and TV stations

Ecuador slashed the private sector’s share of radio and television frequencies Friday and restricted content, the culmination of a battle between the president and media he accuses of undermining him. Leftist President Correa has long had tense relations with private news outlets and has come under fire from international rights…

Officials declare Monsanto-resistant wheat an ‘isolated incident’

U.S. agriculture officials said Friday the discovery of genetically engineered wheat in an Oregon field appears to be an isolated incident. The plants, modified to be resistant to Monsanto herbicide, were discovered last month and led some Asian importers to halt or suspend trade with US wheat growers while an…

New Jersey special election fight heads to high court

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New Jersey’s State Supreme Court said on Friday it would hear a challenge to Governor Chris Christie’s plan to hold a special election in October to fill the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by the death of Senator Frank Lautenberg. The state’s highest court said a…

Norway lawmakers vote to extend military conscription to women

Norway will soon become the only country in Europe to extend its military conscription to women in peacetime, after parliament reached agreement on the issue on Friday. All of the parties represented in parliament, with the exception of the small Christian Democrat party, agreed to back a proposal by the…

Assange working with Puerto Rican band on song fighting ‘media distortion’

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange revealed on Friday how he is spending some of his time living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London — working on a song with Puerto Rican band Calle 13. “We are making an interesting song about the new politics as a result of Internet and media…

Texas Democrats accuse Perry of vetoing equal pay bill

Democrats in the Texas legislature accused Gov. Rick Perry (R) on Friday of vetoing a bill that would have given women more chances to fight pay discrimination, the Dallas Morning News reported. The measure, HB 950, would have allowed women to sue their employers in state court beyond the current…

Social media, technology may force revolution in digital diplomacy

Amid the explosion of social media and new networking tools, governments and businesses are grappling with balancing their security needs against their wish to join the online conversations. “Communications technology has dramatically democratized the process of gaining a public audience,” said journalist and former military analyst Joshua Foust at a…

Bolshoi dancer charged in acid attack on director ordered held until August

The Bolshoi ballet dancer charged with ordering an acid attack on its artistic director will be detained until mid-August, a Moscow court ruled Friday, as the alleged perpetrator said he had used a mixture of battery fluid and urine. Pavel Dmitrichenko is charged with two accomplices over the attack on…

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