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Senate committee votes unanimously to sanction any country that takes Snowden

By Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. Senate panel voted unanimously on Thursday to seek trade or other sanctions against Russia or any other country that offers asylum to former spy agency contractor Edward Snowden, who has been holed up for weeks at a Moscow airport. The 30-member Senate…

Military court hears closing arguments in Manning WikiLeaks case

Military court hears closing arguments in case which sees Manning face 21 counts relating to leaking of 700,000 documents The US government has accused Bradley Manning of transmitting hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks out of a desire for notoriety and a callous state of mind in which…

Giant blue ‘Hahn/Cock’ statue lands in London’s Trafalgar Square

A huge blue cockerel descended upon London’s Trafalgar Square on Thursday, but the artwork has ruffled feathers by putting the symbol of France in a site marking a famous British victory over Napoleon. Standing 4.7 metres (15.5 feet) tall and coloured a vivid ultramarine, the fibreglass rooster was sculpted by…

The 10 dumbest ideas to defeat Rove & progressives discussed by the conservative Groundswell organization

Groundswell — the group email list and weekly meeting sponsored by “a balance of social conservatives, national security conservatives, and constitutional conservatives” (and, notably, not fiscal conservatives) — was established to attack liberals and progressives, stymy President Barack Obama’s agenda and push Republican leaders to hew more closely to a…

12-year-old French girl caught writing bad checks for candy

A 12-year-old girl in the southern French city of Bordeaux has been caught by police after using stolen cheques to buy 2,600 euros ($3,440) worth of candies and pastries. Local police said Thursday that the girl had stolen a chequebook in March from a neighbour and used it over several…

Study: Taller women associated with greater cancer risk

By Laura Zuckerman (Reuters) – Women’s chances of developing cancer after menopause increase with their height, according to a new study. Among nearly 145,000 women between the ages of 50 and 79, researchers found that height was more strongly associated with cancer than such established risk factors as obesity. The…

Train driver in deadly Spanish crash to face investigation

SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA, Spain — One of the drivers of a train that hurtled off the rails in northwestern Spain, killing 80 passengers, faces questioning by police on Thursday, a court official told AFP. “The judge has asked the police that he make a declaration,” said the spokesman for the…

France drops law that makes insulting the president a criminal offense

Change to law pushed through after conviction of man who held up a sign telling then-president Nicolas Sarkozy to get lost Being rude to the French president is no longer an offence after parliament amended legislation dating back to 1881 in favour of freedom of speech. Previously any rude remark…

Cheese shop owner on crusade to block ban on mimolette over mites in rind

In the Washington suburb of Arlington, cheese shop owner Jill Erber is leading a desperate crusade to convince US authorities not to ban one of her products over the tiny mites that live on its rind. The sign behind the counter at Cheesetique, Erber’s store and wine bar where more…

Justice Department wants renewed authority over Texas voting laws

WASHINGTON/PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Justice plans to ask a federal court to reinstate its authority over voting laws in Texas, part of a new Obama administration strategy to challenge state and local election laws it says discriminate by race, Attorney General Eric Holder said on Thursday. “Based…

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