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Famed Milwaukee tavern rehangs bras on ceiling

By Brendan O’Brien MILWAUKEE (Reuters) – Standing on a foot ladder, Jeff Scanell bent down, pinched his girlfriend’s red lace brassiere between his thumb and index finger and gently lifted it out of the front of her shirt as a cowbell wildly rang and a raucous crowd roared. The 37-year-old…

To avoid ‘foregone revenue,’ largest tar sands producer announces fewer safety checks

Suncor Energy, the largest producer in Canada’s tar sands oil operations, has announced it will require fewer major safety maintenance “shut-down” checks at its Alberta production sites, decreasing the required checks to once every five years, down from its prior four-year schedule. Steve Douglas…  …

West Nile virus fears on rise after Hurricane Sandy

With mosquito season approaching, some health officials are concerned about another possible consequence of Hurricane Sandy: an elevated risk of the West Nile virus. Although they said it is too early to tell how severe the threat will be, officials said they are…  …

Hong Kong protesters back Edward Snowden, denounce allegations of U.S. spying

By Grace Li and Venus Wu HONG KONG (Reuters) – A few hundred rights advocates and political activists marched through Hong Kong on Saturday to demand protection for Edward Snowden, who leaked revelations of U.S. electronic surveillance and is now believed to be holed up in the former British colony.…

Seventy-one Syrian army officers defect to Turkey

ANKARA (Reuters) – Seventy-one officers, including six generals, have defected from the Syrian army to Turkey, a Turkish official said on Saturday, the biggest single mass desertion of senior soldiers from President Bashar al-Assad’s security forces in months. It was not immediately clear why the group had deserted. Just hours…

Threats made to officials at center of IRS controversy: sources

By Patrick Temple-West and Karl Plume WASHINGTON/CINCINNATI (Reuters) – A current and a former top tax official have been physically threatened in recent weeks as the scandal over Internal Revenue Service targeting of Tea Party and other conservative groups has gathered steam, people familiar with their situation say. Ousted IRS…

Syria dominates G8 talks as anti-poverty activists gather

Thousands of protesters were due on the streets of Belfast Saturday to urge G8 leaders to act on global poverty at their upcoming summit, expected to be dominated by talks on Syria. Police in the Northern Irish capital expect 5,000 people to join each of two demonstrations organised by trade…

Guatemala reeling after mass cop shooting inside station

Guatemalan authorities expressed concern about the power of organized drug gangs Friday after eight police officers were shot dead inside their station. On Thursday night, gunmen shot eight officers dead and kidnapped the chief of police in Salcaja, about 200 km (125 miles) from Guatemala City. According to national police…

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…

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