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Republican IRS agent says he instigated ‘Tea Party’ inquiries

By David Morgan and Kim Dixon WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. Internal Revenue Service manager, who described himself as a conservative Republican, told congressional investigators that he and a local colleague decided to give conservative groups the extra scrutiny that has prompted weeks of political controversy. In an official interview…

Ganges, Nile and Amazon seen suffering more floods from climate change

By Environment Correspondent Alister Doyle OSLO (Reuters) – Climate change is likely to worsen floods on rivers such as the Ganges, the Nile and the Amazon this century while a few, including the now-inundated Danube, may become less prone, a Japanese-led scientific study said on Sunday. The findings will go…

Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte endorses comprehensive immigration reform

By Caren Bohan and Paul Simao WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte on Sunday threw her support behind a sweeping U.S. immigration bill, calling it a “thoughtful” reform that would ease the burden of illegal immigration and allow companies to more easily hire qualified workers. Support from Ayotte, who…

James Clapper: NSA has filed a crimes report over leaks

The top US intelligence chief is seeking a criminal probe into bombshell leaks of government monitoring of Internet users and phone records, amid a furor over the secret programs’ threat to privacy. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper confirmed Saturday that US spy agencies use the PRISM program to gather…

Secretive U.S. bank deal alarms Swiss parliamentarians

A secretive deal aimed at settling a dispute with Washington over Swiss banks’ alleged complicity in tax evasion by Americans has caused uproar in the wealthy Alpine nation. Swiss Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf announced a deal last week that she said would put an end to the row that has…

White House ‘welcomes media interest’ in PRISM online spying program

The White House has said that it welcomes media interest in US surveillance practices, despite confirming that the Department of Justice is in the early stages of a leak investigation that may lead to criminal prosecutions of whistleblowers who revealed them. As the second of two secret US monitoring programmes…

U.S. proposes ending federal protections for gray wolves

By Environment Correspondent Deborah Zabarenko WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government said Friday that gray wolves have returned from the brink of extinction after decades of recovery efforts and proposed ending nationwide protection of them under the Endangered Species Act, a move some conservation groups called dangerously premature. Under the…

Closing of San Onofre nuclear plant to increase California’s reliance on natural gas

By Scott DiSavino NEW YORK (Reuters) – California’s growing reliance on natural gas to fuel its power plants will increase and power prices will remain elevated following Southern California Edison’s decision to retire a crippled nuclear power plant. Both reactors at the 2,150-megawatt (MW) San Onofre plant will be permanently…

Santa Monica gunman was armed with 1,300 rounds of ammo: police

A gunman who killed four people in a shooting and carjacking rampage in California before being shot by police, was carrying “a bag full” of ammunition as well as a handgun and a semiautomatic rifle, officials said at a press conference. Santa Monica Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks said the gunman,…

Karzai orders Britain to hand over detainees

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has demanded that all detainees being held by British forces in the restive south be handed over within two weeks, saying that holding prisoners any longer would be a violation of sovereignty. The British government came under fire earlier this month when it emerged that up…

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