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Former Bachmann aide files complaint with FEC alleging illegal payments

A former aide for one of the GOP’s 2012 presidential hopefuls, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), has filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission, reported the Star Tribune. Peter Waldron alleges that a PAC associated with Bachmann, MichelePAC, used funds to pay a longtime fundraising consultant, Guy Short, who helped…

Apple and Google chiefs face grilling on secret ‘no-poaching’ agreement

Apple chief Tim Cook and Google chairman Eric Schmidt are expected to face questioning in a lawsuit accusing Silicon Valley giants of secretly agreeing not to “poach” one another’s workers, according to officials and court documents. Plaintiffs’ attorneys said US District Court Judge Lucy Koh endorsed questioning Cook, Schmidt, as…

Fracking debate draws Yoko Ono and son to rural battlegrounds

Artists Against Fracking board bus for magical mystery tour of Pennsylvania as New York and New Jersey decisions draw near Yoko Ono might not seem the most likely bus traveller. Northern Pennsylvania, on a cold, snowy January day, might not seem a likely destination. Yet the threat of hydraulic fracturing,…

US flu epidemic worsens and leaves 29 children dead

A flu epidemic gripping the United States is more severe than usual, striking the elderly especially hard, health authorities said Friday as they also announced 29 child victims. With the nation only about halfway through the season, complications are likely to worsen for those who caught the flu, said Tom…

House Republicans back 3-month debt limit increase

Republicans proposed a three-month increase to the US debt ceiling Friday as they lean toward breaking a protracted fiscal impasse, but warned any long-term deal would require Congress to pass a budget that cuts spending. The Republican-led House of Representatives will hold a vote next week on the temporary measure,…

HSBC to pay $249 million fine for US mortgage abuse

British bank HSBC has agreed to pay $249 million in compensation to home-loan borrowers hurt in the massive US mortgage and foreclosure scandal, US officials said Friday. The Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced the deal, saying HSBC had to compensate borrowers affected by…

Deferred action for undocumented immigrants offers ‘lawful presence’: Homeland Security

The federal government somewhat clarified the confusing status of certain undocumented youth on Friday. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, part of the Department of Homeland Security, updated its website on Friday, which now says that for those youth who qualify for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), “your period of…

Spotted salamander first solar-powered vertebrate discovered

While scientists have known about multiple animals that can turn sunlight into energy, they haven’t been sure that any vertebrate could do so — until now. As far back as 1888, a biologist found that the eggs of a spotted salamander contained a kind of green algae, but now firm…

Stephen Colbert’s sister plans to run for political office

Although Stephen Colbert did not become “President of the United States of South Carolina” last year, his sister has recently announced that she will be vying for political office. Elizabeth Colbert-Busch, a Democrat, will be running in the special election race in South Carolina’s 1st District — left empty after…

YouTube screens Sundance shorts

YouTube on Friday began online screenings of a selection of short films being showcased at the Sundance Film Festival underway in an enclave in the mountains of Utah. A Screening Room channel hosted by the Sundance Institute features 12 of the 64 short films slated to debut at the festival,…

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