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Election reformers doubt voting by mail is a solution to long wait times

In his State of the Union address, President Obama returned to a point he’d made on election night: The need to do something about long voting lines. Obama announced his plan for a commission to “improve the voting experience in America.” But often missing from discussions about how to make…

Biden advises Americans: Buy a double-barreled shotgun for protection

Vice President Joe Biden told Americans Tuesday that a few blasts of a shotgun should be ample for self defense, as he pushed White House gun reform plans. “If you want to protect yourself get a double barreled shotgun,” Biden said, on a Facebook forum hosted by “Parents Magazine” as…

Singer Morrissey convinces Los Angeles venues to ban meat

British singer and ex-Smiths frontman Morrissey has persuaded the venue of an upcoming Los Angeles show to ban sales of meat by food vendors, the vegetarian activist said. The sold-out March 1 concert will be the first time the LA concert venue has agreed to go 100 percent vegetarian, a…

Arkansas Senate passes bill to outlaw abortion after 20 weeks

The Arkansas Senate on Tuesday approved legislation to ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, according to Reuters. The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act makes it a crime to perform an abortion once a fetus is capable of experiencing pain, which anti-abortion advocates claim occurs around 20 weeks of…

Michael Jackson’s son got gig as Entertainment Tonight reporter

The late King of Pop’s eldest child, “Prince” Michael Jackson, has started work as a television showbiz reporter, the show employing him announced Tuesday. The 16-year-old landed the job — or the show’s producers landed him — for Entertainment Tonight, starting by interviewing stars of an upcoming remake of “The…

Ireland apologizes for ‘slave labor’ at Catholic-run laundries

Taoiseach Enda Kenny forced into finally saying sorry for ‘the hurt and trauma’ caused to up to 10,000 Magdalene women The Irish State has finally said sorry to 10,000 women and girls incarcerated in Catholic Church-run laundries where they were treated as virtual slaves. Taoiseach Enda Kenny was forced into…

Booker prize-winning author Hilary Mantel calls Kate Middleton’s image ‘plastic’

By Mark Brown, The Guardian Award-winning novelist’s comments about ‘plastic’ Duchess of Cambridge spark spasm of press fury Hilary Mantel has woken up to something of a firestorm after a long speech she recently made about the royal family and society’s relationship with them was interpreted as an “astonishing and venomous…

General Allen to retire and opts out of NATO top job

President Barack Obama said Tuesday that General John Allen will retire and not accept the top job at NATO, as he seeks to take care of his family after a 19-month tour in Afghanistan. “Today, I met with General John Allen and accepted his request to retire from the military…

Military invests in smartphone reconnaissance

Military invests in smart-phone reconnaissance (via The Christian Science Monitor) Imagine a smart phone that can record your facial features, identify a criminal suspect with voice recognition, and reduce fraud in welfare and other programs. In a few years, Smart Mobile Identity technology (SMI) may become an essential part of…

How Nicolaus Copernicus rewrote the rules of the solar system

How Nicolaus Copernicus rewrote the rules of the solar system (via The Christian Science Monitor) The Google homepage today depicts seven metal planets rotating around a painted sun – an homage to the pioneering Renaissance-era astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus. So who was Copernicus, exactly? Well, for one, he was the man who first…

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