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Rhode Island House panel unanimously approves marriage equality bill

Rhode Island is one step closer to becoming the tenth state to legalize same-sex marriages. The state House Judiciary Committee unanimously approved legislation on Tuesday that would make marriage rights and benefits available to same-sex couples. The bill could be voted on by the full House as soon as Thursday.…

New York Hasidic leader gets 103 years for abuse

A leader of an Orthodox Jewish sect in New York was sentenced Tuesday to 103 years in prison for sexually abusing a young girl, capping a scandal that lifted the lid on the Hasidic group’s parallel society. Nechemya Weberman, a prominent figure in the ultra-strict Satmar branch of Hasidic Jews,…

Gunman among three shot at Lone Star College in Texas

At least three people — including a gunman — were shot at a Texas college following a dispute Tuesday, officials said as details trickled out from the chaotic campus. The shooting comes as the United States is embroiled in a debate on gun violence in the wake of the horrific…

Geithner to leave Treasury on Friday: source

US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who steered the administration of President Barack Obama through the financial crisis, will step down from his post Friday, a source told AFP on Tuesday. Geithner had said he would leave the department after the conclusion of Obama’s first four-year term. The president was sworn…

McCain cracks jokes about hostages and waterboarding

Senator John McCain, the US Navy veteran who was tortured during his years in a Vietnam prison, joked Tuesday about the prospect of a colleague being held hostage in Afghanistan and another being waterboarded. McCain made the remarks just days after a hostage drama in Algeria left dozens of hostages…

Israel’s Netanyahu faces coalition challenge

Israel’s rightwing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who narrowly won Tuesday’s election ahead of a new centrist party, now has the complicated task of forming a new coalition government. Despised by much of the local media, and the target of jabs by foreign leaders, the 63-year-old Netanyahu was riding high in…

White House gives grudging welcome to debt limit plan

The White House said Tuesday that President Barack Obama would not block a Republican plan to extend government borrowing authority by three months but would prefer a longer term debt ceiling hike. Defusing a showdown with Obama, Republican House leaders are ready to permit the government to borrow more money…

Sen. Lautenburg introduces high-capacity magazine ban

Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey introduced a bill on Tuesday that would prohibit high-capacity magazines for firearms. “The latest tragedy in Newtown was a wake up call for our nation, and now we must now turn our grief into action to reduce further tragedies,” he said in a…

Keystone pipeline passes hurdle as Nebraska gov. approves route

The controversial Keystone pipeline passed another hurdle Tuesday after the governor of Nebraska approved a new route that will avoid environmentally sensitive areas like the state’s Sand Hills. President Barack Obama denied approval for the $7 billion pipeline last year out of environmental concerns. The US State Department is currently…

iPhone most popular smartphone in U.S. as Android tops sales worldwide

Apple’s iPhone remained the most popular smartphone among US buyers in the closing months of 2012 while Android handsets were on top worldwide, Kantar Worldpanel ComTech reported on Tuesday. “At the end of 2012, the global (operating system) picture shows Android on top, but clearly the rate of growth it…

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