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Pentagon prepares plans for ‘up to 9,000 troops in Afghanistan’ after 2014

The US Defense Department has prepared plans for a smaller presence in Afghanistan after the White House insisted on examining the option of leaving fewer troops in the country after 2014 than was initially proposed, The Wall Street Journal reported. The newspaper said the plans now prepared by the Pentagon…

Japan scrambles jets to head off China plane

Japan scrambled fighter jets on Saturday to head off a Chinese state-owned plane that flew near islands at the centre of a dispute between Tokyo and Beijing, a Japanese Defense Ministry spokesman said. The Japanese jets were mobilised after a Chinese maritime aircraft ventured some 120 kilometres (74 miles) north…

Obama warns congressional Republicans on ‘dangerous game’ with debt ceiling

US President Barack Obama on Saturday warned congressional Republicans against what he called a “dangerous game” with the country’s economy as lawmakers prepared for a new battle over the national debt ceiling. “As I said earlier this week, one thing I will not compromise over is whether or not Congress…

Lance Armstrong may admit to doping, NYT report says

Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong, who was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles for doping, is weighing whether to admit he used performance-enhancing drugs, The New York Times reported. Armstrong has told associates and anti-doping officials he is considering admitting publicly that he used blood transfusions and banned drugs…

Bill Maher has new rules for 2013

Bill Maher, who referred to 2012 as “meh,” is looking forward to the new year. In fact, Maher has a list of new rules for 2013, which have been published by the New York Times. One reads, “Now that their end-of-the-world prophecy has proved to be complete baloney, the Mayans…

Young Turks guest: ‘Marijuana is literally more popular in our state than Barack Obama’

The owner of a new marijuana club in Colorado, along with the club’s attorney, talked to Cenk Uygur on The Young Turks on Friday and discussed the club’s growing popularing and the risk of the federal government attempting to squash the state’s move to legalize the drug. “We have a…

France to use algae to create green buildings

France will soon move forward with an effort to use algae to make buildings more energy efficient and help the country meet quickly-approaching environmental goals, reported Al Jazeera English. “Jean-Louie Kindler wants to breed algae in tubes on roofs and sides of apartment and office blocks, starting with his own.…

Colorado task force considers anti-marijuana tourism regulations

Tourists looking to take advantage of new marijuana legalization initiatives might want to check their excitement until states decide how to deal with a potential influx of outsiders. A Colorado task force charged with offering recommendations to the governor and the state legislature is considering whether or not out-of-state visitors…

Google concedes defeat in China censorship battle

US company quietly drops warning message that Chinese users saw when searching for politically sensitive phrases Google has reluctantly conceded defeat in its latest effort to combat online censorship in China, after a year of behind-the-scenes brinkmanship over sensitive search terms banned by authorities. The search company has quietly dropped…

Conservative group Freedomworks’ internal report leaked

A report from a recent board meeting of Freedomworks — a conservative organization that recently saw its internal rifts and an attempted coup documented in the media — was leaked, with Mother Jones obtaining the documents. Freedomworks bills itself as a grassroots group but gets the majority of its funding…

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