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Futures firm PFG collapses amid fraud accusations

NEW YORK — US futures brokerage Peregrine Financial Group filed for bankruptcy protection late Tuesday amid fraud allegations by regulators and after its founder attempted suicide. PFG, also known as PFG Best, filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which involves the sale of assets to pay off creditors. The liquidation filing…

Green Party passes on Roseanne Barr as vice president nominee

WASHINGTON — Comedian-activist Roseanne Barr has failed in her bid for a starring role in Washington’s corridors of power, but the Green Party still hopes she’ll inspire other celebrities to join its ranks. Barr had been on a short list of potential vice-presidential running mates for Jill Stein, a Massachusetts…

Romney lashes out at Obama over Chavez comment

MIAMI — Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney lashed out at President Barack Obama on Wednesday after he dismissed the idea that Iranian ally Venezuela poses a security threat to the United States. Under leftist leader Hugo Chavez, an outspoken critic of US policy, Venezuela has developed close ties with Washington’s…

Libya’s liberals call for civil state, reject political Islam

TRIPOLI — A top member of Libya’s liberal coalition, which claims to have swept 70 percent of seats reserved for parties in the next congress, on Wednesday rejected political Islam and called for a civil state. “The National Forces Alliance is against the injection of religion into political battles,” Faisal…

New reporter? Call him Al, for algorithm

WASHINGTON — The new reporter on the US media scene takes no coffee breaks, churns out articles at lightning speed, and has no pension plan. That’s because the reporter is not a person, but a computer algorithm, honed to translate raw data such as corporate earnings reports and previews or…

Iraqi mullah faces new charges in Norway

OSLO, Norway — The Iraqi founder of an Iraqi Kurdish Islamist group Ansar al-Islam is being prosecuted in Norway for inciting terrorist acts, the public prosecutor’s office said on Wednesday. Mullah Krekar, 56, whose real name is Najmeddine Faraj Ahmad, was sentenced to five years in jail in March for…

Hubble telescope spots fifth moon near Pluto

WASHINGTON — US astronomers have found a fifth moon orbiting far-away Pluto, NASA said on Wednesday. The irregular-shaped moon, nicknamed S/2012 for now, is about six to 15 miles (10 to 24 kilometers) across, the US space agency said. Last year, astronomers reported finding the fourth moon around the icy…

Democrats call food stamp cuts ‘immoral’

Republican attempts to cut billions of dollars in food assistance to poor American families have been denounced as an “abomination” and “immoral” by Democrats who have vowed to block the measure in Congress. The cuts, part of a five-year farm bill under debate in the House of Representatives agricultural committee…

Florida to release voter purge list

Florida’s Secretary of State will release the list of 180,000 voters who had been identified in a voter purge aimed at non-citizens, the Tampa Bay Times reports. However, none of those voters are in danger of losing the right to vote in next month’s state primary because the list will…

$45 million deficit forces San Bernardino, Calif. into bankruptcy

Facing a $45 million deficit, San Bernardino became the third California city in less than two weeks to file for municipal bankruptcy on Tuesday, after it was revealed that the city received falsified budget information for 13 of the past 16 years, according to the San Bernardino Sun. The San…

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