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Four militiamen accused in terror plot plead not guilty

MIAMI — Four elderly American men pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges that they were members of a far-right militia which US prosecutors allege had plans to attack government targets, a spokesman said. “They entered their pleas at a bond hearing at a federal courthouse in north Georgia, Gainesville,” said…

Lawmakers press Obama to approve pipeline

WASHINGTON — US lawmakers pressed President Barack Obama on Wednesday to green-light the massive US-Canada “Keystone” pipeline that has drawn heavy fire from environmentalists, saying the project will create jobs. “Your decision is crucial for both American job opportunities and America’s energy security,” more than two dozen members of the…

U.S. hands massive base over to Iraq

U.S. forces have handed Joint Base Balad, which was once one of the world’s busiest airports and housed some 36,000 personnel, over to Iraqi control, a US military spokesman said on Wednesday. “We handed over Joint Base Balad (JBB) yesterday,” the spokesman said, adding that at its peak, the base to the north…

Confusion after U.S. emergency alert test

The first national test of a US national alert system left many Americans confused and some said the system failed in its goal to reach all broadcasters in the country. Many people watching television at 1900 GMT heard the familiar scratchy noises followed by the test announcement – designed to alert Americans…

Cheaper broadband coming to low-income families

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Cable companies will offer high-speed Internet service to low-income families in the United States at around a fifth of the national average price, the top communications regulator said on Wednesday. Families who qualify for free school lunches will be able to sign up for $9.95 a month high-speed Internet…

U.S. climate study group gets big oil funds

A reputable US think-tank that sought solutions for climate changehas lost most of its charitable donations and will now take funding from big oil and energy interests, it said Wednesday. Formerly known as the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, theCenter for Climate and Energy Solutions will be funded by Shell,General Electric, Bank of…

Eddie Murphy bows out as Oscar host

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Comedian Eddie Murphy bowed out on Wednesday as host of the upcoming Oscars, one day after producer Brett Ratner who had lured Murphy into the role also exited following an uproar over his use of a gay slur. “I appreciate how Eddie feels about losing his creative partner, Brett…

U.S. military adds armed robotic helicopters to fleet

The US military plans to add a lethal new drone to its fleet — arobotic helicopter for the US Navy equipped with laser-guided rockets, defense giant Northrop Grumman said Wednesday. The armed Fire Scouts will mark a new era in naval warfare, offering an alternative to pilots flying attack helicopters or fighter jets off warships and reflecting…

European stocks, euro tumble after Berlusconi resignation

European stocks closed sharply lower Wednesday as any early optimism that the resignation of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi would calm the markets disappeared in a wave of near panic. Dealers said investors first thought Berlusconi’s decision would clear the decks but as it became clearer that Italy faces possibly months of political uncertainty,…

French, Germans explore idea of core euro zone

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – German and French officials have discussed plans for a radical overhaul of the European Union that would involve establishing a more integrated and potentially smaller euro zone, EU sources say. French President Nicolas Sarkozy gave some flavor of his thinking during an address to students in the eastern French city of Strasbourg…

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