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Govt. watchdog agency determines that Pentagon broke law in Bergdahl transfer

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Defense Department violated U.S. law by failing to alert Congress before releasing five Taliban members held at Guantanamo Bay military prison in exchange for a captured U.S. soldier, a government watchdog agency said on Thursday. The Government Accountability Office said the Pentagon broke the law by…

Texas GOP Rep. Jeb Hensarling slams SEC over unauthorized leaks to media

By Emily Stephenson WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Republican lawmaker slammed the Securities and Exchange Commission over leaks of confidential information to media outlets, including Reuters, calling the disclosures “unacceptable.” Representative Jeb Hensarling, who leads the House of Representatives’ Financial Services Committee, said in the letter to SEC Chair Mary Jo…

North Carolina judge: State’s school voucher program unfairly benefits religious schools

By Harriet McLeod (Reuters) – A North Carolina judge on Thursday blocked the state’s new school voucher program, saying it unconstitutionally diverted money from public education to private schools, many of them religious. The Opportunity Scholarship program, designed to give poor and middle-class families public funds to help pay private…

Federal judge strikes down Florida’s gay marriage ban but issues stay on the ruling

By Letitia Stein TAMPA Fla. (Reuters) – A federal judge in north Florida on Thursday struck down the state’s gay marriage ban as unconstitutional, but stayed the ruling, leaving same-sex couples still unable to marry in the state. U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle of Florida’s Northern District in Tallahassee…

Ukrainian president pledges to ‘talk peace’ with Putin in upcoming meeting

Donetsk (Ukraine) (AFP) – Ukraine’s president said he will “talk peace” with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin by demanding the withdrawal of pro-Kremlin militants from the war-torn east when they meet next week for the first time in months. President Petro Poroshenko said on Thursday that “the whole world is…

Arkansas college student in serious condition after being impaled by golf club at fraternity

By Steve Barnes LITTLE ROCK (Reuters) – An 18-year-old female Arkansas State University student was in serious condition at a hospital after being impaled in the neck by a golf club that broke apart in an accident at a fraternity, the university said on Thursday. Natalie Eaton, a first-year student,…

Boeing one step closer to completing its space taxi

By Andrea Shalal WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Boeing Co has completed a key review of its design for a new commercial venture to fly astronauts to the International Space Station, making it the only one of four rival bidders to finish the NASA work on time, company officials said on Thursday.…

National Guard to withdraw from Ferguson, Missouri as tensions ease over police shooting

By Carey Gillam and Scott Malone FERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) – The governor of Missouri ordered the withdrawal on Thursday of National Guard troops from riot-torn Ferguson, where tensions have eased after sometimes violent protests were staged nightly since police killed an unarmed black teenager. Peaceful demonstrations overnight were the calmest…

Virginia man named Stoner busted on marijuana charge: police

(Reuters) – A Virginia man with the last name Stoner has been arrested for having $10,000 worth of marijuana plants, police said Thursday. Acting on a tip that Paul Scott Stoner, 42, was selling marijuana to children, police raided his Unionville home last Thursday and discovered the plants, prescription drugs,…

Colorado voters to weigh in on labeling genetically modified ingredients

By Lisa Baertlein (Reuters) – Colorado voters in November will have their say on a proposition that would require labels on foods that contain genetically modified ingredients, or GMOS. Proponents of GMO labeling initiatives, who say they have the right to know what is in their food, have been gaining…

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