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Tennessee man charged with attempting to extort $1 million from Romney

By Douwe Miedema WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Tennessee man was charged with attempting to extort $1 million during last year’s election by threatening to release former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s tax returns that he falsely claimed he had stolen, the Department of Justice said on Wednesday. Michael Mancil Brown,…

Senate approves $46 billion border security amendment

By Richard Cowan and Thomas Ferraro WASHINGTON (Reuters) – About $46 billion in border security was added on Wednesday to a comprehensive immigration bill headed toward bipartisan passage in the U.S. Senate, but Republicans in the House of Representatives voiced strong opposition. The Democratic-led Senate is expected to approve the…

Judge throws out Abu Ghraib detainees’ torture case citing jurisdiction

By Jonathan Stempel (Reuters) – CACI International Inc has won the dismissal of a lawsuit accusing it of conspiring to torture detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad, as the defense contractor benefited from a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision over alleged human rights abuses on foreign soil. In…

Ecuador: Decision to grant Edward Snowden asylum could take months

By Alessandra Prentice and Steve Gutterman MOSCOW (Reuters) – A former U.S. spy agency contractor facing charges of espionage remained in hiding at a Moscow airport on Wednesday while the prospect grew of a protracted wrangle over his fate. Ecuador, where Edward Snowden has requested asylum, said a decision could…

Mexicans turn to social media to report on drug war

They tweet and blog about street gunfights and murders in Mexican regions plagued by the drug war, keeping people informed about gangland crimes which local newspapers are too afraid to report on. With traditional media often intimidated by drug cartels, social media has given Mexicans a way to stay appraised…

California to resume same-sex weddings within weeks

Gay and lesbian couples will be able to marry again in California after the US Supreme Court’s Prop 8 ruling Wednesday — although it could take a few weeks, and opponents have vowed to fight on. Same-sex couples celebrated the ruling in the famously liberal western US state, which briefly…

Commerce Department says 2013 economic recovery weaker than thought

The US economic recovery was far weaker in the first quarter of the year than first thought, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday. The nation’s gross domestic product (GDP), the broadest measure of all goods and services produced in the economy, grew at a 1.8% annual rate from January through…

Same-sex couples celebrate historic Supreme Court marriage rulings

Gays and lesbians across the United States erupted in celebration Wednesday after the Supreme Court passed two landmark rulings on same-sex marriage in their favor. In San Francisco, which has one of the biggest gay communities in the country, more than 400 people had gathered at City Hall for the…

Oprah Winfrey tops Forbes celebrity ‘power’ list

Television talk show queen Oprah Winfrey was named the most powerful celebrity in the world on Wednesday as Forbes.com released its annual list of the top movers and shakers in the entertainment industry. Winfrey, 59, who was ranked in the top spot despite her signature daytime television show Oprah ending…

Democrats want you to watch Republicans talk about marriage equality

Democrats have a new strategy to use against their Republicans opponents: Just let them speak. The Democratic National Committee’s YouTube channel “DemRapidResponse” frequently uploads short campaign-style videos. Many of the videos are mash-ups of several clips about a particular topic, while other videos show Democrats speaking out about current trends.…

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