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Regulator torpedoes Obama mortgage plan

WASHINGTON — The US regulator in charge of state-backed mortgage firms Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on Tuesday rejected an Obama administration plan to ease the housing crisis by forgiving some outstanding home loans. Responding to pressure from President Barack Obama’s White House to use debt forgiveness to help heal…

U.S. imposes new sanctions on Iran oil sector

WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama on Tuesday imposed new economic sanctions on Iran’s oil export sector and on a pair of Chinese and Iraqi banks accused of doing business with Tehran. In a statement released by the White House, Obama said the new measures underlined the United States’ determination…

Man points laser at Navy pilots, faces 20 years in prison

WASHINGTON — A US national pleaded guilty Tuesday to obstructing the vision of military pilots during training, AFP learned from a legal source. Robert Bruce, 56, faces up to 20 years in prison for repeatedly pointing a laser beam at US Navy pilots flying over and around Naval Air Station…

Sen. Leahy chides House GOP for cutting back domestic violence protections

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) on Tuesday urged the Republican-led House of Representatives to vote on the Senate version of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The VAWA, originally passed in 1994 and reauthorized twice since, provides funding to local communities to improve their response to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual…

Bipartisan budget deal avoids pre-election showdown

WASHINGTON — Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress announced a deal Tuesday to keep funding the US government through next March, avoiding a potential partisan shutdown fight ahead of November’s election. Harry Reid, the Senate’s Democratic majority leader, said the deal on the so-called continuing resolution (CR) was reached between…

Bush-appointed federal judge rules DOMA unconstitutional

A federal judge in Connecticut on Tuesday ruled that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law. Judge Vanessa L. Bryant, an appointee of President George W. Bush, held that the law was unconstitutional because it prohibits legally…

Rep. Steve King defends the right to watch dog fighting

Iowa Rep. Steve King (R) is standing up for the rights of Americans who want to see dogs and others animals pitted against one another in fights that often result in the animals’ deaths. During a tele-townhall event last week, King complained about an amendment to the farm bill that…

Report: Oakland police had ‘racist’ photos of mayor and federal judge

A new report by a federal monitor says Oakland police had pictures altered “in a manner … found to be racist” of two officials, including the judge who placed the department under supervision. According to The Oakland Tribune, the report by the department’s federally ordered monitor, Robert Warshaw, said the…

Former ITT Tech recruiter: ‘Predatory’ tactics pushed parolees into criminal justice programs

A former recruiter for ITT Technical institute told reporters in a press conference hosted by committee Chair Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) on Monday that the company used a variety of high-pressure “unconscionable” and “predatory” techniques to pressure students into enrolling with the for-profit college, including misleading parolees into believing that…

New Yorker writer Jonah Lehrer resigns over fabricating Bob Dylan quotes

Jonah Lehrer, a staff writer on the New Yorker magazine, has resigned after admitting that he fabricated Bob Dylan’s quotes in a book. He had previously dismissed claims about falsifying the quotes in his best-selling book, Imagine: how creativity works, but finally came clean yesterday. In a statement issued through…

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