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‘Occupy Chicago’ protest results in 46 arrests on major bridge

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Hundreds of anti-Wall Street demonstrators marched in Chicago on Thursday, blocking traffic on a major downtown bridge to protest cuts to federal programs and a lack of jobs, and police arrested 46 people. Protesters from labor unions and community groups had gathered in a noisy but peaceful…

U.S. must safeguard military’s industrial base: Panetta

GROTON, Connecticut — Budget cuts must not be allowed to undermine the US military’s industrial base, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Thursday during a visit to a shipyard that builds attack submarines. Panetta used his stop at the Electric Boat shipyard in Groton, Connecticut to underline the importance of preserving…

Hospital refuses liver transplant for medical marijuana patient

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles has denied a liver transplant to a patient with inoperable liver cancer because he uses medical marijuana. But the marijuana was prescribed by the very same hospital, according to the advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA). Sixty-three year-old Norman B. Smith was diagnosed…

23 arrested during ‘Occupy Los Angeles’ protest

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Hundreds of anti-Wall Street demonstrators blocked a downtown Los Angeles street on Thursday, snarling traffic on surrounding freeways before police moved in and arrested 23 people. Protesters first marched through the Los Angeles financial district, chanting “Occupy the Freeways, Occupy the U.S.A.”, and then a small…

Mortgage scams lured victims with Google ads

SAN FRANCISCO — US officials have shut down scores of suspect scams that suckered homeowners with Google ads promising to help relieve them of burdensome mortgage debt. Investigators were following leads Thursday in the wake of 85 alleged “online mortgage modification scams” being derailed by the office of the Special…

Police block ‘Occupy Wall Street’ rally to shut down New York Stock Exchange

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York police prevented protesters from shutting down Wall Street on Thursday, arresting at least 177 people in repeated clashes with an Occupy Wall Street rally that drew fewer demonstrators than expected. Hundreds of Occupy Wall Street protesters took to the streets in rainy New York…

Man charged with trying to assassinate Obama

WASHINGTON — A 21-year-old Hispanic man arrested after shots were fired near the White House was charged Thursday with attempting to assassinate President Barack Obama, a justice department official said. Oscar Ortega-Hernandez was arrested by Pennsylvania state police on Wednesday following last week’s shooting incident. Obama and his wife Michelle…

Energy secretary grilled over failed solar firm

WASHINGTON — Under fire from angry Republicans, US Energy Secretary Steven Chu denied Thursday that now bankrupt solar panel firm Solyndra leveraged political ties to President Barack Obama for a government loan. “The final decisions on Solyndra were mine,” Chu told a key committee of the Republican-held House of Representatives.…

U.S. jobless claims fall for third straight week

WASHINGTON — New claims for unemployment benefits fell for the third week running to their lowest level since April, suggesting improved health in the troubled US job market, official data showed Thursday. Initial US jobless claims fell to 388,000 in the week ending November 12, the Labor Department said. The…

State Dept. faces fresh charges of bias over Keystone XL pipeline

WASHINGTON — The US State Department, tasked with deciding on a controversial giant pipeline between the United States and Canada, faced fresh charges Thursday of bias over the project. The environmental group Friends of the Earth (FoE) cited new emails obtained through the Freedom of Information Act to show what…

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