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McCain: U.S. military role after 2014 key to Afghan success

WASHINGTON — Ensuring a long-term US military presence in Afghanistan beyond 2014 will be a key to success or failure in the war against Taliban insurgents, Republican Senator John McCain said Wednesday. McCain, an outspoken critic of President Barack Obama’s planned withdrawal of most US troops from Afghanistan by the…

Janet Jackson ‘wardrobe malfunction’ appealed to Supreme Court

WASHINGTON — A case involving a fine over a “wardrobe malfunction” which exposed pop superstar Janet Jackson’s breast during the 2004 Super Bowl broadcast was appealed to the US Supreme Court Wednesday. Court documents showed the Federal Communications asked the top US court to reimpose the fine on CBS television…

Boehner to Catholic bishops: Take ‘bigger look’ at Republican budget

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) on Wednesday dismissed criticism brought against the Republican budget plan by Catholic bishops. Referencing Matthew 25, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops called on Congress to put the poor first in budget priorities and rethink cuts to programs that benefited the least among us. But…

Rep. Jared Polis fails to kill House GOP’s ‘zombie earmarks’

During debate over legislation to extend federal highway funding, Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) accused House Republicans of bringing wasteful earmarks back from the dead. “Usually when something is killed, it stays dead,” he said. “But just like a zombie movie some earmarks refuse to die and return to life as…

Science ‘lacking’ on whether death penalty deters murder

WASHINGTON — Scientific research to date provides no useful conclusion on whether the death penalty reduces or boosts the murder rate, said a report by the US National Academy of Sciences on Wednesday. A committee of scientists reviewed research done over the past 35 years and found it was “not…

New York law would identify buildings with smokers

NEW YORK — New York apartment buildings that permit smoking would be identified under a new law proposed Wednesday by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Landlords of buildings with three or more units would have to inform prospective tenants and purchasers whether smoking was allowed in apartments and on balconies, as well…

Obama critiques Romney on taxes in Ohio

ELYRIA, Ohio — US President Barack Obama on Wednesday fired the opening shot in a battle with his Republican foe Mitt Romney, for the critical general election swing-state of Ohio. Obama traveled to the suburbs of Cleveland on the shores of Lake Erie to lambast Republican economic policies, which he…

Texas nurse kills mother and steals her newborn

CHICAGO — A Texas nurse has been charged with murder for shooting a young mother and kidnapping her three-day-old baby outside a pediatrician’s office, officials said Wednesday. Verna McClain, 30, had recently suffered a miscarriage but did not tell her fiance about it, local media reported. She allegedly kidnapped the…

Bernie Sanders: Congress spends day and night worrying about the wealthy

At a congressional summit Wednesday about the Citizens United decision, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said the U.S. Congress was only concerned about the “wealthy and powerful” because of the influence of campaign contributions. “This country faces enormous problems, the middle-class is declining, poverty is increasing, we’re worried about global warming,…

Supreme Court: Law says organizations cannot be sued for torture

The United States Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that a law on the books since 1991 precludes organizations, both political and corporate, from sued for torture or murder outside of the U.S. In a unanimous ruling on Mohamad v. Palestinian Authority (PDF), Justice Sonia Sotomayor said that the careful text of…

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