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Radiation from Japan found in kelp off U.S. West Coast

LOS ANGELES — Radioactive iodine was found in kelp off the US West Coast following last year’s earthquake-triggered Fukushima Daiichi nuclear meltdown, according to a new study. It was already known that radioactive iodine 131 (131-I), carried in the atmosphere, made it across the Pacific within days of the March…

George Zimmerman launches website to raise legal funds

George Zimmerman, who claims to have shot and killed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin in February in self-defense, launched his own website on Sunday to raise money to cover his legal expenses. Many suspected the website to be fake. Adding the suspicion, Think Progress noted that the website features a picture…

Maryland’s Mega Millions winner comes forward

WASHINGTON — Lottery officials in the eastern US state of Maryland said Monday that a winner had come forward to claim his or her share of the record $656 million Mega Millions jackpot. Maryland lottery director Stephen Martino was to hold a press conference in Baltimore on Tuesday “to provide…

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation pull support from ALEC

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on Monday vowed to withdraw financial support for the American Legislative Exchange Council, an influential conservative nonprofit that drafts model bills for legislators. The foundation contributed more than $375,000 to ALEC in the past two years, according to Roll Call. “We have made a…

Minnesota Republican Party unable to pay rent for headquarters

The Republican Party of Minnesota was unable to pay rent for its headquarters in St. Paul for several months due to its “precarious” financial situation, according to internal documents obtained by Politico. “Consequently, please note that we are not paying our office lease rent payment currently (but have been in…

Obama announces opposition to Minnesota same sex marriage ban

President Barack Obama’s campaign on Monday said it was opposed to a constitutional amendment in Minnesota that would prohibit same sex couples from getting married. “While the President does not weigh in on every single ballot measure in every state, the record is clear that the President has long opposed…

Rep. Baldwin calls for House to vote on ‘Buffett Rule’ tax for millionaires

Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) on Monday urged leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives to bring her legislation to the floor to enact the so-called Buffett Rule. “As tax day quickly approaches, middle class Americans deserve to know that our tax system has not been rigged against them,” she said.…

$9.2 million bail for suspects in Oklahoma shooting spree

WASHINGTON — Bail was set at some $9.2 million Monday for two men charged in Tulsa, Oklahoma over the weekend for a shooting spree that some in the community said bore the hallmarks of a hate crime. The two suspects, Jake England, 19, and Alvin Watts, 32, who were taken…

New York pay phones to get touchy feely makeover

NEW YORK — A handful of grimy New York pay phones will be reincarnated as touch-screen pads with online access to neighborhood information, the mayor’s office said Monday. A pilot program starts next month that will see 250 phone booths converted to house 32-inch (81 cm) screens, instead of phones,…

Atheist group: ‘Jesus Christ is a myth’ banner theft is a felony hate crime

An anti-religious banner at a city park in Streator, Illinois was stolen on Saturday, and the atheist group that placed it there claims that the theft was a Class 4 felony under Illinois’ hate crime laws. The Freedom From Religion Foundation’s “Nobody died for our sins. Jesus Christ is a…

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