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US pushes China to allow yuan rise, speed reforms

US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner Thursday urged China to allow its currency to strengthen further and push forward economic reforms, which he said were crucial to the global recovery. But his comments at the start of two-day talks between the world’s two biggest economies were overshadowed by a human rights row that has…

Five dead including toddler in Arizona shooting

LOS ANGELES — A gunman shot and killed four people including a toddler in the southwest US state of Arizona before turning the gun on himself Wednesday, officials and reports said. The motive for the shooting in Gilbert, southeast of Phoenix, was unclear, said a municipal spokeswoman, while the Arizona…

13 charged in Florida university hazing death

MIAMI — Thirteen people were charged Wednesday in the hazing death of the leader of the Florida A&M University marching band, prosecutors said — an incident that cast a light on college hazing rituals. Drum major Robert Champion, 26, was beaten to death on November 19 in what was described…

U.S. shows no sign of compromise over missile shield

WASHINGTON — Top US officials preparing for international missile defense talks in Russia said Washington remains committed to fully implementing its missile shield for eastern Europe despite Moscow’s opposition. On the eve of the two-day talks involving 50 countries, one of the officials, Ellen Tauscher, also said she doubted there…

Australian ex-girlfriend’s diaries show Obama in love

WASHINGTON — Secret diaries of an Australian woman who was one of young Barack Obama’s girlfriends, show the warmth and trust of the future president in love, but also hint at his reserve and “coolness.” Accounts of the 1980s romance between Genevieve Cook and a twenty-something Obama in New York…

Justice Department to review handling of 80 rape cases in Missoula

The U.S. Department of Justice on Monday announced it was investigating how rape cases in Missoula, Montana were being handled by local authorities. Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Thomas E. Perez said there was “serious concern” that as many as 80 rape cases “were not being investigated…

Gingrich officially drops presidential bid

ARLINGTON, Virginia — Former House speaker Newt Gingrich on Wednesday dropped his erratic campaign for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, but pledged to remain in the public eye as an “active citizen.” “Today I am suspending the campaign. Suspending the campaign does not mean suspending citizenship,” Gingrich said in a…

DEA apologizes to student left handcuffed in holding cell without food or water

The Drug Enforcement Administration has apologized to a college student that was left handcuffed in a holding cell for nearly five days without food or water. DEA San Diego Acting Special Agent-In-Charge William R. Sherman said in a statement to the Associated Press that he extended his “deepest apologies” to…

Missouri GOP lawmaker reveals he’s gay and opposes ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill

A Republican lawmaker in Missouri on Wednesday announced that he was gay and called on his colleagues to revoke their support for a “horrible” bill that would prevent the discussion of homosexuality in schools. “I will not lie to myself anymore about my own sexuality,” state Rep. Zachary Wyatt said…

Zimmerman calls Mexicans ‘soft ass thugs’ on old MySpace page

George Zimmerman, the shooter of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, made disparaging remarks about Mexicans and his ex-girlfriend on a 2005 MySpace page discovered Tuesday evening, according to The Miami Herald. Zimmerman’s page contains heavy usage of slang words, especially in the “About Me” section. “I dont miss driving around scared to…

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