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U.S. court backs 200 Mississippi pardons

WASHINGTON — The Mississippi Supreme Court upheld Thursday over 200 pardons issued by former governor Haley Barbour, including convicted rapists and killers. Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood had challenged the 215 pardons from Barbour, a Republican whose second term ended in January. Hood said Barbour’s pardons did not stand up…

U.S. paid $30 million in last 3 years to drug informants

WASHINGTON — The United States paid $10 million in each of the past three years to informants in an effort to capture major druglords, a senior government official told lawmakers Thursday. The program, sponsored by the State Department, has paid out $71 million since it was launched in 1986, said…

House passes bipartisan small businesses bill

WASHINGTON — The US House of Representatives on Thursday passed a jobs bill backed by President Barack Obama that Republican leaders said would help small businesses expand and hire new workers. House speaker John Boehner said the measure, which passed by a vote of 390 to 23, would give a…

Two killed, seven hurt at Pittsburgh psychiatric ward shooting

WASHINGTON — Two people including the gunman were killed and seven others were injured Thursday during a shootout at a US psychiatric ward in Pittsburgh, officials said. The Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic confirmed the toll, saying that the seven people hurt in the incident were being treated at UPMC…

Santorum campaign caught sending spam emails

The presidential campaign of former Sen. Rick Santorum is allegedly sending out unsolicited emails based on contact lists that it has obtained, a practice commonly known as spamming. The Next Web first reported that the Santorum campaign was sending unsolicited emails. Emails and a screenshot (see below) obtained by Raw…

O’Reilly: Fluke thinks she’s owed ‘lifestyle help’

Fox News host Bill O’Reilly on Thursday said that Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke was wrong to want contraception to be covered by her health insurance, referring to the medication as “lifestyle help.” In a statement on his website over the weekend, conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh said he…

Christopher Hitchens targeted by FBI counterintelligence probe

A file kept by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on the late author and scholar Christopher Hitchens was released this week, revealing that he was, in his earlier years, the target of an FBI foreign counterintelligence investigation. The documents were released in response to a Freedom of Information Act…

Arizona House approves carrying concealed guns in school zones

Republicans in the Arizona House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday evening to repeal a law that bans the concealed carrying of guns within 1,000 feet of schools. Senate Bill 1474 would allow anyone over the age of 21 to carry a properly licensed firearm inside any educational institution. It…

Georgia state senators walk out to protest ‘war on women’

All of the female Democratic state senators walked out of the Georgia Senate on Wednesday to protest bills put forward by the Republican male majority. The demonstration took place after Republicans passed two bills that opponents have said are part of the GOP’s “war on women.” The only female Republican…

Whistleblowers: 70 percent of U.S. ground beef contains ‘pink slime’

Let’s hope you didn’t eat a hamburger before clicking on this story. A former U.S. Department of Agriculture scientist has come forward with a startling tale of how a substance known as “pink slime” has been embedded in about 70 percent of ground beef sold in the U.S. — a…

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