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Forecasters predict extreme cold winter for Chicago

(Reuters) – Private forecaster Accuweather.com said on Wednesday that heavy snow and extreme cold should be expected in the north central United States, especially in the Chicago area, in the coming winter. The East Coast faces average to slightly above average snowfall during the winter of 2011-2012 as a Pacific…

Ruffalo: ‘Occupy Wall St.’ is ‘a beautiful celebration of democracy’

Appearing on Tuesday night’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann, actor Mark Ruffalo cheered on protesters at “Occupy Wall Street,” calling his visit to the protest site “a beautiful celebration of democracy.” “This is a movement that’s transcending political ideologies,” he said. “It’s a movement that’s touching people all over the United…

U.S. unable to fill NATO gaps, says Panetta

The US military faces serious budget cuts and will be unable to make up any shortfalls in the NATO alliance as European members slashdefence spending, Pentagon chief Leon Panetta warned Wednesday. Fiscal pressures are bearing down on both sides of the Atlantic and NATO allies will need to work closely together to…

In U.S., debate roils over male circumcision

In the United States, a vocal movement of “intactivists,” or people who oppose male circumcision, is engaged in a fierce debate with doctors over the practice of clipping baby boys’ foreskins. Actor Russell Crowe may be the most famous of them. Earlier this year he declared on Twitter: “Circumcision is barbaric and stupid,”…

Obama signs short-term funding bill into law

President Barack Obama early Wednesday signed into law a stopgap measure to fund the US government through November 18 after US lawmakers overwhelmingly approved the bill. The US House of Representatives passed the measure on Tuesday by a 352-66 vote, sending it to the White House with plenty of time to avert a partial government shutdown. The White…

Thousands of California inmates join hunger strike

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Thousands of inmates in several California prisons have taken part in a 9-day-old hunger strike, demanding an end to what they call inhumane conditions, prison officials and an inmate advocacy group said on Tuesday. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation counted 1,186 inmates in four…

Many U.S. veterans say Iraq, Afghan wars not worth it

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A third of U.S. military veterans who have served in the armed forces since the September 11, 2001, attacks think the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were not worth fighting, a poll released on Wednesday showed. The poll by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center found that these…

Underwear bomber vows ‘US cancer’ will be wiped out

A Nigerian man accused of trying to blow up a US-bound airliner in 2009 vowed Islamic militants would wipe out “the cancer US” and hailed a slain Al-Qaeda cleric as his trial opened. “Anwar is alive,” Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab shouted out in the Detroit court in reference to Anwar Al-Awlaqi, the US-born cleric who was…

U.S. retooling strategy to aid Afghan exit

Ten years after hastily going to war in Afghanistan, the United States is eyeing an honorable exit from the conflict after being forced to change strategy as it confronts a Taliban insurgency. US forces entered Afghanistan in October 2001, just weeks after the attacks of September 11, in what was dubbed Operation…

Democrat narrowly wins West Virginia governor’s race

CHARLESTON, West Virginia – Democrat Earl Ray Tomblin held on for a narrow victory in a special election for governor of West Virginia on Tuesday that had tightened after Republicans ran ads tying him to President Barack Obama. Tomblin, who has been acting governor, defeated businessman Bill Maloney, who has…

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