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Fed slightly upgrades view of U.S. economy

The Federal Reserve slightly upgraded its view of the US economy, saying the jobs market and consumer and business spending had improved since January. But it kept its ultra-low interest rate and its liquidity-boosting bond repurchase operations in place, citing the depressed housing sector and the lack of inflationary pressures. The outcome of the…

Americans lift their beloved mac-and-cheese to new heights

Joining the queue at the CapMac food truck in downtownWashington one sunny lunch hour, Rebecca Harman sums up what’s so special about macaroni and cheese, one of America’s top national dishes. “It’s hot, it’s rich and its heavy,” said Harman, a government employee, waiting for her high-carbohydrate serving of pasta laden with melted cheese.…

Romney wins Hawaii caucus after southern US losses

Mitt Romney scored a consolation win in the Republican caucus inHawaii, hours after going down to a double defeat in Alabama and Mississippi, results showed early Wednesday. With 82 percent of precincts reporting on the Pacific island state, Romney had 45 percent of the votes ahead of Tuesday’s big winnerRick Santorum on…

Obama team hits Romney for ‘get rid of’ Planned Parenthood comment

President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign slammed Mitt Romney on Tuesday, saying his comments about defunding Planned Parenthood were evidence that women couldn’t trust him. “Of course you get rid of Obamacare, that’s the easy one, but there are others,” the Republican presidential candidate said during a campaign stop in Missouri.…

Santorum wins Alabama and Mississippi primaries

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — White House hopefuls were locked in a three-way fight Tuesday as they battled for dominance in key southern states Alabama and Mississippi, which could bust open the unruly Republican presidential race. The race was too close to call as the polls shut in the deeply conservative states,…

Iranian released from U.S. prison to be deported: official

WASHINGTON — An Iranian whose release reportedly had been sought by Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is undergoing deportation proceedings after serving a five year prison sentence for arms smuggling, a US official said Tuesday. Amir Hossein Ardebili, who was arrested in October 2007 in the Republic of Georgia and extradited…

Arizona lawmaker compares contraception mandate to Soviet Union

An Arizona legislators believes that requiring religious employers to provide health insurance coverage for birth control is something a totalitarian regime would propose. “We live in America. We don’t live in the Soviet Union,” Republican state Rep. Debbie Lesko told KTAR. “The government shouldn’t be telling mom-and- pop employers and…

Four of 19 large U.S. banks fail stress tests

WASHINGTON — Citigroup was one of four large US banks that flunked stress tests aimed at seeing how they would hold up in a new economic crisis, Federal Reserve data showed Tuesday. Three others — Ally, Suntrust and MetLife — also failed the tests, while 15 other large bank holding…

Afghan shooting latest scandal for troubled U.S. base

SEATTLE, Washington — The US soldier held for shooting dead 16 Afghan villagers at the weekend was stationed at a military base south of Seattle which has been plagued by scandal and tragedy. Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM), which could in theory host a court martial for the unidentified serviceman, has…

Sarah Palin challenges Obama to debate

Former Republican Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin on Monday night challenged President Barack Obama to a debate. “I’m not running for any office, but I’m more than happy to accept the dubious honor of being Barack Obama’s ‘enemy of the week’ if that includes the opportunity to debate him on the…

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