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Supreme Court halts execution of Texas inmate

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday halted the execution of a black man convicted 16 years ago of a double murder in Texas after his lawyers argued his jury was unfairly tainted by racial testimony. The justices stayed the the lethal injection of 48-year-old Duane Buck pending a review of…

Health care reform could prevent reporting of patient outcomes

It’s estimated that hundreds of thousands of patients die annually from preventable harm suffered while undergoing medical care. The infections, injuries and errors could rank as a leading cause of death in the United States. Last year’s sweeping health-care reform law — the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act —…

Senate approves billions in disaster aid

WASHINGTON — The US Senate approved $6.9 billion in disaster relief funds over a yearlong period, a measure that faces an uncertain future in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. By a 62-37 vote, the Senate approved funds for the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help communities cope with…

Obama honors Afghan war hero

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama Thursday awarded a fearless US Marine, who five times defied a Taliban firestorm to save 36 ambushed men, with America’s highest military decoration, the Medal of Honor. Former marine sergeant Dakota Meyer, 23, and a comrade Juan Rodriguez-Chavez, defied orders and repeatedly drove into a…

Nobel physicist quits group over climate stance

WASHINGTON — Norwegian physicist and Nobel laureate Ivar Giaever has quit a major US physics society due to its stance on global warming, a spokeswoman for the group told AFP Thursday. “I can confirm he has resigned,” American Physical Society spokeswoman Tawanda Johnson said, noting that Giaever, 82, sent a…

GOP seeks to delay end of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

WASHINGTON — Republican lawmakers in the House of Representatives are calling for a delay in lifting the ban on gays serving openly in the US military, saying new rules have not yet been made available. A letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta from House Armed Services Committee chair Buck McKeon…

Obama waives sanctions on Iceland whaling

WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama decided Thursday not to impose trade sanctions against Iceland, despite saying that its whale hunts were undermining international efforts to preserve the ocean giants. Obama chose to order the State Department and Commerce Department to keep Iceland’s whaling activities under review and to urge…

Clinton sees progress against Palestinian UN bid

SAN FRANCISCO — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday she saw a “growing recognition” among the “parties in the region” that it would be best for the Palestinians to abandon a bid for UN membership. Clinton, at a joint news conference after talks with Australia in San Francisco,…

ACLU: Pennsylvania lawmakers wasting time with absurd English only bills

The American Civil Liberties Union blasted the Pennsylvania House State Government Committee in response to legislation that would designate English as the official language of the commonwealth. House Bill 361, the Pennsylvania Official Language Act, would make English the official language of Pennsylvania and designate it as the language of…

House passes labor board bill after Boeing case

WASHINGTON — The US House of Representatives approved a bill Thursday that would ban the federal government from ordering an employer to shut down plants or relocate workers, even if labor laws were violated. Approved in a 238-186 vote in the Republican-dominated House, the measure stems from a labor dispute…

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