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Florida company welcomes clients with AK-47

MIAMI — A Florida company is giving new clients a voucher to buy an AK-47 assault rifle to defend themselves from violent crime. Sarasota-based MerchantService.com is a business that provides small stores and businesses with cash machines and credit card processing services. Its “No Merchant Victim” program now offers a…

U.S. faces new shutdown threat as budget talks stall

WASHINGTON — US lawmakers said Tuesday a new budget stalemate over funding for disaster relief could lead to a government shutdown if an agreement is not reached by the end of the fiscal year September 30. The latest bone of contention comes over aid for recovery for states hit by…

Cornel West: Cold-hearted Republican Party tied to oligarchs

Public intellectual and Princeton professor Cornel West said Tuesday on MSNBC that the Republican Party was “mean, coldhearted and tied to oligarchs,” but Democrats were “spineless” and unwilling to fight them. “Looks like Barack Obama is going to have some spine, but it could be a two-step,” he said. “It…

Oklahoma oil rig bursts into flames

An oil rig in Northwestern Oklahoma exploded late Monday night and several homes within a mile radius were evacuated. “It was a routine drilling operation and for some reason, that’s under investigation, they lost control of the well,” Rick Muncrief of Continental Resources told a local news station. No injuries…

Top Republican aims to boost Obama trade powers

WASHINGTON — The top Republican in the US Senate said Tuesday he would seek to give President Barack Obama broad powers to negotiate new trade deals, warning the United States is falling behind in global commerce. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would seek to attach so-called Trade Promotion…

U.S. calls for political deal in Yemen to avert bloodshed

NEW YORK — The United States called Tuesday for a political solution in Yemen to avert further bloodshed after 76 people were killed in the worst outbreak of violence in months. US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland also called “upon all parties to exercise restraint and refrain from further violence”…

Obama leads welcome for Libya’s new leaders

UNITED NATIONS — US President Barack Obama led a warm United Nations welcome Tuesday for the Libyan leaders who deposed Moamer Kadhafi, vowing the world would stand with them as they rebuild their country. But he also pledged NATO would carry out air strikes as long as civilians there are…

36% of South Carolina Republicans believe Obama not born in U.S.

Despite the release of his long-form birth certificate, 36 percent of Republicans in South Carolina believe President Barack Obama “probably” or “definitely” was born in another country, according to the latest Winthrop Poll. That number is down 5.2 percent since April. Many so-called “birthers” believe there is persuasive evidence that…

Texas state Rep. Wayne Christian: This is a war on birth control

The Republican-led Texas legislature is engaged in a “war on birth control and abortions,” according to Texas state Rep. Wayne Christian (R). Conservative Texas lawmakers have cut tens of millions of dollars of family planning funding for health care providers like Planned Parenthood. The state legislature also passed legislation requiring…

Santorum claims his ‘filthy’ Google results ‘have an impact on the country’

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum no doubt dislikes that he isn’t topping any recent polls of the 2012 field, but he may dislike the thing that tops search results of his name even more. And now, he’s asking search giant Google to do something about it. Sex columnist Dan Savage…

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